【Last Episode: Curtain Call and the end Part B, 14】
Shortly before that huge explosion occurred.
Even though Monjiro-san and Yuuto-san started their battle, we maids couldn’t allow ourselves to observe their fight, since we had our own battle to face.
「Ah, Yugao! The table over there had ran out of orange juice already, so go and fetch them a new one, on the double!」
I did just as Yorugao-chan told me and went inside the mansion to bring a refill of the juice from the kitchen.
The staff for tonight’s even consisted of other maids and servants than just the two of us, so the corridors were awfully crowded all the time.
The fight between Monjiro-san and his mother, 「The Legendary Knight」, Sakuradamon Yuuto-san was a big event that focused the attention of every Lords and Knight present here today. It would be great if Monjiro-san managed to win against his mom, since he wanted to go all out to prove himself to both her and all the other Lords. That is what he had told us during our strategy meetings whenever the option of 「Fighting against mother」 was being discussed.
But even if he does not win against her, it won’t change anything.
Because him winning that duel was but a secondary objective. His main aim is to buy us much time as possible by entertaining the guests in the courtyard.
So far everything was going according to plan. Monjiro was keeping the enemy busy, Kuhoh-san keeps tabs on everything from atop the courtyard’s rooftop and Yorugao stayed behind to monitor everything, so now it was my turn to roll up m sleeves and give it my all!
Just in case someone was following me I decided to act like I was slightly lost. That way, if someone was indeed observing me, he or she would probably think 「What an incompetent brat」 instead of 「She is acting awfully suspicious, isn’t she?」. Everyone in the mansion should be aware the as a member of the Yahata family I am a servant of Shiki-sama and the Yatono family, but I cannot forget that it was quite some time since both Yorugao (Asagao-oneechan for everyone else) and I were here last, so we have no idea if things have not changed for the worse.
That is why I have to play my part with utmost care, even though I am not a talented actress at all. That is why I pretend to go to the kitchen, like Yorugao told me to.
「I need to hurry and go back to the table or else!」
I shouted that sentence out loud. I realize that I’m probably just talking to myself here, but I can’t allow myself to take any unnecessary risks. I need to keep my excuse to keep going deeper and deeper into the mansion as long as I have time. Just like we agreed on during the meetings!
I still couldn’t completely wrap my head about it, but what I do understand is that Monjiro-san and the others have entrusted me with a very important task. Since I’ve been assigned with something so essential to the success of the entire operation tonight, I have no choice but to give it my absolute best!
As I already said, the actual destination was not the kitchen at all. My goal lays deeper, much deeper inside the mansion.
I was heading towards the 「Mystic Hall」. The storage/armory where the Yatono family kept all of their special weapons and tools used in various experiments and rituals.
My purpose is to cause as big of a ruckus as possible over there. In other words, I am to cause a diversion that will hopefully put the ritual proceedings in the courtyard to a screeching halt. According to Fujisato-san’s words, I am going to be like 「a Phantom Thief of Hearts or a Wedding Crasher, only with the ritual」.
Yeah, I don’t get what she was saying either.
Anyway, as long as the only people passing by me are maids and butlers, there’s nothing to worry about. I will still be able to make my escape after I’m done with my sabotage. But I’m so deep inside the mansion now that if I happened to bump into someone from the Yatono family I’m sure I’ll be killed without any questions being asked.
That’s why I hope I won’t happen upon anyone on my way.
Praying like that, I made my way down the hallways rather smoothly. And finally, after turning another corner, I finally arrived at the 「Mystic Hall」.
Suddenly I heard the sound of footsteps somewhere behind me, so I started to look around in a panic, searching for a place to hide. My attention was immediately drawn to the door that could lead to an empty room.
The footsteps were now getting closer, almost as if they were directly behind me. If whoever they belong to will see me here, they will most definitely interrogate me about what am I doing here. If that happened, I’m not sure I’d be able to deceive them in a convincing manner. With all that said, I have no choice but to hide in that room, whether someone is inside or not!
As luck would have it, the doors were not closed, so I managed to sneak inside without making any noise with even a single one of my steps; just one of the many useful skills I have obtained as a part of my maid training.
The room itself was apparently empty, because it was dark and I couldn’t sense anyone in there, so I should be safe in here for the time being. But as the steps of whoever was outside got closer to me, I held my breath and covered my mouth with both my hands. Could it be that someone from the Yahata family was still here? Maybe because of what day it is today the security got much tighter? If you think about it, the courtyard was literally filled with the strongest beings in the Nightkin world, so the guards from the Yatono family were probably not even needed there to guard the ritual of Princess Kaguya’s revival.
The ritual… will probably begin in a short while.
What is going to happen to Shiinamachi-sama and Monjiro-kun once it starts?
While such things were running through my mind, the sound of footsteps stopped right in front of the door to the room where I was hiding. Come on, go away! If you just get lost, I will be able to continue my mission! So please!
But I of all people should know… that such prayers rarely go answered.
「Oho, now what’s this? This sweet smell I mean?」
As soon as I heard the man’s words, a chilling shiver ran down my entire body.
No way. Please, you’ve got to be kidding me.
Why? Of all the bad things that could happen, why did it have to be male Knights coming here?!
「I think it’s coming from… this room over here?」
I got scared and fled all the way to the back of the room in a hurry.
Seconds later the door opened with a creaking sound, and an elderly man entered the room. He had sharp eyes of someone who was a witness to many battles and his entire face was covered with cuts and scars. Even though he was old, his body, which was peeking out of his opened kimono revealed the muscles that could only belong to a seasoned warrior.
「Somewhere around here…」
I hid myself behind one of the mirrors standing near the walls, but if this man really is the Knight possessing a Gift then I won’t be able to hide from him due to the sweet scent emitted by my blood that attracts male Knights towards me.
Knight with Gift… why was someone like that still in the mansion grounds instead of in the courtyard with the rest of the Knights and Lords? Perhaps the ritual utilizes some of the tools from the 「Mystic Hall」 and he was sent to get them?
If that was indeed the case, then maybe the bluff that I’m a maid who was sent to get it might just work, especially since the time for conducting the ritual was fast approaching.
Everyone else is counting on me, so I have to get through this situation no matter what!
I clenched my fists and prepared myself to leave my hideout, when…
「I know you’re here, so come out already. Or do you want to play hide and seek? Either way, that’s fine with me.」
His voice sounded playful, but I knew that once he smelled the scent of my blood he was going to do anything to get to it. I stayed hidden, but he probably already knows where I am and he’s just playing with me. He was going about it in the roundabout way, but he was approaching the mirror I was hiding behind, slowly but surely.
Why did things have to turn out this way? At times like these, I really hated the fact that my blood had this stupid power.
Looks like I have no choice. I really have to… do my best here.
Onee-chan, please lend me some of your courage!
With my hand still clenched in prayer I waited for that Knight to get closer.
Three steps…two steps… one step…
「Now, our little hide and seek game is over.」
The moment he placed his hand on the mirror…
I reached towards the big knife I was hiding behind my kimono’s obi and jumped towards that man with the intent to kill him.