【Last Episode: Curtain Call and the end Part B, 8】
Besides, the fact that I am here right now, in this very moment should be more than enough of an answer to such an obvious question.
Yes, even at my absolute best, when I feel like I can compete with anything and everything, I wouldn’t have been able to defeat Sakuradamon Jiro. Because I fell for him too much.
I want to know more about him. I want to be able to meet his expectations. I feel so sorry for ending his life and dragging him into the world where he initially didn’t belong. With my heart possessed by such emotions, there’s no way my blade would ever reach him.
And I am thankful for that.
As we made our way towards the stage, the area around us became increasingly noisier. With every step we take, more and more Lords and their Knights moved to the sides, opening the way for us. Just as I thought. Most of them are not even willing to stick their necks for something that does not involve them directly.
At that moment, I thought that I saw something shining at the edge of my field of vision, just like when we arrived here and someone shot at us.
I rushed to Master’s side to protect her…
… but the assailant was not aiming at her.
A silver fork stopped in the air with a clear, vibrating sound…. Because Monjiro-senpai caught it with his hand without even turning back to look at it.
「Did you really thought that was going to work after you tried to snipe me down earlier with the same trick?」
He said that in an eerily calm tone, indicating that he has entered his 「Professional Killer」 mindset. As long as he is in that mode, he can make even the most difficult of judgements and catch sniper bullets like it was nothing.
Called out for his unsuccessful assassination attempt, a man appeared before him. A tall, blonde foreigner, about twenty years old. He wore sunglasses covering most of his face (indoors, in the middle of the night) and his clothes couldn’t hide a well-toned body of muscles.
「I should have expected no less of someone bearing the name of Sakuradamon. To be able to block my sniper technique after seeing it only once is nothing short of amazing.」
Despite his alien looks, what came out of his mouth was a perfect, fluent Japanese without a shred of accent. But there was something else overflowing from his. It was a gloominess and darkness unlike that possessed by us assassins. An aura emitted by someone who has saw and emerged victorious from countless battles to the death.
「It’s good that you didn’t try to attack me during the mealtime. It would have been a damn shame if you were unable to enjoy such an exquisite food after losing your fork in such a comical manner.」
Even if his enemy was an imposing figure that was a whole head taller than him, Monjiro-senpai showed no signs of being afraid of him.
「Wow, that was a very cool sounding line just now, Monjiro-kun! So manly!」
Master looked at Monjiro-senpai with admiration-filled eyes which changed their shape into hearts. I think she might be overreacting more than a little, but personally I could very well understand why she was like that. I don’t know when or how exactly did it happen, but the current Monjiro-senpai, the one who decided to fight to bring Shiinamachi-senpai back home with him and not taking no for an answer… when did he become so reliable? Was he always like that? Those were the questions that swirled in my mind at the current moment.
「You have a sharp tongue there kid, I’ll give you that. But do you honestly think it’s going to help you get past here?」
* Murmur Murmur! Murmur Murmur!*
The surroundings were getting even more noisy, with more and more people encroaching on our location. Monjiro-senpai might not be showing it directly, but he must be worrying about what will happen if a full-on brawl were to begin right now with us dead in the center.
「Looks like some of our esteemed guests decided to entertain us with quite a promising show.」
Kaguya spoke from atop the stage as she elegantly sat on a chair made out of some pretty expensive-looking wood.
「If they are so eager, then it’s our duty to take them up on their kind offer but allow me to make it even more exciting: Whomever eliminates the 「Lord Killer’s」 Knights shall be bestowed with my Gift of Immortality, 『Divine Gift Thanatos』!」
That one sentence was enough to focus everyone’s eyes on us.
「Heeee? If that’s how you want to play it, then can I join you on stage and watch the show from there, Kaguya-sama?」
Unfazed by this sudden declaration, Master just spoke to Kaguya casually. Is she really not worried about us, or…?
「I don’t mind it, Fujisato Yuika… or maybe you would prefer if I called you by your real name, Suzuka?」
Now that’s a nostalgic name that I haven’t heard in a long time. But I’d be more than a little troubled if you kept calling me that, so could you please not do that? Pretty please?」
She said as she playfully joined her hands in a prayer-like gesture and winked at her. So Kaguya knew Master’s true name all along, huh? I don’t know when or where she learned it, and honestly that knowledge is not something that I require right now. Maybe they were actually acquainted in the past, or maybe they were not, either way, I don’t really care. To be honest, I am actually kind of relieved. Now that I know that I don’t have to protect my Lord all the time, I can fight with all I’ve got to my heart’s content.
With that in mind, I looked back at the man standing before us. Before he opened his mouth, he yawned and lazily stretched his chest.
「Well, since I’m the closest to you then I guess I’ll start this whole thing. The name’s Robert Fitz, Knight serving under Lady Tomoe. Me and my trusty partner will be the ones to play with you first!」
He’s standing before us by himself, so that must mean that this 「partner」 of his is the one who tried to snipe Monjiro-senpai, but since I was unable to determine his position on any of the nearby roofs and elevations this must mean that he was constantly on the move. We are in the courtyard after all, so if he or she is running on the roofs of the mansion then spotting him/her is not going to be easy.
「So, uh, well… so your real name is Suzuka, huh, Fujisato? It has a nice ring to it, but… how do you want me to address you from now on?」
Monjiro-senpai asked Master as Kaguya’s servants prepared a chair for her on the stage next to tonight’s big three.
「Yes, that is the gist of it, but you can just continue to call me Fujisato like you always do, Monjiro-kun.」
「Have you finished talking? Wonderful. Now, Fujisato Yuika, which one of your Knights is going represent you?」
「Kuhoh Nagi, the first of my Knights shall be the one to do it.」
An obvious decision considering that we want Monjiro-senpai to keep as much of his strength as possible in order to deal with Kaguya. As I stepped into the center of the area prepared for us to do battle, I kept on surveying the surroundings in case some Lord or their Knight dared to attack us while we were distracted.
「Now then, let the show begin!」
「Good luck, both of you!」
Kaguya and Master exclaimed simultaneously.
In an instant, instead of going at me the man called Robert approached Monjiro-senpai with a speed that didn’t suit his body at all.
In his hand he held a knife which lit with lightning when he swung it at him. And immediately after that happened, I heard the sound of countless objects approaching us from the higher grounds.
Then I remembered I’ve seen something like that before.
The invisible arrows that could accurately strike a target from any distance, no matter how far the user was from the enemy…. The 『Heroic Gift Yoichi』. And that knife must be the famous demon-slayer, 『Heroic Gift Raikou』. So Lady Tomoe had such powerful Gifts at her disposal, huh? In other words, the enemy is someone who aims to overpower us with sheer force and even though they were supposed to be fighting me, the two of them focused almost exclusively on Monjiro-senpai, in which case I should use my time-stopping ability to support him…
*Splurt* *Drip Drip* *Splurt*
… only to witness Robert’s body, full of holes and spurting out blood. It took me a solid while to notice that Monjiro-senpai was now standing behind him. How did he do that? Did he used some technique similar to my Gift that allowed him to stop time for a moment?!
「Kuhoh, I know how it must’ve looked like to you, but I can assure you that it was nothing of the sort. It was just something that mother taught me long ago. A movement technique meant to outmatch any opponent in speed, no matter how skilled they might be. Nothing more, nothing less.」
Monjiro calmly explains that to me as he lowers Robert’s bleeding body to the ground. And when he finally stands up…
He directs his gaze towards the petite, black-haired girl standing in Kaguya’s shadow.