LS – Chapter 296: As such, I am in between

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There was no issue with the speed in which I understood his words and held the sword. 

But the action taken after that man pointed at the person was a regretful one for a bodyguard. 

A young boy that’s barely of age that I not only couldn’t feel any killing intent, but even hostility from. 

Even when he told me he is an assassin, he didn’t show any noteworthy reactions or movements. 

I looked at him and that young boy and didn’t move. 

But the one who was told to move wasn’t me but Ekdoik. Ekdoik froze for an instant, but he deployed his chains soon after and restrained that child. 


I should prioritize the safety of that man over anything before trying to grasp the situation accurately, so I stood right by his side, and checked the state in the surroundings. 

The children and the mothers were surprised by that move just now and froze. 

Ekdoik must have held back, the restrained child seems to not understand the current situation and is looking over here dumbstruck. 

“W-What are you doing to my child?!” 

The first one to show a reaction was the mother of the restrained child. Unrest spread in the surroundings like a ripple. 

“Comrade, please explain. From what I can see, this child is just a child.” (Ekdoik)

“Please check his possessions. He is most likely hiding an edged weapon.” 

I trace back the memories of that boy from before he was restrained by Ekdoik. 

Now that he mentions it, you could say the way he stood and the way he walked were both strange. 

It is to a degree where it wouldn’t be strange for him to be hiding something on his back with that way of walking. 

Ekdoik ignored the noisy mother, got close to the child, and checked his clothes. And then, he took out the hidden knife from that boy’s back soon after.

I say knife, but it is a small one used to cut stuff like fruits. It is not a weapon with killing power. 

He pointed at that knife and directed his gaze at the mother who was making a ruckus. 

His eyes were clearly different from the time when he was mingling with them. 

“If you have an explanation, I shall hear it once. What’s this knife?” 

“I-Isn’t it a fruit knife?! My child simply took it on his own. There’s barely any edge to—” 

“Ekdoik, use that knife to cut the arm of the child a bit.” 

The expression of the mother turned grimmer the moment she heard that. 

You naturally would react like that if told to cut your own child, but…no, this reaction is not only that. 

“D-Don’t joke around! That’s—” 

“Even a fruit knife that’s not too sharp can still cut at least thin skin. But there’s no need to worry. I fortunately have tools to treat a child. It may hurt a bit, but if this knife is just a normal fruit knife with nothing smeared on it, we can deal with it in an instant.” 


“There’s no smell, but…there’s certainly something smeared on it.” (Ekdoik)

The mother ran to the boy and stood in front of Ekdoik. 

Ekdoik took distance while keeping the restraint of the chains as they are, and deployed chains around the mother too. 

“D-Don’t put a hand on my child!” 

“…Ekdoik, return that fruit knife to that mother.” 

“O-Okay…” (Ekdoik)

He must have judged there would be no issues for that mother to hold the poisoned knife with that physical strength of hers. 

Ekdoik dropped the knife in front of the mother as told. 

“Now then, madam, I don’t mind if you do it yourself. Please cut your arm a bit with that knife. These two can use healing magic, so they can easily heal a wound of that degree. If you can do that, I will apologize for doubting you and scaring you.” 

“D-Don’t wanna! Why do I have to do that?!” 

“Okay, let me change the phrasing. Don’t continue displaying an even more pathetic sight for scum that was blinded by money and used your own child to kill people. You either confess right now or we force you to prove it. If you can’t choose, I will deem it as the latter.” 

His voice is calm. I can’t feel anger or hostility in it. He is simply throwing words at the mother indifferently. 

It seems like this woman really was an assassin moved by money as he said. 

Judging from the expression of the child, he doesn’t understand all this talk about poison. 

She had him hold a knife smeared in poison and made him think this was just a prank, and tried to injure that man with it. 

Was that an assassination that she thought of herself or was there someone who gave her detailed orders…? I at least wish it was the latter.

“…Uh…Please…I don’t care what happens to me…but…please…my child alone…!” 

The mother must have given up, she placed both hands and her head on the ground. 

He faced the people around and lowered his head silently. 

“As you have witnessed, we have troubled everyone. We won’t get involved with you in the future, so please don’t worry.” 

The surroundings were still dumbstruck, but he wasn’t bothered by this and walked towards the boy. 

He picked up the fallen knife. 

The mother trembled from that, but he didn’t look at the mother and left. 

“Comrade, these mother and child—” (Ekdoik)

“They were simply hired with gold. Nothing will come out from torturing them.” 

Ekdoik undid the chains without a word and followed after him. 

I also head to where he is with quick steps. 

The crying of the mother I passed by didn’t leave my ears for a while. 

He continued moving without saying anything, but Ekdoik spoke, probably unable to endure the atmosphere. 

“How did you notice that child was an assassin?” (Ekdoik)

“I could tell with just a glance that he was plotting to prank me in some way. The issue was the mother. I could tell she was unbelievably nervous for someone who was simply waiting for her child to be lifted up. It would be one thing if it were at the time when he is lifted up, but she was like that since the time he was lining up.” 

Ekdoik and I are sensitive to the gazes directed at us. That applied to the children too. 

But he managed to judge this not from the gaze that was being directed at him, but the one directed at her child. 

I am sure me and Ekdoik could have been wary in the same fashion. The reality that, even though I was seriously showing caution to the surroundings, I still fell behind to him is making me dizzy. 

Let’s join the conversation too to distract myself. 

“But is it okay to leave that mother and child?” (Ilias)

“We would just stand out negatively if we were to walk around with them restrained. Even if we were to ask about their circumstances, the only thing we would be getting is a sob story about how she is having a tough time in a single parent household.” 

“…You analyzed that much.” (Ilias)

“Judging from how the clothes of the child were mended, she must have a pretty thorough personality, and yet, her own attire seemed coarse. Her rough hands and the dirtiness of her shoes stood out from the other housewives as well, and most of all…she had the peculiar atmosphere of someone who doesn’t have someone to rely on.” 

It is not rare for him to observe someone else in detail. He didn’t pay that much attention to the people passing by when I was with him in Taizu… I really can’t let this keep on. 

Someone aside from him must do something. 

“Were there moments in your world when children would be used, Comrade?” (Ekdoik)

“There were countries that used children as soldiers, but I had no connection to that side. However, you could easily find people who would use children who can’t tell apart good from bad to shoulder their crimes. Just seeing a child who knows nothing can invite carelessness after all.” 

“Literally concealing poison on someone who you would consider harmless no matter how you see it. It would be better to assume the candidates are trying to obstruct us seriously now.” (Ekdoik)

They are sly people who have continuously killed their own relatives and stolen political power. 

They excel, not at using simple fighting power, but lowering the guard of the opponent and making them fall. 

That man is someone who has lived on that path, but there’s nothing to be relieved about that. 

It is almost impossible for a knight like me to break through the schemes of such people. 

The only thing I can do is use my own body as a shield…

“I am beginning to see the picture of Serende even if I don’t have a decisive move. All that’s left now is back it… ! Oh, that’s…” 

The one beyond his gaze is the spy from the faction of Princess Yumis, Toppara, who he saw through the identity of before. 

He has a basket of groceries in his hand, and I can see a number of vegetables sticking out from there. 

“Geh, it is you.” (Toppara)

“Old man, you are back to your daily life now. That’s great.” 

“It was extended more than expected though. I don’t want to get old…” (Toppara)

This man injured his own back in order to get treated at the neighboring room of that man. 

He created an actual excuse instead of acting. 

I can tell this person is acting with quite the resolve too. 

I make sure to always be ready to draw my sword just in case, and pay attention to the surroundings too. 

“Why didn’t I see you despite having recovered?” 

“I would just be suspicious if I were to wander around your base… I don’t have nerves of steel like the bodyguard of Princess Hilmera…” (Toppara)

“Is your salary okay?” 

“It is okay…and not. Oh well, this was more like a side hustle to begin with. I just need to make contact when I have the time, and report what I see. That alone is enough to put food on the table at least.” (Toppara)

Toppara laughed bitterly. 

But it seems like the half given up attitude of Toppara was received nicely by him. 

“Then how about we go hang out? You live alone anyways, right?” 

“Don’t say ‘anyways’. It may be weird coming from me, but you should be a bit more on guard…” (Toppara)

“I am. But it feels like it would be the most fun to use you when I want to purposely leak information to that side.” 

“Aah…that’s true. Well, I can at least cook up food for you, but bring your bodyguards, okay? I am also human. I can lose to greed.” (Toppara)

Toppara said this and left. 

This was different from the time when his life was targeted by the boy and the mother. Toppara even looked like he was worried about him. 

He probably could tell this, his expression seemed somewhat soft. 

It might not be a bad idea to let him go to Toppara’s house if this will soften his mood. 

“Do you have something you want to say, Ilias?” 

I looked at him and he noticed my gaze, he threw those words as if he saw through my heart. 

Ekdoik is also by his side, but…there should be no issues.

“Yeah… You can tell that everyone is worried about you, right?” (Ilias)

“You could say that. I am aware that I am pretty on edge here. It is not like I can’t hide it, but I don’t want to worry you all unnecessary with that… I am sorry, but I might be worrying you for a bit more.” 

“I am not really blaming you. It is the path you chose for the sake of everyone. It is because we know this that no one can stop you, and makes me worry no matter what.” (Ilias)

If he really desired safety in his life, it would be enough to just cut off all involvement with others and isolate himself. 

The reason why he is facing all sorts of problems in this fashion is because he wants us to live a safe and peaceful life together with him. 

“I am grateful enough that you are not pushing me away for being a busybody. Thanks for letting me do as I please.” 

“…I don’t mind you abolishing it.” (Ilias)


“I am talking about the promise. That technique you use to comprehend people -you can use it freely without needing my permission.” (Ilias)

I can’t tell what he is thinking from the eyes he is looking at me with. But this is something that I have already sorted internally.

“Can I ask the reason at least?” 

“I still am against you using that method. I would even prefer you to not use it ever if possible. But…I don’t wish for your heart to carry an unnecessary burden because of this.” (Ilias)

The Comprehension that he uses by throwing away his self and becoming the other party is a cruel act that doesn’t respect his own self one bit. 

It is the very same as carving your own body with a blade. 

That is a method he has gotten used to in his former world, and a method he learned in order to live. 

But he threw away that technique himself. 

It was not because of conceit or anything like that… It was for my sake. 

He cut off his own hands in order to walk together with us. 

I was relieved by that. 

I even felt satisfaction from seeing him facing problems without relying on harsh methods. 

But I have seen something from having let him use that method in the time with the Purple Demon Lord, the Scarlet Demon Lord, and in the decisive battle against Arcreal and the others. 

That method of forgetting your own self to not face the other party, and becoming the other party to think like them was also a technique to protect his own weak heart from hostility. 

I faintly noticed this, but I made excuses for myself, telling myself that this wasn’t enough reason to justify that method.

But the result is the current him. 

It is starting to be visible to everyone that he is getting exhausted, and there’s no leeway in his heart. 

“This is something I decided myself. You all wanted me to not do it, so I am simply refraining from doing it. I am still asking for permission when I feel like I really need to anyway…” 

“I am happy that you are facing the enemies as yourself. But there’s no point if that leads to your own heart being shaven away. If that way is easier on you, I want you to prioritize the safety of your own heart rather than my wish.” (Ilias)

“…I see. I get what you want to say. So it is that unbearable, huh…” 

He laughed, slightly troubled. 

My only selling point is that I am straight-laced, so someone like me going as far as bending my will to ask him to take the easy path must be conflicting for him. 

“You yielded for me at that time. Then, it is time for me to do the same for your sake. I will become your guidepost so that you never get lost even if you lose yourself. You can return if I do that, right?” (Ilias)

He tried to return to his normal self by looking at my eyes when he changed his way of being. 

Someone that’s only straightforward like me can be of use to him. In that case, what I can do right now is use this body to protect his life, and use my way of being to protect his heart. 

“Well…that’s true, but…do you understand the meaning of looking at your eyes?” 

“Not at all. You teased me when I asked you about it the other time.” (Ilias)

“Yeah… Let me explain it properly. It may sound a bit bad, but please listen silently.” 

He is walking a bit faster, most likely because he doesn’t want his face seen. 

I myself also don’t really feel the need to look at him directly, so there’s no issues. 

Let’s direct my attention to the surroundings instead. 

I think having pride is a foolish action that accepts losses. You put shackles on yourself, and there’s nothing intelligent about desiring actions that are not beneficial to you. Despite all that, humans still respect pride exactly because they are human.” 


“If everyone rejected losses and tried to live intelligently, it would turn into a fight to steal spots. If that were to happen, the only ones who would survive would be the strong, and the weak would die. There’s countless people who say that’s how humans evolve…but a way of living where only the strong individuals survive is basically how animals live, right?” 

Living intelligently so you don’t face any losses, and desiring a safe life can be called smart. 

But I can feel a hint of mocking tone in his words, as if saying his way of life is not good. 

“Having pride is a human trait. That’s why, Ilias…when I see your eyes trying to live with pride as a knight, I can feel the light of someone who is trying to live as a human. That is brighter than any gem, and my heart being shaken by seeing this makes me reconfirm that I am also a human. It reminds me of my way of being that desires to live as a human.” 

I often feel my way of living and his way of living are far apart. 

I even felt like it was exactly because our objectives matched that we could be together, and that we would never be able to walk together the moment we got slightly further apart from each other. 

But he admired my way of living. 

I remember what Cara-jii told me before, and I finally understand the meaning of it. 

I wanted to say something back, but no words came out. 

I want to see what kind of face he is making right now if possible, but I don’t want to show my own face.

“…Uh, how to say this… I was pretty relieved with you just telling me you will become my guidepost. I will gratefully utilize you, so I will be counting on you.” 

“…Okay.” (Ilias)

I managed to answer, but I feel like it will be difficult to continue the conversation. 

Let’s hold back this strange excitement until we return to the base. 

I felt shy at his words, but I was also honestly happy about it. 

It is because he has tried to not close the distance with me until now. I have realized that he can be shaken to this degree with just my words alone. 

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