Chapter 42 – LIAR

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Seeing Hifumi being carried into the mansion, the lone civil official slave Caim raised his eyebrows for a mere instant.

“Caim-san! Hifumi-sama is injured!” (Origa)

In contrast with the shaken up Origa, Caim, maintaining his usual prudence without any change, shook his head.

“Please calm down, Origa-sama … it isn’t very desirable for many people to know of this situation. Please enter the office together with Lord-sama. I shall be in charge of bringing the medical tools.” (Caim)

No sooner than saying so, Caim straightened up his back and disappeared in an inner room.

“Ah, Hifumi-sama … because of me …” (Origa)

“Origa, get a grip!” (Kasha)

She encouraged Origa, who had been completely haggard for these few minutes. The two soldiers somehow managed to lay down Hifumi on the sofa in that office.
Kasha told the soldiers, who carried Hifumi, to entrust this place to her and head back to the front lines.
As Hifumi had been gently put to lay upside-down so as to not touch the arrow embedded in his shoulder, Origa was sitting on the floor clinging to Hifumi.

“I am very sorry, just because I ended up getting carried away …” (Origa)

As Origa, sobbing sorrowfully, hit the bottom of grief and anxiety, she experienced a welling up of happiness due to Hifumi protecting her. Becoming disgusted at herself because of that, she cried once again.

“Origa …” (Kasha)

In the time waiting for Caim, Kasha worried about Origa while also keeping a watchful eye on Hifumi’s condition.
While walking restlessly, she touched the magic tool on top of the pouch at her waist.

“… Origa, this is …” (Hifumi)

Distorted by pain, Hifumi opened his eyes. From within the darkness storage he took out those magic potion bottles that had saved Alyssa on the verge of death.
As expected, he has those, huh? Kasha thought. Although she unconsciously showed a bitter face, neither Hifumi nor Origa were in any state to notice that.
The existence of the medicine caused Origa to be very delighted once it reached her mind. She showed a smile as if she had forgotten something like the pain caused by her foot.

“Right away, I will open the bottle immediately!” (Origa)

Getting irritated at the small wooden cork while telling herself to calm down, she uncorked the bottle at last. Timidly pouring just a little on the wound on Hifumi’s shoulder, Origa clutched the arrow tightly.

“I will draw out the arrow.” (Origa)

So as to not unnecessarily widen the wound, Origa drew it out cautiously. Apparently it had penetrated quite deeply. She pulled out the arrow with a sound of *zuru zuru*. It was soaked and dripping in blood from the arrowhead 15 cm downwards along the shaft.
Tossing the arrow away, she hurriedly sprinkled the magic potion over the wound.

“Why? … For what reason?” (Origa)

Despite having already used up most of the bottle’s contents, there wasn’t any visible sign of the wound on Hifumi’s shoulder being healed.

“Kasha! Even though I am using the magic potion, the wound isn’t getting cured!” (Origa)

“No way …” (Kasha)

By now Hifumi’s consciousness had become faint as the bleeding increased at the part the arrow was extracted.
Origa, who couldn’t touch the wound carelessly either, sank down to the floor with despair written in her face.
The bottle, dropping from her hand, tumbled across the floor.
Without even knocking, the civil official slave Doelgar entered the room and approached Hifumi with heavy steps holding bandages.
Squatting down before Hifumi, he looked at the sideways laying arrow.

“It had penetrated that deep inside? … This might be dangerous …” (Doelgar)

Although he had probably muttered this without the intention of anyone hearing it, it ended up entering Origa’s ears.

“Dangerous you say!? The magic healing potion doesn’t work, we have to apply other medicines …” (Origa)

“P-Please settle down. It is rare for the magic healing potion to not work, but I have heard of such occurrences. It was caused by some special constitution. There were even cases where its effectiveness had become weak and even had the opposite effect.” (Doelgar)

As Origa was emitting a threatening force as if snarling at him, Doelgar explained what he remembered.

“Special … constitution …” (Kasha)

Now that he mentions it, Hifumi was summoned, “a person coming from another world,” Kasha recalled.
There hasn’t been a time when she had seen Hifumi getting injured before. Let alone a magic potion, she hasn’t seen him even using a regular ointment.
(If that’s the case …) (Kasha)
As she told him to stop the bleeding at the very least, Kasha propped up Origa who had turned into a lifeless doll. She took Origa to her own office next door since they would just become a hindrance in the treatment.

◆◇◆◇◆

When Kasha’s group left, Hifumi muttered after calming his breath,

“Doelgar, you are unexpectedly skilful at acting.” (Hifumi)

“Not as great as Lord-sama. When I heard you came back with an arrow sticking inside you, I was seriously worried.” (Doelgar)

Abruptly rising, Hifumi took out a heater pack magic tool from within his breast pocket and discarded it on the floor.
The sweat wasn’t due to it being cold sweat but merely because of the heat. Due to the magic tool producing more heat than he had imagined, it apparently didn’t end with getting sweaty but even scalded him.
Having wiped off the sweat, Hifumi took out a magic potion bottle from his storage and roughly poured it on his shoulder.
The wound closed itself quickly.

“Quite the handy thing.” (Hifumi)

Shifting his shoulder, he confirms that there is no sense of discomfort left.

“Good grief, this isn’t the work of a civil official! At any rate, what was that failing magic healing potion that Origa-san opened?” (Doelgar)

“It was simple water I filled in a bottle that had been used up before.” (Hifumi)

Doelgar, towards the pitiful Origa who had been completely deceived, with a shrug of his shoulders.
He had acted out the drama as it had been dictated in the scripted play he had previously received from Caim.
Even the muttering that enraged Origa was naturally something he had been told to do on purpose.

“However, why was it necessary to do something troublesome?” (Doelgar)

“It’s an experiment to see whether people really rush without thinking just because things are in the middle of advancing smoothly as often happens on the spur of the moment.” (Hifumi)

“Fuu~n … I don’t quite understand what people in a high position think about.” (Doelgar)

Without any particular interest, Doelgar gave a suiting answer while collecting the bottle and arrow that had fallen to the ground.

◆◇◆◇◆

As soon as they entered Origa’s office, Kasha smashed the magic tool from atop the pouch.
At the same moment the magic tool that Pajou possesses should break as well. Before long the Third Knight Unit would raid this mansion.

“Kasha. I want to be next to Hifumi-sama after all …” (Origa)

“No, you will become a nuisance during the medical treatment. Leaving that aside, is your foot alright?” (Kasha)

Even while worrying about her, Kasha wanted to stop Origa leaving until things had somehow concluded. Thus she tightly grabbed her shoulder and forced her to sit on a chair.
After being separated for five days, feeling the body beneath the robe, Kasha noticed that Origa had become slightly burly. Even though the time they had been apart hadn’t been that long, she remembered her loneliness.

“Since the reinforcements will also arrive soon, let’s return to the capital once that person comes.” (Kasha)

“… That person?” (Origa)

Origa’s gaze, showing her sensing something, changed from the girlish face shaking with anxiety just before to something sharp she directed at an enemy.

“Do you know someone from the reinforcements? Why does Kasha know something about them I am not aware of?” (Origa)

Kasha wasn’t able to retort anything towards that piercing look.
Finally, after hesitating for a short while, Kasha decided to tell Origa everything and to take her along even if she had to do it by force. She looked directly into Origa’s eyes.

“Listen to me, Origa. Soon the Third Knight Unit will enter this mansion. And then, they …” (Kasha)

“… They are aiming at Hifumi-sama.” (Origa)

Once again Kasha was lost staying only silent.

“I had been suspicious of you from the beginning. Although you should have stayed away after becoming scared of Hifumi-sama, you returned readily. Moreover your gaze kept following Hifumi-sama from time to time. That is a habit of Kasha while waiting and observing a monster looking for an opportunity. Since it didn’t suit your normal self, I though that you were aiming for something … but once we entered this room, you did something. It was something giving off the feel as if magic had been invoked.” (Origa)

“I was asked to inform Pajou if Hifumi was in danger. Well, it’s not like I forgot about the favor I received by him picking me up, but that only happened because he purchased me by paying money! Origa, you have gradually become weird after meeting Hifumi! Think properly about it, Hifumi often does good things, but in reality, isn’t he a criminal who murdered royalty?!” (Kasha)

Losing her presence of mind, Kasha’s voice became louder and louder.
While watching the appearance of Kasha, who was rattling on, Origa stood up despite her light-headedness and took out a shuriken from within her bosom.

“S-Stop … Let us two hunt monsters happily together once again. There is no place for us in a world where killing people is the norm …” (Kasha)

“Draw your sword, Kasha. You have clearly become our enemy now.” (Origa)

◆◇◆◇◆

It was the civil official slave Caim who went to greet Pajou’s group storming into the mansion.
Towards the group of more than 20 knights suddenly entering, although it got close to becoming a turmoil, Caim, donning his usual cool-headed nature and suppressed them by shouting 「Don’t increase my work!」 with a threatening resounding voice.

“You have been awaited.” (Caim)

Caim said to Pajou, who led the Knight Unit, without even lowering his head.

“Awaited you say …” (Pajou)

“Of course, it means that the major of this city’s territory, Hifumi-sama, welcomes you. I have heard from Hifumi-sama that you took upon yourself to come from the far away royal capital leading an army. Now, please head towards the office on the second floor. Please excuse my impoliteness, but it is a matter of involving the military affairs. Because we, the civil officials and staff, were ordered to not get close, please go on ahead to the upper floor.” (Caim)

Despite speaking politely, there wasn’t even any expression of respect in his manner of speech. Without saying anything, Pajou’s group left Caim’s side.
Neither Caim nor anyone else made a comment towards the matter of her entire Knight Unit having drawn their swords.

“Was that alright?” (Brokra)

Even as Brokra, being a civil official slave engaged in the accounting management alongside Caim, asked this uneasily, Caim only turned his look towards him blinking his eyes.

“There is nothing good or bad about it. This place is the castle of that gentleman. That is already sufficient reason.” (Caim)

He thought about telling Brokra to return to his work if he understood, but seeing his discomposed state he couldn’t find the right words for that.
Looking up at the Knight Unit climbing the stairs in the direction of the second floor, he sorrowfully wondered whether he had to summon some soldiers to clean up again.

◆◇◆◇◆

At the time Pajou stepped into the office, Hifumi had collapsed in front of the sofa.
With the blood spread on the floor, he didn’t even show a twitch of movement.

“This is …” (Pajou)

Curious whether he had already died, Pajou approached timidly. In that moment Hifumi jumped up as if he was a monkey and treading on a knight in order to get over the group he landed in front of the door blocking their exit.

“Yo, you’re late.” (Hifumi)

“Wh-Why … ?” (Pajou)

“N~ The actors are bad and the stage is crude as well. Leaving that aside, hurry up and prepare your swords.” (Hifumi)

Like that Hifumi put his right foot in front into a stance with his legs in a L-shape remaining unarmed and pushed out both his swinging hands in front of him. (T/N: If you watch anime, you should know this pose. I think it is often used in Noh theatre plays by the actor symbolizing the demon. Jiraiya from Naruto likes to do that pose as well. Basically both hands in front, 1 foot in front, crouching and swaying)

“Do you plan to fight these numbers empty-handed? Rather than that, wouldn’t it be more comfortable to get yourself arrested obediently?” (Pajou)

Pretending to be calm Pajou spoke those words, but the moment she finished, Hifumi grabbed the neck of a male knight in a flash, drew him into his chest, and broke his neck.

“It’s not like you came here to gently persuade me, don’t you agree? If you have the spare time to yap, then get over here quickly.” (Hifumi)

Throwing away the corpse of the knight, Hifumi said in ill-humor.

“Although I don’t know who came up with this farce, after taking over this troublesome post of feudal lord and enduring one hardship after another, this is the treatment I receive in the end. I even feel more amused than angry.” (Hifumi)

“You!!”

The knight, swinging his sword alongside his yell, had his sword averted by Hifumi striking the lower part of his wrist and was brought down while having his neck detained.
Without time to get up, his throat was crushed by Hifumi’s fist.
The knight who came stabbing his sword, had the back of his hand seized and his wrist broken by twisting it. Hifumi’s knee broke his elbow.
His head was cut open halfway by his own sword being stolen from him just like that.

“The taste of killing them is bad. They should hone their skills properly.” (Hifumi)

Tossing away the sword soaked in blood, it lopped off the arm coming for a horizontal slash and, using his centrifugal force, he drove the knight into the wall.
The knight, having his face banged against the wall, sunk to the ground while leaving a streaking smear of blood on the wall.
Now he was assaulted with swords by three knights at the same time, but avoiding the sword’s path easily while walking forward, he kicked the back of the knee of one knight and twisted the kneeling knight’s neck.
Throwing the corpse at a knight, he grabbed the arm of another knight rushing towards him and knocking him down by pushing him with his hands he crushed the face, that was looking up, under his foot.
Even the person, who was struggling being pinned down by the corpse, was killed in a similar manner of crushing the throat by stepping on it.
While watching her colleagues being killed one by one just like that, Pajou took out a tiny iron pebble from within her pouch at her waist though she felt impatient.
It was the stone thrown to kill the guard at the night she met Hifumi for the first time.
The second Hifumi was caught up in breaking the neck of the last knight, she threw the stone with all her might.

“Oh” (Hifumi)

Thrusting out his opponent holding him by his neck, the stone embedded itself into his face.
Although the knight screamed due to the abrupt pain, his heart soon stopped beating as Hifumi immediately tread on his back with force.

“You have a considerably good arm. But, the throwing motion has to be done even more casual. Otherwise it is too easily noticed.” (Hifumi)

“Thanks for the lecturing, even though it’s coming from a hoodlum. Anyway, I didn’t expect you to deal with the Knight Unit as easily as this …” (Pajou)

Hifumi took out his katana and drew it towards Pajou who had once again set up her sword.

“I have received various favors from you. Therefore I will kill you instantly.” (Hifumi)

“I wonder whether it will be this simple.” (Pajou)

“If it doesn’t end quickly, that will be something enjoyable.” (Hifumi)

The bright smile of Hifumi and his eyes filled with madness caused Pajou to grind her molars.
As Hifumi broke into her range lightly thrusting at her, Pajou brushed off the katana from the side and cut at him in a flowing motion.
Dodging the sword attack by retreating a half-step, Hifumi once again stepped forward while aiming at the crown of her head.
Pajou jumped to the rear in a hurry. The downward swing of Hifumi’s katana changed into a thrust and the katana’s point approached her rapidly.

“Kuu” (Pajou)

When Pajou raised her face after avoiding the thrust by rolling over, there wasn’t anyone in front of her eyes.

“Eh?” (Pajou)

She looked at the katana protruding from her breast.

“Even at the time of evasion you shouldn’t take off your eyes off your opponent.” (Hifumi)

Ah, this is the place where I die, as Pajou thought that, her feelings mysteriously calmed down.

“Ime … raria … sa, ma …” (Pajou)

Being separated from the katana by slipping down the blade, only a single line of tears could be seen on the face of the fallen Pajou.
Getting rid off the blood with a paper, Hifumi returned the katana into its scabbard while cracking his neck.

“She had splendid backbone to die staying still like that. Well, shall I go and see the situation over there.” (Hifumi)

Stepping over the dead bodies of the Knight Unit, Hifumi headed towards the room where Origa’s group was.

 

T/N: I added a new illustration to the ToC (of volume 3) which is more fitting for the current arc, I think. Feel free to check it out here

 


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