【Last Episode: Curtain Call and the end Part B, 4】
「Yugao-chan, do your bestest!」
Back when she still had her physical body, my older sister, Yahata Asagao used to cheer me up with those silly words whenever I had a difficult task to perform. Remembering it now made me feel like I was about to cry, to be perfectly honest, but at the same time it was also the source of my strength in tough times. And today was exactly one of those times.
As for me, Yahata Yugao… I have been assigned a really important role in our current strategy. The weight of responsibility placed upon me is so great that I’m clenching my fists really hard in order not to make my resolve falter.
My nails are digging into my skin so much that blood might start flowing out of it at any moment.
According to Monjiro-san’s predictions, I was the only one out of our group that Kaguya-sama, Yuuto-sama and Shiki-sama won’t be as wary of as the others. Certainly, when compared to such amazing people like Monjiro-san or Fujisato-sama, I am nothing to speak of. Just a simple maid who’s always too scared to do anything of her own volition, always hiding behind my sister’s back.
That is exactly why the thing that I must do had to be simple.
Or at least that’s what I have initially thought. That if no one will be wary of me then I won’t have to constantly fear being discovered. That does not mean that I could allow myself not to be vigilant, of course. Even in my current situation, dropping my guard for even a second could spell doom not only for me, but for all of my friends as well.
The tension was literally eating away at me, so I repeated Asagao-oneechan’s words in my mind once again and decided to truly do my best here.
Fortunately enough, my status as a maid made it possible for me to freely move around the mansion without attracting anyone’s attention.
Of course, there is still a possibility that I might be attacked by one of the male Knights if I get too close to them, but if there is something that the years of living with that bothersome power taught me it’s how to keep a reasonable distance from them without making it look too obvious. Moreover, no one seemed to notice that Yorugao-neechan is not a flesh and blood human, but a puppet that I have created.
In other words, so far so good.
However, my real work starts from here on out.
Monjiro-san’s group should be meeting with Kaguya-sama and the others right about now. My mission is to somehow keep Shiki-sama from interfering with what they are going to do to her by causing a distraction, but to be perfectly honest… I have no idea what should I do to make it work. Also, I can’t help it but to be worried sick about everyone else and their 「frontal assault」. If it were just me and Yorugao-neechan then we should have been able to sneak in through the back entrance and interrupt Kaguya-sama’s ritual when the right opportunity would have presented itself during the time of the ritual. That should have been our easy option void of any unnecessary risks.
Of course, especially for this occasion the Yatono family enlisted a lot of guards to keep watch over the entire mansion grounds, but I was sure that those were the kind of guys that Monjiro-san would have no problems in dealing with. One thing I still couldn’t understand though, is why they have chosen the approach they did. Tried as hard as I could, no plausible explanation came to my mind.
After I helped Fujisato-san and Kuhoh -san change into their dresses, it was time for me and Yorugao-neechan to engage in our maid work. I was charged with handling the female guests, while Yorugao was responsible for the male ones.
「Please allow me to show you to your table.」
The hall has already been filled with lots of tables with many extravagant dishes on top of them, and each table was assigned to one Lord with her Knights. In the midst of all of this, Monjiro-san’s group was guide to a vacant table located exactly in the middle of the venue.
Almost as if this setup has been prepared intentionally, everyone was staring at them as they were walking past. Pretty much everyone here knew that Fujisato Yuika was the 「Lord Killer」, so she must have expected to be greeted with nothing but scornful gazes and hostility.
「So tell me, Monjiro-kun. How is it to be walking with two beautiful girls at each of your arms while so many people are watching us? Does it excite you? Or maybe you feel embarrassed? After all, everyone’s imaginations must be running wild with all kinds of kinky thoughts right now.」
「Admittedly it is somewhat embarrassing, but allowing a lady to use one’s arm is a common courtesy in times like these, or at least that’s what I believe.」
「An interesting viewpoint, Monjiro-senpai. When situation requires it, you really can be quite gentlemanly. 」
However, even when they were entering the enemy’s lair all of them behaved very naturally, not showing any signs of nervousness or fear. To be able to remain calm even in such a dire situation, all of them are truly amazing. If I was in their shoes, I would have collapsed under the pressure in an instant. Surrounded at all sides, all it took for a bloodbath to ensue was one misinterpretation of their intentions, one movement someone might see as 「too suspicious」.
「Oh? What’s wrong, everyone? Why the long faces? We were invited to such a wonderful party, so you should smile a little bit more!」
As if the situation wasn’t dire enough, Fujisato-san was adding the fuel to the flame by provoking others. The hostility they are radiating right now was so dense that it could practically be seen with the naked eye… no, this has gone far beyond the realm of simple hostility now. At this point every Lord and Knight here was oozing out unrestrained murderous intent! She’s not stupid, so she must know that by saying such things she’s only going to intimidate others more, so why does she keep doing that?!
「U, Uhm… Fu… Fujisato… san…?」
I feel like I’m about to cry, so I approach them and call out to her. Clenching my tiny fists, I wanted to tell her to stop doing that or else she’ll end up hurting everyone around her… but before I could do it, Yorugao-neechan gently pulled at my sleeve, and whispered something into my ear with a voice so silent that even I could barely hear what she was saying.
Could… could it be that this is also a part of their plan? But wasn’t it to break through the front and adapt to whatever happens when it happens? Apparently I was the only one who thought about it that way, which makes me feel embarrassed now.
But if that was indeed the case, then why are they doing this right now? I heard that the Lord Killer managed kill a number of the more Famous Lords in the Nightkin world, so it would stand to reason that there will be many of those bearing various kinds of grudges against her…
After thinking about it carefully I realized that I was misunderstanding something.
Shiki-sama was supposed to be the expert in the area of gathering information on Lords and Knights, and yet she didn’t know who the 「Lord Killer」 was, that is how much information about Fujisato-san’s identity were being kept secret. Or rather, the information on who the 「Lord Killer」 is and how does she looked like must have never been leaked out.
In other words, Lords were afraid of the infamous 「Lord Killer」, but they had no idea who it was because usually they are not keeping in contact with each other, much less share information that might allow them to gain the upper hand over everybody else. I am even ready to believe that most of them were seeing each other for the first time in their lives.
They might be called 「Lords and Knights」, but they are not a singular entity. Each Lord and her Knights are a separate team, isolated from the others. Even if they were forced to cooperate with one another, there was absolutely no way they would be able to trust each other, even is their lives depended on it.
Ideals, beliefs, principles and stories they enact are all different.
The moment I realized that, my clenched fists were finally able to relax, and I thought 「If that’s how it is, then they can do it!」.