I did something bad to Caralsdoni-san.
” ……Sigh… ”
I let out a sigh out of habit.
That day, I entered the checkpoint, explained the reason, and joined in the questioning that was about to happen, with Zirco-san. If Zirco-san hadn’t come, I might had been forced to use my status or even money.
Activating 《嘘発見器》 [TN: Uso Hakkenki, Lie detector], Caralsdoni’s brain waves and heartbeat were analyzed as we questioned him but it seemed like he was not lying.
…..But, did he really not meet with Maria……? In that case, was Maria lying?
In any case, I did a really bad thing to Caralsdoni-san. He was wanted nationally as a ‘person-of-interest’ and that must have been really bad for his business. Even if it was for the sake of solving that incident, to not have explained that misunderstanding immediately was enough for a defamation lawsuit.
……No, maybe the King will be sued for slander…
No matter the case, it might be better to compensate him first. Would it be better to ask Caralsdoni personally about how much he wants?
Having been dragged out of the previous shop in that manner by Buu-san, I couldn’t really go back there now so a room was borrowed at the checkpoint and then we began our way there.
All it needed was Zirco-san’s one word. Viva Zirco-san. Wasn’t he abusing his authority? Not at all. The checkpoint was under the Knight’s jurisdiction and Zirco was tentatively the commanding officer of the Black Knights. It was all good as long as we used it for proper reasons.
And when Zirco-san saw the waiting Buu-san, he turned his shocked face towards me.
” And he is…? ”
” A merchant that had been supporting me. But this time, it was him who brought Caralsdoni-sama back here from Dyuvu. ”
At my words, Zirco-san looked over to Buu-san who shrugged.
” I only picked him up when he was drifting along the river. ”
” ……Drifting along the river? ”
Zirco-san’s mind just went blank at Buu-san’s unexpected words. Ooh, his eyes became tiny dots, that’s a first. How rare for a person who was always without expression, always calm, just like a ninja. It can be hard to catch up to Buu-san’s logic sometimes.
” Yea. He had said that he seemed to have found himself in the slums of Dyuvu with just 1 piece of robe and when he wanted to wash his body in the river, he slipped and fell. ”
What were you doing? Or rather, how unlucky!! Too unlucky! He sure did well for not being discouraged. What a man. I salute you.
But then I suddenly sucked back a breath. It was because of me that he was dragged into such a mess.
…….I messed up.
Regret just welled up inside me. If only I had read that this would had happened more accurately. If only, instead of not wanting to stand out, I had joined in the investigation 3 years ago.
Many things came and went in my head. All of it was ‘maybes’ but there must be something I could do now.
This time, it was not over to say that it must be a whim by the enemy that no one died. Even so, Caralsdoni-san was reduced to this haggard state and I had also produced a lot of troubles for the Knights from the Intelligence Corps. It was all because of my careless mistake that their job load had increased.
Rage began to slowly build up, directed at the unknown enemy. No, not that.
In the end, the one the enemy was aiming at was me. I invited this incident to happen because I hid sneakily.
What was I thinking at that time? The blood-stained clothes of Selphy’s. The terrified scream. The face filled with fear.
I was scared of everything, so scared. I want to run away.
I saved her? ……No way.
I was only wiping my own butt. I simply unleashed my anger at the cowardly me onto the enemy.
Did I not swear not to lose anyone I loved?
Did god not give me this outrageous power because I wished to not lose anyone I love anymore?
And so, why?
I repeated the same mistakes again. How stupid can I be? The feeling I felt when John-sensei was kidnapped and ended up with wounds all over his body, did I forget all about it in just 3 years?
Be it self-satisfaction. Be it fear of this power. Be it that it may cause people to fear me. If I lose this person then there won’t be a future to talk about.
Did I not think of that at that time?
In the end, I was too naive.
” ……Will-sama? ”
I was pulled back to reality in an instant from the swirl of my thoughts by the sound of Buu-san’s voice. Even if I am feared because of this power, as long as the person is alive, there would always be a possibility of being liked. There would be no meaning if he/she is dead.
Worried at the me who had suddenly fell silent, Buu-san bent down and looked into my face.
” …..No, it’s nothing, don’t worry. ”
That’s right. People who worried about me like this despite knowing my power existed. Like Buu-san. Selphy and Zen. Chiffon too. John-sensei and my parents too.
What am I craving for?
I had so many people I loved who loved me back.
Being disliked? What’s wrong with that?
Wanting to be liked only ended up with me being stuck in my self-satisfaction. I had no idea what others were really thinking.
Only that they were important to me.
Only that I wanted to be with them, always.
Only that I wanted to see their smiles.
These were all only my wishes. If I want to be liked, I can slowly increase my likability, can’t I?
” Buu-san, could you give me the details? ”
The me right now must be showing off a very wicked smile.
” Understood. ”
As if answering me, Buu-san too, grinned widely.
First, I explained how Buu-san used to be a Shadow, and how before he got turned into a shadow, he was a merchant and how we were working together now, with me being the adviser, on food-related business to Zirco. When he heard that Buu-san was the rumored ‘B grade gourmet’ merchant, his eyes shone liked no other.
” I see, a shadow… ”
Zirco stared in wonderment before mumbling.
” I had heard that they are attached with a Collar of Slavery though.. ”
After saying that, he stared at me, his gaze doubtful as if asking for the reason why. Or maybe he was questioning if Buu-san could be trusted since he was not attached with one.
As Father had given his permission, I had told the King in detail about the incident that happened 3 years ago since I thought that no one would asked again. But I was wrong. Once again, I was reminded how unusual [Collar of Slavery] was.
As Zirco was the commanding officer of the Intelligence Corps of the Black Knights directly under the King, I had predicted that he would know about the [Collar of Slavery]. I was right.
Which means I handed Father the baton of command about the future of the Shadows. To use them or to crush them. It may sound harsh but in this world, it’s the survival of the fittest.
Plus, Father was the Leader of the Knights. To be caught by the Leader of the Knights, who acted as the police role as well, was equivalent to handing your life over to him. To think I just realized all of this now.
And I just released it so easily. I really did an outrageous deed.
” I broke it. ”
I disclosed, having no choice. While my determination from before was still strong, I shall reveal everything. I shall give information to Zirco, who collects information.
It was called, to use all that you can.
There was no more going easy.
According to the enemy’s fickle mood, the people I loved will be in danger. Having decided, I shall stop hiding and help as much as I can.
” What? How can it be…..! …..no…. ”
Zirco, his veins popping out as he could not believe it, suddenly calmed down and even nodded. What was that?
‘Because it was Will-dono…’ Was heard being mumbled by Zirco. What were you seeing me as? He then looked at Buu-san. Then at me. Please don’t look at me with such emotionless face yet having your eyes sparkle with amusement like that, I’ll blush.
And, although it was pretty late before I noticed it, Zirco was rather good-looking. He usually had a mask on so I didn’t get to see his face most of the time. And coupled with that slim muscled body that filled the ninja costume out perfectly, he was totally a beauty.
I am jealous at his masculine body, instead of my child-like one. But as usual, I am still young. I still have a future.
I felt like his standard emotionless expression and his nice features were the way to let him change into any appearance if he wanted to.
Ahh, damn it. Why were there so many Ikemen?
It might be better to change one of the requirements to enter the Knights by stating ‘No Ikemen’.
Ah, okay, let’s stop with the jokes.
” And, why did you think that Caralsdoni was innocent? ”
I looked at Buu-san. I too, had kinda guessed it. The one who sent Shadows after me was the same person who sent Abi after me. If it was really the same person, it would have to be a shadow or someone related to the shadow to be able to used Caralsdoni to get information.
Which means, there exists a technique used by Shadows on Caralsdoni. Buu-san then gave his reason.
” It’s the (magic) drug. ”
” …….. I see. ”
Looking at Buu-san’s regrettable face, I nodded while Zirco tilted his head. It seemed like even the leader of the Intelligence Corps knew nothing about it.
” …….I don’t know the exact way of making it but it’s a drug that when mana is being poured in, will produce something out. Like illusions. ”
” I did not know something like this exists. ”
Zirco said, his voice full of surprise.
” It was used quite often by Shadows. To gather information, to manipulate the people we come in contact with or even to place the blame on them. ”
Buu-san had a face full of regret. So what if I know? I won’t be pointing fingers like an idiot at him. But from Buu-san’s eyes, I can sense hidden feelings like anger and helplessness. I don’t know if Zirco noticed it or not but in a rare tone like he was joking, he threw me a question.
……With an emotionless face as usual.
” ….Even so, why did Will-dono know about it? From Buhual-dono? ”
” No, he said nothing. ”
The 2 of them turned and looked at me. Please stop that way of looking as if you are looking at a strange creature.
I scratched my cheek meekly and mumbled in a small voice.
” Ah no, I just got hooked onto reading pharmaceuticals manuals, spell books and other books for a certain time. ”
“” ……… “”
The silence was difficult to bear.
It seemed like I was branded as a really strange person.
It might be better not to say I was 4 years old when I was hooked.