Translator: DarkHeartedAlchemist Editor: Weasalopes
【Episode 3】Life and Mind: Part A (4)
「Y-Yeah, about that…」
I helped senpai get up and tried to offer Shiki some explanations, but she just interrupted me with her own statement
「I’ve already gathered the two knives that were thrown, you can thank me for that later.」
With that, she took one hand out of her pocket and presented us with the two knives that were thrown at us earlier. They were both identical in design, and had deep cracks in places where they’ve supposedly collided in the air.
「Were you the one who threw them?」
「No. Regrettably, pulling something like that is outside my realm of possibility. Just look at those feeble, girly hands of mine.」
Shiki hid the knives back in her pocket, and stared at me intently. I could feel one of her eyes shining with that eerie golden light even from where I was standing.
「You truly are worthy of being Kaguya’s Knight, Monjiro. Despite not possessing any combat-oriented Gift, you were able to fend off an attack from an assassin without breaking a sweat. You really are something else entirely.」
「You saw everything?」
「Everything there was to see. As I said earlier, I was tailing you from the very beginning of your lovely rendez-vous.」
I had no idea we were being followed. I had no idea whether I should be angry or embarrassed.
「The house from where the assassin probably attacked is empty. And there are still questions that are left unanswered, like was he/she a Gift user, or just a person skilled in the art of assassination, same as Monjiro? Unfortunately, I have yet to deduce the answers to those questions, sorry.」
「Oh, it’s not your fault, so don’t beat yourself up over it…」
So Shiki was actually gathering intelligence for us? Well well, who would’ve guessed. I still thought that lowering my guard around her was a bad idea, but she was surprisingly reliable when the situation demanded it. But that still doesn’t change the fact that she drugged me, don’t think for a second that I’ve forgotten about that!
「So, Miss Shiki, can you enlighten me as to what you spiced up my drink with yesterday?」
「That Avocado Spark, you mean?. That drink was certainly quite an experience for my taste buds.」
「No sh*t Sherlock…」
Just hearing that atrocious name again made me remember the taste that was still clinging onto my poor throat.
「Anyway, don’t try to change the subject and answer the goddamned question!」
「About the drug that I used. I am truly sorry that things turned out the way they did.」
Shiki apologized to me by bowing her head. Now that was something that I did not expected. I thought I’d have to force an apology out of her.
I was so dumbfounded that I forgot what I wanted to say to her.
「I merely wanted to test your immortality, since Kaguya’s safety will probably be hinging on that ability more than once in the future. I know that stab wounds and poison are ineffective against you, so next I’d like to test how are you going to fare against death by strangling, bludgeoning, grinding, crushing, incinerating, cursing, beheading, dehydrating, annihilating, and also…」
「Hold on hold on hold on hold on hold on! Stop right there, missy!」
All those words she continued to spout from her mouth made more than one red light start blaring in my mind.
「What? Is there a method you’d like to add to my list? How nice of you.」
「None of it! Everything you said is a no go, understand?! What in the hell is wrong with you, girl?! Some of it might end up killing me for real!!!!」
「Monjiro’s hearing and reasoning confirmed to be intact even after poisoning. Good to know, I’ll need to add that to my notes.」
「No, nothing’s good here! Do you even understand what I just said to you?!」
「Vocal cords seem to be intact even while shouting. Congratulations. *Clap clap clap*.」
「What are you congratulating me for, you she-devil?!」
If she’s really serious about those tests, then I’ll need to be on the constant lookout around her, otherwise I could prematurely kiss my life goodbye!
「And what was that about annihilating me, how are you even going to do that?!」
「Simply put, I’d wipe out your body from this plane of existence. I was going to use an explosion for that, and I even got myself a nice set of explosives shipped in just this morning for that very purpose.」
「Nonono, I’ll kick the bucket for sure!」
「That’s what I’m aiming for, after all. Hmm, maybe your brain is still affected by the drug in some way?」
「We’re doing none of that, you hear me?! Nothing, null, zero!!!」
「Well aren’t you a picky test subject. In that case, may I ask what method is fine with you?」
「Such a method that won’t result in my death! In other words, nothing you might propose! And while we’re at it, killing is morally wrong!」
「Mr. Kettle, Mr. Pot called. He says you’re black.」
Coming from an immortal professional killer? Perhaps, but….
「My kill record is still zero, so I have every right to say that, contrary to you!」
「Is that so? Another thing you’re still a virgin at?」
Shiki thought about something for a moment, and then said:
「So, how about a double kill?」
「Why the video game terminology of all things?!」
「But you and Kaguya already experienced it.」
She was technically correct, seeing as the culprit first killed Shiinamachi-senpai then killed me, thus achieving a double kill. I see, I get it… no, this isn’t League of Legends or some other online game!
「See, I got you here. Shiki once again used 『Lame Pun』, and it WAS NOT VERY EFFECTIVE!」
「How regrettable. The Way of the Lame Puns is a long path willed with many-a pitfall.」
I could feel my annoyance meter rising way over 9000.
Watching our argument, Shiinamachi-senpai seemed to have thought we were doing some kind of skit, because she was laughing while holding her sides with her hands.
「Shiki-san, Jiro-kun, you two are such great friends.」
「No we’re not, and you shouldn’t think about us in that way, senpai.」
But senpai’s only reply was a giggle and another smile that was too pure for this rotten world. And I had no way to retort to that! Shiinamachi-senpai was really someone who could’ve bring an entire world to her knees with her smile if she tried!
「Oh, while we’re at it…」
「Hmm? What is it now?」
「We can also cross seduction to death off the list, since Kaguya already subjected you to it in the bathroom, right? Or was it death by cross-gender skinship?」
「That counts as a cause of death too?」
「See, my Lame Puns are not so lame after all.」
「Shiki-san, that was rather rude of you! I didn’t try to seduce Jiro-kun, I just…!」
Only after blushing furiously did senpai decided to remind Shiki of the pecking order around here. Note to self: senpai will act against any form of sexual harassment al long as she’s the one being subjected to it.
「*Sigh*, I see that senpai truly has my life in the palm of her hand.」
「I couldn’t have said that better myself.」
「You too, Jiro-kun? Why are you bullying me too, you meanie?!」
Pouting her cheeks in displeasure, senpai turned away from us. See, that’s what I was talking about when I said that I hope she could have a normal life like everyone else. Just laughing, getting angry and pouting while enjoying her time with her friends, that was the senpai I knew and loved.
Also, I quite liked our three-way interactions, but I can’t tell why exactly? Maybe it was about the contrast between senpai’s cuteness and Shiki’s weirdness? But I was still adamant on not letting her kill me again.
「Jiro-kun, once we get the chance later, I’ll explain to you how exactly your Gift works. Is that okay with you, Shiki-san?」
「Yes. That way, there won’t be any need for tests to be done, so it’ll be very time efficient.」
「That’s all the more reason why I want to know.」
Finally, some light will be shed on the matter. It was quite strange actually, to have the ability that was essentially an unlimited Get Out Of Jail Free Card, but having usage restrictions placed on it. Then again, once I know what they are, I’ll be able to formulate any of my further actions around it, eliminating any potential risk of dying for real.
Thinking about that, I noticed that Shiki was staring at me again. This time it was seriously creepy. It took some time, but I think I’m finally able to sense when she’s staring at me with that mysterious eye of hers.
「Monjiro, were you originally thinking of using something akin to a Noble Phantasm just now?」(TL Note: Winks at the fans of the Fate series)
She sounded indifferent as always, but there was some coldness, or perhaps hostility in her voice just now.
「…An ultimate technique of my family is sealed away in the scar on my right shoulder.」
「Is it something that has a limited amount of uses?」
「Yeah, something along those lines.」
Shiki remained silent, but I knew a vague explanation like that was not enough for her. Senpai was also making a worried face again. I felt bad for that reason, but I really wanted to keep the fact that I possessed a technique that was dangerous for me to use, to myself for as long as I could. The less people know about it, the better.
「If you say so. Now, let us be on our way.」
Saying that, Shiki started walking again, rather swiftly at that.
「Hmm? Where exactly? 」
「A must-go-to spot for every couple on a date.」
Shiki pointed at a small island connected to the mainland by bridge. It was a popular tourist spot that had many shops, restaurants and the like all sandwiched together.
「How lovely, let’s go there right now!」
Shiinamachi-senpai seemed on board with Shiki’s suggestion, so being the gentlemen that I was, I agreed to escort her there, but the thought about that mysterious assassin was still at the back of my mind.
Whoever it was, it was evident that his/her target was to kill us. But if that was the case, why do it out in the open, and during the daytime at that? The weapon of choice was also extremely odd. Kills with the throwing knives were very hard to perform even when the throat was targeted, head or the heart was being targeted, because it required an immense amount of precision, speed, and strength of hand.
I’ve already told Shiki and senpai what the issue with the heart was. As for the head, its curved shape made aiming for it extremely difficult, and piercing through the skull was also not easy to pull off unless the thrower possessed substantial strength in his/her hands. Even if bullets were used, there was still the issue of distance. That’s why the throat was the only viable option, but it was a small target that required the throw to be precise to a fault. Bottom line: throwing knives were simply not suited to long-distance assassinations.
Glancing at the house from which the attack came from one last time, I couldn’t shake off the feeling that it was just an excuse to test the extent of my skills.
「Jiro-kun, come on!」
Shiinamachi-senpai had apparently calmed down from the fear of getting ambushed. I saw her waving at me from a distance not too far away.
「I’m on my way, don’t worry!」
Knowing that someone has definitely painted a target on our backs made me more vigilant of my surroundings than ever before.
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