Translator: DarkHeartedAlchemist Editor: Weasalopes
【Episode 1: Mansion and the Murder Case, Part 6】
「All right. Now that I have everyone’s undivided attention, there’s something you need to hear.」
Senpai’s facial expression switched to a serious one, so it meant that what she wanted to talk about concerned her identity as a Nightkin. She sat on the bed and we all gathered around her to listen to what she had to say.
「Senpai, could it be that today or tomorrow is your dangerous day?」
Fujisato asked as she tilted her head while she was leaning on the sofa. Kuhoh was standing beside her with her arms folded, probably ready to protect her Lord if she sensed even the slightest bit of danger coming her way.
「That’s right. Today is listed as another dangerous day in my story.」
「Ah, so that’s what it was indeed. That’s good for you I guess.」
Like Shiinamachi-senpai, Fujisato was also a Nightkin that concealed her identity and lived her days among us ordinary humans. She was actually the one who tried to kill senpai, and we had to fight her because of it. Thankfully we managed to emerge victorious from that ordeal, and now both Fujisato and senpai decided to form a kind of a union, or a mutual partnership if you would like to call it as such. Apparently they both thought that it was better not to get under the other’s skin too much, and I shared that opinion. They were both equally important to me, and I’d hate to see them put in harm’s way again.
「We didn’t have an occasion to talk about this properly, Jiro-kun, so allow me to explain what exactly a 『Dangerous Day』 is in Nightkin terms.」
「Thank you very much, senpai.」
Since it’s something that I’ve never heard of before, I have to make sure that I’m listening very carefully.
Just like Kuhoh, Shiki and I were also positioned in strategic places near senpai: I was next to the window that faced the courtyard, and Shiki stood between the door to the bathroom and the crate of the ventilation shaft. Thanks to Shiki’s sensory perception granted to her by her Gift, 『The Demonic Gift Satori』, we’ll be able to protect senpai from virtually every angle in case there was a sudden enemy attack.
「 The 『Dangerous Day』 means a day when, under certain conditions, the continuity of a Nightkin’s story is threatened.」
「Certain conditions, huh?」
Certainly, when we went to the beach the other day, senpai did mention another part of her 『Story』 to me. If I remember correctly, it went something like…
「What does your story say about today, senpai?」
「「You, the one who is walking beyond the beaten path, and who has obtained a genuine heart: The time has come for you to return from the midst of darkness…… to make the curtain fall on the King’s life.」」
Shiinamachi-senpai told everyone the exact same words she said to me back then.
「… 「To make the curtain fall on the King’s life」? Does that mean your life is in danger again, senpai?」
「That would be the most logical conclusion, but we don’t know that for sure.」
The problem with the Nightkin stories was that the meaning of the important parts was especially mudded and cryptic, so even when we knew what the words were, we had no guarantee that their meaning would be what it seems to be.
「In other words, you don’t want to jump to conclusions to avoid a potentially critical misinterpretation?」
Fujisato caught on quickly. Once again I had to remind myself that she was a Nightkin, not a human, and that her carefree persona was only one half of the picture that made her.
「Exactly. As you’re probably well aware, Nightkin stories are like a tangled web of intertwined subplots that are problematic to understand correctly. That is why it is critical for us to correctly deduce what those words are about, especially since they concern Kaguya’s life directly.」
「 「The time has come for you to return from the midst of darkness…… to make the curtain fall on the King’s life.」 So we don’t know the exact conditions, but we know what the result will be.」
「The King is probably synonymous with The Lord, and by extension, Shiinamachi senpai. Now, going further from that assumption, the 「The time has come for you to return from the midst of darkness」 bit would be either a condition for the curtain fall to happen, or a timeframe, but personally I think the first possibility is more probable.」
「Ah, I see, that would indeed make sense.」
Senpai’s life will be put in danger if the requirement for it to happen will be met. So the goal of this current discussion is to pinpoint what exactly that requirement is so we could prevent it. But there was one confusing thing that I wanted to address.
「Isn’t the 「Dangerous Day」 a kind of an absolute happening that must be faced head on in order for the story to move on? Can we really prevent it?」
I asked, and Kuhoh made a slight nod.
「The story mentioned darkness, so it probably means that something will happen today after sunset, so if we stay by Shiinamachi-senpai’s side all night, then I think we’ll at least have a shot at it. Personally, I think it’s worth a try, Monjiro-senpai.」
So Kuhoh’s idea was for Vassals to stay with their Lord and protect him throughout the night. That was somewhat romantic, but at the same time very befitting for those who were called 「The Night Tribe」 and their servants. After all, they were always hiding both themselves and their true identities from society’s eyes, so it would stand to reason that they could only act after the sun was down. Even Fujisato and Kuhoh waited until it was midnight before they made a move on us. And speaking of Fujisato.
「Fujisato, earlier you said that the current situation is good for senpai, why’s that?」
「Oh, that’s what you’ve been wandering about, Monjiro? I thought it was pretty obvious. When it comes to us Lords, pretty much everything happens in accordance with what is written in our stories. Always. It might sound like playing a game on easy mode or with cheats turned on, but since we know exactly what is going to happen and when, we can always prepare for it accordingly. That way, even if someone will really try to assault Shiinamachi-senpai after dark or from the shadows, he’s going to run straight into you, her Vassals, realizing that he’s done goofed. Then you just take him down and bam, case closed, senpai survived, and all lived happily ever after!」
「That’s some really positive outlook you have there, I’ll give you that.」
For a Nightkin, their story was likely similar to their fate, and when it comes to fate, there are two possible attitudes towards it: you may think that it’s something unavoidable and accept it, or defy it with your whole body and soul, trying to blaze your own path towards tomorrow without relying on something that was predetermined. We already changed the fate once, so it should be obvious which of the two we were.
To reassure me further, senpai smiled and said:
「Of course, it’s still going to be dangerous, even if we roughly know what to expect and prepare for it. But that’s exactly why I asked Fujisato-san and Kuhoh-chan to come with us on this trip, so we could overcome this obstacle together.」
「Yup, that’s basically the gist of it. And besides, if it turns out that there’s yet another Lord targeting Kaguya-sama’s life, they’ll have to queue up or I’ll rip them a new one! I am the only one who can claim her life, I called dibs!」
Fujisato’s Nightkin story could essentially be summarized as 「Defeat other Nightkin」. It was the main reason she killed her in the first place, but once she lost to us, she decided to let it go, or so we thought. Maybe she was still salty about it and wanted to settle the score?
『I have been thoroughly defeated, I admit it. However, I am actually kinda glad that things turned out the way they did, especially since Monjiro’s soul has returned, and my cute Nagi-chan is safe. All right, that settles it, let’s be BFF’s from now on, Lady Kaguya…. No, Shiinamachi-senpai!』
Those were more or less the words she used after our battle to offer senpai an alliance. I only glanced at Shiki back then, but she just shook her head, meaning that she did not detect any lies in Fujisato’s words. It might be hard to believe, but that’s the kind of person she was: always happy, always carefree and doing whatever she wanted without conforming to anyone. But that was only one side of her coin. The other one was a Nightkin Lord who ruthlessly attacked us without even a shred of hesitation and intended to kill us all to progress her own story further. I knew all that, and yet… and yet deep down in my heart I wanted to believe that the Fujisato I knew was the genuine one, and her Nightkin self was just a mask she had to take in order to keep her identity hidden. I wanted to trust her.
「Now senpai, with all that said, please try to stay away from any dark places… is what I want to say, but that’s going to be problematic considering that the night is soon approaching. So if by any chance something would happen while no one was near you, just run away and scream as loud as you can, all right?」
「That was my original intention, but…」
「Ah, it’s nothing, just… I just thought that there would be no need for that as long as Jiro-kun would stay by my side all the time…」
Stay with senpai all the time… what a beautiful proposal that is!
If senpai wants me to do it, then I want to do it too! She’s both my senpai and my Lord after all, so who am I to go against her wishes? I’ll stay with her throughout the whole night if need be! My heart was racing rapidly and screaming things like that, and that was to be expected. That is how any healthy male my age would react.
「Fufu, fufufu, Are you sure about that, senpai? I mean, you are a beautiful flower at the height of its blossom, and Monjiro is an adolescent boy…」
「????? Is there something wrong with that?」
「Hoo boi, this is going to be fun!」
Fujisato energetically sprung from the sofa, approached senpai, whispered something into her ear, and returned back on the sofa. As she was doing that, senpai’s cheeks became flushed, and then…
「EEEEEEEEhhhhhh?!!!! N-N-No, w-when I said that I wanted Jiro-kun to stay with me, I didn’t mean it like that!!!!!!」
「Sure you didn’t… hihi, hihihi! Hahahahahaha!」
「Fu, fufu~~… ekhem!」
Fujisato openly laughed at senpai’s mini-panic attack, and even Kuhoh smirked a little, but she immediately cleared her throat and tried to act like nothing happened.
「N-No, I really… ababababababbabababbaa!」
Shiinamachi-senpai, that adorable freak-out of yours is just too cute! My heart, my soul, they’re going to die of cuteness overload!
「I know Monjiro is a reliable guy, senpai, but if he was left alone with you for a whole night there would always be a possibility that his other head might take control over him and he’d try to force himself on you, and we absolutely cannot have that. So no offense Monjiro, but for tonight the ones guarding Shiinamachi-senpai should be myself, Nagi-chan and Shiki-san.」
I thought something like that might be the reason. Even my sister told to mind my manners since I’m the only guy here, and I finally know she said it with situations like this one in mind. Well, if push came to shove I’m sure I would have done the gentlemanly thing and not laid a single finger on senpai, but as they say, better safe than sorry.
「I understand. Fujisato, Kuhoh, Shiki, I’ll trust you with keeping senpai safe for tonight.」
「Sure thing, Monjiro. Leave it to us.」
Shiki walked over to Shiinamachi-senpai, who was still blushing by the way, and placed her hand on her shoulder. She might be a weirdo, but when it comes to protecting senpai, she was dependable like no one else.
「As for me, since darkness seems to be the key here, the best thing I can do right now would be to go around the villa to find the dark places that senpai should avoid. If I find any, I’ll let you know immediately.」
I won’t lie, the current situation was a blow to my male pride. As a man, I should be the one protecting girls, but this time, they will be doing all the protecting. Somehow, I felt kind of useless here, like an addition that wasn’t really necessary for the rest to function properly. But now was not the time to be worried about the petty things. I have my job to do, and t do it well, my 「Professional Killer Mode」 will be an absolute necessity.
「I know this is a serious matter, but this feels kind of nice. It’s like this time we’re the dependable senpai’s, and Monjiro is our precious kouhai.」
「So you think so too, Fujisato-senpai? I have to admit, since usually I’m the kouhai, being at the other side of the spectrum feels like a nice change of pace. Not bad at all, not bad indeed.」
「I on the other hand, am just fine with being the ever so lovely Shiki-tan as long as my Monjiro-oniichan…」
「Whatever you wanted to say, stop right there.」
I casually stopped Shiki from causing another misunderstanding.
「Fufu, aren’t you glad to have so many dependable senpai’s now, Jiro-kun?」
Shiinamachi-senpai, who is originally my only senpai in this group, chuckled cheerfully.
「All right, now that the difficult talk is over, why don’t we have some evening tea?」
I don’t know where she got it from, but senpai suddenly had a traditional tea making set in her hands.
「As requested, I have brought some sweets with me!」
Fujisato followed suit, but this time with a rather big bag of sweets. And wait a minute, 「As requested」? Am I the only one who has no idea what’s going on here?
「And for those who don’t fancy the tea, I have brought some water.」
Et tu, Brute? (TL Note: Latin for You too, Brute? ) Even Kuhoh had a convenience store plastic bag filled with bottles of water.
「Even though Asagao-san and Yugao-chan prepared a delicious dinner and dessert for us not that long ago, you still want to eat more sweets?」
「Didn’t you know, Monjiro? Girls have a whole other stomach that is reserved sorely for sweets. *Munch Munch* Well I’ll be damned, this stuff is really good.」
「Is…. That a fact?」
Before long, even Shiki was stuffing her face with snacks.
「Fufu, isn’t this nice? Peaceful moments like that are really precious to me.」
Senpai laughed as she prepared the tea with cheerful eyes, and thanks to her words I was once again reminded that having friends with whom you could share those peaceful moments was a blessing indeed.