|Author: Himezaki Shiu
|Original Source: Syosetu
|English Source: Re:Library
The butler’s knife silently drew close to Ciel’s neck and stopped short of reaching.
More precisely, it was halted by my barrier.
Both the captured man’s eyes, brimming with premature triumph, and the attacking butler’s, widened in shock.
If not for the barrier, it would have been a close call… not really.
I did notice his approach. However, his… presence? Something that usually makes it easy for me to detect approaching people was a tad harder to notice.
『You noticed but kept quiet about it, didn’t you?』
『That’s mean, so mean! I’m kidding.
But still, why do that?』
『For your training, if I had to say? He was difficult to detect even for me, so I wanted you to be aware that people like him exist.』
『I see. I didn’t notice him at all, you know? He didn’t even make a sound. I wonder how that’s possible?』
『I can’t say for certain, but it might be due to his Job.』
There are already innumerable Jobs, and their numbers are ever-increasing.
There are even instances of Jobs that were commonly seen in the past ceasing to manifest in these recent times.
As such, it wouldn’t be odd to find Jobs specializing in assassination and stealth.
Besides, it may also be possible to control one’s magic power to prevent detection—though not many are capable of magic power detection, making it doubtful to say if it’s a skill worth mastering—or even achieve silent movement through rigorous training.
However, what I have been constantly doing is spatial area perception. If I wanted to, I could count how many pebbles or blades of grass are in the surrounding area.
As long as something exists in that space, I won’t miss it.
Since his presence was ‘muddled’, it’s most likely the effect of a Job.
Honestly, I’m surprised we haven’t encountered Jobs like these in the past.
I can’t recall how many times we’ve faced assassination attempts, but those were sloppy enough that even the past me could detect them.
Are there only a few with this Job? Or was this simply not their primary occupation? Well, considering the goal was to test a child who was not even the age of ten, I suppose a professional assassin wasn’t necessary.
『So, there might be Jobs that enable that. No, it shouldn’t be a surprise if there are.』
『That’s right, but he’s starting to be an eyesore; why don’t we deal with him already?』
『That’s definitely true.』
Even as Ciel and I continued talking, the butler stubbornly continued his attacks on Ciel and seized every chance to rescue the captured man.
His efforts, however, didn’t see any significant success.
The minimal damage to the briars tells me that he likely has low offensive strength.
In other words, he poses no real threat. Still, this is starting to get annoying.
Ciel retrieved an ornate dancing sword from the magic pouch, which she used to deftly knock the knife from the butler’s hand, catch it midair, and slash him with it.
As I thought, he had low combat abilities, making it easy for Ciel to overpower him even without the Song Princess’ support.
The knife appeared to be coated with poison as well, as the butler collapsed in pain with only a single cut before his body eventually ceased moving.
『Ciel, are you alright?』
『I’m fine. How about you, Ain?』
I asked out of worry since this was the first time Ciel directly took a life without the use of sorcery or her Dance Princess abilities, but it seems like my question only caused her concern.
It doesn’t sound like she was forcing herself to be fine, either.
Convinced by her reply, I responded “I’m alright”.
Since he wanted to take her life, I suppose the man wasn’t any different from some other monster in her eyes.
After all, she treats thieves the same way.
I’ve come to terms with it now, though this would have likely distressed me in the past.
After confirming that the area was secure and checking on the captured man, I told Ciel that it was over.
Still, for better or for worse, Shusii did not wake up throughout the whole ordeal.
She’s surprisingly plucky.
When I suggested Ciel to wake her up, she murmured, 「Just a bit more…」 which I’ll take as another sign of her grit.
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「I see, so that’s why things are like this. I guess I should just close shop for today?」
Shusii woke up and was startled by the unconscious man wrapped in thorns, so Ciel gave her a brief rundown of the events.
While Shusii was asleep, Ciel had stashed the corpses in the magic pouch, washed away the blood with water sorcery, and delivered the corpses to the Hunter Guild before returning, so only the fate of the briar man is left unsettled.
Considering all this took us about an hour and Shusii slept through it all, there might be something off with her.
Her unfazed reaction after learning we had killed the attackers is also disconcerting.
Still, she is an A-rank hunter, so perhaps she’s just accustomed to it.
This situation was practically no different from a bandit attack, which makes them a legitimate subjugation target from a hunter’s perspective.
「Why did you lose?」
After all, she’s an A-rank hunter. Couldn’t she have handled them? However, Shusii simply shook her head.
「I’m weak against surprise attacks. With monsters, you usually get frontal attacks, so I can handle without breaking a sweat.」
『So she’s a typical spellcaster-type.』
『What does that mean?』
『Someone who stays at the back, is weak against physical attacks, and getting hit in general… I suppose?』
She might have low detection and scouting abilities as well.
And their intent was likely to only knock her out; perhaps the lack of murderous intent also played a part in her low caution?
Yeah, I don’t understand it much.
Anyway, what she seems to be saying is that she can handle a straightforward frontal attack, even against A-rank monsters.
「Besides, they probably wouldn’t have killed me.」
「Because my spirit will protect me.」
Oh, some interesting spirit talking coming next part?
For this time, we have a first assassin-type job, which I do agree is pretty unusual that we haven’t encountered yet. Is it just rare or tightly regulated? And next, some AinCiel interaction. Mentor-student AinCiel is good too. Never hurts to have more (in most cases). And finally our… girl of the arc? is finally awake! She seriously slept over the chaos, lol. It is funny how she might be over-reliant on her spirit for protection though. A bit lacking in caution. Still, who knows?
Now then, I hope you enjoyed this chapter. Please feel free to comment. Stay healthy, stay safe, and have a nice day~!