|Author: Mad Flower||Original Source: SFACG||Word Count: 2921 characters|
|Translator: Keissen||English Source: Re:Library||Word Count: 1348 words|
With my momentary hesitation causing my pursuit to falter, Revan prepared to intercept Kagerou and leaped into the air.
However, just before Revan’s kick could connect, Kagerou exclaimed, “Iron mouse!” A particle of light emerged from his chest, transforming into a steel-colored hedgehog-like creature.
—Is that his pet!?
Damn it, I hadn’t accounted for this unexpected twist!
Revan and I clenched our teeth in frustration, realizing that he had gained the upper hand, when—
At Asmina’s command, Hari, a sacred beast resembling a stoat, swiftly responded and caught Kagerou’s pet, Iron Mouse, in mid-air, biting down on its windpipe.
“No way!?” Kagerou exclaimed, taken aback by the sudden turn of events. At that moment, Revan’s kick struck his side, sending him crashing to the floor and rolling.
As Kagerou slowly rose to his feet, emitting a faint groan, the sound of a sword piercing flesh accompanied the emergence of the tip of my sword, ‘Gilles de Rais,’ from his back.
Then, as Revan delivered the final blow—a powerful frontal full-force elbow strike to Kagerou’s chest, shattering his ribs, Kagerou turned his head to face me as if to say, “You got me there, my lady’. Kagerou glanced back at me, his face mirroring the expression of someone who has been checkmated at last
The maid Rina, who had been observing the scene from a distance, covered her mouth with her hand, her face turning pale. She hurriedly descended the spiral staircase at the sight of Kagerou lying on the ground, blood staining his body.
Well, that’s the normal reaction, I suppose.
Princess Oliana, on the other hand, although visibly pale, stood her ground without flinching. Her bravery was commendable.
I let out a sigh and inspected Kagerou’s lifeless body.
His HP was 0. His status displayed ‘Dead.’ This time, he was truly gone.
“…Is it over?” Oliana asked, her voice filled with nervousness as she surveyed the room under the protection of the guards.
I nodded in response, confirming that the ordeal had come to an end.
“Ah, right… In the end, he did confess, but there’s no evidence to prove otherwise that the Prime Minister had ordered the attack on the messenger from Cres.”
“Don’t worry about it. This brooch here is a recording device, so his verbal confession has been captured. This evidence should be sufficient.” With a sense of pride, Oliana reached for the brooch on her chest, holding it in her hand.
Magic tools indeed function inside the tower. It’s a clever setup, I must say.
“Besides that, we will announce that Baldum died in confinement from sickness. I kindly ask everyone to keep this event confidential,” Princess Oliana stated, her gaze shifting among the people in the room, all of whom seemed restless.
Naturally, it wouldn’t be prudent to disclose to the public that a hostage from another country, confined within the Imperial Palace, was assassinated. It’s a matter of preserving their reputation.
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Everyone present agreed to maintain secrecy.
“Now, regarding the assassin’s corpse, I would like to keep it as actual evidence, even if it’s just the intact head, along with his confession. However, we can’t push for it, so it ultimately rests with Your Highness to decide,” Oliana proposed.
Well, that’s a reasonable judgment. A mere portrait and voice recording wouldn’t be compelling enough evidence, so having the severed head would certainly help.
“I don’t mind. You are free to use it if his death can serve a purpose. Although, I would appreciate it if the body doesn’t undergo further deterioration, and it would be kind of you to arrange for a proper burial,” I suggested.
Oliana readily accepted my suggestion and promised, “I understand. Officially, it may not be possible, but I will personally ensure that the body is laid to rest. I will contact you after the burial.”
“Yes, please,” I responded. I wanted to offer at least some flowers on his tomb.
……Come to think of it, I wonder where would I be laid to rest after my own death? I want to believe that there would be a place for me, where a single flower could be placed in remembrance of the unfortunate incident…… ah well, not like it matters now.
“We will clean up the aftermath here, so may I request everyone to return to the imperial villa?” Oliana addressed the group.
“Indeed, I wouldn’t want to linger in such a bloody and gruesome place.”
With a nod, I followed behind the Imperial Princess as we left the room. Revan, seemingly content with taking revenge for his comrades, closed his eyes and let out a deep sigh before walking out alongside Asmina.
As I prepared to exit, I pondered what parting remark I could leave for Kagerou’s lifeless body. However, I couldn’t find any suitable words and silently left the place.
Just moments after everyone had left the tower, the door to Kagerou’s prison cell creaked open, revealing a maid-like woman stepping out. Her attire resembled that of Rina’s, but her elven features, including her golden-green hair and long ears, distinguished her as something other than human.
Cautiously surveying her surroundings twice, the elf swiftly ascended the spiral staircase. Upon reaching the topmost floor, she peered into the special confinement room and, with a disdainful sneer, used her toes to turn over Kagerou’s body as if it were something repulsive. She then produced a finely engraved bottle seemingly out of thin air and emptied its contents into the sunken cavity of Kagerou’s chest.
In a mesmerizing reversal of time, Kagerou’s body began to heal itself, and he drew a deep breath as he slowly lifted his upper body. “Just as expected of an expensive restorative item like Revival Medicine. Its effects are truly remarkable,” he remarked, gratitude filling his voice.
The elf girl raised her empty hands, the bottle vanishing as quickly as it had appeared, and shrugged nonchalantly.
“So it’s you, Acha. Thank you for going through the trouble.”
Acha replied with a hint of amusement in her voice, “Seriously, your acting was so cringy at times that the effect of the ‘Mimic Card’ almost slipped. It was quite a challenge to deceive them.”
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Kagerou responded. “Thank you for your hard work. By the way, I see you’ve taken on the appearance of the princess’ maid with your attire. When did you manage to switch places?”
“Oh, she was alone when she went to call the guards halfway. That’s when I made the switch,” Acha explained matter-of-factly.
Upon hearing this, a shadow passed over Kagerou’s face. “…You killed her?”
“Well, yeah. My pet has devoured her body to the bones, so I can maintain the deception for a while longer. I can use today’s events as an excuse, claiming she retired due to the trauma. It aligns with your intentions, doesn’t it? …Hmm? Wait, don’t tell me you were serious about your earlier speech? You weren’t, right, Mr. Assassin?”
“……Let’s leave this place quickly before the guards come to investigate. I’ve already located that item and obtained the key,” Kagerou urged, his tone slightly displeased.
“Alright. I need to ensure Hiyuki doesn’t notice me as well, given my duties,” Acha responded. She retrieved a storage bag from beneath her skirt, revealing Kagerou’s change of clothes and the lifeless body of a boy bearing a striking resemblance to him.
“Have you also made such preparations?” Kagerou inquired, his expression betraying a hint of annoyance as he changed into his usual attire.
“It would be a waste if I hadn’t. I like to be thorough in my endeavors,” the elf girl replied calmly, as if such actions were second nature to her. With an almost detached demeanor, she created stab wounds and attack marks on the lifeless body.
Satisfied with her work, she picked up the bag and urged Kagerou, “Now, let’s go back. We still have a job to do.”
“…Yes,” Kagerou acquiesced, following her lead. As he stepped toward the entrance, he cast a final glance at the room, mirroring the expression Hiyuki had displayed earlier, sighed, and swiftly departed.