|Author: Tensei Mikami||Original Source: Syosetu||Word Count: 2269 characters|
|Translator: Jiro||English Source: Re:Library||Word Count: 1099|
“A man?! No way!”
Lichter had been told the startling revelation, and he looked around sullenly at the boy, whom he could only assume was female, with his eyes wide open.
The boy’s teal ponytail was as smooth as silk. His endlessly stretching eyelashes cast large shadows on his black eyes. The width of his exposed shoulders was still narrow, and no matter from which angle they were viewed, they still seemed feminine.
He had no breasts at all, though it wasn’t something to pay attention to until someone pointed it out.
The second son of the Flowing Shadows, Yopha, brushed off Lichter’s excitement and let out a short sigh.
“Oops. My bad. That aside, why are you dressed like some kind of dancer?”
“Economical. And others. Makes men let down guard and get heated. Same with you. Remember?”
Certainly, it was undeniable that Lichter, who had just confronted Eupho, had been partially careless until they crossed blades. There was a possibility that he could have had his head cut off while he was caught off guard…
“You aren’t into that kind of thing right?”
“I mean, aren’t you showing a bit too much skin, being adventurers and all.”
“……I have no interest in men. You pervert.”
“Pervert?! Look who’s talking!”
“Quiet. Signal should come soon.”
Yopha whispered, encouraging them to keep quiet by placing his index finger on his lips over the black veil. Lichter reluctantly sat down on an abandoned liquor barrel in the alleyway as they waited for the signal.
Apart from the two groups of Lichter and Seletina, who had dispersed, Ryanfi, the eldest son of the Flowing Shadows and Yifu, the third son, were now scouting the streets of Leverence.
Ryanfi was dispatched to the city gate, as for Yifu, he was sent to deal with security.
When the signal was given, the operation would begin… but neither Lichter, nor Seletina were informed about what the signal was or what they were supposed to do. However, that was all according to plan.
This was because neither Ryanfi and Yifu, who were supposed to send the signal, nor Eupho and Yopha, who were supposed to receive the signal, had any beforehand preparations. They were leaving it up to the judgment of each individual to decide the best course of action.
Diversion, lock picking and escape… The roles had been split into only these three. It seemed so absurd that it could hardly be called a strategy, but the members of Flowing Shadows had a certain confidence, or even conviction, in their eyes.
Perhaps being blood relatives allowed the four brothers to trust each other and align their roles for the operation.
Lichter couldn’t help but view the four brothers’ theoretical and empty-minded strategy with dismay and suspicion.
That was until it all happened. A massive black serpent of smoke, accompanied by a heatwave, erupted from the warehouse district adjacent to the residential area where Yopha and Lichter were hiding.
The black serpent loomed high in the sky, eclipsing the moon, and let out a mournful cry as it billowed with smoke. Its eyes flashed with flames, cutting through the night’s darkness with a blaze of brilliance that lit up the sky.
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Yopha murmured, and Lichter whistled in response. The intense heat waves from the black serpent reached their exposed skin, causing a sizzling, burning sensation to cling to Lichter’s skin.
“That’s the signal?”
“You like to go with a bang, don’t you? What was that by the way?”
“A Light Magic spell. Causes no harm. Let’s go.”
“Magic, huh… Either way. You said go, but where are we… Stop!”
Before Lichter could say more, Yopha seized him by the collar and leaped from the alleyway to the main street. The flow of people on the main street was fast, resembling a muddy stream.
Startled and panicked, the people fled as the black serpent of smoke leaped out of the warehouse district. There was still a witch lurking in the city, so it was understandable why people were afraid of this harmless, yet grandiose serpent-like flash magic. The ebony-colored, raging eyes of the black serpent seemed to examine which human to devour first.
Amidst the chaos, Yopha, alongside Lichter, leaped into the stream of people and ‘dove‘ into the shadow of one of the men. In an instant, they both disappeared into the world of shadows like a house duck diving into the water’s surface.
“W-What the hell is going on?!”
Lichter exclaimed in amazement. As he looked up, it felt as if he was observing a crowd of people from under a glass slide.
The surroundings were pitch-black, a jet-black world. Amidst this darkness, Yopha’s figure stood out like a sore thumb, tinged with color.
Yopha said without hesitation, causing Lichter’s cat eyes to curl into a quirky smile.
“Where’s my explanation?” he asked.
“You want it?”
“Isn’t that obvious!”
“We’re in a hurry, but oh well…”
Yopha said and stuck out his tongue playfully while pointing to the hair string that tied his hair back. The teal colored string was emitting a slight glow.
“It’s a magic item. Name is ‘Shadow Crossing Cord.’ You can use it to cross in and out of the Shadow World.”
“The Shadow World…? If you have something that is useful up your sleeve, why didn’t you use it at the start?”
“With this we can only dive into shadows cast by people. It’s hard to use at nighttime.”
“So that’s where the Light Magic came into play. I’ve pieced the pieces, but it’d be great if you could tell me these things beforehand.”
“There are plenty of other ways to get out of the city. But I only decided to go with this plan after Yifu used his Light Magic only after examining the city. That’s why I couldn’t explain beforehand.”
“So it really was thought up on the go, huh… But you won’t be able to use magic at the gate due to the barrier.”
“It’s fine. Ryanfi will figure it out.”
Yopha said with a meaningful look.
Lichter, scratching his red hair, could do nothing but let out a sigh of lamentation.
“Fine. Fine. You don’t need to explain anymore. Let’s just go outside.”
And with that, the two ran off.
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In the jet-black, Shadow World, the flow of people was heading towards the west city gate to avoid the rising black serpent in the east. Yopha and Lichter followed the flow, allowing the shadows to pave the way for them.