Assassins Pride Volume 1 Chapter 1
Lesson 1: Awakening of The Golden Crow
Like a huge chandelier standing above the earth. This was the landscape of the world.
No ray of light could be seen in the skies. The existences of dazzling celestial bodies such as stars, moon and the sun were only heard in forms of stories in the ancient literature. They were often used in the poems of poets and scholars in their studies. In the distant past, the azure light that the sky exuded in any case, was incredible and was impossible to believe.
From the zenith of the sky to the ground, and then to the ends of the earth were all surrounded by the darkness of the night. As such, the geography couldn’t be confirmed by eyes. The total area of the earth had long been beyond human imagination. A darkness that couldn’t be overwritten by any colors… Only in that corner of the earth existed, a huge glass vessel group that extending from a few hundred meters to several kilometers exuding dazzling brilliance light.
This was the final metropolis of mankind:《Middle world of Lanterns(Flandre).》
Among the Lanterns, the largest diameter could reach up to five kilometers wide. 《Saint King》 area that inhibited a large number of privileged class people were surrounded by a dense number of 24 Campbells. They were supported by the metal base in order to stand in an orderly manner, which could only be described as a chandelier.
Each Campbell was connected with several layers of metal bridge, and on top of that was the railway which had become the means of transportation for the residents. And now one could see a train “flying out” from an open end of the tunnel, going to another Campbell along an overhead line with few hundred meters long, along a few hundred meters overhead toward the other Campbell.
In that second class train car by the rear of the private rooms, a young man who got nothing to do looked at the dozens of Campbell which were the proud of solemn and prestige while lost in thoughts.
Who the hell constructed this unwarranted structure, just thinking about it is terrible.
–Just like this.
† † †
The young man would arrive by train located in the outskirts of the Holy Park of one of the Campbell, It was Cardinal’s Academy. Here the side by side was the construction of a variety of colleges, half of the residents was student, Flandre’s main College Street.
It was now early in the morning. The white steam train stopped at the platform, the young man realized at one glance that the place was a street belonging to the student.
Whether it was the passengers going on or off the train, or the people waiting for the train, the age of the passengers who cross-walked within this site, in general was very young. The young man took a deep breath of fresh air, slightly sorted out a bit of his chaotic uniforms.
From his outer pocket of his outer garment, a paper sheet, which depicted the surrounding terrain, was taken out.
If one was to speak about the symbol the Cardinal’s Academy, it would surely be the beautiful building named 『Tower of Contemplation』. It was like being designed by the combination of mathematician, physicists and artisan, the crisp conical roof looked straight into the sky, it could only be said to be overwhelming.
The target was at the end of the street where the pinnacle was located.
The house of Merida Angel, to which the young man was heading, was built on the banks of the Sims River, which divided the street into two.
Three years from today — In this town, his life as a young tutor kicked off.
“And the atmosphere around the holy kingdom district is completely different.”
After he stuffed the note back into his pocket, the lad snorted his nose.
“”It smells of Intelligent everywhere.””
The young man whispered softly, accidentally a high and clear voice coincided with his.
He looked to the side after a bow, and at the same time overlapped with the gaze of the person looking over here.
It was a girl who had just jumped off the ladder, someone looked younger than him, probably around sixteen. Maybe it was the urban style, in short one can see that she was a beautiful girl focus on appearance.
A bright red hair that had been maintained meticulously, her slender body was charming and tall. She wears gorgeous clothing that looks like fairy wings, which would make people think of she was an actor on the stage or a fashion model in the magazine.
Of course, although she attracted a lot of attention from the boys around, .but it seemed like she was not self-conscious of her own charm. Her innocent smile against the young man exposed a very childish look.
“Huh, how disappointing.”
“Seems to be so.—Not that, eto.”
After the young man coldly answered, he immediately shook his head gently.
The moment he reached the streets the task had already begun, now he was already a home tutor that going to take the post in the Knight Duke’s home.
“Excuse me, are you traveling?”
“N, no, I was going to work! So as you.”
“Ee. As you can see, I'm not a student.— Shall we go.”
The young man led her naturally and went to the train baggage that located at the train front.
The beautiful red-head made all the guys along the path turned their heads, while the women standing in between stations were not spared either, all of them were stunned and were left blushing after looking at her. Tearing down the drawing canvas, an artist started his work on a portrait, a man with a wide back that looks like a journalist start taking pictures with his camera.
Does we walking side by side look so much like a painting to you. Thinking so in his heart the young man turned to look at his side. This red-haired girl was still not aware of the surrounding line of sight, just with a little red line, she seemed quite happy.
“Your plate number is?”
“That, what number is it, eto…. aa, found it!”
The young man accepted the number plate the girl took out of her skirt pocket. he walked into the baggage compartment, when going out his right hand was carrying his suitcase, his left hand was holding a lot of decorative accessories, huge and lovely suitcase.
“Thank you for waiting, lady.”
After he handed over the suitcase, the red hair girl slightly opened her cherry lips and called out excitedly.
“A, a gentleman.”
“This is natural. I wish I could join you to your destination…..”
The girl exaggerated shook her lovely head, hurriedly accepted the suitcase.
After inquiring information about her destination, he got to know that the place she was going to was actually a high-end luxury residential area. In contrast, the young man's target was the exact opposite. His proposed destination was actually a deserted area in the outskirts.
Out of the station, standing on a long and large ladder above, standing above, one could see the streets at a glance.
Like a stage scene in the drama in general, the two were holding hands together.
“In fact, a person's speech would inherently be affected by anxiety and thus become coward-like, however, meeting such a friendly individual after coming to this street is a blessing! This made me feel like nothing is impossible starting from today!”
“This is really good. Then again will the future be so.”
“Ok, goodbye. Absolutely, I'll see you again.”
After the young girl with both her hands holding his palm and made large swing up and down a few times, ran toward the front of the ladder down. Her red hair fluttered in the air from time to time, she also turned around and waved her lovely little hand with a smile.
The young man gently waving responded, while watched the back of the girl gradually away….."Fuu", the young man sighed with unmanned fervor.
The boss said "The best in the world" these kind of words to make a strong guarantee of his good skills really weren't a joke. Although sad, but this time the task, among the troops the most suitable one was indeed he himself.
After confirming the redhead figure completely disappeared to the sea, the young man took the suitcase with one hand and took the ladder, began to move toward the destination.
The young man walked into the place the notes described. The place which was full of life. He was at the conical roof building, walking through the cheerful students, as he slowly approached the outskirts.
A city state (Flandre) constituting twenty five Campbells themselves. —Although rightly said to be its internal street, exuding strong sense of light that seemed to be able to disperse the surrounding darkness. It was shining, between the streets to maintain the construction of equidistant street lamps. Which was filled with glass windows, brilliant specialty gases.
《Song of the sun（Nectar）》
The liquid fuel that could be extracted in the suburb of Flandre. It could emit light with a strong flavor of the divine light through gasification. And this light, could become the protector of cities and citizens from the world that being cursed by darkness. In order to maintain human civilization necessary, the last lifeline——when the Nectar veins depleted, in the end what would become of Flandre. Among the council it had been hotly debated, up to now there was no clear answer to this question, it flashed in the mind of the young man, then disappeared without a trace.
Compared to worry about the distant future things, might as well think about this strange street as how not to get lost was more important.
Based on the directions stated in the notes, while occasionally asking passersby, he got the general idea on how to proceed and finally arrived at his destination. Not far away there was a rigid wall on the right hand side of the road, where the surrounding rusty fences seemed to be deterring unwanted visitors.
Looking ahead of the fences, was a garden full of healthy looking floras, a lush botanical garden indeed
The greenery that existed within Campbell would obviously be unnatural. Those capable of maintaining such a lush garden must definitely be some rich local tycoons.
Just as what the lad thought. Further ahead, there were three ladies dressed in aprons standing under the gas lamp, in front of an enormous-looking door.
After the young man entered, the maids neatly attend to him.
"You're Kufa Vanpiel-san, right? Welcome, we have been waiting here for a long time."
Upon getting to know about the fake name during the mission, the lad gave the maids a fade yet elegant smile. The fact that this mask was effective on anyone had already been proven by the red-haired girl.
"Nice to meet you. Please take care of me."
"Ha, you’re welcome. It is a pleasure to meet you."
One of the three maids, who was standing in the middle of them, suddenly stepped forward, letting out a graceful smile while raising her face. Even though she has a nomad-like soft side, the strong yet firm spirit of her inner self could definitely be felt.
"I am the head maid of this mansion, my name is Amy. If there is anything you don't understand please don't worry, be sure to rely on me?"
The young man— Kufa frowned slightly. The girl claiming to be Amy, who was deemed 17 years old, was actually close to his age. For those who lead the servants, they should address their names with 'lady' before ending their speech, however under these circumstances only the elder and more experienced women were responsible for this.
He suddenly got reminded of the stuff overheard from the boss before commencing on the mission. Miss Merida, who was suspected of not being a pure descendant, was gradually losing her power to voice out in Angel's residence. Being hated by her father's side, she was deported to the other states with only a minimum handful of servants, showing utter disrespect to her status in the family.
At the very least, it seemed not just the numbers, also included is the empirical meaning of existence. Standing behind Amy was two maids who would also be around similar age.
Speaking from the lowest point of view, it seemed that wasn’t only the numbers,but also existed the matter of experience.The two maids that were standing behind Amy had age that wouldn’t felt strange to say they were young girls.
"Look, a man!"
"It's a man……!"
"He's really young……."
"He seems very mature, how old he is?"
Sneakily. The guest was clearly in front of them, but still in full swing talking in whispers. They looked at the lad with obvious interest. Those looked seems to carry some heat.
"Look, that shapely slender figure……I have never seen such a suit for the cavalry regiment uniforms!"
“That bright black hair with a little of purple color and that pair of calm, pretty eyes are great…..!”
“Yeah, I keep having that 'I am the old driver, what's your bloody problem?' vibe!"
“Why don’t you just say that us as the seniors were administrated instructions called education.”
“Aah, what a devil!”
Who is the devilish teacher.
While their words indicated the opposite, it looked like they’re very happy. To the scene before him, Kufa let out a sigh. Amy seemed to have misunderstood him and stretched out her hand.
“My sincerest apologies. You’re tired, please allow me to take your luggage.”
“You don’t need to take care of me so much.”
Kufa politely rejected Amy’s offer while holding her outstretched hand.
“Since today we are colleagues, can we get along a little more casually? Please think of me as your own arms and legs; if you need help with something, please don’t hesitate to call on me”
Amy’s face flushed, and the maid behind her was noisier.
“Amy immediately got out-spoken!”
“Amy is cunning ~!”
*Cough cough* Kufa cleared his throat a few times, and Amy slowly lifted her skirt into a courtesy.
“Well then, let me take you inside the mansion.”
Kufa followed the three maids into the door. The front was a vast botanical garden that could be seen from the outside of the fence. The meandering path between the tall, growing plants stretched. Not only was the road hidden by the greenery, but also the mansion itself.
“You’ve really saved us; it’s nice to have a young man around. There’s a lot of jobs that are a great inconvenience for us women.”
As Amy brought up the topic, the other two maids joined in.
“Are you able to help out with physical work?”
“Such as carrying luggage and cleaning high places!?!”
Kufa exposed a smile, then with one hand made a ‘Bring it on’ gesture; the two maids let out an “ah ~ ~ ~ !!” in admiration.
For them, it was like having another servant their age in the estate. On the other hand, there were very few maids, and all of the staff appeared to be women. Male attendants were forbidden; this thought flashed through his mind.
Even if it was only work, it didn't mean that walking into this garden wouldn't make people feel anxious. However, just by looking at this peaceful atmosphere, it all seemed as if nothing would affect the outcome of the mission, or rather, it shouldn't be diverting the attention of these people.
——Kufa thought so before meeting 'Her' at the end of the road.
† † †
Merida Angel’s residence was a wide, two-storey estate, big enough to fit five or six people. The coniferous roofs, similar to those of the parish church building, as well as the huge botanical gardens that obscure the buildings all work to create a magical, seclusion-like ambience.
“Then, Kufa-san, please allow me to officially welcome you to this house, which will be your place of work for three years from today, and the eldest daughter is already waiting for you … ah?”
Amy seemed to suddenly notice something had caught Kufa’s attention. She and the other two maids followed his line of sight.
The sounds of the voices were conveyed through the walls. Above the entrance there was an open-air balcony, and the sound was coming from the depths of the room.
“Now, have they come yet? It's been a long time since we started to meet people.”
"Oh please my lady, how many times has it been since you last asked the same question? Well, Amy and the company had already gone to welcome them, I guess we should be meeting up with them soon enough~"
“However, they are already three minutes past their scheduled arrival time. Perhaps because they got lost, or were involved in an accident … …! I want to see the situation!”
“Wait a minute, Merida-sama!? ”
Shortly after, a figure came flying onto the open-air balcony. Kufa made some hasty footwork in order to confirm the situation. He slowly took a step, two steps, three steps back.
–A dazzling sight of color filled his narrowed eyes.
Flowing, golden hair.
Even more radiant than that of God's grace. That would be the "glory" of her hair, not color. However, it wasn't known if that divine-like golden hair was able to be made, if angels themselves were to weave the lights shone from the crystals themselves.
The girl jumped on the railing while maintaining a running-pose, her golden hair seemed like threads found in a harp, billowing in the air along with the wind. These actions consistently matched the data gathered of the young girl.
She was comparable to a doll, with such a young and delicate face.
She possessed unusually soft-looking skin, slim stature and a small body. It simply couldn't be believed that this girl had only just graduated, and her unblemished beauty instantly seized the attention of Kufa.
[PS: Lolicons (: з “∠) _】(reminds me to delete this when the editing is done!)
Along the lines Kufa's already diminishing sight, he witnessed that Merida was leaning out towards the balcony, overlooking something distant. She seemed to not realize that the people she was searching was actually beneath her.
“Oh, ummmm…..I can’t see anything! It seems like they’re not in the garden. Could they be on the streets then? Or maybe at the front door….damn, these trees have always been in the way!"
“Wait! Merida-sama, this is very dangerous!”
The maid chased after her from the room was very confused. Well, this was to be expected.
After all, the naturally-lively eldest daughter was shouting out dumbfounded complaints, with her knees on the balcony’s railing. Looking at this scene, even Kufa also could not help but let out a slight gasp.
It must be close to school time, as Merida was wearing a college uniform. The deep, vivid, rose-red uniform peerlessly complimented her long, blonde hair.
Even though this was a good thing…..however without doubt, the lower half of the uniform was a skirt. Looking from the side, the fluttering of her skirt that showed the inner part of it made it very indecent -…..
Kufa quickly looked away.
Amy and the company, who was looking in the same direction as Kufa, felt nervous too.
“No, you cannot do this, Merida-sama! Here! Come back over here!"
"A man is looking at you!”
Because an unexpected voice came from outside, Merida maintained her original posture. Then later she seemed to finally notice. From the front of the entrance looked up at her were the three maids, and standing in the middle of them, wearing a uniform was a tall man.
Based on his outer appearance and both of their standing positions —- even though it was just a brief imagination, Kufa could already see her innocent young looking face slightly blushed already.
“Eh … ah, woah … … – ah!!”
She gave a sulky moan of shame, which quickly turned to one of sharp sorrow. At the same time Amy and the maids held their breath in fear - At this moment, Kufa raised his face and sprung into action.
Merida lost her balance and fell off the open-air balcony on the second floor. Without even a moment to consider the situation, Kufa threw his suitcase aside and kicked off the ground to gain speed, heading towards where she was falling. With a considerable self-confidence he opened up his arms – and then caught her.
With a slight thump, Kufa felt a feather-like impact on his chest from the princess’ landing.
Merida seemed to have not yet understood what happened, in her surprise she had shut her eyes and braced herself.
“Ojou-sama, you… are you all right?”
“Eh……? —A, eto, ye, yes….."
She opened her eyes carefully, and then her eyes met with Kufa’s.
At this moment, her face was red-hot and her ears are flushed bright red.
was it because of what happened just now? Or just her body was weak? Or rather, was Kufa holding onto her so firmly till she felt uncomfortable?
Peach thin lips gently trembling, the whispers flew out along with a sincere emotion.
“You are, my teacher, are you …?”
“Y – yes, my name is Kufa, please do look after me for the next three years.”
Merida closed her lovely mouth again.
Gem-like pupils that had gravity of their own, Kufa cannot turn his eyes away. Without even realizing, they slowly came close to each other, looking affectionately into each others' eyes. Kufa's slowly narrowed vision only had her, as the surrounding objects gradually disappeared from his sight—
Amy hurriedly ran after them, Kufa and Merida snapped back to reality.
“Ojou-sama!! You’re all right!”
“Whoa! Ah … … where am I … …!”
Until now she finally noticed her own situation. Because the opposite sex was holding her in a princess carry, Merida blushed and pushed on Kufa’s chest, jumping to the ground.
Just before she was about to escape this place—-in a blink of an eye, having the honor of being a royal family member made her stop her footsteps.
“Please…..let me to take sensei to your room."
She uttered the words with all of her might before going into the mansion. Her lovely voice accompanied by anxious footsteps sound made by the boots gradually fade into the horizon…it was left between the few servants, who happened to be looking at each other.
“Eeto, that Ojou-sama is my master … …”
“… she is Merida Angel…”
Amy bowed down in front of Kufa, in a posture that made her seemed like she was having a headache. It appeared that this wasn't their first time witnessing this unprecedented behavior.
After Kufa made all kinds of conscious decision deep down his heart, he could hear gradual footsteps inside the mansion. He thought that Merida had returned, but it seemed this was not the case.
With a bang, the front door opened and a fourth maid appeared from behind it.
“Ojou-sama fell down from the rooftop!! … … ah? Ojou-sama?!?”
She frantically looked around in front of the entrance, surprised that her master wasn’t anywhere to be seen. Instead, was the circle of four; Amy, the two maids and Kufa … ….
Kufa immediately gave her a wry smile.
“Handsome devil teacher…."
She had completely forgotten about Merrida's problem, her eyes gradually wet up.
† † †
After all the commotion earlier, Kufa was finally taken inside the mansion.
The middle part of the attic situated on the second floor was being made as a personal room. Half of it was the room, while the other half was the attic, making it very odd-looking. Amy opened the door leading up to stairs, then gently nodded at Kufa.
“Because there's no room for men so far, I invited you to clean the vacant room urgently, and I apologize for the inconvenience.”
“No, how could it?”
Kufa took the heavy suitcase, and went into the room that he'd be staying over the next three years from now.
He put the baggage on the ground, finally relieved. Although Amy was very modest, Kufa's room which was on the outskirts of the suburbs of the holy kingdom. In comparison to living in a broken apartment, this was paradise.
There were no traces of insincerity to Kufa's words, but Amy apparently hadn't literally accepted it. She desperately stepped forward, so that he may like this place.
“At this mansion, Miss and our servants will be having dinner together, and are planning to host Kufa-san’s welcome party tonight, so stay tuned!”
“Well, I’m looking forward to it.”
“… Ah, this was originally confidential to Kufa-san! Really…!”
“Ah ha ha.”
Seeing Amy embarrassed while holding her cheeks, Kufa's expression softened naturally.
After she left the room, Kufa looked once again inside.
Although Amy said that this was empty room before, even the corners were swept clean. Kufa wasn’t used to such a soft bed; the new mattress was bathed in streetlight (the sun's blood) and gave off a warm, gentle smell. These were basically prepared by the maids for their new colleague.
“This workplace isn't so bad.”
Then Kufa moved the luggage to the wall and opened the window.
Fragrance of flowers blew inside the room. Good lighting, also by looking from the second floor he could see the beautiful scenery–
Kufa closed his eyes, and took a deep breath, and sucked the fresh air into his lungs.
At that moment, he suddenly felt the presence of someone standing outside the door.
After a brief, seemingly hesitant silence, there was a light knocking sound.
“… Hey, sensei. Can I bother you…?”
Kufa immediately ran to the door, opened the door to see, Merida wearing the Saint Frideswide Girl's Academy uniforms, rubbing her knees coyly, and looked up at him.
“What’s the matter, isn't it time for school yet?”
“Y, yes. That’s why, anou….”
Merida was making a difficult face, didn't take long after she finally had the determination to raise her head.
“If it's convenient, can I ask sensei to give me a lesson before school time?”
“I’m sorry, it seems teacher is obviously very tired!”
Seeing the violent bow of the girl apologizing in front of him, Kufa felt a little overwhelmed.
── Oh, this is really surprising. I thought she was not the type to be energetic, and will get the kind of terrible results, but unexpectedly, the person itself is actually hardworking.
Kufa suddenly became more interested in Merida.
Kufa gave his answer while taking off the uniform coat, and loosened his tie.
“Alright, I’ll simply look at your strength, please put on the sports dress, and go to the courtyard.”
“Yes—yes! Thank you very much!”
Merida looked up and was smiling happily.
Kufa's heart at that moment jumped a bit. Merida’s smile was too bright, he couldn’t help but forget to breathe while being fascinated ──must be because he wasn't prepared for that kind of relationship.
† † †
In the rear of the house was a wide garden, used to host tea parties. The square was spacious enough to play with, and when used as training ground was impeccable. Kufa was wearing his shirt, together with Merida in her skintight sportswear, each holding their dummy weapons face to face.
“So, starting with the basics; follow the popular Practical swordsmanship textbook (Master of Defense) <<Gates Stand of Magnifico?????>>, from No.1 to No.28. Please try passing through to the end even if you make any mistakes.”
Merida answered with a stiff voice, and set up the wooden sword to her height.
That weapon obviously wasn’t suitable for her physique, but for someone of Paladin rank, they should be able to freely wield that degree of sword. Merida should also be aware of this fact.
If Merida was really a Paladin, then of course, there would be no problem, but…
Merida took a short breath with a step forward. Her knees softly sank, with all of her strength she released the blade out loud, ripping the wind.
Kufa couldn't help but reveal a sound from watching her performance.
Originally he worried that Merida would be using weapons, but she used her centrifugal force skillfully to manipulate the sword. Turning her body in one acrobatic rotation, she slashed down in one swift motion, and then adding another notable strike.
Maybe due to her awareness of Kufa's sight, her actions from time to time were a little stiff. Nevertheless, the habitual effort of nature would not betray her. Merida had been repeating hundreds or even thousands of times to practice the sword until her body could reproduce the perfect model of the basic type for it.
Until all were smoothly done, Merida proficiently raised the sword.
“It seems that you're practicing regularly.”
Kufa was neatly writing notes in the notebook, while he picked up a knife.
“Then, take a look this.”
Kufa rounded the front of Merida, gently close his eyes.
In the dark, emerging in the depths of consciousness was a pale flame.
Kufa instantly focused the flame into one spot. The flame became inflating with astonishing momentum, surmounting the speed of sound and spreading throughout his whole body.
In one breath he ignited up!
Boom! Blue dazzling flames were spraying out of Kufa's body. It was the emancipation of Mana.
Although it was a flame, it didn’t necessarily burn the body. The splendor only exuded the divine power of expelling the “night.” The so-called Mana, also known as the body’s ability to produce the "Blood of the Sun."
Merida stared at Kufa.
“Sensei’s Mana is pale blue… it's the first time I saw such a clear flame!”
“It’s so embarrassing if you say it like that.”
“That, I would like to ask but, what is sensei’s rank…?”
“It’s a Samurai, and it’s a bit more agile than anything else.”
Kufa call out while spinning the slender wooden knife, Merida sighed as a result.
He made a wry smile before holding the wooden knife in front of himself. Mana from his hands passed to the blade, turning it into a sword in blue flames, with its tip burning the air.
“Well, you can attack me anytime, and don't even think of stopping even if it hits me badly.”
Merida nervously nodded, then raised the sword. The length of the sword as expected was still somewhat heavy in appearance, making the sharp end wobble a bit.
As if waiting for the moment while in a motionless posture, Merida suddenly moved. As she stepped forward, she raised her sword to her head, and drew near to Kufa.
Kufa heard Merida’s menacing cry, then felt a puzzling emotion coming right out of his heart.
However, it was too late. The sharp-pointed end of the long sword was thrown with heavy momentum. A fiercely violent wave was dropped down. The sharp slice of the long sword was matched up with the orbital movement of the knife.
Paching──! The long sword following with a near-splitting impact was flicked off.
Merida was blown away two meters backwards, she couldn't help but fall on her butt. Slipping out of her hand, the sword that was now dancing in the skies, was shattered into two. It just so happened that it was falling above Merida, so Kufa quickly rushed forward and waving his knife, brushing off the wreckage of the sword.
Kufa used his left hand to help support the dizzy Merida as she stood up.
“I’m so sorry, Miss, are you all right?”
It was too careless. Kufa completely forgot the “MP – 0” description on Merida’s profile.
As long as someone thought properly, they should know that those with the ability to use Mana would be given the privilege of aristocracy, but the price was by being forced to carry up the responsibility to stand against foreign enemies. For Merida who was completely unable to use Mana, if the weapons imbued with Mana collided with general weapons, it would lead to this result.
“Let's change the schedule, first off you should let your Mana awaken.”
Kufa looked at Merida’s broken wooden sword and smiled a bit.
“We have to prepare a new weapon.”
Merida was clearly not in the wrong, but she said that, and hung her head in frustration.
Kufa hid the weapons used for practice, held Merida's arm and led her up in the middle of the square.
Kufa, in a gently but blunt manner, told Merida about the basic course.
“Mana users have a few organs invisible to the eyes. There are dozens of them in the body known as <<Mantle Mana discharge holes>>. There are the Vaporizer in the twenty-two channels associated with these parts.”
Kufa put the palm of his hand gently on her forehead. Although what he really wanted to indicate was the place of the central skull.
“Each of the Mantle is named, and here is the <<Crown>>.”
Kufa then touched Merida’s slender right upper arm, right forearm, left upper arm and left forearm, then the slender right thigh and calf, and the left thigh and calf. In every touch he named them: “Understanding, Discipline, Wisdom, Compassion, Honor, Kingdom, Victory, and Foundation.”
Finally, Kufa's fingertips went on the center of Merida's chest. Her cheeks flushed slightly, but Kufa had always been serious in his expressions. The thirteen year-old lady closed her lips, in order not to get distracted by such actions.
“Beautiful” ──Here is the most important Mantle. Mana’s fountain is in here, twenty-two Vaporizers all gather here. By the ability of the will of this “beautiful” pressure, You can make so that the mana through Vaporizer gets liberated from the body.”
Kufa was urging her so strongly, she could hardly refuse.
She strained her eyes, clasped her hands, and posed as if she was praying.
She tried to wait for a while… but nothing happened.
Merida’s forehead emerged with sweat, dripping through her cheeks.
── or not? Kufa wasn’t saying anything, she muttered on her heart.
For example, Kufa couldn’t understand that cats had a sense for their tail; can't imitate the bats by ultrasonic flight; nor fish gills that can make you breathe in water.
Different creatures can’t realize the sensation of organs they don’t possess.
Merida was clearly distressed because of this feeling.
Because her body didn’t have Mantle and Vaporizers, and even Mana itself didn’t exist ──
“… Ojou-sama, it’s almost time for school.”
In the end, until Amy called out to Merida, we didn't get any results. The maid’s petite figure looked somewhat apologetic as it came over from the mansion.
Amy suddenly turned to Kufa, while forcing out a smile.
“Yes, Kufa-san, it might be inconvenient but please take care of ojou-sama in college.”
"I'll give it my all for the task," he announced, with the strict mentality of a duke’s servant.
Merida who seemed shocked by it turned around. She tepidly asked:
“Sen, sensei is also going to school…?”
Oh, right. You didn't know? I'll be acting as your older brother to teach you, so at the same time I can accompany you. Since the Saint Frideswide Girl's Academy is an all-women school, generally I'm prohibited since I'm a man, but if I were to follow your family status, then I'll be permitted to enter the institution.”
“…Oh is that so!”
Merida was making a disturbing face while biting her lips, and then abruptly turned away. She went back to her mansion, leaving Kufa and Amy as they looked at each other.
At that moment Kufa, can't figure out what Merida was worrying about.
† † †
Merida attended the Saint Frideswide Girl's Academy, that had castle-like school buildings, and was attached to the cathedral, which was a building with the history and architectural style of the College. It was located in the Southern District of Albert Avenue, which seemed to be surrounded by towering walls of the vast campus. Even by looking from a distance, you could see the towering school structures.
The children of the nobility - including those with the capability to become apprentices to seek knowledge, in Flandre was a total of thirteen. Saint Frideswide Girl's Academy particularly specializes on making those students become wise and independent ladies through their education, which was the long established root of this school.
Once it was time to go to school, the streets naturally filled with many students. School uniforms were varied, with traditional robe dressing, as well as lovely pleated skirts and so on.
What Merida was wearing was Saint Frideswide Girl's Academy’s lovely and proper Gothic-style uniform. Among the students many of them slightly bowed, while gazing on the stone road as she moved forward.
Her slender hands were carrying a bag filled with stuff.
“It seems very heavy, ojou-sama, may I help you instead?”
“N-no! No problem!”
Merida didn't look at Kufa, and just shook her head. Moreover, what was inside that obviously stuffed bag?
Soon after approaching Albert Avenue, they were surrounded by more and more of the girls wearing the same uniform figures. Kufa was awe-inspired by the uniform dress, whether it was the color or height that were particularly conspicuous, from time to time curious eyes were being gathered. Merida felt like a needle was stabbing her shoulder.
The entrance to Saint Frideswide Girl's Academy was a slender tunnel that served as the gates. You could also see a number of girls along with Merida that were gathered in the tunnel wearing first-year badges.
Recognizing and walking over to Merida, a twin-tailed lady raised her hand.
“You’re finally here, but too slow, Merida!”
Merida looked up, unaware why they took a glimpse of Kufa, and was somewhat observing his manners.
Then she squeezed out a smile towards them.
“Go, good morning everyone.”
“Good morning! Then, the thing I was asking for?”
The twin-tailed lady reached out the palm of her hand, while the others giggled a bit.
Merida opened her bag, and took out two unusually big books from it.
They were the latest works of a famous romance writer in the region. Kufa remembered that many critics thought that these novels were "too radical, and not suitable for students."
The twin-tailed lady quickly took the novel from Merida's hands.
“This is it! This is the new work of Kristy Ratwigi-sensei! I’ve always wanted to see it!”
“Nerva-sama, please lend me a look!”
“Me too! Please allow me to read it!”
The female students gathered towards the novel in a noisy manner. The twin-tailed girl, turned to Merida with a smiling face.
“My house is very strict, so the postman refused to send this kind of thing to my home. At this point, Merida is an exception, because she has no mother nor father at home to guard her!”
Merida nodded with an ambiguous expression, showing her stiff smile once again.
At that moment, Nerva noticed the man in military uniform behind Merida.
“Oh, Merida, who is he?”
“Ah…this person is… going to guide me from today on, my tutor…”
“My! Merida-san unexpectedly has a tutor!”
The female students focused on the love novel uproar, Nerva herself seemed to be the head of these students, so she quickly raised her hand to attract everyone's attention.
Nerva went in front of Kufa, and gracefully pulled up her skirt while bowing.
“Nice to meet you. I’m called Nerva of Earl Martio House. I want to make Merida and the Blumen of my household get close.”
“”Blumenblatt”…it is a so-called unit, sensei?”
Nerva replied with a smile, but that to the point of mocking, that looked down on others.
Unit, a military organization that guarded Flandre ──that was composed of Mana-capable “cavalry regiment”, the smallest units of the type.
A set of “units” with a maximum of five people, “Legion” consisting of multiple units. Regardless of attack or defense, these units, their tactics were assembled based on Legion.
It was recommended that a group consisting of students should be set up during the period of schooling, and a course based on the composition of the regiment would be arranged as a prerequisite for the training of the children of the nobility.
Nerva with a proud look explained
“Blumen” means “petals,” which is called in the name of Saint Frideswide . We are inseparable in our school or in our dormitory, while holding book parties, tea parties or pajama parties… as Sisters. ”
"It's a splendid custom."
“Fufu, would you like to learn more? Sen.Sei.”
Kufa didn't cower from Nerva's sarcastic tone, and instead gently smiled back.
“I'll keep that in mind, I am Kufa Vanpiel, please take care of me.
“Vanpiel… I haven't heard of such a name.”
Nerva was confused for a moment, but since it was insignificant to her she turned around to leave.
At that moment, the group- no, it seemed that someone among the Sisters (Blumen) seemed interested.
“Ah, could it be that, Elize-san invited a tutor, isn't it?”
Merida suddenly twitched her shoulders.
Although they didn't notice her because she was behind the other girls, but in a little distance, there was a first-year female student. A girl with trimmed silver hair, and reminiscent of snow-like skin. Like the cold ice, those eyes looked straight at Merida.
Always feeling that they were somewhat similar. Merida’s lips became pale, as she was trembling with her words: “I-It's really you, Elize.” The voice seemed to fade as if it had vanished, and only reached Kufa.
The girl known as Elize, answered with an expressionless face:
“…I just came to the mansion this morning.”
“Not only that her family position is different, but it is said that she's the youngest in the history to join among the elites of <<The sacred city guard( Crest Legion)>>!”
“Oh, she’s on a totally different level!”
Nerva along with the students were amused with the situation, besides Elize's family standing with her. Although it wasn’t said who Elize was being compared to, Merida's shoulders still trembled slightly..
“Well, we might get late for class, let's go.”
Nerva called out to them, together with the students they went ahead. Merida although some what mortified, got left out.
It was clear that Merida was quite distant from the girl named Elize. Kufa searched his mind for information on the mission – he did recall that name. Elize Angel…She was also a member of the Duke of Knights; the separation of the lineage, and Merida was her cousin.
It was also said that Elize was suspected of doubting Merida's birth, considering her Paladin awakening was different from others long ago, it didn't take long before her talent showed up.
Removal of a family member and outstanding separation… it was not even difficult to imagine the relationship between them, furthermore it was possible that those higher-ups' plans were connected.
Walking in front of them was Nerva who turned around to see the group behind. While thinking of a way to get Kufa's attention, she seemed to have a different meaning to her smile; before clearing her throat and throwing a topic to her fellow sisters.
“Speaking of the Guard, have you considered what you will do after graduation?”
"Oh, Nerva-san, you are too impatient. Don’t we still have a while until graduation?"
"It's not that; it's just that three years have passed in a blink of an eye, isn't that right, Merida?"
Suddenly being called out, Merida being in the corner of the whole group while keeping a certain distance, twitched her shoulders out of astonishment.
Nerva proudly continued:
"I've been thinking, which side of the department will accept someone like you? I'm seriously bothered by it, since we're friends, after all. As you're also enrolled in this school, you intend to enter the cavalry regiment in the future, right?"
“I think it’s a good place for Merida to join in. What about the White Night Cavalry Regiment?”
Nerva said so, as a result the other ladies went “Ah!” leading to an uproar.
Flandre's military organization composed of hundreds of Legions, which was the total combat power of mankind, also known as the "Light Cavalry Regiment" (Guild Ferniks). They were divided into four categories, namely: "Maintaining Law and Order" in order to maintain Campbell's order, "Defending Territory" to defend the human survival zone, "Crusading Foreign Enemies" who had penetrated the defensive lines and stepping into dangerous night fields which was "Night Realm Exploration".
Among them were those who had great achievements, such as setting a lot of credit in the task, or winning in the large-scale martial arts conference, etc., would be invited to the <<The sacred city guard( Crest Legion)>> this so-called elite troops “Guardian of the Sanctuary”. This was the special garrison tasked with guarding the king.
But there was a rumor that had been spreading in the streets, it was said that there exists a pair of dark cavalry regiment holding the symbol of peace within the holy cavalry regiment (Guild Ferniks)…
They were said to be secret organizations active in the shadows of society, and nobles and wealthy merchants were afraid of their clutches. In secret talks, you would wonder if they existed across the walls. As well as starting an armed coup d'etat in the lower residential areas, and were heard to eliminate an entire region overnight, and so on… their legends were too numerous to even mention.
Everyone hoped of having a name to call them, no one knew who started it but, “White Night Cavalry Regiment” (Guild Jack Raven), this title imperceptibly penetrated into the public. The name was synonymous with the specter of ghosts and natural disasters as a symbol of terror, or was regarded as “Actually doesn't exist”, was widely known.
In other words, without thinking about it, it was understandable that Nerva was ridiculing Merida.
“Ah, but Merida has already decided on achieving a proper future, you know.”
As if she predicted those words, Merida once again trembled, stopping on her pace.
The ladies as if looking forward to the climax of a certain program, came forward.
“Tell us, Miss Nerva!”
“Oh, you guys calm down, it just so happens that Merida is in the same group when she got interviewed, while hearing her say to the interviewer- “My goal is to enter the <<The sacred city guard( Crest Legion)>>, and “Becoming people's 'Sword of hope' is my childhood dream.”When I knew that people who say these kinds words is actually the legendary 'incompetently talentless woman', the feeling of being so desperate is extremely hilarious…!"
Including Nerva, Blumen were laughing out loud in an unbearably sharp tone.
They sure were thoughtful about selecting the middle of the road through this point. Being surrounded by the students of Saint Frideswide Academy, if one were to laugh so loud, people around them would obviously hear it clearly.
If they thought of cruelly exposing something in this kind of place, just how big can this humiliation be?
Merida, despite the terrible shaking of her body, continued on clenching her lips, but-
“What do you think, Elize-san?”
One of them tentatively asked the silver-haired girl, so Merida's slim shoulders shook a bit.
Elize in the opposite direction of the group didn't join the circle ridiculing Merida, but had still been expressionless.
As she received everyone's attention, it wasn't long before she slowly opened her lips.
At that instant, Merida ran away from that horrid scene. She wasn't heading towards the direction of the school building, and perhaps she didn't even know where she was going.Throughout the scene, a lot of students watched as she fled the scene, sympathy showing in their eyes. Even though the ladies didn't have any ill intent, Merida still felt like she was sitting on pins and needles.
Nerva appeared perfectly satisfied, smiling as if the prior scene was a top-notch painting.
“Ah, I'm truly delighted with this… You must definitely be my friend, Merida.”
Repeatedly mumbling this much made her some sort of a mad sadist. Meanwhile, a young lady separated from the group.
“Oh, Elize-san, where are you going?”
Elize still glanced silently, before trotting away. She was headed for the direction which Merida ran just now.
Although Kufa acted as a shadow until now, but as a tutor and her attendant, he really had to catch up to her. So he nodded a little to Nerva and the others, before leaving the place.
† † †
Although it was excessively vast for a campus that Kufa lost his way, he hadn't seen anyone in the Cathedral except for the those two. The first thing he heard was Merida's crying.
“Why did you still come? You just wanted to say that it's impossible for me anyway, right!?”
Kufa peeped from the shadows, he could see that Merida was interrogating Elize from that appearance. The blonde girl’s eyes were swollen, one could easily figure out that she was crying and felt shaken with the situation.
Kufa held his breath while observing them, only to see the silver-haired young lady's sudden change in her expression for the first time. The silver-haired young lady knitted her brows, while somewhat hesitant on saying:
"A-About that, Rida, I also planned on joining the <<The sacred city guard (Crest Legion)>>…"
Merida’s face flushed red.
“Don't call me Rida so casually!”
Elize shook her shoulders. Merida was so loud that it was almost the same volume of a high-pitched roar, before flying off again. She bent over in the corner of the church, it just so happens that it was also the place where Kufa was just hiding and bumped into her.
Merida's eyes were wide open, while being aware of her moist eyes. She rubbed her flushed face, and yet she dashed away from Kufa.
Melida hurriedly ran away from Kufa, while a glittering drop splashed on his palm.
Kufa just watched her frantically flying away from his sight, before turning around to see Elize on her back, with her head down.
Kufa suddenly thought of something and took out his note, and wrote in a tremendous speed.
— "Incompetently Talentless Woman", her goal was to enter the cavalry regiment of the top of the <<The sacred city guard (Crest Legion)>>.
“This joke isn't funny at all.”
Kufa mumbled as he smiled, before returning the note into his pocket.
† † †
In short, this was the status of Merida Angel. She was born in the aristocratic family but can't use Mana, as the heretics couldn’t be integrated into the children’s groups.
Nevertheless, Merida seemed to be going about it her own way, within her capacity due to a certain degree of effort.
Kufa watched over the morning classroom, with his figure sitting still while showing the proper appearance of a master.
A female teacher in her late twenties was standing on the podium, looking around at the students who were sitting in a 180 degree arc in front of her, and spoke in a laid-back voice.
"Everyone, I know you’re looking forward to summer vacation, but keep in mind the exam at the end of the semester. The Ring • Knight’s Festival will be held after the exam, as you should all be aware… So do not forget to prepare for the exam in your excitement over the Knight’s Festival?"
Several students were ashamed and looked down. The female teacher laughed lightly.
"This is the first written test for you students. Don’t just focus on martial arts; what will happen if you don’t put any effort into your studies? Today, we will revise on what we have learned so far. ——Is there anyone who can explain the topic [The Cursed Night, Lankaslov, Human Lives] in history subject?"
And faster than anyone else, un, Meria raised her hand. The female teacher was very happy to call her name.
Merida rose from her chair. Just for a moment, she looked at Kufa's seat.
"………’Humans’ refers to us who live among the lanterns (Flandre), and ‘Lankaslov’ refers to the monsters hidden in the darkness. Lankasloc have a variety of forms, from highly intelligent creatures to beast-like monsters. From the highest rank, we have 《Vampires》, 《Werewolves》, Predator《Torrent》 to 《Will O Wisp》 that rarely appear……. They have the ability to fight against Mana Anima, and attack mankind with malicious intent. We nobles are the ones to protect the weak from ‘Lankaslov’ — These are Mana users’ missions; to repel Lankaslov and prevent them from coming close to Flandre is the most important work of the Radiance Cavalry regiment (Guild Fernics)."
The female teacher urged Merida to continue with her eyes. Merida continued after she swallowed her saliva.
"The most troublesome thing about Lankaslov are that they were once ordinary humans, animals and plants. This is the importance behind the ‘Cursed Night’; the darkness of night will erode biological creatures and turn them into Lankaslov. To prevent this, we cannot leave the Flandre. The knights of the Cavalry regiment who go to the fields of darkness, must never release the Nectar lanterns must never. If one day the Flandre Campbell are destroyed, then it will be the end of all humanity. The mana users who carry the blood of the sun arethe hope of those living in the Flandre and also the hope of mankind in this world. We have to keep this in mind."
" It’s a pity that today is not an examination. I have never heard such a model answer."
After the female lecturer put down the praise, the students in classroom uttered ”Aaa…….” with their eyes gleamed. Merida blushed and lowered her head, but soon after Nerva poured a cold water basin.
" She actually said "We are capable"! That girl, is the hope of mankind!"
"I heard that! If I were in the same position, my face will be spitting fire!"
Her blue-eyed sisters, mocking in whisper with the same tone. In contrast, the classroom was an awkward silence. The female lecturer picked up the textbook again after coughing deliberately.
"…….. Then continue the lesson. Next "The use of Nectar. The difference between pressure type and suction type" this project——"
The female teacher didn't hesitate to name the next student. Merida completed her answer sat back down in her seat. Nerva and several people continued to laugh at her. Other students didn't say anything about it even if they were concerned about it.
Merida also, didn't refute anything.No matter how much she memorised the textbooks, or even demonstrated the actions taught in the bookswith perfection, she still had the unreasonable shortcoming of being unable to use Mana.
After this afternoon lesson —— the reason she was called the ‘incompetent talent’ had been engraved into Kufa to the extent that he couldn’t bear to see it.
† † †
Saint Frideswide Academy, has a number of very wide martial arts field.
One of these was like a circular stage for performances. On a stage that was divided into cones by ropes, a wide variety of sports equipment was provided.
Although it looked like a sideshow of amusement part activities, the decisive difference was in the dangers involved. There was no cushioning around the bottom of the footholds, which had a height of tens of meters. Better to say, various traps were set in order to shoot down the challenger.
First graders who put on school-designated sportswear were neatly arranged at the entrance of the stage. They entered the venue in groups according to the signal given by the instructor stood at the side and determine the training to break through the obstacles and the time for clearance. This score is recorded in the "Flandre Unified White Battle Determination Benchmark", and visualize the abilities of the mana user.
Of course, this stage was designed under the premise of that the challenger was a mana user; things will be complicated if ordinary people were to enter here.
In front of the huge pit which was impossible for her cross over, Merida’s legs began to tremble. Nerva who was in the same test stage urged in the back like showing off.
" Hey Merida! The people behind are stuck up, give me a quick jump!"
The pupils from the outside of the stage looked up at the trembling Merida with worry. The instructor, who saw the situation, put down the report that was recorded in her hand, then picked up two wooden swords.
"Merida Angle! Stay there and wait!"
The instructor entered the stage, she breakthrough the barrier in less than ten seconds where students will take a few minutes to pass through it. Gently landed behind Merida, handed a wooden sword to her.
That means having a direct fight to determine the ability value. This is also one of the methods.
But Kufa standing behind the students watching at the same time, uttered a sigh "This is the same result".
Attack power is【1】, Defense is 【1】, Agility was slightly better point is【2】——This is the limit of Merida Angel without Mana.
Holding a wooden sword disproportionately, Merida began to attack with all of her might. However, the female instructor who had resigned from the the cavalry regiment responded to her attack, had her entire body engulfed in Mana.
——The wooden sword flew in the air, Merida fell to the ground embarrassingly, not even for five seconds.
He’d already lost count of know how many times this had happened. At soon as Merida started her dejected moaning, Nerval, as if she had been waiting for that very moment, burst into laughter.
"Ahahahaha!! Hey Merida, you really should become an artist! Comparing with the Crest Legion, it looks a lot more realistic!
Merida still was laying on her belly, her clenched fists turned pale, probably due to that extreme force. This was the moment when the female instructor turned her body around.
Howling like an injured cub, Merida jumped up and waved the wooden sword again. The female instructor who had been released from the fighting posture had been surprised by the action of the female student who attacked her.
"Merida Angel! Do not be reckless!"
As the wooden sword struck the female instructor’s shoulder, a deafening sound echoed through the arena.
The instructor didn't do anything, even if she did nothing and just stood there, purely relying on mana to fend off attacks, an ordinary person would have no chance of breaking through her defences. With the force from her numerous slashes turned against her, Merida’s petite body was sent flying to the other side of the arena.
Then, she directly flew outside the stage.
As if her entire body got violated by the wind, Merida’s face emerged with a blank look. Her upper body was tilted by gravity, falling from the height of tens of meters down
The instructor issued a scream, the students also forgot to breathe. Then Kufa helplessly stood up.
Then, Gyaaa!! He entered the battle field while making horrific-sounding footsteps.
Just when the ladies got caught of the sound coming from their back, a black wind gushed onto the stage rapidly. While firmly gripping the ground with his foot, he made a sharp turn, rubbed his feet then rushed rapidly forward, gaining a huge burst of momentum. In a span of two seconds, he successfully passed the instructor's test, that was initially intended to be finished within 10 seconds. Followed by that, he jumped onto a suitable position, and opened his arms wide.
Kufa got caught of the blonde girl just before she hit the ground. Gracefully, he hugged her as if they were prince and princess, carrying her with hands gripping both her neck and thighs, and in a swift motion settled her down properly as if nothing had happened.
He put Merida on the floor, then very naturally knelt on one knee.
"Are you hurt? My lady."
Silence fell. Not just Merida, everyone in the arena was at a loss for words. The belated female instructor landed beside him, then casted a very interesting smile.
"You're really powerful. Mind taking in a small red flower?"
"My pleasure, miss."
Just when Kufa was busy answering questions politely, the delighted girls burst out in a explosive applause. It was as if the stage had a sudden surge of energy and completely shrouded Kufa in happiness.
"Your name! Tell me your name!"
Only because of one person, who had started this topic, it all went out of control. The girls rushed onto the stage like bees, and in a moment Kufa got surrounded in a sea of colorful 'flowers'.
Even Merida became outsider because of it, but no one noticed.
"In fact see you from the first glance I am very interested in you! I'm from the Coladar Viscount house….."
"Wait, you're too cunning getting this first! Greetings and gifts should be done one by one in order!"
" Although I couldn't see it clearly, but I have been fascinated! Is he faster than the instructor?"
"Au, I cannot let this remark slide. Is there anyone who could lend him a wooden sword!!"
"M, miss, please don't joke around….."
Even the instructor blended in with the teacher, it had became a great disturbance. Nerval didn't enter the circle and their group revealed a very boring expression.
"Me, Merida Angel, a good teacher is wasted on her!"
Although no-one else seemed to have heard this casually ridicule sounds, only to the parties and to the ears of Merida.
And the liveliness on the stage was very contrast to the quietness outside, Merida turned away and fled like that. Obviously it was still class time she fled the martial arts field. It was clear that she gave up the course (skipping), but no one stopped her.
Not only that, not even one noticed Merida leaving.
Only Kufa quietly watched her blonde figure running. Originally he should go chase after her, But now it would only play an anti-effect. Not only that, his feelings towards that girl, had already………——
Looking at the strange direction as Kufa, a female student tilted her head confused. Kufa immediately smiled at her, then while perfectly cope with those problems, he thought under that mask.
——The time has come, huh.
† † †
That night, when everyone in the mansion quietly fell asleep, Kufa was facing his desk.
He was working on a task report. Subsequently he had no choice but to brave the unknown path leading to the post office and submit the report in secrecy to his boss, by dawn.
The content written in the report, there were only a few simple sentences.
——Even after a full days' worth of observation, I still failed to see Merida Angel's talent.
——In conclusion. She is not the Knight Duke, Fergus Angel’s daughter.
——So I decided to complete the assigned 《Second task》.
As he put down the quill, Kufa slowly rose from his chair. Taking the remaining suitcase and placing it on the bed, he undid the strap.
It was filled with spare clothes and other daily necessities, as well as a case used to contain his bunkobon. Cleverly concealing under laminated glasses, which he then removed to open the cover, exposing all the things hidden inside.
There was such a rumor. But it was merely what mothers used to scare naughty children, it was nothing but a silly ghost story.
It was said that, In addition to the country’s renowned Radiance cavalry regiment, there was also its counterpart the "dark" cavalry regiment, directly under the Council's command the "dark" cavalry regiment was entrusted with only the most secretive of tasks like the assassination of prominent figures or the protection of top secret information, from time to time there will even be tasks like using humans as the subjects of “taboo experiments”, dirty work that few could perform without hesitation.
Members of the organization were cultivated from an early age by the organization, people who, as far as society was concerned didn't exist. Every time they appeared before the people they would have a new name, a new background, all to achieve their purposes and removed any loose ends. As if they who committed the crime did not exist in the first place.——
"I didn't expect, that I would have to abandon my identity as “Vanpiel the teacher" so early on"
Hidden in the laminated glass were poison, bombs filled with gunpowder, steel wires and assassin blades that had been dyed black. Because he didn't know what would be used he brought a variety of things, so that he would be able to deal with any situation that could possibly arise.
——This time, there were two tasks assigned to him. One was to teach the young mistress to fight, such that she may join the ranks of the Angel Duke's family of fighters.
And then there was the other. If you found that Merida Angel didn't show any signs of growth, meaning that she wasn’t a true descendant that had inherited the Paladin bloodline.
Leave no trace of the girl that was a stain upon the great Angel family.——
He carefully slipped the wire inside his sleeve to conceal it. Deciding it would be troublesome if he were to be pricked and bleed, and be investigated by authorities because of this, he decided to just loosely tie the wire around his arm.
To be on the safe side, Kufa grabbed his knife before walking out of the room. No matter how much he tried he still couldn't think of any reason to pick his trusty sword instead and thus decided to hide it under his mattress.
In the corridors where the maids had been sleeping, Kufa moved swiftly without the faintest of sounds.
"I am so sorry, Amy-san, everyone."
He mustered a small voice to apologize to them. They had just given him a grand welcome recently.
Originally, things would not have reached this point so quickly. Boss had joked with a smile, “If things go well it would probably take around a month or so?” , but for prudence's sake he should be made available for a little more time.
After all, on the day the new servant arrived the unexplained death of the master happened, no matter who they were the first suspicion would still be that the new servant to be blamed. Even if “Kufa” was someone who did not technically exist, or the suspect was eliminated by the client, but attention should be avoided in itself.
The reason behind the need to forcefully continue the mission despite understanding the situation was entirely because of how intolerable it was.
He was unable to bear watching Merida Angel anymore.
Throughout the duration of the training, she continued to fail to display any progress. This was to be expected, if the prophecy was in fact accurate, then her mother's family did not actually inherit the proper bloodline.
She who did not understand this, was continued to just foolishly believe in her talents.
"She really is an unlucky girl isn't she."
Kufa thought so in his heart. He remembered the first time he saw her at the welcoming party, where she greeted him and left right after.
Her life was full of pain. After that pain would continue to plague her. And the day all that pain paid off will most likely never come.
In this case, this chain should be cut off as soon as possible——
Assassin’s mercy（assassin’s pride）。
In the dark corridor without lighting, a tall and slender figure stood in front of Merida's room.
"My lady, the world is very cruel."
At least, I don't know whether it would be better for her to be dead or to continue to suffer——
Kufa was considering such things, and was suddenly aware of the presence on the other side of the door.
He immediately opened the door and entered the room.The not too spacious room was beautifully decorated. There was a dressing table and wardrobe. He could clearly see them because the candles on the table emitted a faint light. On the zenith bed there was a set of neatly folded pajamas.
But there was no Merida’s presence.
"Where did she go….."
On the desk was a school textbook, after opening the notebook he could see the compact and beautiful writing all over it. As well as the training wooden sword couldn't be found. He then opened the closet to find that her sportswear was gone.
That was to say, during this period that led up to the next day, she had taken the initiative to go out and train on her own. Kufa admired her efforts…………
For a time, Kufa keen sense was detecting something foul.
Merida’s bedroom windows were still open. She probably went directly out through the balcony, then started practicing. But in the dark courtyard, he couldn't see her figure.
A sense of intrusion came from the residential garden, had once again shrouded the surroundings.
Before taking into account Kufa flew out, just like a wind he ran to the botanical garden.
The sky of Flandre was dark either day or night. But even so, people also had the concept of life time. Near the end of the day the store would be closed, people would set foot on their way home, the street light turned on with everyone falling asleep. In the dark and the sleeping quiet streets, a distant sound clearly echoed.
Easily, the true form of that sense of violation was determined.
“Why in such a place……..!!”
Using leopard-like strength, Kufa dashed across the aisle, and subsequently caught sight of the clone's shadow. Immediately, he stepped into the brush, covering his breathe like a predator, so as to avoid being detected.
His violet-colored eyes got caught of the target's shadow opposite the darkness in front.
One of them was Miss Merida. As expected she was wearing sportswear, using all of her might to swing that poorly made wooden sword. Surrounding her was obnoxious-looking clowns, their shirts were all rugged and pumpkin-like helmets was on their heads. What a weird trio.
Unable to speak out, Kufa let out a belittled moan. The speech heard during the day suddenly came across his mind.
They were human enemies living in the field of night. They were human who were swallowed in the past. This name, had a literal meaning known as "People that were tied to eternal sleeping, all of them losing their own identity".
Those guy with pumpkin head in Lankaslov ranking were the lowest level called 《the Pumpkin Head》 race. So they hold the ability (Anima) and intellectual were no big deal. Just that, it was occasionally part of human’s enslaved service provider.
This trash couldn't have the ability to invade the high-rise blocks.
Kufa suddenly remembered before starting the mission, Boss had calmly said these lines——『Sir Mordrew also often puts pressure on her』
『Is this pressure? ……！』
Kufa had learned that the three pumpkin heads were from Merida’s grandfather, which Sir Mordrew manipulated. Presumably to force the fight by the Lankaslov, which may inspire the Mana sleeping in her.
What a messy brain-dead practice.
"Haa, haa……! What are you in the end……!"
Even when Merida gasped staring at them, the 'Pumpkin Head' didn't stop its sarcastically laughing stance. Merida bravely raised the wooden sword to start the assault.
Merida swung the sword with a neat move. But the moment when the wooden sword touched the pumpkin head, Merida was bounced off to the rear.
The wooden sword she used to attack was broken in half, the impact hit Merida. The pumpkin head didn't even need to avoid it, it just stood there, pointing at Merida while laughing frantically.
This was Lankaslov's troublesome factor. They could nullify all attacks coming from the usage of general weapons. The only thing that could penetrate this layer of defense was through the use of holy light or Mana.——”The Solar Factor”. Only due to this, the country was only able to confront Lankaslov's problem, by only enabling those that wield Mana ability to fend off the danger. As this was a special privilege granted by the country only to them, huge amount of resources were spent to train and utilize their abilities.
She grasped the broken wooden sword, Merida held up her body. Her bruised yet miserable stature, it was almost as if she was fighting against Kufa again, she was rendered almost completely useless as she could not even retaliate.
As one, the pumpkin head trio kicked right into her hand, as if they were mocking her strength. Accompanied by “ah!” a loud scream, the other half of the wooden sword spinning in the air to far away.
She clenched her bleeding palm, Merida beat it directly. Eyes wide opened, the pumpkin head danced round and round and finally tripped her off. Merida tried maintaining her posture, but she fell to the ground facedown anyway.
The pumpkin head trio surrounded Merida, who was covered with mud and was lying on the ground. They showed off their nasty smile and dance, playfully kicked Merida with their boots.
And then pointing to Merida who fell and was rolling miserably on the ground it issued a hilarious comedy.
Merida even covered with dirt struggling, but still stood up again.
——What are you doing after all? Kufa in the garden frowned while thinking so.
Ordinary people with no mana no matter how hard they couldn't fight Lankaslov. This was unrelated to nobility or civilians, in juvenile school they had told this so many times.So civilians must desperate avoid Lankaslov, the nobility must also come forward to protect them.
Merida belonged to the party without Mana, so she was on the be rescued party. But why hadn't she gasped in desperation yet, she was obviously holding her tears in from the start.
The red shirt catholic academy gathered the best men within the regiment. By only letting a sheer roar, it could attract those guards that were patrolling the area. This lowest tier Lankaslov, of course could be done in a short bit. Or could it be that she was worried about involving the maids in the mansion? However she should know that, as a Mana Ability wielder, Kufa was also at the mansion…………
When he was just guessing the answer, the situation is changing in the worse direction.
"Enough….already….please go home….."
Still lying on the ground, Merida moaned. The Pumpkin’s attention was diverted.
From time to time pressure would be exerted, this wasn't the first attack on Merida. These guys had so far appeared in Merida’s training several times, and then one-sided battle, and then retreat. Probably this was exactly the same situation——
But only this time, their actions were different. One of the pumpkin head got rid of its wrist, and this was followed by a screeching sound that sounded like a rusty claw came rustling out of its cuff. The other hand stretched out and got hold Merida's blonde hair that was splayed on the ground, pulling her hair vigorously upwards.
"E, what…. it hurts!"
Merida, for the first time, moaned in pain. The pumpkin head raised her waist-long golden hair, and put its rusty claw into it.
Noticing the current situation, Merida’s expression changed.
“Lie, no…..stop it!! Do not touch my hair!"
Although she wanted to get up immediately, But the other two pumpkin heads pressed her to the ground. It pulled her hair, and slid its rusty claw across its face, letting out a disgusting smirk.
Merida shrieked as she struggled revealing a painful face.
"Stop, let me go! This is to commemorate my mother's death! It has the same gold as my mother's hair! If I ever lose this, I would not be able to remember my mother ever again!!"
『Kee, kee, kee…』
They really were enjoying it, the Pumpkin head was like saying that laughing out loud.
The pumpkin head was ordered to get rid of Merida, just like how assassins like Kufa were. This time it was understandable that, Merida's grandfather, Sir Mordrew was finally running out of patience. Like what had been told before: “If it is not a Paladin, it is doesn't matter if it's killed". Since the situation was already this bad, it was thought that they should not be given any chance anymore.
"U, uu……let, me go…….!!"
Merida exhausted her whole body trying to escape from the pumpkin head under the strange force. If these physical strength were used to call for help it may be resolved immediately, but she still didn’t do so.
——Why? Kufa with unknown restlessness look to Merida. Why do not you ask for help?
Kufa’s knee reflexively wanted to rush out, but his self-control immediately used his left hand to suppress his legs. The indescribable impulse was gradually manipulating his own body. Why, why, why——……..
The answer, finally, expressed by Merida’s own words.
“I…..must protect my hair……..! I must enter the Sacred City Guard (Crest Legion)……! Because, because if don't do so, I really……"
“Will not be recognized as Angel’s child……————"
In a blink of an eye, that seemingly invisible electrical shock struck his entire body from head to toe.
He had read about it before the starting the task, the information about Angle House broadly spread in Kufa’s mind. That did have the following records.
“Paladins born to the Angel house, all has belongs to the Sacred City Guard (Crest Legion)"
Merida had been aware of this thing right. Or that she believed she could wield the same height and the sword of the Paladin herself. Anyway, if till now there was still nobody here to rescue her, that meant——
If she called for help, she belonged to the 《No mana side》
Not a noble girl, nor Angel’s child——It showed that she admitted these things
Kufa let out a huge sigh. Ah, what a lame joke.
What am I even doing in the woods——………
The Pumpkin Head that issued a piercing peculiar call raised its claws.That moment, in the center of the pumpkin head body, accompanied by “pound —–!” crisp sound, a knife stabbed in it.
Although the injury was not a big deal, but they still stopped because of this unexpected attack.
“I can’t allow you to casually touch my master."
The Pumpkin-headed clowns turned towards the figure slowly walking out of the shadows in a military uniform.
Only killing intent remained, all emotion was gone from his eyes.
Just after there was a burst of explosion in the air, one of the pumpkin head's skull got torn apart by the swift strike. At the same time when he was stepping into the scene, he got hold of the knife stuck onto the upper part, and made a quick horizontal cut. To the pumpkin head's surprise, even though he saw Kufa's movements after that, it was killed without even being able to retaliate.
But at the same time, since the knife cannot afford the pressure of Mana it was crushed and scattered. It was originally not a weapon against the Lankaslov. Kufa immediately straightened the wire he was carrying, his wrists looking like a cloud of dancing smoke. Too stunned to move, the other pumpkin head's neck got stuck on the steel wire, and its mana's radiance glittering along the narrow lines of the steel.
The next Pumpkin head finally noted the situation, but it was still trying to get the steel wire off, while mumbling something vague.
Kufa did not even blink.
"Why do you think you can still go back alive?"
Without hesitating, he pulled the steel wire he was holding in both directions——Snap! With such a sound pumpkin head was cut off into the air.
The third one, which was the last pumpkin head had fully confirmed today’s situation. Upon seeing Kufa, it ran away immediately after. It seemed to have the ability to understand the incredible difference in their power. Just when the second body's head fell onto the ground, it had already run outside of the metal fences, far beyond attacking range.
Can't let it go back to Sir Mordrew. Kufa gathered burning Mana to his right palm, then launched a primary attack（Critical【assault】） skill
” 《Trident phantom blade….. 》”
While being coiled in the blue flame, from the top of his hand the form of a sword become visible rapidly. The three transparent and thin blue sword moved at the same time as Kufa arm.
Kufa flashed his arms while taking a sharp front step. A Cang knife infused with Mana shot out from the distant flew to the back of the pumpkin head. The knives chased it in three ways which would cut off its retreat route, on the respective intersected convergent point—-The clown clothes split accompanied by ”Kacha” sound.
The pumpkin head split into three pieces and fell to the ground after letting out a sorrowful sound.
Although it was lacking power, focusing on speed and accuracy was the warrior-class fighting style. In the eyes of Merida, this all happened in the blink. She could only feel a slight noise, sound, then after a little flash of light, the surrounding returned to silence.
She raised her face blinking and saw a tall figure wearing military uniforms.
Hearing the sound, Kufa turned around.
His heart was shouting “I did it unintentionally…….” sluggishly on his own behavior.
In order to not make Sir Mordrew wary, we must find a way to cover the death of the pumpkin heads. Besides, in these high-rise blocks those guys were found, then it would cause great disturbance. I must manage the corpses properly ……
But these tricky thoughts disappeared from his brain the moment he turned his head around
Although not a single thread of golden hair was lost, but it scattered on the ground, covered with dirt, the moment he saw the expression of the girl who he felt ‘noble’ covered with tears and blood——
"………Sorry I'm late, ojou-sama."
He got on one knee and stretched out his hand, Merida hobbled and held his hand then stood up.
After she rubbed her hands around her eyes, the the dirt on her face spread further.
"No…….. I've troubled you…….. I’m really sorry."
Suddenly, Kufa took her hand and pulled her to his side.
He held it tightly as if to spread his own heat to her cold fingertips.
"Ojou-sama. Please allow me to help you. I want to be your strength. Even how crazy the storm is, I will certainly respond to your voice."
The lips that Merida had been biting, relaxed and distorted.
Large beans of tear dropped from that greatly opened ruby-like pupil eyes.
—— Unable to stop it.
Merida’s crying was loud enough it seemed it could spread throughout every corner of the vast botanical garden.Even these tears were not enough to wash away a day of humiliation, Kufa thought so in his heart.
† † †
In the trail between the botanical garden, figures of master and servant with golden and black color could be seen.
With her face crying liked a cat, shouting so much her throat sore, After all the anguish of the chest relieved, Merida finally calmed down. Because she was a child with strong character, she became very shameful for a period of time after her look of disgrace being seen.
Naturally holding hands while walking, the young girl also occasionally carefully raised her eyes peeping at Kufa.
"Ano, sensei….. You remember the girl named Elize you saw at school today?"
"Eh? Yes. I just heard that she is ojou-sama’s cousin."
"You saw it, when we were quarreling……"
Merida laughed with a troubled look. Seems like she had been very concerned about what Kufa saw behind the big church by chance in her heart. Kufa thought that she was a very sensitive child.
Merida was walking at the side with leisure pace, continued talking happily
“Our previous relationship was very close. Elly has always been blankly, because they do not understand what she was thinking so she has been misunderstood by people around. But in fact, that girl is really weak, but also a crybaby…… and so, I thought 『I have to protect her』"
After showing a lovely smile, Merida's expression became clouded.
"……..But after entering the school for a few years, our relationship had changed."
"No matter how long I have not awakened Mana, But Elly suddenly awakened the Paladin, And then was recognized by everyone. I do not know when I was thrown into a side. Becomes that child to protect the bullied me……….it is obviously the opposite before this."
Merida then said, as if to ridicule herself——That was why it became like this.
"You’ve seen me at school? Even if the students make fun of me, I can only get through it with a smile, can’t even refute a single word, I feel very ashamed and humiliated when I thought this pathetic gesture being seen by Elly……..I can’t even face that girl directly….!"
Merida’s monologue made Kufa felt pain in the deep of his heart. This was what you called the psychological shadow. Always being beaten or being abused, the experience of feeling humiliated in front of the others would be way more memorable.
"I can understand a little, ojou-sama feeling"
"Sensei too? Liar, sensei is obviously so good……"
"I was born in the “Night World”."
Merida’s eyes suddenly wide opened, she seemed to not understand Kufa's words
"E……? That means, Outside of Campbell, Lower residential area………?"
"It was a region further than that. As I said, I fled into Flandre from the region of darkness."
Merida’s eyes gradually widened, she then cried out as if in shock.
“Eeh!? There are people still living outside of Flandre!?"
“Rather than saying they are 'living', it would be more accurate to describe them as being in 'a state of lingering'. Even if staying in cursed night, humans coudln’t immediately turn into monsters. Which is why, although few in number, they certainly do exist—people who, due to various reasons, chose to remain behind in the realm of the night, hiding their presence from Lankaslov and living quietly."
Watching Merida's odd stunned expression, Kufa let out a chuckle.
Although not recorded in the school's textbooks, for one of the tasks in "Night Realm Exploration" issued by the cavalry regiment, in addition to finding new resources and gaining survival circle there was also the responsibility of rescuing refugees.
Kufa stared into the distant sky, the other side of the glass container, which covered the school district, and continued.
"From a young age, when I first started to make sense of things, I have been wandering aimlessly in the Night Realm. I was surrounded by crushing darkness, like a single candle burning in the wind alone with no one to rely on, even now I still remember that constant feeling of loneliness. My mother and I, were very lucky to have reached that city, in the end we managed to stay alive."
"Um-hm. Although not long after we began living in Flandre she passed away."
Although seeing Merida's expressionless face pained his heart, he continued.
"Her body had already deteriorated to its weakest after being forced to hurry through the Night Realm, but the pressure Mother had to face tortured her even more. The discrimination Flandre inhabitants showed against those who were born in the Night Realm."
"'Those who survived the night are cursed, very dirty. If you get too close you'll be infected', stuff like that. When I was a child, the neighboring children called me 'Germ'."
Kufa felt the frowning Merida was very lovely.
"Of course, those were baseless rumors. However, what mattered was not 'what actually happened', but 'a lot of people think so', soon it seeped deep inside everyone's consciousness and expanded without limits…… Even so, in her final moments, Mother's only wish before dying was for her beloved son to experience happiness and good fortune."
Although Merida did not continue to ask about this, the night-born child who lost his guardian had lost his home. And the one that took him in during such times was the legendary “dark cavalry regiment which does not exist”.
After that, Kufa kept on holding his dagger like a spoon, he had wasted his youth in hellish training, and now he was doing the dirty work for that slovenly uncle…
"Which is why, Ojou-sama. I am very envious."
"Because although I was educated, I have never attended school. From the beginning I'd been very envious of those students in their uniforms whom I only saw occasionally. Laughing with friends like that, going to school, passing time after school in coffee shops, going on dates with the girlfriend on weekends……..To those who live their youths as a matter of course, I am a little jealous"
Kufa turned to Merida and smiled.
"——But a school also has all sorts of problems only schools would have, right?"
Merida exposed a panic expression for a moment, but immediately returned a smile
"That’s it? Sensei, school is a battlefield."
They both laughed happily together. During the conversation, Merida’s strength had restored a lot.
it's almost the time to bring it up, Kufa stopped while thinking that. At the same time he checked his expression into a more serious one.
Merida became aware of the changes in Kufa’s atmosphere. She tensely stood still.
"I have a proposal"
to Merida who tilted her head in confusion——, a seemingly so delicate girl only thirteen years old, Kufa chose his words carefully and continued.
“For the entirety of today, as a family tutor I have witnessed Ojou-sama's situation with my own eyes………I will get straight to the point. If Ojou-sama repeats the training as she did today no matter what, the chance of awakening as a mana user is also minimal."
Merida’s face flashed a wide variety of emotions.
“It is very rare for someone of noble birth to not inherit mana. Such a thing cannot be exposed to the outside world, and Ojou-sama, your situation happened in Knight Duke family, I think a lot of people are caught in the chaos………."
Kufa tried to get past the topic of her birth with a sloppy excuse, Merida almost didn't hear a single word.
She only buried her face, her little fist clenched on her chest.
"I see…..it's like that."
But Kufa did not give her time to be depressed, so he stuck out his body
"With that said, I have a proposal. Ojou-sama, can you give me your life??"
“Because it is a dangerous gamble——I have a way to awaken Ojou-sama's mana."
Merida's reaction was like that of a desert traveler witnessing a mirage of an oasis.
Her lips trembling as if gasping for air, then letting out a question almost unconsciously.
"How to do it….?"
"By using an experimental drug which is yet to be known publicly. It is a drug mixed with another person's mana, in this case mine, that will stimulate the inactive mana rest deeply inside you….. maybe."
Half of this was convenient settings. What Kufa really had in mind was actually "Mana transplantation".
It was a method similar to grafting.
By cutting off part of the plant (Mana) resided in Kufa and had it grafted on to Merida. The newly grafted part would grow on its own, with no side-effect to its root stock. As it continued to ingrain deeply its root stock, it would eventually grow up into a strong, splendid tree.
"However, this method is very dangerous. The success rate of this operation is only about 70%………That is out of ten times there will be three failures."
"If it does fail, what will happen?"
Kufa thought for a time that a more euphemistic statement should be used, but in the end he changed his mind and told the truth
"There'll be after-effects."
"I do not know what it will be. As far as I know, there is a case where scales grow from one's arm and the arm's skin was tore everywhere with flesh revealed, a case where one's face became demonic after being destroyed from within, a case where one's skin turn all green, and so on. Yet these symptoms can never be cured even with the best doctor. In the worst case….. one may even die."
As expected, Merida showed signs of fear and held onto her own shoulders.
Even Kufa would feel unpleasant if he knew someone died in a monstrous form. Though, if it was the mad scientist from the Dark Guild, it would be easily to imagine him saying "that just shows how dangerous it is to perform genetic modification" with a proud face."
"I will not force you, so what is your choice?"
Without looking properly, one could easily tell just how much contradictions and dilemma were going through that petite body.
It couldn’t be taken as lightly as "let's give it a try". Neither could it be "I've tried my best but I'm giving up."
This option paved 2 roads in Merida's life.
This is a rare moment where her fate does not rest on god's hand, instead, it rests on hers.——
After some time and with no decision made, Kufa started to think the burden is too much for this immature, 13 year-old girl to bear.
After a tense 5 minutes passed, Kufa continued his words in softer tone
"Of course, even if you do not take up this option I will not resign from being your tutor. I will be sure to guide you as you grow up, accompanying you until the day you graduate. Therefore it is alright for you to not make any decision now. How about it? "
"I'll do it."
No words can describe the expression she made as she gripped her fist above her chest.
She did not cry. There was no explanation. Neither did she spoke enthusiastically.
One more time, she spoke firmly.
"I'll do it."
"Kufa nodded quietly, and knelt with one knee on the stone pavement."
The greenery existed in Campbell was by no means naturally grown. With such miraculous plants and flowers surrounding, Kufa gently held Merida's left hand and kissed her fingertips.
"………. My, Little Lady" (In English)
"Just as ojou-sama entrusted your life to me, I shall place the bet of my life on you."
The 13-year-old master seemed completely unable to understand,But Kufa smiled and looked to her
"Various preparation must be made. Let us quickly return back to the mansion, shall we? "
† † †
Through the balcony, they returned back to Merida's bedroom by entering from the opened window. It was an act that requires secrecy. Without waking up the maids in the mansion, Kufa started his preparation.
Mixing neutralizer with the finely ground Pebrot leaves. Followed by adding the powder of red demonic butterfly, the liquid bubbled and turned pink after a drop of water spirit's diamond. And then…. A spoonful of honey to make it easier to be consumed.
As the saying goes "never go unprepared", it was right for him to bring various items. From things that could make one sleep eternally, to poison that would cause severe sickness, all these can become Kufa's so-called "medicine" if the ingredients were arranged differently. After all, they were all same as "drugs".
Mixing the ingredient in the exact right amount, even the speed and totally amount of stirring were well calculated…. After performing all these high precision work that placed a heavy load mentally, a small white smoke came poof out of the beaker, and the liquid inside could be seen glittering faintly in transparent color.
Kufa bit the inside of his mouth, after the blood seeped out together with a sting of pain, Kufa turned back around.
“It is done.”
Merida was sitting on the bed waiting. As she was instructed to stay near to him, she got changed into a negligee while Kufa was deeply concentrated in his work.
While waiting for the drug to be made, she had been silently staring at her own knees. But Kufa did not missed the sudden shake of her frail shoulder when he approached her.
Merida did not raise her face, her body tensed like a stone.
Kufa place the beaker down temporarily and asked.
"As I thought, shouldn't we stop this?"
"N-no, it isn't about the drug."
Judgment time has come.
"Let's get this started."
Kufa stood up and Merida solemnly nodded. Kufa nodded back in response and brought the goblet to his mouth. At this moment, Merida frantically stopped Kufa.
"W…weird, why is sensei drinking the medicine?"
"Eh? Ah, yes. I'm sorry. I didn't clarify it with you."
Kufa had forgotten to mention the key points. He then placed the goblet back and continued:
"It's because in order for it to use my mana as the final ingredient, it has to enter my body. Moreover, once the medicine touches the air, its components will change and so, the young lady would have to take it directly from my mouth."
"That means you'll have to …k…kiss…!"
Merida's blond hair stood on ends! She jumped and flushed red from shame.
… Yes, to phrase it correctly, it meant feeding the medicine through the mouth, but to the 13 year old girl, both had the same meaning. From both her reaction and life's point of view, it was certainly her first experience. To have her first kiss taken from her with such a method, Kufa couldn't help but feel some sympathy for her.
"Sh… should we forget it?"
"N…n…No! I don't hate it! About that…"
Merida pressed against her flushed red face, desperately trying to cover her face.
"I feel like this is like a fairy tale… argghhh… really…!"
S… so that was the reason. If the liquid flowing into her mouth from the prince's mouth wasn't a genetically reconstituted poison, it would be pretty romantic.
However, if she was going to do it, it was useless to get Merida to not prepared herself. The medicine that was in Kufa's mouth was beginning to change, if there was any more hesitation, it would be dangerous for both of them.
"Is it all right now?"
"N… no problem! I… I'm not…!"
"You don't need to so nervous, relax your body a little, I’m going to do it."
The important factor was momentum. Kufa only gave Merida 5 seconds of mental preparation and he then drank the medicine in one breath. The blood and saliva accumulated in the mouth mixed with the medicine, as if to stimulate the outbreak of the medicine channel.
There wasn't moment to lose. Kufa grabbed Merida's slender shoulders and pressed his lips against her without hesitation. Kufa pressed his lips and forcefully broke apart her peach lips.
The medicine started to shift. The bad taste entered her mouth and his tongue was like a paralysis jab. In addition to Merida not having the experience of kissing before, she was stiff. Any moment of flaw would cause the medicine to spill out.
Merida decided that it was not time to feel ashamed and embraced Kufa with her hands around his neck. Merida locked her lips with his, tongues intertwining with each other, desperately swallowing the medicine. The huge amount of medicine slid down her small throat.
After a sweaty 10 seconds of them locking lips, all of the medicine had been fed to Merida. Merida reluctantly pulled her lips away and a very sexy "Bop" sound echoed around their surroundings.
Merida realized that unknowingly, they were in a tight embraced and thus, slowly moved away. She was flushed red from her face to neck and her lips were burning hot.
However, not long after she moved away from him.
Puff! Her body was inflated.
"Don't spit it out, please withstand and swallow it."
Kufa immediately stopped Meida by covering her mouth.
The medicine went through dramatic changes at the moment it entered Merida's body. She felt as if there was magma in her stomach, her joints felt as if they'd been hit by a landslide but she felt the cold as if she she'd been thrown into an iceberg.
Merida couldn't gather her senses and fell onto the bed. Kufa picked Merida up, laid her on the bed to sleep and covered her with a few layers of quilts.
Next, it was the battle with time.
In a few hours, before the maids rise, the results would be seen.
She can either get the mana; or lose to the medicine, destroying her body.
"I'll be at your side, please rest easy Milady."
Even if Merida probably couldn't hear it, Kufa said it to her nonetheless. Merida was in so much pain that she couldn't fall asleep but her consciousness was so weak that she couldn't even feel herself. To allow a 13 year old girl to experience this hellish experience, was beyond imagination.
Kufa kept the equipment and materials and pulled a chair to sit next to the bed. He picked up the towel from a pre-prepared basin and wrung it dry to wipe the perspiration of Merida.
The girl that just became the clan's leader today, or rather, the object for assassination. Kufa always feel that he was doing something ridiculous.
Even if this operation was successful, receiving the rank of the Paladin was not what Merida had wanted, but to have the rank of warrior as Kufa. This way, she couldn't be assassinated by Mordrew and it would be a blessing. In order to affirm that Merida's mother, Merinoa Angel, had an affair, he wished Kufa to prove that Merida was a knight with the Duke's bloodline.
Kufa had already long known that Merida didn't inherit the Duke lineage. If this were to be known, that moment Kufa would then become the object for assassination. If he thought to only protect himself, letting Merida die in this way was much better.
──Have to think of what to do after this……
After a few hours, if Merida became a bizarre body, he would have to deal with her and the 3 pumpkin heads. Should she be buried in the forest; put into a coffin and sink it into the river? On the contrary, if she continued living but with her skills half baked, it'd be even more nerve wrecking. If others knew what Kufa had done to Merida, it wouldn't matter if the third party was internal or external, the situation wouldn't be easily resolved.
Really, what am I doing…-─
Right at this moment, Merida weakly let out a voice. The nightmare made her moan.
"Okaa-sama… Otou-sama… Where are you…?"
She unconsciously lifted her arms and stretched into the empty ceiling.
"Don't leave me… alone…"
Tears escaped from Melinda's closed eyes. She seemed to hang her bangs as if she were exhausted.
Just as she arm was about to fall—Pah! Kufa grabbed Merida's palm.
"Fight on, Milady…!"
Kufa placed Merida's palm against his forehead, using both his hands to firmly hold her hand.
"Fight on, FIGHT ON…! Do not surrender here…!"
Kufa placed his elbow on the edge of the bed, wholeheartedly prayed with the small hand on his forehead.
Is there any meaning to praying, if you yourself are a murderer?
Even if there was one, a curse was fine! Wishing for his words to become a lock, in order for this girl's presence to remain in this world.
"Live on, live one, LIVE ON…!"
Kufa tightly closed his eyes, only feeling the snow cold fingers while he constantly prayed.
At this moment, Merida who originally had painfully frowned brow, suddenly ease down…
As if she felt a peace of mind, she let of a weak and barely audible whisper.
† † †
How much time had passed?
For a moment, her vision was white, then a sense of weak and powerlessness flowed through her body. She blinked her heavy eyelids and bright lights flooded her eyes.
The world's bright light informed the world of the arrival of the term "Morning". The time for people to be active slowly drew closer and the tens of thousands of dazzling streets lights began to dim. The once sleepy city, emitted the sound of activeness.
Greeted with a long and slow awakening, Kufa - immediately jumped up.
"Oh crap, I slept…?"
Kufa couldn't believe himself as he wiped the saliva — which did not flow out, away.
He had obviously intended to stay up all night to take care of Merida but he lost to sleepiness and slept. Although transplanting mana earlier was physically taxing, sleeping so defenselessly would prove that he was not qualified for to be an Intelligence Forces Agent.
"Oh right, what about Milady…!"
By the pillow──Merida was missing. The only trails left were her messy quilt.
Since Merida had gotten up and went off, it meant that she didn't die. But, how would she exactly look like after awaken…?
Right at this moment, there was a wail of "Ah ah!" from somewhere.
It came from the maids that worked in the mansion.
Kufa nervously gulped.
Looking closely, the curtains by the windows were swaying. The windows were open. From the atmosphere, it could be told that there were a few people running about in the courtyard. The wails of the girls continued.
Kufa immediately felt that the center of the commotion was Merida.
Kufa used a slow pace and walked towards the window. He held the curtain with a trembling hand and opened it in one breath.
Subsquently, a white flame went "bang"! Looking at the commotion in front, Kufa couldn't help but arc his upper body backwards.
"Ah, I'm sorry sensei!"
Hearing a panicked voice, Kufa blinked his eyes a few times.
Firstly, the flame burning in front of him did not emit heat and thus not a natural phenomenon of fire. Its color was like a lion's noble-gold mane—it's a flame created from mana.
That was also why the maids at the center of the square were screaming excitedly with wide smiles on their faces.
As if a blooming bud, Merida lifted her hands with excitement. The golden flames scattered sparks in large quantities, falling slowly like cherry blossoms.
Merida began to dance like she was at a ball, from the tips of her fingers burst out a brilliant stream of flames, meandering like a giant serpent, bathing the surrounding area in gold.
The maids were very excited about the whirling array of lights dancing through the air. Everyone was still in their sleepwear, running barefoot around the courtyard, and letting out cries of astonishment.
“Amazing! Ojou-sama, that is so amazing!”
“Wow, ojou-sama, when were you able to do that?”
“Kufa-san! Ojou-sama can finally use Mana ……!”
The head maid Amy came running over, sobbing while wiping away her tears.
“Ojou-sama and we- have all been praying for this day to arrive ……! This is certainly because of Kufa-san's guidance! How can we thank you……!”
“…… Right now, I'm also very happy.”
Putting on a very moving look, Kufa shielded his mouth with his hand.
Underneath that palm hides a desolate smile.
Here we go -at this point there's no turning back!
The young lady must not find out that her mother had committed adultery, and the fact that I was an assassin must also be kept a secret. At the same time, we must hide Merida's true origin and the fact that I belonged to the 《White Knights》 from Sir Mordrew, as well as the fact that I was deeply in love with her.
If problems arise with any one of those conditions, the two of us would surely die -
Therefore, I kindly beg of you, My Young but Noble Master (My Little Lady).
Please don't force me to take your life, okay?
Completely unaware of being in the sight of the emotionally entangled assassin, Merida happily continued dancing.
The skirt of her sleepwear spread out like a blossom, her glorious flames shone with all the brilliance of the world. Alongside these, with her dazzling smile, she was just as beautiful as the sun.