With even the clamor of the shopping district fading away completely, the neighborhood looks much more dirty in appearance. The alley gradually went deeper into the slums. At its end there is a slightly extensive vacant plot.
It’s the place Kamui is aiming for.
Before long they could see a space spreading to such a degree that one will wonder why there’s such a place in the slums. Once getting close, there is burned wood scattered about in the vicinity and it’s clearly obvious to anyone visiting that something had happened here.
The fire occurred several days ago. In addition, by many buildings getting burned down, this place became a vacant plot with nothing on it.
But even that will only last for a few days. Once the residents finish gathering up the scrap materials, it will soon be just as before, with plain buildings, which you can’t even call a hut, standing in lines.
It’s not like Kamui came to particularly confirm the ruins of a fire. He has an appointment in this place. But even that isn’t his true objective.
At the time Kamui entered the vacant plot, the other party, with whom he had an appointment, was already there.
“How is it?” (Kamui)
The one who began to talk is Dirk.
“Judging by appearance, it’s about three people.” (Dirk)
The number mentioned by Dirk is the number of people who have followed Kamui.
“It’s the same number I confirmed from my side. There’s no doubt?” (Kamui)
Afterwards they have been followed by Dirk’s comrades. Naturally the other side hasn’t noticed that.
“It’s probably alright I think, but we can’t be careless.” (Kamui)
“For the time being I have stationed men all around the vicinity. I believe there’s no chance for them to get away.” (Dirk)
“Will it really be alright?” (Kamui)
“Where do you think you are? It’s our turf.” (Dirk)
“If you consider the fact that they foolishly followed up until here, they aren’t all that intelligent, I think. However, I don’t know about their strength.” (Kamui)
“It looks like the ones following behind are students of the academy. This is going to be hard. Well, we shall see.” (Dirk)
“That’s true as well. Ah, just for caution’s sake, take this.” (Kamui)
Saying that, Kamui gave the dagger, that he took out from his pocket, to Dirk. A complex pattern was drawn on its black-lustred scabbard. It’s a dagger one can recognize as special with a single glance.
“This is?” (Dirk)
“It should protect you if it’s against low-level magic. It’s possible that they will come around to attack this way. Carry it with you.” (Kamui)
The dagger, he gave to Dirk, is a magic tool. A spell of the magic defense attribute has been applied to it.
“Are you often carrying this thing around with you?” (Dirk)
“It was among my father’s mementos.” (Kamui)
“Isn’t that a memento then? I can’t look after such an item.” (Dirk)
“It’s not looking after it. It’s yours. It’s unnecessary for me. Besides, if it’s about father’s mementos, I have a far more important items.” (Kamui)
Dirk is an orphan, too. His emotions towards things that are similar to memories of parents are stronger than usual.
“It’s possible that there will be people aiming for your life in the future, right? It’s plenty if such an item can protect your life, Dirk.” (Kamui)
Having been told up to this point, it seems difficult to refuse. With a slightly shy look Dirk thanked Kamui and put the dagger into his pocket.
“Well then, it’s a fact that they won’t be willing to do anything if I’m together with you, Dirk. Please go back first. I will also move a little while later.” (Kamui)
“… Take care.” (Dirk)
“Easy victory. However, only if it’s about defeating them.” (Kamui)
“That’s true. Well, see you later.” (Dirk)
Dirk leaves the place. He saw him off until his back couldn’t be seen anymore. Then Kamui once again returned to the path he came from at a slow pace.
Just before leaving the vacant plot, fireballs came flying at him from both sides all of a sudden. Seeing through their trajectories, Kamui swiftly evades those.
“You suck at this.” (Kamui)
Ridiculing words leave Kamui’s mouth. Moreover, there is another one, this time it’s a wind spell.
Even though wind magic shouldn’t be visible within the darkness, Kamui nimbly bent down his body and dodged the spell with that.
He was somehow able to sense the presences of the agitated enemies who are hiding their figures.
It’s three people who fired spells at me. This should be all of them. I already made sure of their whereabouts. That’s likely the same for Dirk’s comrades, who should be surrounding them in the vicinity.
Without a second volley of spells being shot, sounds of tumult began to be audible here and there. The lights that sometimes illuminate the surroundings are probably spells fired by the enemy.
And even that only lasts for a little time. The neighborhood was shrouded by silence once again.
Even so, Kamui doesn’t move from the spot. While standing motionlessly, he is examining the state of his surroundings.
What he could see before long is a dark shadow. That shadow headed directly towards Kamui. Wearing black clothes on the body, the hair is black as well. The shadow itself gave an impression of being pitch black all over its body even when it has come right next to him. Only the red pupils, which are above the black hood covering the mouth, are shining within the darkness.
“Kamui-san, right? I came to report. The suppression is complete.”
He realizes that this shadow is a girl due to the covered voice.
“Are any of your comrades injured?” (Kamui)
“One person has a scratch. There’s absolutely no problem.”
“That’s great.” (Kamui)
“We kept one alive. What shall we do?”
Dirk’s comrades had the leeway to capture the enemy alive. That means all that’s left is showing confidence in Dirk.
“I don’t need them. I know from where they are.” (Kamui)
“Then we will get rid of them on our side.”
“Okay, I leave it to you.” (Kamui)
“For the time being, I will give this to you.”
“It was written by whom they were instructed.”
As expected, even Kamui was surprised about this. Was it a very honest confession or was there some method to this?
“… That’s fast. Thank you. Please extend my thanks to the others who cooperated as well. Also, tell the person who got a scratch, to get well soon.” (Kamui)
“Then, I’m done with this.” (Kamui)
At the moment Kamui tried to leave, the shadow, different to until now, called out to him in a voice getting gradually excited.
“What’s up?” (Kamui)
“Kamui-san, no, Kamui-sama is really…”
With this way of calling, Kamui realized what the other party wanted to ask. Without saying anything to the bitter end, he throws a question at her instead.
“You are a half, right?” (Kamui)
“Yes. I’m a half between a vampire and a human.”
“How rare. A vampire half, huh?” (Kamui)
“Ah, I’m sorry. Meeting one is nothing to be delighted about. Encountering you here means that your mother has met misfortune.” (Kamui)
“No, don’t mind it. And…”
“I don’t have any kind of connection to you. Since my situation is fine either way, I’d like you to convey that to Dirk. Even if my and Dirk’s methods are different, the thing we are aiming for should be the same.” (Kamui)
The half-vampire girl cheerfully answered to Kamui’s statement. While showing a bitter smile due to her reaction, Kamui began to walk.
Once Kamui returned to the orphanage, Alto’s group and Dirk, who came back first, waited for him.
“How did it go?” (Dirk)
The one who asked a question as the very first was Dirk.
“Were you worried after all?” (Kamui)
“Yes, I was. Everyone experienced such a situation for the first time.” (Dirk)
It’s completely different from brawling among their own group or with other groups. It’s a premeditated conflict with the intent to kill from the beginning.
“I was told that one person got a scratch. Well, I think they will be alright.” (Kamui)
“I see.” (Dirk)
Listening to Kamui’s report, Dirk breathed out largely. Even while speaking of leeway, he was quite tense inside.
“Rather than that, you told your friends about my situation, right?” (Kamui)
“… Was that a bad move?” (Dirk)
“No, rather than bad, they looked at me with somehow amazed eyes.”
“Amazed eyes? What’s that?” (Dirk)
“Kamui-sama~a *sparkle sparkle*, that feeling? Well those were pupils that were glittering to begin with, so it looks like it’s only my selfish impression on this.” (Kamui)
“Pu-, who’s that?” (Dirk)
Hearing Kamui’s story, Dirk bursts into laughter. It looked like he already lost all tension.
“Which reminds me, I forgot to ask her name. She said she’s a half-vampire. It’s a girl.” (Kamui)
“Ah, that’s Mito. Hee, you met Mito.” (Dirk)
The eyes of Dirk, who speaks about the girl, are smiling meaningfully.
“What do you mean?” (Kamui)
“The one who listened about you most enthusiastically was that Mito. Certainly, I heard that her beautiful pupils are shining with a glitter.” (Dirk)
“That’s amazing. Was she charmed before meeting with you? Moreover, a vampire girl. To charm a vampire who is strong at charming, Kamui is…” (Alto)
Listening to the conversation of the two, Alto joined the talks while being amused, but immediately noticing that it’s not good to talk about it in a loud voice, he stopped talking.
He might not mind if it’s the bishop, but there are other clergymen in the orphanage as well.
“I apologize for having spoken about you without permission. However, they need hope as well. Someday their wishes will come true, that kind of hope.” (Dirk)
Stopping to talk about Mito, Dirk apologizes to Kamui. He believes that none of his friends will talk about it, but it’s not always true that nothing will leak out by chance.
“I don’t mind about that. Well then, is the problem finished with this?” (Kamui)
“The next ones aren’t going to come any time soon, I guess. It’s been three people? If they send the next ones right away, they don’t care about the lives of their subordinates at all. That would be a good-for-nothing.” (Alto)
Alto answers Kamui’s question.
“Guess so. If that’s not the case, there’s no meaning in going as far as this.” (Kamui)
“Even so, it would be good to consider what to do at the time the next ones come. As expected, it’s wrong to repeat the same thing over many times.” (Alto)
If people continue to go missing, no matter how much it’s incidents in the slums, they likely won’t leave it alone. That will plunge Dirk and his friends into a dilemma.
It’s absolutely necessary to avoid such a situation.
“Is it better to properly confront them in the slums? As one could expect, they won’t stay silent if their turf was burned many times over, will they?” (Alto)
“Will you inform them indirectly about the criminal who caused the fire? Will they make a move? The opponent is the daughter of the Imperial Magician Unit Leader. That’s not an opponent a slum boss stands a good chance against.”
The mastermind of the students who attacked Kamui is Marie. They were able to obtain this information thanks to Dirk’s friends.
“If we fight with her from the front, right? Rather than the boss of the slums, isn’t there something that has some influence, I wonder?” (Alto)
“An opponent confronting the Magician Unit. I can only think of the chivalric order.”
“A chivalric order and the boss of the slums. No way, those are definitely opposing parties.” (Alto)
“… No, that might not be the case either.” (Dirk)
Dirk, who ponders for a bit, denied Alto’s words. Dirk, who knows well about the slums, had an idea Alto’s group didn’t notice.
“What is it? The chivalric order has dispatched the guards many times to clean up the slums.”
“However, the slums are always just as before right away. As far as I know, I never heard of the top brass getting arrested.” (Dirk)
“… And if they have a secret agreement?”
“It’s not like that’s impossible, right? Since there are slums, it’s possible for the chivalric order of the imperial capital to regularly raise some achievements without much danger. The rest only gets a turn in a war or during the subjugation of a large-scale demonic beast.”
“Hee, Dirk, you are a genius, aren’t you? With that out of the way, all that’s left is getting evidence, huh?” (Alto)
Alto also gives the impression that Dirk’s guess might be possible. The corruption of the empire’s bureaucracy is something even the common people are aware of. Since that’s the case, it won’t be weird for the chivalric order to have such dark parts as well.
“If that’s so, this will be a bit useful.”
Saying that, Kamui took out a paper from his pocket and showed it around.
“It’s a paper, where the name of the one who gave the order is written, from one of the dead.” (Kamui)
“Charmed, eh? Albeit young, she seems to be quite a excellent vampire.”
“Even if she doesn’t use charm, she’s a child that can enchant one.”
“Is that so? But, that is…”
Kamui hasn’t properly seen Mito’s face. Not just because of the darkness but also because Mito wore clothes that covered everything but the eyes.Going by Dirk’s way of talking, Mito is probably a beauty. It’s plain misfortune to be born as beauty in the slums and moreover as the daughter of a prostitute.
“I wonder if Kamui can’t look after Mito when push comes to shove? She is valuable as war potential, but until we get stronger, the slums are a dangerous place for Mito. Besides, even if we build up our strength a bit, there are also things like taking her mother as hostage.” (Dirk)
“… Okay, got it.”
“However, will we manage somehow with this scrap of paper?”
“This is a chance to obtain even more evidence. We will grasp the evidence of the boss with this material. For the time being it will be for learning the nature of that boss and their weak points. It’s for the sake of finding the most effective occasion.” (Kamui)
“Marie, huh? It’s the first time for a enemy-like opponent to appear.”
The relationship with Dietfried and Hildegard, which changed into that of potential enemies, has become good enough that you might, on the contrary, call it friendly, even promising. As for Claudia and Oskar, it’s at the point of wait-and-see. Among them only Marie has personally started an attack against Kamui’s group.
“Yeah, the Marie faction is an enemy. What do we do with enemies?” (Kamui)
Kamui’s group is only faithful to the instructions of their teacher during such occasions. That has nothing to do with them being something like students.
“We will never be defeated. Even if we can’t win” — This is Kamui’s group’s oath.
Several days after that. Marie’s side, which was recognized as an enemy by Kamui’s group, is bewildered without understanding the circumstances.
The whereabouts of the people, who shadowed Kamui, became unknown at some point.
They can’t even grasp where they vanished. By limiting themselves to following Kamui, and reporting once a day. That’s the result brought by such poor information control.
Around here Marie is still a student as well after all. If one says it can’t be helped, then that’s how it is.
“Are you saying that no one knows their whereabouts yet?” (Marie)
“Yes. No one has returned. There’s no contact either…”
The male student, who is making the report, has given up in the middle of searching.
“… What’s going on with Kamui Kreuz?” (Marie)
“He is coming to the academy as usual.”
“Did his state change?” (Marie)
“No, it didn’t.”
“… There’s no mistaking that this guy has done something. Have another person watch him. He should make some kind of move by all means.” (Marie)
This is the result of shadowing Kamui. Even if it’s not Marie, he thinks like that.
However, it’s a different story if he actually makes a move.
“What is it?” (Marie)
“If Kamui really did something, attaching a new watch to him will cause even that person to…”
That might be himself. The male student is completely getting cold feet.
“Haa? What are you so scared of? It’s not like your life will be taken away. There’s no other choice but to investigate that guy’s movements if we are to save the fellows who have been caught, right?” (Marie)
“There’s also the means to report him to the academy or the guards. Confinement is a legitimate crime.”
They were killed. That’s something they don’t think about, as it’s nothing more than student’s playing around. As a matter of fact, Marie and her subordinates feel that this is nothing but them acting as make-believe adults. And, with such an extent of consideration towards this, they have a nasty nature since they commenced the magic attacks.
“What are you going to say if you are going to report him? The guys, who monitored Kamui, were caught and confined? There’s no way you can say something like that, right?” (Marie)
“If you do such thing, it will become public that we attacked Kamui as well. Only that is no good. Arson is a crime. If that was exposed, it won’t be only me, even my parents will be accused of the crime. Is it fine for you even if your own household gets crushed?” (Marie)
“Such a… Those were Marie-sama’s orders.”
“Hee, what was? Are you even saying that I have to bear the crimes by myself?”
“That’s not what I mea…”
Although his true opinion is that he wants to to do just that, there’s no way that he can speak of his true feelings here.
“Then have a new person follow him. It’s not like I particularly told you to do it yourself.” (Marie)
Marie thought that she was able to persuade the male student, but…
“… No one wants to do it.”
“Come again?” (Marie)
“Honestly speaking, everyone is scared. It’s not only about Kamui. Even about the things said by Marie-sama. An investigation about the cause of the fire is still being carried out, isn’t it?”
“That’s only for form’s sake. The guards don’t really care what happens to the slums.” (Marie)
“Though that’s what you say.”
“I got it! There’s only unreliable people around me. I will question Kamui directly. With this it will be fine, right?” (Marie)
“… I leave it to you.”
With this, class E has once again become noisy.
A female student who wore a black robe. Even if they don’t know her face, she is someone known by everyone. Ignoring the school uniform, there’s only one student in this academy running around in such an appearance.
They are called the academy’s four factions, and if you also add the current princess faction, it’s the five factions. Once again the leader of one of those factions made her appearance in the class. Moreover it’s Marie who can rarely be seen as she is secluding herself in her club room.
“That hair colour. You are Kamui Kreuz, aren’t you?” (Marie)
“Huh? People say that though.” (Kamui)
“It’s you, right?” – the students stopped their voices leaking from within their chests.
“… Kamui Kreuz, right?” (Marie)
“Huh? People say that though.” (Kamui)
“Are you making fun of me?” (Marie)
Marie intended to provoke him, but instead snaps due to Kamui’s attitude and raises her voice. There’s no one who can win against Kamui in such exchanges.
“Where is he?” (Kamui)
“Why are you accepting being called Kamui Kreuz then!?” (Marie)
“Since I’m aware of my own identity? If you want the student called Kreuz Kamui, it will be a different story though. Or are you actually mistaking me for someone else?” (Kamui)
“I’m not! You just restated yourself as Kamui Kreuz, right!?” (Marie)
“Ah, I did. So, who are you then?” (Kamui)
Now Marie gets provoked by Kamui. She hasn’t expected for that to happen at all. Her expression is truly that of considering him as strange.
“Haa!? Are you telling me that you don’t know me!?” (Marie)
Marie’s naivety is that she ends up completely leaping onto that provocation.
“… Did we meet somewhere before?” (Kamui)
“It’s the first time!” (Marie)
“Then it’s only natural for me to not know you, right?” (Kamui)
“It’s Marie. Marie, the daughter of the Imperial Magician Unit Leader.” (Marie)
Marie’s immaturity lies in the point of her expressly attaching her father’s post. As such she shouldn’t stand a chance against Kamui.
“Yes. What kind of business does that Marie-san have with me?” (Kamui)
“You… Do you really not know about me?” (Marie)
Due to Kamui not showing any reaction even though she introduced herself, Marie is perplexed.
“I’m sorry. I’m poorly informed about the academy. Are you a celebrity, Marie-san?” (Kamui)
“That’s not it…” (Marie)
Being asked whether one’s a celebrity, it’s definitely embarrassing to answer “Right, that’s true.” Marie denied Kamui’s question.
“Then there’s no helping that I didn’t know you, is there?” (Kamui)
“Yes, that’s true.” (Marie)
In the end Marie finishes by simply being ashamed of her own attitude.
“Finally you calmed down. Since I was suddenly shouted at by a person I’m meeting for the first time, I was surprised a bit. So, then once again, can you tell me what business you have with me?” (Kamui)
“I won’t talk about it in this place.” (Marie)
“… Certainly you won’t say something like just the two of us, right?” (Kamui)
“What if I did?” (Marie)
“Something similar happened before as well. I will be troubled if I find myself being engulfed by weird rumors.” (Kamui)
This is about the matter with Hildegard. The two went home after her saying that she wants to keep the talk between the two of them, but it turned into a relationship of him calling the other party on one hand without honorifics and on the other hand with a nickname. The part that the surroundings aren’t kicking up a fuss about that is weird.
They once again spread the rumor that Kamui’s girlfriend is Selene, and as a bonus Hildegard told Kamui that she wouldn’t feel sad about his intimacy with Selene.
With this the situation has finally calmed down a bit.
“You don’t have to worry about a rumor of you being my partner.” (Marie)
“Last time I thought so as well. That it certainly wouldn’t become a rumor with the other party being Hildegard-san.” (Kamui)
“If you have something to talk about, please do so here.” (Kamui)
“Is that fine? It will be troublesome for you.” (Marie)
In fact it will become troublesome for her, but Marie put it this way as a strategy. However, unfortunately Kamui shouldn’t get agitated by such a level of strategy.
“That’s not so. It’s the first time for me to meet you, Marie-san. There’s no reason for you to know a troublesome story to speak about to me, Marie-san.” (Kamui)
“… Well, then let’s talk.” (Marie)
“Please feel free to do so.” (Kamui)
“It seems you have gone to the slums?” (Marie)
“Yes, occasionally I do. … It doesn’t particularly mean that I’m playing around in the pleasure quarter, does it? No way, have you misunderstood it as that?” (Kamui)
“So, what are you doing there?” (Marie)
“There are acquaintances from my time at the orphanage there. At least that’s why I go to the slums. They don’t have an overly pleasant life. I wondered whether I could be of a little help, at least as long as I’m attending the academy and went there.” (Kamui)
“And you want me to believe that?” (Marie)
“Whether you believe it or not, it’s the truth.” (Kamui)
As a matter of fact, Kamui’s story is true. The part of him helping someone is towards Dirk, who is his acquaintance, but that’s simply something that can’t be told to another person.
“… Didn’t you see other students in the slums?” (Marie)
“I haven’t seen the figures of the academy’s students there. Talking about other students, is it an acquaintance of Marie-san or something else?” (Kamui)
“No, I’m not that close to them to call them acquaintances.” (Marie)
“Is that so? However, it’s dangerous, something like loitering around in the slums.” (Kamui)
“It’s the same for you, too, right?” (Marie)
“In my case there are my acquaintances. Even so I don’t walk through anything but the paths I know of among the back alleys. It won’t be a funny story if I die at the moment I got noticed, right?” (Kamui)
Kamui makes a disturbing statement with a calm expression.
Marie ends up reacting to that splendidly. Just as Kamui wanted her to.
“Marie-san, you don’t know what kind of place the slums are, right? The expressions shown to acquaintances and customers are totally different to the ones shown to others. To say nothing of something like a student from the Imperial Academy. Those are suitable as prey, aren’t they? Even under normal circumstances they aim for the children of outsiders. Not to mention if they saw a rich person, they will probably tear off all their possessions in the blink of an eye.” (Kamui)
“And after they tore off all their possessions?” (Marie)
Marie though that it was possible for her own subordinates to suffer such an experience. Thinking like that, she doesn’t doubt a single thing of what Kamui is saying.
“If it’s a woman, a brothel? Otherwise they will be sold off as slaves, I guess?” (Kamui)
“… And men?” (Marie)
“There’s no use for people they can’t sell?” (Kamui)
Marie, who thought about the meaning of Kamui’s words, couldn’t say anything.
“Ah, it’s a story I just heard before. I don’t know whether it’s the truth or not.” (Kamui)
Suddenly Kamui begins to speak in a state of being hurried.
“What’s it, so suddenly?” (Marie)
“Although it’s not a proper way of life, they are my acquaintances after all. If they were to be arrested just because of me talking, I will be troubled. Therefore the truth is currently different, it’s just a rumor.” (Kamui)
His words can’t be interpreted as anything but him covering for his acquaintances. It’s also like him appealing for it to be the truth by denying.
“… By the way, did you hear where people, who have no use, are thrown away at in those rumours?” (Marie)
“Hmm, I guess in the belly of someone somewhere?” (Kamui)
“It’s a joke. Is there still anything else?” (Kamui)
“… No, there isn’t. Sorry for being a nuisance.” (Marie)
Turning around, Marie leaves the classroom.
The three were killed. According to what Kamui said they were attacked in the slums or Kamui himself did it. Either way, this was Marie’s doubtless intuition.
Somehow she endured not showing the turmoil within her mind in front of Kamui, but that was only until she left the classroom.
Just as she shut the door, she staggered and leaned on the wall.
“Damn it.” (Marie)
While not knowing what is causing this bitterness, the words spill out from Marie’s mouth.
“I won’t give up. I definitely won’t give up. Remember that.” (Marie)
Marie doesn’t know whether she can find the truth somewhere. Given the situation now, there’s no one but Kamui at whom she can turn her fury.
Without even realizing just how dangerous the situation was, Marie renewed her determination.
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