My cousin, Miyeong, disliked me.
Was it because I had continued to stay in her home? Was it because her dad didn’t like me? Was it because it seemed as if her mother paid more attention to me⎯⎯⎯than she did to her? Was it because her parents had started to fight? You can most likely find the reason among one of these. Or perhaps, everything above was the reason behind her hatred. Who knows. I wonder what her reason was? If there’s one thing that I’m certain of, then it’s the fact that, although I can think of over thirty different reasons for why Miyeong would hate me, I can’t even ponder a smidgen of a reason for why she should like me. Around the time when I was left in the care of the home of Miyeong, who hated me, and had started to attend the same school as her, the man who was the homeroom teacher of her class was not a bad person. However, if malice was the only thing that could give birth to wicked results, then this world would be much more comfortable to live in. I was able to engrave that truth, which anyone could learn just by looking at my aunt, into my mind once more thanks to that man. I, who had just lost his parents, was assigned to the same class as Miyeong and was seated next to Miyeong who shared the same blood as me. All thanks to that man’s kindness.
Miyeong bullied me.
Of course, that isn’t the proper expression. Let’s add an adverb. ‘She easily bullied me.’ Let’s get rid of the determinacy. ‘She was able to easily bully me.’ Let’s change it to a passive verb. ‘It was made so that she could easily bully me.’ I can probably continue to do this a hundred times and each time I do so, I can most likely separate them to things that man had done and the results which were inflicted onto me. Interstellar, the distance was as vast as the distance between two stars. However, if I were in a different class, or at the very least, if our seats were placed apart, but because of that man’s sympathy.
I was ostracized by my classmates.
Of course, that isn’t the proper expression. Because Miyeong had bullied me. Because I was a transfer student. Because I was a foreign matter that had squeezed into the class’ social circles which had already been established. Because I was weak. Because I no longer had parents. Because I had cried after being hit by Miyeong who was a girl. Because I was a book-smart kid who was only good at studying despite being unable to even fight. Etc. Etc. However, if Miyeong didn’t harass me, if my seat wasn’t beside Miyeong’s, if I were in a completely different class. Aah, because of that man’s consideration.
Joo Chanmi came looking for me.
Of course, that isn’t the proper expression.
If it wasn’t.
Several days had passed.
I was able to have a warm meal, change my clothes, and sleep in a proper resting area. If I had experienced a proper school life, then this would have been the golden opportunity to shed tears as I experienced why food, clothing, and shelter were the fundamentals of human life, but thanks to Chanmi and her group, I didn’t feel any particular emotion since I had already experienced this sort of ‘give and take away’ situation a countless number of times before.
“I somehow feel as if I’m at a loss.”
Within Zia’s private chamber, I, who had smashed his face against the floor for the thirty-sixth time in an attempt to do a backflip, muttered those words. Zia, who was watching my antics while mending her sword, cleared her throat.
“Haven’t you been experiencing a loss throughout your entire life, Yujin?”
Ignored. Another backflip, thirty-seventh headbutt.
Zia cleared her throat lightly.
“Of course, you’re most likely curious about how I was able to see through your entire life despite only knowing you for 2 weeks now. That is a poor thought, Yujin. Similar to that one Korean saying, brilliance displays itself even in childhood. If I were to say it in our world’s terms, then it’d be ‘a person who can predict what will happen at twelve before one o’clock has passed is a wise man’.”
Ignored. Another backflip, thirty-eighth headbutt.
Zia cleared her throat some more.
“Of course, you’d most likely want to say that brilliance displays itself even in one’s adolescence. Moreover, you will probably want to point out the fact that the meaning of those two sayings is completely different. Doing something like instructing me to not call you brilliant, you will most likely want to say something along those lines. However, Yujin, that is once again, a poor thought. I······.”
This time, without me having to even ignore her, Zia closed her mouth on her own. Zia Batsand put away the sword she was mending and tried to read my countenance.
“Are you still upset about your clothes?”
At last, I shook my head to signal her that I didn’t particularly feel that way. My face hurt so I was planning to take a break anyway.
“That’s not it. It’s just that I felt as if I’ve been dragged around too much lately so I was making a conscious effort to lower the number of rebuttals I’d make.”
“You’ve started to train me, huh······.”
“You’re my sword after all. I have to tame you enough to be able to grab you by the handle and swing you.”
Zia swung her sword and smacked me with the flat side of her blade.
The anger and repulsion felt from being hit abruptly⎯⎯⎯surprisingly, after being hit by this fellow, I couldn’t help but shout.
“What are you doing!? My face already hurts like crazy!”
“Y-Y-You, what are you saying!? Suddenly! Calmly! Without any prelude!”
“Why are you getting upset!? You’re the one who hit me! And why are you questioning what I said!? I definitely explained it to you in the basement already!”
“Were you unable to say it a bit more smoothly!? F-For you to say that you’ll tame me! How dare you say that!”
“How do I have to say it in order for it to be smoother!?”
“Figuring that out is the trial which has been imposed upon you!”
“I judged that the best thing to do is to firmly scold the idiotic knight who dragged an already failed bad joke out in this timing!”
Zia closed her mouth in frustration. I picked up the headband, that had fallen off after being hit by Zia, and put it back on my head. Zia grumbled.
“Even though you’re crossdressing······.”
Just as Zia had grumbled, I was currently crossdressing. To be exact, I was wearing a maid uniform. There shouldn’t be a particular need to explain this. The uniform was two sizes smaller than what I would usually wear so it stuck to my body and despite the stockings being a color of white that was extensive, it tightened around my legs so much that it made them appear slim, but as expected, there shouldn’t be a need to explain this.
No, as I thought, I should explain.
“If you had given me some proper clothes to wear, then I wouldn’t be wearing something like this.”
“Are those the clothes that Sii gave you?”
“Yup. Her spare maid uniform and stockings. Since my sweatsuit became dirty, I had no other choice but to wear this.”
“There shouldn’t have been a reason for you to wear even the stockings.”
“It’s better than wearing shoes without socks. The weather is cold as well.”
“But because you’re wearing those stockings, I end up feeling skeptical about the size of my own legs.”
“Who cares? Also, it can’t be helped since you’re a knight. Why do females, including my cousin, throw aside things like their own physique and role, and hang their necks about things like size?”
“Although I’m a knight, I’m also a girl.”
“If you want to know whether you’re a girl or not, then you can just place your hand on your chest, right?”
Zia smacked me with the flat side of her blade.
The anger and repulsion felt by the reality that I had just been hit⎯⎯⎯I shouted as soon as I was struck by this girl.
“What’s been wrong with you since earlier!?”
“I should be the one asking what your issue has been since earlier! For you to sexually harass me, I can’t believe it. Yujin, a man like you! How can you say that I would have no other choice but to accept the fact that I’m a female if I grab my right chest with one hand, put my other hand between my legs, and stick out my tongue!?”
“I didn’t say that much, you know!?”
“If you had tsukkomi’d like that from the start, then I wouldn’t have had to needlessly use violence twice······.”
“I fell for your scheme!?”
“It’s twelve years too soon for you to try and tame me.”
“So if you did want to be tamed by me, then you want to be tamed by the me who’s turned into a 30-year-old man?”
“It’s an idiomatic expression! If anything, I don’t want to give up this current situation where I’m being tamed by a girl who’s in her mid-teens.”
“Really, this is a hopeless knight······.”
“Although I felt it around the time when I went on BTOOL with Ahyeon, very handsome posters are existences that one would always want to consume. However, I actually wanted to consume the illustrators more.”
(TL note: BTOOL is a basically a site that was mostly about image sharing)
“Are you satisfied now? Let’s stop here.”
“Mm. Sorry. That last one was honestly irrational.”
Zia sat down and went back to mending her sword. I believed that if she was going to add the term ‘honestly’, then that would mean that the overall conversation just now could be considered as irrational, but I didn’t do so and instead went back to practicing my backflips.
“It’d be a good idea if you placed your weight towards your tailbone.”
“If you’re going to give me a piece of advice, then couldn’t you have done it sooner?”
“Also, your outfit. If you wear such tight-fitting clothes and even have on boots that reach up to your knees, then, of course, it would interfere with your backflips.”
“I know that as well, but I have no other clothes.”
“Then you can take it off and do it.”
“I’ll really take it off.”
“Yujin, you really don’t see me as a girl, huh······.”
What are you talking about? I see you slightly as a girl. Honestly, it’d be more convenient for me if that slightness were to disappear, but, well, this current situation is convenient enough for me and she’s an interesting conversation partner as well, so I’ll forgive her with that.
“Well, I, Zia Batsand, have a body that was born as the Silver Lion Earl’s sword. The Zia Batsand as a female had already withered away a long time ago.”
······Although she occasionally says things that are annoying enough to be surprising.
It’s more annoying that I knew the origin of that line.
In any case, I listened to the advice of Zia Batsand, who claimed to be the Silver Lion Earl’s sword since birth, and did a backflip while putting weight towards my tailbone.
After failing five times, I spoke.
“Are you sure this trick is right? Why does it feel like it’s become more difficult······?”
“Yujin. Surely you aren’t doubting me, are you? Yujin, are you unable to believe I⎯⎯⎯the sword of Her Excellency the Earl and your sword?”
“I’m saying this now, but I have to be able to go to Korea if I’m going to transport new BL books here.”
“Leaning your weight towards your tailbone was a lie. Try swinging the heels of both your feet like a pair of axes while you lower your waist and head.”
A really annoying sword······.
“But don’t worry. Regardless of whether you pass or not, she most likely plans to send you back once.”
“What’s your reasoning behind that thought?”
“Since the end of the month is approaching.”
End of the month, is it?
“Does it reset monthly? The⎯⎯⎯nail arts of the Earl, that is.”
The limit to the number of times she can summon things.
“If it gets reset, then perhaps, the summon cancel as well?”
“It can’t be done. Since the proof of the summoning would have disappeared.”
In other words, there’s a need for her to cancel the summon and send me back before that time comes. Since she has a catalyst that’s related to me, she can just summon me back after the use limit has been reset.
Although I understood the mechanism, there was something that was still bothering me.
“For the reset to be a monthly thing, that’s longer than I had expected. Isn’t it incredibly wasteful for her to use her summons for things like getting a ride on you and summoning me because she’s too lazy to call for me?”
If I were to count starting from the time when I was in the basement, then she had squandered almost all of her uses within 5 to 6 days. For someone with such an impressive ability, her skill to plan ahead was lacking way too much.
Skill to plan ahead.
“Ah⎯⎯⎯was that the case.”
To my words that I had unintentionally muttered out loud, Zia nodded with a solemn face.
“Her Excellency the Earl.”
The Earl with a mentality that has broken down.
Since the act of planning ahead was something that only the people who could love themselves, people who had hope for the future, could do⎯⎯⎯.
“It may be a surprise, but Her Excellency has a luxurious personality.”
It wasn’t bombastic-like but just a luxurious personality.
“No, it isn’t particularly a surprise.”
You can tell just by looking at the clothes she wears, right?
“Even when she was still the esteemed daughter, on the very day she received her allowance, she would immediately spend it all on food, so the previous lord, His Excellency the Earl had a lot of worries.”
“She suddenly seems humane.”
“Thanks to that, my stomach became full. It was the worst.”
“Doesn’t that mean you were the one who nearly ate everything? Moreover, for you to even say that it was the worst, do you have any conscience?”
A human who was terrible enough to make even me unintentionally give a rebuttal was here in front of me.
“Moreover, Her Excellency got sick of things quickly and also has a small appetite.”
“That’s⎯⎯⎯I figured that was the case.”
“Well, there was also a fault in the fact that the previous Earl was a bit lustful.”
“And the previous Earl’s wife?”
“She was a lesbian.”
It was a household that was nonsensical enough to make me believe that the Silver Lion Earl, who was like that, could be born there.
“Because she was a lesbian, whenever the previous Earl would bring home a lover, they would place that person between the two of them and enjoy her together. The relationship between husband and wife was incredibly harmonious.”
“Stop. In any case, what’s the point?”
“In any case, that’s why the previous Earl had set up these and those sorts of pensions for Her Excellency the Silver Lion Earl. It was a relief. Since the Earl’s salary⎯⎯⎯isn’t even remotely enough to handle the maintenance of the castle, let alone the Silver Lion Earl’s own extravagance.”
“So the lord of this City of Confinement is a lord who got paid a salary, huh?”
“It goes without saying that there’s also tax.”
Zia Batsand folded her arms and declared.
“Her Excellency the Earl does not put her hands on the things that are not hers.”
A rather common situation. Although someone may call her a hypocrite or self-righteous, despite that, even if the Silver Lion Earl’s mentality has broken down, or perhaps because it has broken down, she doesn’t cross her own⎯⎯⎯.
It turns out that she did actually cross it.
“My head is starting to hurt.”
“Why’s that, Yujin?”
Was it because the Silver Lion Earl was hastily appearing more and more humane to me in this place, suddenly, without context, and while she wasn’t even here?
Everyone is human.
In the end, even someone like Joo Chanmi was still a human being.
“If I summarize the story, then, although those pensions were able to maintain Her Excellency’s prodigal habits, they weren’t able to ease it. It was like that after meeting Ahyeon and even after they had separated. Her Excellency would often spend all of her allowance and use up all of her summons before half a month could even pass. There’s a chance that because she had those pensions, Her Excellency was unable to place her attention towards being conservative and premeditating her decisions even more.”
“Is there a need to summarize it, the story, that is.”
I feel like I’ve already heard it enough.
It was at the moment I had thought that.
“At the end of a certain month, Her Excellency was kidnapped and put in a state of restraint by the 7th branch of the Mage Tower, but as expected, if you look back at it, then you could possibly say that the reason for her kidnapping was because of the pensions that the previous Earl had set up.”
This topic had suddenly come up.
Confinement that was aimed for the Earl while she was in a defenseless state.
⎯⎯⎯Pension and restraint.
(TL note: These two words are spelled the same but they use different Chinese characters, thus changing the meaning.)
“Before the limit of Her Excellency’s summoning ability could be reset at the start of the next month, and before the day Her Excellency could receive her pensions, the 7th branch of the Mage Tower took all possible measures that they could. In that regard, since I already told you what happened next while we were in the basement, I’ll omit it.”
In order to prevent her from having any catalysts, they stripped and imprisoned her.
Restricted and bound.
“If you ask what the moral of the story is, then, although it’s amusing, Her Excellency finally felt the need to have a type of deposit because of that incident. Though it’s probably more of an insurance than a deposit, a type of risk management.”
The catalysts of monsters, demon lords, and gods of other worlds.
“Even if her prodigal habits are still the same, she’ll save at least one, but if possible, two of her summons in preparation for any unexpected situations.”
The twelve nuclear bombs that the Earl, whose mind had been shattered, had inlaid into her body.
“If that’s the case, then, as I expected, does that mean the tattoos on the back of her hands count as that proof of summoning as well?”
Zia spread both of her hands and showed the back of them to me.
“10 nails as proof. The 2 backsides of her hands as proof.”
12 verifications of summons per month.
“In any case, similar to the monster of the Six Petal City and the creatures that are in the torture chamber, if a month passes by, then the ‘proof’ of their summoning disappears, making it so that their summons can no longer be canceled.”
Returning back to the beginning, the sword of the Silver Lion Earl spoke.
“It’s possible to use a different method in order to send the target back, but that process in itself is incredibly cumbersome. Therefore, the most efficient method is to cancel the summon at the end of the month and then summon them back on the first day of the next month.”
After smacking her lips.
“Though it’s called efficient, it was only ever applied to Ahyeon.”
And smiling slightly.
“I never expected⎯⎯⎯that the day we used this method again would ever come.”
Zia lowered her head.
“I said it before back in the basement, but there’s no particular reason for you to be thanking me.”
I responded as so and averted my gaze.
“At any rate, if that’s the case, then does that mean that there was no need for me to practice doing backflips like this?”
“That’s what I think.”
“I would have been quite happy if you had told me this a little sooner.”
To be exact, before I had headbutted the floor this much. Zia, who had raised her head, cleared her throat.
“Well, that’s just my thought so it isn’t 100%. You should be fully aware of Her Excellency’s fickleness. There’s no harm in putting your all into practicing that.”
That would be the case if you removed from the list of demerits the fact that I lost brain cells every time my head hit the floor. In any case, my mind felt a bit lighter after hearing the inside story and her assumption.
“By the way, Yujin. It’s about that Sii who gave you those clothes.”
“You’re already aware of the fact that she’s treated badly among the maids, right?”
I was aware of that the moment I first met her.
“If you’re aware, then why aren’t you doing something about it, Miss Knight?”
“That’s a silly question, Yujin. Or was your world⎯⎯⎯Korea, a paradise where all maladies could be dealt with if someone with a high social status said something about it? There should be a mountain of cases where the opposite of that has occurred.”
A wise answer. Although I felt a bit weird since this fellow was the one to say that wise answer.
“Yujin. I know what you’re thinking. If I had a grasp of the situation, then I should have at least tried to do something in order to fix it. However, I’m in this castle as a knight and as someone who protects Her Excellency the Earl.”
“So you’re saying that it isn’t your job?”
“That’s correct. It’s not my job, nor is it within my jurisdiction. Furthermore, if I clumsily tried to do something about that type of bullying, then only the opposite effect would occur. In order to overthrow that sort of bullying in the truest sense, the recipient of the bullying has to stand up while shaking it off on their own.”
As I thought, a wise answer.
“Why have you been only saying logical sounding things since earlier?”
“What are you saying, Yujin? I’m always logical.”
“Yeah, but, why have you been only saying logical sounding things since earlier?”
“Because of the topic. Bringing out bad jokes when the topic is group bullying is something that only demonic bastards would do. This Zia Batsand, has not fallen into that sort of devildom yet.”
Wise answers throughout.
It’s the first time in a long while since I’ve felt this much frustration······.
“Why did you bring that up when you’re just going to be cold-heartedly drawing a line saying that it isn’t your problem?”
“I’m not trying to warn you. It just seemed like the number of times Sii has been smiling has increased recently so I was grateful.”
“You know each other?”
“It’s a vague relationship. Well, let’s just say that we’d sit in the library together and read manga.”
Truly a vague relationship. As much as Sii had mentioned this fellow’s name back when she was talking about how she had learned Korean, this was something that I had already expected. Zia puffed her chest out and added something more.
“You can say that we’re comrades, so to speak.”
“If you say it like that, then it sounds like you two know each other really well.”
“Like I said, not that well. There’s also a gap in our statuses. The most we know about each other is what coupling the other supports.”
“I should have started to feel a sense of incompatibility the moment you started to give wise answers.”
“Except, that fellow consistently insisted NL couplings. The concept of BL, how should I say it? It seems she couldn’t comprehend it that well. She was a fellow who would ask, ‘If a man and a man get together, then wouldn’t there only be girls left?’ with a serious expression on her face. What a foolish person, that’s supposed to be a good thing.”
(TL note: NL = Normal Love)
“Let’s stop, I’ve already understood it as ‘I have no intention of helping Sii, but it felt nice seeing the bright expression of Sii who was once a fellow otaku’.”
“All right. In any case, it’d be great if Sii could use this momentum to resolve herself in order to overcome her situation, but that’s probably a problem that needs to be waited out. Even I required some time before I could make a similar resolve. That’s the way the world goes.”
These words⎯⎯⎯were a bit of a surprise.
“You were bullied too?”
“Aren’t I being bullied by Her Excellency the Earl every day? And I’ve been getting harassed by you as well lately.”
It wasn’t actually a surprise.
“In the first place, you enjoy it so that doesn’t count. What have I done to harass you? Moreover, just what sort of resolution did you even make?”
“Yujin. If you give such a sincere rebuttal to my moderate joke, then I’m going to be the one to feel embarrassed.”
No matter how you think about it, I’m the one who’s being harassed.
“Putting jokes aside, even I have experience in being bullied. To be exact, it was during the time I was attending the dojo. Through Her Excellency the Earl⎯⎯⎯though she was still the esteemed daughter of the earl at the time, anyway, since I became my current teacher’s pupil through her connection, I was an eyesore to the other disciples who had entered through their connections which they established with either money or authority.”
“If anything, I think even the Earl’s connection is sufficient enough to be considered as a connection of money and authority······.”
“That’d be the case by the standards of commoners. However, compared to real money and real authority, the amount of money and authority in the possession of Her Excellency the Earl can’t be considered much.”
“She did say that this city wasn’t that big. Then it must be a connection related to the Earl’s ability. Mm. So, what did you do to those other disciples?”
“I did my best to try and get along with them at first. I failed. Since our teacher was scary, I had no other choice but to latch onto Her Excellency while crying and plead for help.”
“You’re two years older than the Earl, right?”
“Also, Her Excellency was six years old at the time.”
“No, Her Excellency was a genius after all. Especially in regards to language. Like I would always say, it’s similar to the logic of molars growing on a lion, but in this situation, the development of the molars⎯⎯⎯the fact that she had free command of language, meant that her level of thinking was just as high.”
“No, it’s fine. Even if you try to lead me on like that, all you’re trying to say is that the Earl had a higher mental age than you, right? Anyhow, so what? If I read into the context, then that means the Earl wasn’t that much help as well. That’s why you learned the lesson that you had to face things on your own and······.”
“No, she was a big help.”
“You’ll understand if you listen a bit more. When I latched onto Her Excellency while crying, she said to me the words that I said earlier, ‘stand up while shaking it off on your own’. It felt as if I had received a revelation.”
“Although it’s a turning point that seems likely for an 8-year-old to undergo, for the opposition who gave you that lesson to be 6-years-old, was that Earl of ours Josua······?”
“Then that means I’m Boris.”
(TL note: Josua and Boris are characters that appeared on a Korean site called 4LEAF. They were profile avatars at first, followed by their appearance in the novel ‘Children of Rune’ and then in the game ‘TalesWeaver’.)
“It’s scary how easily you understand my references. It’d be great if you had some self-awareness of the fact that you’re from another world.”
“I’ll try. In any case, Her Excellency said that she would let me borrow her strength if I could muster up the courage to make that kind of resolve. I contemplated it for a couple of days, and in the end, I decided to make that resolve. After that, we summoned one disciple every day with Her Excellency’s power and soundly beat them up.”
“It was wrapped up nicely like some good story, but isn’t that just surprise lynching?”
“Additionally, we would summon them while aiming for the times when they were asleep. Before they can even wake up, we would throw a net over their body and then pummel them with clubs.”
It became the chrysalis of something else that couldn’t even be called surprise lynching.
“It became long, but the conclusion is that: The people who bully others must do so while fully prepared to have their faces be smashed with a full-swing. Furthermore, the people who are trying to overcome that bullying must not fear or hesitate to pull off that full-swing smash. You must take the initiative to request for help only after you’ve gained the resolve to do so.”
“You concluded it as if it were some inspirational story, but, how should I say it······ it’s a bit······ no, it’s not something I should be the one to say, but······.”
If I recall the 8 Years’ War, then I truly can’t say anything about this. If anything, I had experienced and done acts that could make something like summoning someone while they’re asleep in order to surprise lynch them seem moderate.
I felt somewhat solemn.
Zia had an incredulous look on her face as she saw me abruptly shut my mouth, but before she could place her question on her lips, the door opened and someone had entered the room.
“Yujin······ Do you have some time?”
Purplish hair that stretched out like poisonous herbs and wearing glasses that covered his eyes, it was Zia’s teacher, Yudia Batsand.
“I do. What is it?”
“This had suddenly Weck’ ere(Translating······ Flipped upside down? Broken?- Assuming it to be ‘turned off’).”
The thing which Yudia then pushed forward was my iPhone.
“It must have been to your liking.”
“I ended up detesting it,” Yudia spoke those words and then pushed up his glasses. “For it to turn off right when I was barely able to beat stage 2-12 with 3 stars, why did it turn out like this?”
I had downloaded games that would still work even without internet connection, and it seems he had taken a liking to Angry Birds······ well, either way, I received my iPhone and tried pressing the buttons here and there.
The conclusion⎯⎯⎯the occurrence that was inevitably going to happen had occurred.
“There’s no more battery.”
“Battery? What’s that?”
“Mm······ It’s a proper noun in my world. In other words, the insides are empty. There’s no more energy. Something along those lines.”
Yudia made an expression that showed that he had understood. To be exact, he had let out a ‘kuh’ sound while gripping at his heart, making it seem as if he had just drunk poison, but since I had seen this type of behavior several times for the past several days, I understood that it meant that he had taken a liking to it.
“How detestable. Can you not fill it back up?”
“I left behind my charger. And even if I did bring my charger, it’s a bit impossible here. You need a thing called electricity after all.”
“Then do we have to call a mage? There’s one on the third floor of the basement here in the central tower.”
It seems he has really taken a liking to my iPhone.
No, it might just be Angry Birds that was to his liking······.
“Leave it for now. If I do well on the test, then I’ll be able to take a trip back to my world after all. I’ll charge it fully at that time.”
“Mmm. It can’t be helped. I understand. Then, while I obediently wait for the next month to arrive, I shall soothe my hatred by defeating the summoned beings summoned by the Silver Lion Earl.”
Incidentally, this was the reason why the Tenth Sky Wizard of the Twelve Sky Wizards, Martial Sky, the member of the ‘Superior(Even) Sky Wizards’ which can only be joined by one’s skill and achievements, the person who has the role as the royal courier of the End Void Gate of the Twelve Factions, Yudia Batsand, was visiting this city which belonged to the Silver Lion Earl. Yudia was extremely powerful, but due to the characteristics of the martial arts which he was proficient at, it seems it was difficult for him to regulate his strength. That was why it was difficult for him to find anyone that was worth fighting among the citizens of this world. However, because of that very characteristic of the martial arts he had mastered, it seems there was a need for him to periodically demonstrate his real ability, so as a result, he would exercise his ability by subjugating the powerful otherworldly creatures that the Earl of the Silver Lion would summon.
The most primeval type of entertainment.
A second ago, in the part where Zia had said ‘I was able to become Yudia’s pupil because of Her Excellency’s connection’, that was most likely thanks to the Earl’s ability. In Yudia’s case, it was good for him since he was able to relieve some stress while exercising his real ability, and in the case of the Silver Lion Earl, it was good for her since she was able to get acquainted with a powerful individual such as Yudia. It was quite the exemplary win-win situation, but as one of those otherworldly creatures that were summoned by her, I couldn’t help but get a vague feeling from it.
After returning the iPhone to me, Yudia looked at me with admiration. Well, to be exact, he looked at me with a face that appeared as if he were staring at the enemy of his parents, but like I said, after seeing it for several days, it gets filtered automatically.
“But you really were able to learn how to speak well in a matter of days. I understand why the Silver Lion Earl values you.”
“Though it’s not at a good level yet.”
For convenience’ sake, I’ve been dramatizing it to make it seem as if I’m fluent, but in reality, my way of speech consisted of simple words, that even kids would most likely know, and practiced through the repetition of those words. For instance, if I were to use this situation as an example in Korean, then ‘Not yet. I’m not good. I need a little more. I need time.’ this was how I had said that previous line. Well, listening and speaking are two different issues. Referentially, I currently have the most confidence in my reading, but if I told you that I was anxious since there was still a lot of lexemes that I didn’t know, then you can get an approximate grasp of where my reading level is at.
“Do you know how the test will be done?”
“I’m not certain. You most likely know this already, but the Earl of the Silver Lion is an individual who is as temperamental as the amount of hatred she shoulders. Reading that person’s inner thoughts is difficult. But, well, if it’s your current level, then wouldn’t that be enough to pass?”
“Mm, there’s still a lot of insufficient parts, but······ Honestly, I think the backflip is going to be the biggest obstacle.”
“Harbor a bit more loathing and apply yourself. If it’s you, then you can definitely do it. In any case, your learning speed is like heaven and earth when compared to my trash-like disciple.”
“Teacher, I am ashamed······.”
It seems that even the fairish Zia was unable to make bad jokes when it came to her teacher since she had meekly lowered her head with a distressed expression on her face. Yudia glimpsed at that Zia with a regrettable expression(to be exact, it was as if he was looking at trash) on his face and let out a sigh.
“Apply yourself further. You are lacking in abhorrence. I accepted you as my disciple because of the Silver Lion Earl’s ability, and although there hasn’t been a single day where I didn’t regret that decision, back during the time when you had crushed your Pellabie(Translating······ Assuming it to be ‘fellow disciples’) I felt that there was a chance in you. A little more.”
Yudia pushed up his glasses and continued.
“A little more, hatred.”
He spoke while keeping his glasses pressed up.
“A just born child, the rising sun, the blowing wind, and the sound of flowing water. This world is both vast and filled with things to loathe. Detest it. Enmity, and solely enmity will take you to high places. As someone who has lived through 187 springs, I can guarantee you this while putting the name of the Sect of Batsand on the line.”
“······I’ll do my best, teacher.”
“Of course you will. Although I say this often, are you not serving a good lord who’s filled with hatred? Try to at least shoulder one tenth of the hatred that the Silver Lion Earl bears in her stead. That’s what people refer to as loyalty, nothing else.”
Regardless of his philosophy, those words just now were suggesting at something in an ambiguous way. Zia must have realized that as well since she then inclined her head.
“I want to do so as well, but······.”
“Words like wanting to do so isn’t needed. If you are my disciple and the Silver Lion Earl’s right-hand person, then you must do so.”
After talking in a pressuring tone, Yudia then shook his head.
“Hoo. I haven’t been here in awhile, so when I saw that the Silver Lion Earl’s hatred had slightly faded, I thought that my disciple was finally able to become as helpful as the interest on a deposit of the Fedchants. Do you know how disappointed I was when I found out that I was mistaken?”
Those words⎯⎯⎯it should have hurt Zia a bit.
Yudia looked back and forth between Zia, who still had her head lowered, and me, before letting out another sigh.
“Please do it well. I’ll be taking my leave now.”
Yudia, who was about to turn away, stopped mid-turn. Zia spoke cautiously.
“That, about the thing I told you about······.”
“······.” Yudia glanced at me. “Is Yujin not currently present? He’ll hear it.”
“Ah, Yujin is fine. ······He knows.”
Yudia displayed a mixed expression. The gaze that was directed towards me blazed like the flames of Hell.
Well, in my situation, even if I were to suddenly receive that sort of glare, all I can do is panic, but, mm, judging by the words that have been going back and forth······.
“Is it, perhaps, about the prophecy?”
Yudia gave a deep sigh.
“Zia. I detest the me of the past, who had taken you in as a disciple, more than I have ever done so before.”
“Just why? The Silver Lion Earl herself doesn’t know, and you even told me to keep quiet, and yet, why did you tell this Yujin? Your sensibility, I don’t understand it.”
“I have nothing to say, teacher.”
“That’s fine. If twelve people visit, then one has to at least Voneta’ pie(Translating······ Fake wedding?-Matching the context of what has been said ‘Something that is too late cannot be scooped up’, assuming it to be this sort of idiomatic phrase). Yujin, how much do you know?”
“That an unavoidable calamity will approach the Earl this year.”
Personally, that obscureness⎯⎯⎯should I call it a gap you can wiggle your way out of? Regardless, no matter how you looked at it, I didn’t like the fact that it felt as if the Barnum effect of a pseudo fortune teller was in full effect right now. Seeing that even if the Earl were to get caught on her own foot and fall down, then they could just call that the calamity.
It seems Yudia was thinking along those lines as well.
“Yes, the prophecy that the Seventh Sky Wizard of the Twelve Sky Wizards, New Design Foresight, Touma Soh had given to my foolish disciple. Although the reason why I had advanced my visit to the City of Confinement on my schedule and made my stay period a bit longer laid heavily on the fact that I had heard this news⎯⎯⎯In any case, seeing as how nothing has happened yet, are you sure you weren’t just tricked? It’s almost the 2nd month, you know? In the first place, nothing good comes from trusting the words of a piece of trash like Touma, Zia.”
“But according to the rumors, they say that he doesn’t lie about the future······.”
“I’m also a gentle person according to rumors. Like I would always say, don’t be swept away by rumors and only look at the essentials. Only then can you accurately loathe something.”
Zia had completely shrunk away. Yudia shook his head once more.
“Well, I do plan to stay here for a bit longer. If the Silver Lion Earl disappears, then my method to relieve stress will become complicated. In the very rare chance that the prophecy is true⎯⎯⎯subjugating a calamity, will be enjoyable.”
Yudia then flashed a smile once he had finished speaking. As I thought, if I were to be exact, then he had actually let out a ‘Guhuhuhu’ sound while placing one of his hands near his mouth. It almost sounded as if he were standing in a safe and high location and looking down while laughing in ridicule at some person who was trapped in a swamp and was sinking in deeper the more they struggled, but let’s put that aside. It was that kind of behavior with that sort of appearance, and yet, rumors about him being gentle seemed to be able to get around quite well. However, seeing that he was certainly gentle, the rumors may unexpectedly be reflecting his essence and not his appearance.
“Thank you very much, teacher.”
“It’s just for my own sake.”
This time, Yudia was able to turn away completely and leave the room. Zia continued to bow her head towards his leaving form.
“That’s a good teacher.”
“That’s the case⎯⎯⎯when he’s nice. My teacher is a scary individual.”
“Though I think that’s just your prejudice speaking······.”
Though there was a problem with his choice of words, it was baffling to find out that he was actually just an ordinarily nice person. If you exclude the psychopath, Silver Lion Earl, who was the first person I met, and the unidentified creature known as Zia, then this world may possibly be filled with good faith.
“That’s enough comments about my teacher, so resume practicing your backflips, Yujin. My BL novels are on your shoulders.”
“It’d be great if you were aware of the fact that you’re lowering the average standard of the people of this world.”
“What do you mean?”
I literally meant what I had just said.
“But in the end, what am I going to do about the backflips······.”
“Mm~~. Was the advice from Miss Zia useless?”
“Please don’t even bring up that idiot’s name, Miss Sii.”
“Yujin! You can’t say that kind of word!” Sii patted my forehead. “You must be polite when speaking with me! Don’t use foul language if possible, didn’t I say that?”
“Mm~~! It’s fine if you know! You just don’t have to do it from now on.”
Sii spoke while giggling ‘Ehehe’. I talked freely with Zia, her teacher, and the Earl, and yet, I continued to use formal speech with Sii who was a maid. Even for me, it felt like quite the peculiar relationship. However, it didn’t seem like Sii had any intention to give up on the idea of being both spoken to with an honorific and being treated like a lady by me⎯⎯⎯Should I say that it’s just like Sii to comment on my way of speech to her and not the fact that I had slandered Zia a moment ago?⎯⎯⎯There was no harm in going along with that inclination.
“Yujin, Yujin. Please do a bit of the inner side as well.”
While I was lost in that thought, Sii, who was receiving a massage while sitting in the shade of the castle wall with her boots off, looked at me obliquely.
“But Yujin······ is it really fine? I, didn’t wash yet.”
“You asked me to do it, did you not?”
“Yup, I was curious if you’d actually do it······ but, mm, is it really okay? I, naturally sweat a lot. Moreover, my boots, it’s been a long time since I cleaned them······.”
“I can just wash my hands. Rather, is it refreshing?”
“Yup~~ it’s refreshing! Happy! Yujin, good boy! Really good!”
Sii, who was laughing with an ‘Ehehe’, stroked my head. Due to that, the headband that I was wearing came off and fell to the ground.
“It’s all right.” I picked it up, put it back on my head, and adjusted it. “Shall I continue?”
“Yup~~! Thanks. So, Yujin, how’s the outside that you said you wanted to see?”
By her words, I turned my gaze towards the embrasure and looked outside.
The City of Confinement, which resided in the territory that belonged to the Silver Lion Earl, was spread out while centering around a protruding hill. The Silver Lion Earl’s castle was on the very top of that hill. If you think about the height of the central tower, then the more appropriate expression one should use in order to describe it would most likely be ‘surging upwards’. If you go to the top of that very central tower, then you can apparently get a complete panoramic view of the city just by spinning around once. However, since you had to have permission in order to go up there, we had come to the top of the rampart since it didn’t require any sort of prerequisite.
This world⎯⎯⎯the rotation speed of this planet in Earth’s terms was approximately 26 hours per rotation. When compared to the Earth, it was 1.1 times longer. However, the intensity of the sunlight here was 1.5 times stronger than my own country. I wasn’t sure whether it was because of an astronomical reason or a geographical reason, but I can be certain if it’s related to the season, right? Since it was winter, a more transparent and vivid sunlight was mercilessly melting the ice and snow that was covering the city.
The melted snow and ice drenched the city, the remaining water then flowed along the grooves that were created in many places and into the waterways. That’s right, waterways⎯⎯⎯The territory of the Silver Lion Earl, the City of Confinement was a Canal City with several waterways placed here and there. If you could picture waterways as the base, roads on both sides of those canals, and structures proliferating around those roads, then you had an approximate image of this city’s appearance. I could see a reasonable number of buildings that were 3 to 4 stories high in places that were adjacent to the roads, and I could even see several towers in places where several canals connected. I had thought this back when I saw Yudia’s glasses, but this was impressive enough to make me feel as if I were underestimating the development of technology in this world.
The massive walls that enclosed the city changed that thought into certainty.
They were taller than the castle ramparts, the place where I was currently located, preventing me from seeing past them. Those walls formed the outline of this city. There were two walls that cut through the city and connected to the castle, so it was possible to move directly onto those walls from on top of the rampart, however, in order to do so, you didn’t have to go down from the castle, but you had to head up towards the walls instead. If you consider the fact that the ramparts were built on top of the hill, the height and scale of those walls weren’t wondrous but they were disparate instead. Furthermore, since they mingled with the canals, which were mentioned earlier, it almost felt even bizarre.
The water that streamed through the canals was flowing from the castle. From there and only there. This castle had complete control over the sole source of water that I could confirm. The entire city’s water supply would be cut if they made a couple of floodgates and closed them, and if someone were to walk all the way to the gates of the city wall from here, then this city would literally become a crucible of death where not even a single mouse could escape.
This City of Confinement, in the truest sense, was confined within the palms of the city’s lord.
And that lord was the Earl of the Silver Lion.
The psycho, torturer, and pleasure-murderer. The luxurious and cruel magical lord, had the entire city in her clutches.
Fortunately, towards the people of the same world as her, the Silver Lion Earl was⎯⎯⎯especially to her own citizens, well, she couldn’t be called gentle, but since it seemed like she felt something similar to that vague feeling a cool and chic cat would have towards its owner, she most likely wouldn’t do anything harsh to them. Nevertheless, I’m only able to say this since I had already experienced how the Earl was like in person, but the majority of the citizens must be going about their lives while constantly filled with anxiety.
Even Sii had said that she thought the Silver Lion Earl was scary.
Ah, now that I mention it.
“Miss Sii’s adoptive father, the person known as Mikatni, is his relationship with the Silver Lion Earl bad?”
“Mm~~.” Sii leaned her feet back while making a troubled face. “Truthfully, it’s the fact that I’m not really close with Mr. Mikatni. That’s why I don’t know about the relationship between those two in detail, but······ Ah, no matter what I say, Yujin isn’t going to tell Miss Earl, right?”
“Because I believe you. Including Mr. Mikatni, the community leaders all⎯⎯⎯how should I say it, I heard that they keep away from Miss Earl. Before, Miss Silver Lion Earl had, uh······ because she had tortured not only otherworldly creatures like Yujin, but people on death-row as well. Among those people who were sentenced to death, there was a community leader’s relative.”
Although the story about the Earl playing around with death-row convicts was something that I had already heard once before when I was still in the basement, for there to be a relative to a community leader mixed in there······ the more I heard about it, the more I thought that Her Excellency the Earl was quite the impressive person. She really did live however she wanted. What’s worse was the fact that Sii wasn’t done.
“Torture in itself is fine and all, but I heard that the torture method was very severe.”
“What did she do?”
“Water and flame, it’s a torture method called that. Rather than torture, it was a method of execution.”
I had nothing but an ominous prediction.
“Did she boil them?”
“No, water was boiled in a large pot. Then steam comes up, right? With that······.”
It leaped over my ominous prediction.
“Yujin, are you okay? The strength in your hand suddenly lessened. Exhausted?”
“It’s just that I don’t like stimulating things······.”
“Mm~~ something like that. Is a little surprise.”
“Yup, because of the fact that I know what they call kids like Yujin.”
The nodding Sii cleared her throat with an ‘ehem’ and looked down at me.
“Certainly, they call kids like Yujin, a masochist, right?”
I was suddenly acknowledged as a masochist.
“That is not so.”
“Mm~~ but Yujin, think about it. You’re someone who’s impressive enough to speak informally with Miss Earl and Miss Knight, but you speak formally to a person who’s nothing more than a maid and is also younger than you. Also, even though you fiercely bite back at Miss Knight, you listen to the majority of what the servant girl says. Moreover, you’re massaging her foot which she hasn’t washed yet. Politely kneeling and doing your all. This kind of man, if it was you, Yujin, what would you call him?”
“Auh! Uung~~ that hurts! Yujin! Massaging more strongly just because you can’t refute is something bad kids do!”
“It only feels that way because your muscles are stiff here. Also, I am not a masochist.”
“Ah, did you want to be scolded? By making a pointless rebuttal, you’re refuted in return, so by thorough word torture, you wanted to be forced into a corner mentally as well? If that’s so, then I, misunderstood you, Yujin. I’ll reflect on it.”
The nodding Sii uttered an ‘ehem’ and looked down at me.
“Certainly, they call kids like Yujin, a mazohisto, right?”
Just because you said it with a Japanese accent this time, doesn’t mean anything changes.
Regardless, Japanese accents were really interesting. Without a doubt, mazohisto gave a more, how do you say it, perverted feeling than masochist did. I can’t help but get this hopeless sensation from it.
“That is not so.”
“Hmng~~ but Yujin, think about it. The fact that Yujin is wearing a maid uniform right now. It’s strange, even though you’re a boy. Moreover, you’re even wearing a headband and a pair of stockings. Wearing clothes that are 2 sizes smaller than what you would normally wear so those clothes cling tightly to your body. This kind of man, if it was you, Yujin, what would you call him?”
“You’re the one who bestowed upon me these clothes, Miss Sii. The clothes I was wearing got dirty as well. The weather is also cold.”
“But those were the only clothes I had. Couldn’t you have requested Miss Zia for some?”
“It’s not like that idea didn’t come to mind. It’s also not like I didn’t carry out that idea.”
“As you can see, I’m a person who can wear a small maid uniform and a small pair of stockings without any resistance. I’ll just say that something which even I couldn’t wear had come out.”
Sii looked away from me.
“Uh······ it must have been hard, Yujin.”
“It’s fine. That fellow most likely didn’t offer that to me while seriously intending for me to wear it. A tsuk⎯⎯⎯A rebuttal is what that foolish knight probably wanted. Regardless, even I felt reluctant.”
“Mm~~ like that. Yujin surprisingly has a child-like side to him. Moreover, since you’re earnest, it’s not like it doesn’t feel as if you’re bringing trouble upon yourself. Even now, you’re still massaging······ even though it’s fine to do it moderately. As I thought, Yujin is, a mazo, right?”
“Even if you shorten the word, what isn’t right, isn’t right.”
“Okay. I’m not sure, but the fact that Yujin can tolerate the majority of things. But the fact that there’s also things which you can’t tolerate, I understand this well. A line where you can concede, and a line where you can’t concede. That I’ll one day perhaps make Yujin mad, I’m afraid of that.”
Considering what she had said earlier, not only did she happily accept the idea of me using honorifics, but be it informal language or my service, she seemed to be enjoying them both. Also, if her annoyance wells up, then she would even (albeit while adjusting her strength) hit me. If I’m a mazo, then without a doubt, she was a sadist.
Someone who’s thoroughly strong to the weak.
And thoroughly weak to the strong.
That sadist Sii gazed at me obliquely while carefully stroking my head.
“That’s why, if I, perhaps, make Yujin mad later on, that isn’t my intention. It’s because I, went along with the mood a little, unknowingly, and crossed the line. That’s why, if you’re upset, then I’d like it if you’d tell me you’re upset first instead of getting mad at me. It’s a wanton request, but······ is that okay?”
Well, of course.
Sii’s face turned red like an apple. Her half-opened eyes were filled to the brim with enjoyment and delight, her tightly sealed lips squirming like a worm in the sunlight. The squealing girl pulled me into a tight hug and rubbed her cheek against my forehead.
It was in that moment.
“I said she’d be like that, right?”
“You were right, how amazing. Kazo(Translating······ A proper noun?-Assuming it to be a nickname given to Sii-‘Whitey’) is really Petto-riero(Translating······ One pot of soup? Has a big hand? Tanked up?-Assuming it to be ‘their boldness is impressive’).”
“I know right~? Whitey became really Sio’ garen(Translating······ Ridge? Noon? Sunlight?-Assuming it to be ‘going along with the atmosphere’).”
Sii became startled by the sudden voices that could be heard.
My neck was nearly snapped because of that, but let’s put that aside. Three maids were looking this way with folded arms. The leader type, one introverted lady type, and one of the three idiots type.
The leader type maid spoke with her hands on her hips.
“Sii! What are you doing skipping out on your job!?”
The Sii who had flinched looked up at the leader type girl.
“S-Sorry······ but I had······ finished all of my work······.”
“Then you should help someone else with their task. Really, why don’t you have that kind of sense?”
“B-Because it didn’t seem like the others were busy······. You guys are resting as well······.”
“Are you talking back right now?”
“That’s⎯⎯⎯that’s not, it.”
“Then what is it? Even when your fault has been pointed out, you just make excuses! That’s why you’re Pahuke’ kira(Translating······Stone in water? Lake boulder? Sunken rock?-Assuming it to be ‘out of place’).”
Sii let out a ‘Uuuu······’ sound and lowered her gaze. Her fists were so tightly clenched that you could see her veins.
The leader type maid glimpsed at me with a frown before returning her gaze back down to Sii.
“Really, every time I try to help you, it ends up like this. You ignore the pieces of advice that we’d thoughtfully give you and you only spew excuses and lies out of your mouth. You’re hopeless.”
Sii flinched. Whether it was because of her reaction or because of the leader type maid’s words, but the other two maids burst into laughter.
“That’s right, isn’t it?”
“Eh~ hopeless people need to be cured~.”
The idiot trio type girl grabbed Sii by the wrist. Sii unintentionally let herself be dragged, and after staggering a bit, she became frightened by what was happening. The idiot trio type girl glared at Sii with eyes that said ‘Would you look at this?’ and dragged Sii into the sunlight.
As I had explained previously, the sunlight of this world was stronger than the sunlight in Korea. The albino girl was exposed to the merciless rays of the sun⎯⎯⎯Sii screamed.
“How can it hurt, you Piera(Translating······ A proper noun? I assume it’s a nickname that means a monster who can’t go under sunlight?)~ For you to be unable to go under the sunlight, just what crime did you commit to the Twelve Main Gods in your previous life~?”
“Just why is this sort of defective item Sir Blacksmith’s adopted daughter? I can’t understand the hobbies of the rich.”
The introverted lady type girl scoffed at Sii. Sii tried to cover her body, but the idiot trio type girl was grabbing Sii by the wrist and shoulder, preventing her from doing so. Sii, who was writhing her body like a squid that had gone on top of an iron plate, couldn’t handle it any longer and shook off the idiot trio type girl’s grasp before returning to the shade and curling up.
Sii trembled while hugging her body. Without even glancing at her, the idiot trio type girl looked at her own hand with a tearful expression.
“Hiiing~ My hand hurts~ In any case, she’s a Whitey who only has a lot of strength~.”
“I said she was barbaric. I understand why the rumor about her having Wreck(Translating······ I assume it’s a proper noun) blood in her has been going around.”
The introverted lady type girl stated. The leader type maid, who was looking at those two girls, made a bitter smile.
“Leave it at that. There’ll be misunderstandings.”
“But Mari~ even you said that it was regrettable, since if Aria wasn’t caught in the scene of the crime, then you would have put it all on this girl, right~?”
“Aunette. That’s why I said words like that will bring misunderstandings. That’s something I said merely as a joke, remember?”
The leader type maid called Mari spoke while glancing to the side. The introverted lady type girl chuckled, while the idiot trio type girl giggled.
“Then we’ll take our leave now~ Whitey~.”
“If you’re upset then try doing the ‘Twelve Fingers’. Though it’ll probably be impossible.”
The three maids then turned away. Although Mari had glimpsed at me once before doing so, that was it. Similar to when they had first arrived, they started to walk away just as quickly.
Leaving behind Sii who was curled up in the shadow.
When we came here, we had moved underneath the eaves of the rampart, through the shade. Even then, Sii still slightly felt pain. This was also one of the reasons why I didn’t refuse Sii’s request to massage her. She had endured the pain in order to go along with my childish request of ‘I want to see the city’. However, that Sii, the girl who was suffering even while in the shade, had received the sunlight⎯⎯⎯direct rays of the sun. It must have hurt.
The type of pain, that I know.
“Damn it······ Those damned bastards······ it hurts······ Damn it······ Damn it······.”
Sii wept while grinding her teeth.
“Those bitches, those bitches······ one day I’ll certainly, without fail⎯⎯⎯.”
Sii shouted. Eyes that were as red as the surface of the sun were directed towards me, but in the next instant, that emotion settled down with an ‘ah’ feeling.
“Sorry······ I’m sorry, Yujin. Yujin’s not the bad one here, but······ I know, but, I······ Sorry······.”
I caressed those shoulders that were trembling enough to be pitiable.
“Really······? You haven’t become mad cause I suddenly shouted······?”
“I’m not upset. As Miss Sii had said earlier, if I’m upset, then I will tell Miss Sii the reason behind that anger at that time.”
“In the first place, I believe that Miss Sii is incapable of making me mad.”
“That’s because Miss Sii is.”
“Nevermind. More than that.”
I then spoke.
“Revenge, let’s do it.”
I stood up.
I lightly clasped my beads once and then let them go.
Powerfully, I shouted at the backs of the leaving maids.
The departing maids stopped in their positions. They turned their heads. They looked at me.
Above the rampart, I exchanged glances with the maids.
I organized the current situation.
First, I had come on top of the rampart and was looking down at the city.
Second, Sii was receiving a massage from that me.
Third, three maids appeared before the two of us, harassed Sii, and then tried to leave.
Fourth, that’s why⎯⎯⎯I stopped them in their place.
The leader type girl named Mari returned to me a reaction that said ‘What?’. However, as far as reactions go, her speed was excessively fast. She glimpsed at me when she was bullying Sii, so that means she had been waiting for this. If that’s the case, then does that mean the reason why she harassed Sii was because she wanted me to intervene? Considering the fact that the opposition was a maid, and if I also took into account the fact that she must have received education and skill that befit that position, then that was most likely it.
- She was concerned about my identity. Without having to even look at any other choices, this was it.
For the past several days, I was barely able to pay attention to any of the other maids since I stuck next to Sii all the time, but because of that, a saturation point had arrived for those maids.
I inclined my head.
“This is a late greeting, but I’m the toy of Miss Silver Lion Earl. Currently, this maid, Sii, has been exclusively assigned to me.”
Mari folded her arms. The other two maids exchanged glances for a moment before meekly stepping back and hiding behind Mari.
Then, as I had expected, the person who had the initiative in this group was this Mari person.
I only had to face, this person.
“For someone who once stuttered while giving a greeting, it seems you are able to speak quite well now. “
“I know that you are Miss Silver Lion Earl’s toy.” Mari narrowed one eyebrow while raising the other. “Sii was exclusively assigned to you?”
“Yup. Miss Earl dotes on me after all. Miss Zia as well.”
I examined Mari as I spoke. She was wearing a perfect fit maid uniform that stuck to her body and didn’t show any signs of excess or lacking skin. Her face with the exposed forehead went beyond being tidy and even gave off a refreshing feeling. If there was an armband wrapped around her right arm, then it would have suited her, but there wasn’t. Instead, I could at least vividly feel the band that was wrapped around her mind. Those very eyes that were looking at me were drenched in disgust.
“That’s right. Why is Miss Earl’s toy, who’s also doted on by even the second in command of the Silver Lion Royal Guards, massaging the feet of the maid who was exclusively assigned to him?”
“Because I’m a toy.”
“If you want me to refer to you by something else, then I will do so. Please answer the question first.”
As I thought, that⎯⎯⎯was probably what they were curious about the most.
For the past several days, within the eyes of the maids, including the fact that I would roam around the castle freely, they must have seen me act unreservedly around the Earl, Zia, and even Zia’s teacher, Yudia Batsand. Just these facts alone were enough to leave them bewildered, but I also showed a courteous attitude to Sii, who was clearly lower than them. As a result, it went beyond bewilderment and became pure confusion.
‘What’s with Sii?’ ‘That man is supposed to be the Earl’s toy, but why is he with Sii?’ ‘Sii, that girl, she’s doing whatever she pleases with him.’ ‘What is he? That man, wasn’t he Miss Earl’s toy?’ ‘It’s bothering me.’ ‘How arrogant.’ ‘For someone like Sii.’ ‘Something like Sii.’ ‘Sii’
Sii Garno Mikatni.
“Because I’m a masochist.”
The atmosphere that was strained and tense became frozen.
“······Just now, what did you say?”
Mari, tilted her head and asked.
I calmly responded.
“It’s because I gain sexual excitement from pain and humiliation. Miss Earl and Miss Zia are fine as well, but rather than serving under such high-standing people, as I expected, it feels much better serving someone with a lower status and lacking in some regards.”
A silence flowed by.
That silence⎯⎯⎯was broken by Mari.
“······That’s vulgar. Since you were in that outfit, I knew well that you didn’t have a normal mentality, but······ I see that you’re in possession of a shallowness that goes beyond common sense.”
Now Mari spoke while not even suppressing her disgust. From her neat clothes, her gaze towards me, her atmosphere that felt as if she were straightening her surroundings, etc, you could call this side of her as being a neat freak.
No⎯⎯⎯to be exact, it would probably be better to call it ‘a normal girl’s intuition’.
Honestly, she was the easiest type of person to deal with.
“Yup. It’s just as you say. However.”
I spread out my arms and grinned at her.
“As you said, that statement of speaking down to me, who’s Miss Earl’s toy, is the same thing as talking down to Miss Earl’s hobby as well, right?”
Mari bit her lower lip.
“How could that be the case? I’m just saying that you⎯⎯⎯to Miss Earl, are someone who is so vulgar that you don’t suit her. If you’re unable to understand the difference between the two, then I have nothing more to say.”
“Hmm. But Miss Earl dotes on that me, you know? In other words, that means you’re scorning Miss Earl’s esthetic sense.”
Opposite to my previous action, I wrapped my arms around both my shoulders, lowered my gaze, and spoke while laughing like I did earlier. As if I had no malice, as if I was slightly lacking in the head, but while directing the conversation towards a path that made it difficult for the opposition to make a rebuttal, that was the trick.
······Although it’s been quite a long time since I had last done this idiotic bastard act, it seems I didn’t get rusty.
“Like I said, that’s not what I meant! It’s just that I personally, do not like you.”
“Heeh, but that’s not what you said earlier?”
Once I spoke with a tone that sounded as if I were having fun, I glanced at my surroundings. I could see the two other maids glancing at each other anxiously and Sii was looking back and forth between me and Mari with wide eyes.
The perplexed Mari, took a step back with a face that appeared as if she was chewing on a bug.
“······That’s because, my words, had come out slightly wrong.”
“I see. Of course, there’s no way that some maid could possess a proper speaking ability. It’s fine, I understand.”
Mari gritted her teeth. The emotion that came from being treated like an idiot by a vulgar pervert⎯⎯⎯rage.
She was most likely still too young to realize the fact that that anger brought upon a series of mistakes and harm.
“You really must be receiving adoration from Miss Earl. Let’s see how far that takes you.”
“Since you can’t make a retort you say ‘wait and see’? How cute.”
“······Say what you want. No, right now, if Miss Earl finds out that you’re giving your body, which should be devoted to her, to a maid like this and not to that Earl and Miss Zia, who you said were doting on you so much, then that domineering attitude of yours will⎯⎯⎯.”
“Hmm, but Miss Earl prefers it like this, you know?”
“After fully allowing someone to make her own toy become worn out, she enjoys drinking tea while listening to the experiences that toy of hers had gone through. Don’t you think it’s a refined hobby that befits an aristocrat? Even I, as a masochist, am personally grateful to her.”
She probably couldn’t say anything back because of this. There’s no way that a working maid would go to the Earl and inquire if this was true, after all. Sure enough, Mari let out a groan⎯⎯⎯while revealing her disgust towards the abnormal information that I had just told her and took another step back.
“Ah, but. You should have been residing in this residence for much longer than I have, but for you to not know Miss Earl’s preferences properly. You’ve been living as a maid quite well despite that bad wit of yours.”
Once I said that to her while tilting my head slightly and placing my hand to my lips, a spark emitted from her eye. However, in that same instant, it seems Mari was finally able to realize that the more she dealt with me, the more harm that came to her. If I left her alone like this, then she would have chewed on her anger and left on her own volition, but.
That wouldn’t be enough.
“But, as I had said, since I enjoy serving that sort of lacking individual.”
I smiled like a flower that had bloomed in a swamp and approached her.
“Should I, ask Miss Earl, if she could change my exclusive maid to you?”
Mari’s eyes that were filled with disgust became mixed with fear as well.
“What are you······.”
“But since that would be a hasty decision, it’d probably be better if I had a taste first.”
“T-Taste? What are you talking about?”
“You’ll understand soon enough.”
Mari backed away hesitantly. I took a step towards her.
“D-Don’t come closer.”
Mari retreated while covering her chest. Although that may be an orthodox defense stance, the person you’re facing against is a pervert⎯⎯⎯me pretending to be that type of character⎯⎯⎯ you know? For you to cover your chest, do you think I’d aim for such a logical location?
I approached her, lowered my back, and put my face near her shoulder region⎯⎯⎯in other words, her armpit.
“A good smell.”
“······, ······, ························!?!?!!?!!”
The face of the tidy Mari⎯⎯⎯became blue all the way to her revealed forehead.
“Uh, uh, uh······.”
“Despite that, it’s quite pungent. Are you sure you’re washing properly?” If I were to speak honestly, then this was a lie. Just by looking at her, you can tell that she paid attention to her cleanliness, but because there really was no scent⎯⎯⎯If I had to speak, there was a dim scent of grape⎯⎯⎯I was slightly surprised. “Well, I do prefer this type of matureness.”
“Uh, uh, uh, uh⎯⎯⎯.”
“Ah, can I lick it once? I feel like it might have that perfect bitter and sour tas⎯⎯⎯.”
Slap! A lightning bolt struck my cheek.
Since I had already predicted this, I had tried to turn my head the moment I was hit in order to diffuse the pain, but it seems the timing was off since it just plainly hurt. It can’t be helped. I’m not that good with using my body. That’s why, Slap! the fact that I, Slap! kept getting slapped by both her hands, Slap! no, Slap! no, it hurts so it’s difficult for me to say this can’t, Slap! be helped, Slap! Ah, uh.
“Pervert! Pervert! Pervert! Perveeeeeeert······!! Ren’ is······! Silin······! Pen’ toe······!!”
After shouting words that didn’t require translations since I could guess what they meant, Mari ran away with her arms wrapped around her shoulders. The idiot trio type girl who was looking at us with dots for eyes and the introverted lady type girl who was letting out baited breaths with a flushed face(As I thought, my eyes weren’t wrong), both became panicked as well and chased after that Mari.
“M-Mari!? Wait for us~!”
This time, just as they had arrived, they left in an instant as well. Even after their figures had disappeared into the rampart, the sound of their hasty footsteps didn’t cease for a while.
I felt as if both my cheeks were red and my lip was torn. But, well.
Pointing my thumb up, I turned towards Sii.
“How was it? Do you feel better now?”
Sii was wordless with a vacant expression.
And then, she showed a response.
It was a huge laughter.
She was leaning her back against the rampart while kicking her legs, holding onto her stomach and laughing as if she were truly going to be out of breath⎯⎯⎯it wasn’t until her entire face and body had turned red did Sii Garno Mikatni say something.
“Ahaha, uh, how······ Ahak, ah, ah⎯⎯⎯how⎯⎯⎯ Yujin, hm~~ how!? Ahahaha······!!”
“Generally, that’s the norm. If a girl was suddenly offered service, then feeling appalled and creeped out⎯⎯⎯especially if it’s a service that involved an area which they considered to be dirty, it’s normal for a girl to refuse these kinds of things even if it’s from their own lover. It’s rarer for a person to straightforwardly demand service and also feel a sense of superiority as they receive it.”
“What’s with, that! Ahaha, mm~~ are you saying that I’m the degenerate?”
“Is that how it would turn out?”
“Yup~~ I, am offended! That’s why, Yujin, give me a massage! Again!”
I approached her and did as she requested. Sii continued to laugh even after that.
Wiping the tear that had formed at the corner of her eyes because she had laughed too much, and while wriggling her toes that were wrapped in her stockings, Sii spoke.
“Ahaha······ Mm······ Yujin, that was really masterful. I, was moved. You were really like a pervert. As expected, Yujin is, a mazochist.”
The western and eastern pronunciation had fused together.
“That’s not so.”
“Wouldn’t it be good to admit it now? For someone who was able to do it so naturally.”
“It was an act.”
“Mm~~ okay! Be relieved because I’ll believe that lie of yours. Ahaha······ Mm, Mari. For her to have that face, ahaha, it was really pleasant······ Mm, Yujin.”
“Even among the maids, Mari has influence. Now rumors about Yujin being a pervert will spread throughout the castle, is that okay?”
That’s right, isn’t it? In truth, after I learned how to speak the language here, including the maids, I had planned to take hold of the substructure of this castle, but with things like this, my plan went from being on hard mode to being on lunatic difficulty. Well, even if it becomes like that, I can just adapt to it. I’ll be able to find a method one way or another, so it wasn’t a problem. This was better.
It was better than leaving alone a crying child who had been bullied.
Instead of telling her those exact words, I spoke.
“There are things one must endure as they live their lives.”
Sii reached out her hand and touched my head.
“Ahaha······ yup, that’s right. But I was surprised. Yujin, I thought you had a quiet personality, but you were incredibly sensuous and full of yourself a second ago. The Yujin of now and the Yujin of earlier, which one is the real one? How can you switch so quickly?”
That question was something that I had received several times during the 8 Years’ War.
At first, I said that they were both fake, but after finishing the 8 Years’ War, my answer had changed.
That changed answer, I told her it.
“Both of them, are real.”
While pressing down on the sole of Sii’s foot, I elaborated.
“I’m not different from other people. Changing your behavior and way of speech in order to match whatever role you have at the time is something anyone does, right? Similar to how someone is someone’s superior, someone’s subordinate, someone’s father, and someone’s son. If I use Zia as an example⎯⎯⎯similar to how she’s a disciple to Yudia, the right-hand person to the Earl, a knight to Miss Sii, and an idiot to me. Regardless of all those, they are all the real Zia.”
All I have is experience in masterfully changing that sort of persona in order to match the situation.
“I’m not different compared to other people. Because, in the end, I’m just a normal person.”
Sii had a face that looked as if she understood and didn’t understand at the same time. Was this a difficult topic for her current self? It wasn’t long before she laughed and scratched the back of her head.
“Yup~~ I get it. In any case, it just means that both sides are Yujin, right?”
“If that’s the case, then, as I thought, Yujin is a masohisto.”
The western pronunciation went to the front.
“That’s not so.”
“But, didn’t you say that both of them were Yujin?”
“That was a slip of the tongue.”
“Yup~~ you’re making excuses~! For that cowardly mouth, is punishment. Now then, lick it!”
I shrugged my shoulders and did as she requested.
Twitch, twitch. Sii, who’s knees trembled each time stimulus reached them, gave me a sidelong glance.
With the end of her foot in my mouth, I tilted my head. Sii spoke.
Sii lowered her head with a flushed face.
“I, it’s been a long time since I laughed like this······ thank you. I’m really grateful.”
Removing my lips, I smiled slightly at her.
“Don’t mention it.”
TL note: Thanks for reading the chapter. This turned out to be the longest chapter of the volume, contrary to what I had originally thought. In any case, shuffling translation with work has been incredibly stressful lately. Well, translating in itself is fine, but it’s just that my work has been getting incredibly annoying. I won’t take a break, but I also don’t want to end up ruining my body again by getting sick so I might compromise by designating my weekends as full on rest days. (This totally has nothing to do with the fact that the PC version of NieR: Automata had been released on steam… My pace may become even slower)
Anyway, regardless of a new game being released or not, that won’t really hinder my translation speed since I translate while at work. Maybe a SLIGHT drop in speed, but nothing substantial.