【Last Episode: Curtain Call and the end Part A, 5】
And just like that, the day of the celebratory banquet held by the Yatono family has finally come.
The car which transported me, Fujisato and Kuhoh was heading deep into the mountains. As you have probably guessed, it didn’t belong to any of us, but was sent by the banquet organizers themselves, so we had no choice but to get in and wait until it was going to reach its destination, and let me tell you, we have been driving for several hours after we left the town and took the highway to the north and then got off of it to proceed along a mountainside trail. Shiki never really spoke about the rest of her family and I didn’t even bother to ask, but I honestly didn’t expect her family to have their main house this far from any sign of civilization. It’s almost as if they have intentionally cut themselves off from the ret of the world, and honestly, the deeper into the mountains we got, the more my skin was crawling. Wherever we are going, it looks like its going to be a perfect place for performing supernatural rituals.
Looking out the window, the sun was almost completely gone over the horizon, and we have left sometime in the morning. Under normal circumstances I would have probably ended up asleep from boredom, but right now, the mixture of anxiety and anticipation was doing a pretty nice job at keeping me at the maximum alertness. By the way, our driver was an elderly man dressed in a butler suit, most probably one of the Yatono family’s servants, but all this time he spent in the car with us, he didn’t say a single word. No 「We’ll make a quick break at the next service area」, no 「It’s good that there’s no traffic jam, we’ll reach our destination that much sooner」 , nothing. I mean, he didn’t even glanced at us a single time, only staring at the road ahead of us. I don’t know if he was instructed not to talk to us of if that is how he always is, but it was beginning to feel a little creepy. Nevertheless, a part of me admired his professionalism at carrying out the task he was given.
「But you know, I still can’t believe that Monjiro-kun didn’t receive the invitation after all.」
Fujisato coughed and said that as she took the invitation letter from its envelope and looked at its contents one more time. Hearing her say that, Kuhoh, who was sitting in the front on the passenger seat turned towards us and said.
「Well, the invitation is addressed to the 「Lord Killer and her Knights」, so now that Monjiro-senpai joined us, he should be included in that group, so no one should technically have any problems with it.」
「Technically? So you think that there’s still a chance they will try to kill me the second I’ll set my foot on the mansion grounds?」
「Not if we kill them first. But yeah, most likely the possibility still exists.」
「While I’m not saying no to that scenario, I think we should try to be on our best behavior for the time being and not give them any additional reasons to attack us. After all, it’ll be an instant 「Mission Failed」 if we won’t even get inside the mansion, and there will be no 「We’ll Get Them Next Time」 for us. Do try to remember that, all right, Monjiro-kun, Nagi-chan?」
We all agreed to try and keep the low profile. Fujisato is right, even without our 「Save Shiinamachi-senpai Plan」 this outing is pretty dangerous for us simply because of the reputation Fujisato managed to build around herself. Because of that, this party will be an incredible opportunity for them: a chance to kill the 「Lord Killer」 before she’ll have the chance to kill all of them.
「Fujisato, Kuhoh, are you really fine with exposing yourselves to such danger?」
The two of them must’ve realized that this might as well be a deathtrap for them, and yet they were just chatting casually as if it was no big deal. In light of that, I felt it was my duty to address that problem.
「You mean the other Lords and their lapdogs? Sure, I am worried, but now that we’re this far into the game worrying won’t do us anything good, don’t you think? The best we can do now is to just go with the flow and deal with any potential trouble when they come at us. What about you, Nagi-chan? You worried? Want me to give you a calming, affectionate hug?」
「Appreciate the offer, but no, thank you, Fujisato-senpai. As for your question, Monjiro-senpai, if our Lord says not to worry about it then that’s what we should do. That being said, Shiinamachi-senpai’s… Princess Kaguya’s personal Knights, Shiki-san and your mother, 「The Legendary Knight」, they are the ones we should really be mindful of, because it looks like we can’t hope for them not to be around their master at such a crucial time for her. So if they will stand in our way, I’m afraid you’ll be the one to take them on, Monjiro-senpai.」
… In other words, Fujisato and Kuhoh will take care of everyone beside Kaguya, mother and Shiki for me. That way, we will all have our own battles to fight and we’ll be able to focus solely on them and them alone.
「I know that the two of you will be fine no matter how many enemies will come at you, but nevertheless, please make sure to be careful, all right? If worse comes to worst, just bail the hell out of here and leave me. If anything happened to you, I would have never forgave myself.」
I meant every word of what I just said, but the girls just looked at me, then at each other, then at me again and began to laugh.
「Hahahahaha! See, Nagi-chan? Told you he was going to say something like that!」
「Umu, it’s really nice knowing that there are people in this world who genuinely care about us.」
「You can say that again. I never thought that I’ll have someone like that beside you in my life filled with enemies and battles. Now I’m truly glad that I went and took my sweet time to make Monjiro-kun my friend (possibly with benefits).」
「What was that last one?」
「Nothing. Nothing at all, just your imagination~~」
That short exchange of words was enough for me to know that those two had a bond of unbreakable trust in one another and would probably go to hell and back together. I’m sure that they went through a lot before I met them and battled many strong opponents. And yet they managed to overcome them all to finally end up here, possibly at the precipice of bringing their story to a close.
No, I guess I can no longer say that 「Defeating other Lords」 is just their story. I am one of Fujisato’s Knights now, and that makes me a part of her story as well. So as her newest Vassal, I will make sure that the story of her life will reach a satisfying conclusion!
「I will try to do my best here to not embarrass you two.」
「No kidding. I wouldn’t expect anything less from a Knight I personally chose.」
「Yeah, I’ll be counting on you, Monjiro-senpai.」
With Kuhoh and Fujisato encouraging me with their gentle words, I feel like I can do anything. It might sound weird, but right now instead of my peer and underclassman or a fellow Knight and a Lord they felt like a pair of older sisters, but I think I’m going to save that thought for myself, because knowing that might have resulted in them looking at me like some kinda creep, which I’m not.
Shortly after we finished psyching ourselves up we spotted a large mansion’s roof in between the trees in the distance. When we got closer to it, it turned out it was not one, but actually a number of brightly colored roofs. Looks like the mansion spanned across a large patch of land, making it even bigger than 「Hachihoukan」, Yatonos summer villa governed by the Yahata family. At the same time I felt a cold sensation on the whole surface of my skin. I know this feeling all too well.
Bloodlust. Killing intent so dense and concentrated that it felt as if thousands of small needles were being driven into my whole body. And by the looks of it, Fujisato and Kuhoh felt it as well.
「This feeling doesn’t bode well.」
Kuhoh stated while wrapping her hands around her arms, and Fujisato clicked her tongue.
「Looks like everyone else has gathered already. And they are probably not happy to see us. I can already feel that this is going to be one hell of a party.」