【Last Episode: Curtain Call and the end Part C, 4】
According to the dogma passed down in the Yatono family since long ago the time for the 「One True Lord」 to awaken would come when a girl with golden hair and golden eye would be born among their ranks. Because of that belief, I have received a very special treatment from the day I came into this world, receiving a kind of training that was very different to that which the other kids belonging to the family had to go through. It was a truly hellish training regimen that consisted of assassination techniques, sharpening my intel gathering and spying abilities and literally everything in between, as long as it was considered to be of use to 「The One True Lord」 when she will finally return. Of course, I had no say in the matter at all. Even if I didn’t want to, even if I protested, the skills and the knowledge I initially didn’t want to have anything to do with were being forcefully carved into my body and soul.
And all of that for the sake of the 「One True Lord」, Princess Kaguya.
Back then I honestly thought that if everything I had to go through for her sake was any indicator to what kind of person she might be then she must be nothing short of a cruel tyrant who would mercilessly crush anyone who would dare to oppose her will, so you can probably imagine how big was my surprise when upon finally meeting her I learned that she had already lost her memories from her earlier life and was now just a peaceful and gentle girl with a timid and bashful personality.
After that, the events were practically playing themselves out before my eyes before I knew it. I met Yuuto-san who explained Kaguya’s circumstances to me and my family ordered me to become her Knight to be with her and guard her at all times. Contrary to what I expected, those were actually the calm, peaceful times where I could essentially do whatever I wanted.
During those times, Princess… no, the girl who had become Shiinamachi Kaguya grew very fond of me, to the point of treating me like I was a member of her actual family. That feeling was… not an unpleasant one, if I am to be honest.
At that time I had no idea that the plan for her to regain her memories had already been set into motion, nor that Monjiro, Yuuto-san’s own son was designated to become another one of Kaguya’s Knights. What I have been told, in fact, was that he possessed a hidden ultimate technique passed down in his family for generations and I was taught how to invoke its 「Limited」 version, should its usage ever became necessary. When we were fighting with Fujisato Yuika I had the opportunity to witness that techniques true potential and it was indeed beyond anything I expected, but at the same time the price that had to be paid for its usage was simply too great, even if it was able to overpower even the Gifts granted to the Vassals by their Nightkin Lords. That is why I was relieved to know that this technique’s limited version was risk-free, even at the cost of a significant downgrade in power.
Only the thing is…
When I first met Monjiro I was simply curious about him and how exactly someone like him can be of use to Kaguya. But as I got to know more about him, as we got to spend more time together, I realized that I didn’t want him to use that dangerous power of his at all, because that would inevitably set him on a path heading towards self-destruction, and I didn’t want that to happen.
That is why, when I finally learned that Kaguya’s ultimate purpose was to rid the world of all the Gifts… when I heard that, I… even if I had to go with her and leave everyone else behind and not be able to see them anymore… if it means that he won’t have to use that scary thing anymore…
… I thought that it was okay… to pay such a price.
That was all I could do for him in the current moment. And yet…
And yet Yugao insisted on not letting me go through with my plan. She wants to keep me here to prevent me from rejoining Kaguya. She, a timid crybaby who always clung to her sister’s skirt, afraid of doing anything of her own volition… and yet she dared to defy and challenge me to something so ridiculous as a wager that had my feelings as a woman on the line! So if I were to run from this battle now…!
If I did something as cowardly as that, I wouldn’t be able to look Monjiro in the eyes anymore!
「As you wish, Yugao. I will participate in that foolish game of yours.」
Right now she should be in possession of two Gifts: Kaguya’s 『Angelic Gift Azrael』 and Fujisato Yuika’s 『Heroic Gift Perseus』. The former’s only real usage was for her to create a doll of her sister, Asagao, so the logical conclusion would be that she was going to fight me by using the latter, but she should not be able to oppose me with my threads wrapped tightly all around her, sealing her ability to move. She tried to put on a brave face just to make me waver, when in reality she cannot…
「Here I go then, Shiki-sama! Hnnnnnnngh!」
Do anything… anymore. She should know that as well as I did, and yet she still moved her hands to break herself free. But my threads were not so easily broken, even against the body whose physical capabilities have been Gift-enhanced. If she continues to resist, she will only end up hurting herself.
「Yugao, stop acting like a fool and listen to me. It’d be wiser of you to just give up. You’ll only hurt yourself if you continue to resist. Do you want your body to be covered with ugly scars for the rest of your life?」
She continued to ignore my words, which made me bite my lip in frustration so hard that I felt the taste of blood in my mouth. That attitude of hers kept making me feel like I was about th throw up from disgust. She must have been in a lot of pain, and yet she refused to give up, even though it was the most logical conclusion here. The difference between our abilities has been clear ever since we were born, so trying to go against me now was like trying to play a game that was rigged against her from the start on normal rules. So why…
「You’ve let your guard down, Shiki-sama!」
The moment Yugao shouted so.
A current of roaring lightning ran from Yugao’s body to mine through my threads.
This is… 『Demonic Gift Kirin』?! My body was hit with the same dreadful lightning which bested me once already, making me fall to my knees. I managed to keep myself from fainting on the spot and looked at Yugao, and I saw that smoke was coming off from her body as well. Did she shock herself as well, or perhaps…?
「A trump card… is supposed to be something… that you keep hidden… until the very last minute, right?」
Could this be the repercussion of one body holding not two but three Gifts at the same time?
It was speculated that even someone as powerful as 「The Legendary Knight」 would be unable to handle the strain from having two Gifts at once, so I cannot imagine what kind of effect is having three of them is going to have on Yugao, especially since not only she is not fit for battle, but she has a weak body in general. Not to mention that she is going to destroy herself with her own powers if she won’t be able to control them properly. That is exactly why she was now on her knees as well.
「*COUGH!* *COUGH!* Well? How was it, Shiki-sama?」
That surprise electric shock attack has done a number on me, I won’t deny it. But Yugao herself took an even bigger hit, so I should be able to stand back on my feet before she does. Hell, she looked like she should be taken straight to the hospital.
This is just too unreasonable. I don’t know who came up with this strategy, but I cannot believe she made Yugao go that far when she is clearly in no shape to exert herself like that!
「You’re wrong… Shiki-sama. No one… forced me to do this. This is… what I wanted…」
My feelings must’ve been written all over my face, because Yugao just smiled weakly and shoot her head. She was barely able to do something as simple as that.
「All because… I wanted you to… come back…」
「So you also had a personal reason to lure me away from the others?」
Unable to finish, Yugao fell to the ruined ground. I can’t begin to fathom just what her body was going through, hosting three Gifts at the same time. This could possibly kill her, and yet she chose to go with such a plan of her own free will.
「Shiki-sama… I wanted to have… a proper love battle… with you…」
She ran herself ragged… because of something so stupid… so insignificant…
All of that to get rid of my hesitation. To make me confess my feelings for Monjiro. All this time, she cared for me while putting her own safety aside.
「I have been… no. This battle is 「My」 loss, Yugao. You win.」
I think this is high time to abandon 「Myself」 who was just blindly following orders and become 「Myself」who listens to my own heart and acts in accordance with my own feelings, just like Yugao wanted me to. That being said….
「Mnghh….! Well shucks.」
Taking any kind of action might be hard for now due to my body still being numb from the high voltage, but if I just take it slowly and move bit by bit I should be able to get up.
「Thank you, Yugao. when it will be time for me to throw the wedding bouquet into the crowd, you can be sure I’ll be aiming at you specifically.」
「And I’ll… do the same for you… during my… wedding…」
Apparently even when she was lying face down on the ground, she still had enough energy left to talk back.
………..All right. My body slowly began to get up from the ground. That’s good. I cannot allow myself to lose to Fujisato Yuika’s Gift. And to Fujisato Yuika herself.
「I have decided. I will confess my feelings for him. I won’t allow anyone else to have him.」
Slowly but surely, my limbs began to move again. And if they can move again, then there is nothing I can’t do. But before I return to the courtyard…
I wrapped Yugao up in a protective cocoon made from my threads. Now, even if the entire mansion were to crumble, no harm will come to her.
「Shiki-sama… the look in your eyes now… is so beautiful…」
She seemed to have lost consciousness, but the look on her face told me she felt relieved.
I have to make sure that this entire farce will be over when she wakes up.
With that resolve now firmly in my heart, I activated my Satori and made my way through the mansion which has now become a blood soaked graveyard.
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