Translator: DarkHeartedAlchemist Editor: Weasalopes
【Episode 3: Tension and intention, Part 1】
Search Results for: Yugao
• A flower that is said to bloom in the evening
• The name of the fourth chapter of Genji Monogatari, and the name of its female protagonist
• Usually associated with the spiritual and mystique
• It means 「Ephemeral Love」 in the language of flowers
Following after Yugao-chan through one of the corridors, I quickly glanced at the courtyard through the window that was heavily stained with rain droplets. Even after all of my and Asagao’s efforts to secure the trees with the wires, they still looked like they were about to fall over as the screaming wind slashed at them without pause.
It would be great if this storm ended quickly, it would be such a shame if something happened to them. But now was not the time to be worried about such things.
In order for the current crisis to end, I had to make Yugao-chan return my heart to me. If I manage to do that, then tomorrow we’ll all be able to just laugh at this whole situation and continue to spend our time here as if nothing had happened. I wanted to do that for senpai’s and theirs, but also Shiki’s sake. She might’ve tried to act tough earlier, but I know that deep down in her heart she loves Asagao and Yugao-chan.
Then the sight of her delicate smile, that fleeting, blink-or-you’ll miss it smile flashed in my mind again. That smile alone was enough of a reason to push myself even harder.
That should be enough to psyche myself up.
That’s right. It was no longer about protecting just Shiinamachi-senpai or myself. Now it was a battle to free the twin maids from the shackles of their past and repair the relationship between them and Shiki.
Hah, my chest might be empty now, but despite that, I could clearly feel the burning flame of determination welling up inside of it.
And at that moment…
The ground began to shake furiously as if a great earthquake struck the entire island.
I hurriedly flattened myself against one of the walls to keep my footing, but the quaking was only getting stronger by the second. It was as if not only the earth, but the entire world was shaking around me. And to add to the danger, I swear I could hear the sounds of the floor and walls cracking. Is the entire mansion going to collapse?! Am I going to be buried alive under all the rubble?!
…No, I can’t think like that! I know that without my immortality my own safety should be my top priority, but even in a situation like that, all I could do was to think about the safety of my friends. Senpai is with Fujisato and Kuhoh, so if worst comes to worst they’ll surely take her someplace safe, and Shiki should be together with them by now, so the only ones left to worry about were Asagao and Yugao-chan.
Realizing that what I was doing was selfish, greedy and reckless, I slowly moved along the cracked wall. If the whole mansion is in such a state then returning to senpai’s room to check on her was probably impossible anyway, so I had no other choice but to keep on pressing forward. One thing I have to say though, this earthquake is definitely not normal, and there’s something strange is going on here!
When I reached one of the windows and rested against it, I saw that the courtyard outside now turned into an abyss of darkness and rain filled with leaves dancing madly in the wind. It was a captivating sight, and if the circumstances were different, maybe I’d have stayed to observe it some more…
…But the sound of cracking glass brought me back to reality.
It was a single crack at first, but it quickly grew into an entire web before it all exploded in a myriad of glass shards around me and I fell forward into the very same abyss I admired just a second ago. While desperately trying to fight back the vertigo and nausea that were threatening to overwhelm me I tried to tore the glasses of my face to switch my mindset and minimize the potential damage that the fall would do to me, but I realized that it’s too late and I’m going to hit the ground below with full force!
But to my utmost surprise, that didn’t happen. Instead of being smeared on the ground, What I hit was a square net of sorts, which upon closer inspection was made out of wires! And as if to confirm my suspicions, I heard a very familiar voice calling out to me from above:
「How do you like my 『Square Thread Formation Barrier』, Monjiro? Its main usage is sealing off corridors and narrow passageways to prevent a potential target from escaping, but it can occasionally be used for such neat things. Pretty handy, right? Now praise me for being an amazing genius.」
Above me, once again wearing her trademark outfit of school uniform and a lab coat, Shiki stood frozen in a pose that was probably meant to look cool in her eyes. The difference in our positions should allow me to see her underwear without any problems, but regretfully the fluttering of her coat conveniently prevented me from seeing anything.
「Oh, and by the way, if you want to see my underwear, I can take the coat off no problem. Just say the word.」
「I appreciate the offer, but if I saw your underwear in my current state, then I don’t know if I’d ever be able to return to my usual self, so maybe next time.」
「Roger that. Should it be something sexy and mature, or perhaps you prefer more childish designs? Or perhaps I should be wearing nothing at all?」
「A sexy one will do just fine for me, if it’s not a problem of course.」
「No problem at all, I’ll have to whip up a pair that’ll blow your mind up from the bottom of my wardrobe.」
That’s our Shiki for you, always having a witty response for each and every of my comments, no matter how spicy they were.
The net that prevented me from falling was incredibly hard, but at the same time elastic enough not to hurt me upon impact. Manipulating the wires to create something like that in such a short time must’ve taken quite a lot of skill, but since Shiki was the one to pull something like that off then I guess that much was a given. And yet, for some reason I was reluctant to make any kind of sudden movements, worrying that the whole contraption might snap right under me.
「Just a second Monjiro, I’ll pull you right back up.」
Skillfully moving her fingers around, Shiki manipulated the wire-net in such a way that it slowly rose up, taking me straight to her.
I looked around to assess the situation and realized in a second that the atmosphere of the entire courtyard had changed drastically. All the lights were out, but it was not pitch-black, and the sky turned from its usual color to a reddish-black one. Also, the walls and the floor seemed to be covered with some kind of pulsating shadowy veins.
「What is this? Some kind of Nightkin barrier, similar to the one Fujisato used when she was fighting us?」
「Close, but no cigar. While it is indeed a barrier, it’s not the one that was made by a Gift, but rather made by one of the devices that was created as a result of a joint effort research conducted by the Yatonos and the Yahatas since the day they were established, all in order to create tools that would allow them to hold their ground against other Lords and their Knights, and ultimately surpass them.」
So this is not the result of an ability, but rather something that was man-made?
A research to surpass the Nightkin, huh? Are the Yahata clan treating all of them as their potential enemies?
「So that’s why this barrier was used now? Because the user wants to get rid of us?」
「Yes. After all, this barrier was designed specifically to work against Nightkin and their followers.」
Was Yugao-chan the one who deployed it? Did that timid, fearful girl really consider all the Nightkin her enemies? Was she really harboring feelings like that inside her heart?
「Thankfully this barrier is not yet fully deployed, but once it does, this entire area will be completely cut off from the outside world, and even I can’t predict what’s going to happen then, so it’d be best if we stayed together from now on.」
Shiki then came closer to me and grasped my right hand with her left.
I grabbed her hand back and allow her to help me get back into the building. When I was finally firmly on the ground before her, she looked me at me and asked:
「How did your chase go, by the way? Have you managed to discover which of the twins attacked us in the bathroom? Was that Yugao? Or Asagao?」
The one I met after leaving Shiki behind was Asagao. So I briefly told her everything that she told me.
「… And then she told me she’s leaving Yugao-chan to me.」
When she heard that, there was no particular change to Shiki’s facial expression, but just for a brief second, something in her eyes looked sad, and perhaps lonely. And it wasn’t just a trick of my imagination either. After observing her in my current state, I was able to read that much out of her thanks to my assassin mindset. Now I’m fairly certain that her usual emotionlessness might actually be nothing but a front, a mask she puts on while interacting with others.