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≪1-10≫ – Scolding

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Author: Kisasaki Suzume Original Source: Syosetu
Translator: Mui English Source: Re:Library
Editor(s): Deximus-Maximus

Monica sat on the ground, with her body raised. There was a captured man. Seeing him, Viola quickly seemed to understand the situation.

“You idiot!!” Viola rushed over, knelt down, and enveloped Monica in a hug, covering her. “Why did you… act alone……” Her voice quivered as if being squeezed out.

Monica still seemed frozen, as if not fully comprehending what had just happened to her. Lucella bent down too, peering over Viola’s back at Monica’s face.

“You……seem okay. Any injuries, Monica?”
“W-Well, um, my mouth… and I hit my head a bit… I think.”
“≪Healing≫”

Viola quickly traced a simplified sigil and used healing magic. A warm light emanated from her hands and bathed Monica.

“…You didn’t need to use magic for something like that.”
“Idiot, idiot, idiot! You big idiot! If you get hurt, even if it’s just a scratch, I’ll heal it! I don’t care even if it dries up my magic power!”

Viola gripped Monica’s shoulder, who was starting to pout a little, and spoke to her face. Monica’s throat felt tight, as if a sword was aimed at her. She couldn’t escape anymore. She had no choice but to acknowledge it.

Viola then stood up. Adjusting her glasses, she looked down at… the man who was being restrained by the two knights, bound tightly with silver chains.

Lucella gauged the man’s presence.

Presence meant the pulsation of the soul and the resonance of the body’s magic leakage. The quality of presence reflected the strength, and therefore, a master could gauge the extent of someone’s ability just by their presence.

In Mount Kuguse, filled with dragon aura, reading the presence of others was difficult, and Lucella shouldn’t have practiced presence reading during her life on the mountain. However, as she became more proficient in magic, her senses seemed to naturally develop, and now she could generally grasp an opponent’s strength through their presence alone.

According to her assessment, the man in front of them was remarkably lacking. His appearance hinted at some physical strength, but beyond that, he likely hadn’t received proper training, and he probably had no experience facing life-or-death situations.

He seemed like a low-tier thug-for-hire, used for a pittance.

“Is this… the culprit?”
“Yes. He’s just the tail of the lizard, though.”

Lucella, Viola, and Monica spoke as if skipping ahead, leaving the man utterly bewildered by the conversation’s context. Lucella turned her gaze toward the restrained man.

The previously damp alley suddenly dried up entirely. The surroundings seemed to fill with heat as if the sun had drawn near, causing the old paint on the nearby walls to peel and flake off.

Like sparks flying in a clash of swords, flames danced and crackled on the cobblestone road.

“Pass this message on to your employer: ‘If you want to pick a fight with the ducal house, go ahead and do it on your own terms. But if you involve innocent people, you’ll incur the wrath of a dragon.’ Understand that there won’t be any mercy next time. Know that it could lead to a castle being reduced to nothingness.”
“……Eek!”

Whether the man could hear Lucella’s ultimatum until the end was uncertain. His eyes rolled back, turning white. Trembling like a strangled fish, he convulsed, foamed at the mouth, and lost consciousness while wetting himself.

(This chapter is provided to you by Re:Library)

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“He won’t have another chance to convey words to anyone. I’ve taken responsibility for the message, little dragon.”

Taking the place of the unconscious man, the plainclothes knight responded solemnly. The two knights bowed properly and then lifted the man, who was wrapped in loops of chain, as they began to walk away.

“It smells awful!”
“Drag him away.”

The two knights hooked the chains over their shoulders and carried the man in spirals, the sound of the chains scraping against the stones fading into the distance, eventually blending into the sounds of the city.

“What will happen to him?”
“…He’ll likely be sentenced to death. Given that this time the intention was an attack on the ducal house rather than Monica, they’ll use any forced reasoning they can muster to execute him for ‘attempted assassination.’ Generally, even an attempted assassination targeting nobles and their bloodlines leads to a death sentence. The evidence connecting the executor and the client is probably destroyed, so even if they were to discover the client, it wouldn’t implicate them… His execution serves as a deterrence at the very least.”

Viola’s explanation was methodical, delivered as if stating the answer to a mathematical equation, devoid of emotion.

“So they’ll admit to her being part of the family only at times like this, huh…”
“Well, whatever the reasoning, let’s have them handle what needs to be done… Let’s go back, Monica.”
“……Okay.”

Monica stood up with Viola’s help and then abruptly stopped. Viola’s guiding hand tensed in midair.

“Um…”
“What is it? Are you still hurting somewhere?”
“Um, not that…”

Monica looked down, and it took her a while to gather her words.

“S…rry.” At first, her words were faint. Monica took a deep breath and then corrected herself. “I’m sorry, I… I didn’t realize that discarding myself could feel this… wrong.”

Lucella and Viola exchanged glances. Then, Viola gently let out a relieved smile and hugged Monica once again, releasing some tension from her shoulders. “You know, Monica, you’re really smart. You understood it right away.”

Her embrace was firm, as if making sure not to let go of her, yet her hands and voice were gentle.

Monica’s lack of knowing reliance had driven her to take impulsive actions. The notion of someone else resolving things for her, protecting her, or someone being sad if something happened to her… those feelings had never crossed Monica’s mind from the beginning.

Perhaps it was time for her to learn. To understand what it meant to be cherished by someone. And yet, she was still undeniably smart. The sensation of the arms around her seemed to tickle her, making her squirm.

“But… but why are you so concerned about me? Even if we share half of our blood… you’ve only just met me…”
“Even if we’ve only just met, I already know a lot about you, Monica. I’ve heard stories about your mother, about the ducal family, and even the whispers of gossip around town… I’ve even gone around asking people who used to work at that mansion prison.”

Viola’s glasses glinted, and she chuckled softly.

“Well, whether I knew from the beginning or not doesn’t really matter. Every time I realize that this adorable creature is my little sister, I become happier. So since my love for you would only grow from now on, what’s wrong with starting to cherish you right away?”

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Had those words been directed at a lover, they would have been sickeningly sweet whispers of love. Monica could only look down and blush in response.



 

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