Categories: Living Safely

LS – Chapter 319: As such, already

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That was 8 years ago, when I first met Murshto.

I was wandering the city.

I was thinking that I needed to obtain power even while I was so young, and I often wandered around the city without aim.

My other siblings didn’t even have me in their sights at all. That was vexing and, at the same time, I thought it was a position I should take advantage of.

But even that plan of mine didn’t go as I wanted.

Even the bodyguards following me around the whole time were under the influence of the other siblings after all.

This is just the faint rebellious mind of a child -is how I insulted myself internally.

The one who brought change to me at that time was him.

A fight was happening nearby and a citizen came to my bodyguards in armor to ask for help.

I thought I would be able to escape from the eyes of these bodyguards using this opportunity.

It is not like I can do anything even if I get away from them, but I must have wanted change regardless of how small it was.

I convinced the bodyguards that we should be proactive in solving the problems of the city as a princess, and headed there.

“…”

Many corpses were lying there.

A single young boy was standing in the middle of them all.

I gulped at that sight.

There are bladed weapons at the side of the corpses that were most likely used to attack the boy with, but they were all bent.

The boy had countless wounds on his whole body. Each one of them was shallow, but he was bleeding to a degree where it should be enough to kill him.

And yet, the young boy continued staring at the corpse of a cat as if he didn’t care about that at all.

According to the people who witnessed the events there, the people that were killed were adventurers that were hired by a merchant. They were on their way back from having a fun time in the bar, found a stray cat scavenging the trash, and tried to get rid of it .

The boy told them to stop, but he wasn’t scared off even when they threatened him with blades, and they ended up attacking him.

But that didn’t have any effect either.

The adventurers who were swallowed by the alcohol and the weirdness of the boy began to attack him in full.

The boy didn’t resist at all, but the moment one of the knives thrown by an adventurer stabbed the cat, he began to retaliate.

A comrade of theirs was injured, so the adventurers seriously tried to kill the boy, but their weapons couldn’t kill him.

The eyes of the boy were still beautiful despite having killed people without any hesitation. I took a liking to him, so I brought him back to the castle and healed him.

— “I saved your life, so you have the duty to use your life for my sake. But your heart is your own. Maintain your colors without being dyed by me.” (Hilmera)

I wanted Murshto, but I wanted him to maintain his way of being.

Murshto agreed to this without a delay.

It wasn’t because he understood me, but simply because he liked the shape of my heart.

I most likely thought I wanted Murshto because he resembled him.

The selfishness of paying any price -even his own life- for the sake of what he thinks is precious.

But I am sure I won’t be able to stay as pure as Murshto.

Murshto has acknowledged me, but I don’t have a heart as strong as his.

“…You can still stand?”

The knight that defeated even Raheight when he became a Demon Lord, Ilias Ratzel.

That girl had a knee on the ground in front of Murshto.

She surely is well beyond him when it comes to swordsmanship, but such a gap bears no significance for Murshto.

Murshto can maintain immutable strength no matter the wounds that get inflicted on him.

On the other hand, she loses strength the more wounded she gets.

If this is a fight to face his end, he won’t fall by any means until that time comes.

His strength of will was so abnormal it made me certain of this.

“Obviously…!” (Ilias)

Ilias used her sword as a cane to get up, and is showing unyielding will that doesn’t lose to Murshto.

But that strength of will won’t translate to her body.

She may be able to deflect the attacks of Murshto and land her sword on him, but that sword won’t wedge itself into his flesh.

And then, her body will slowly be cornered into its limit from the impacts she can’t deflect completely.

She already can’t get out of this situation by herself.

And yet, Envoy-sama was simply watching this battle with a worried look.

It is clear that this is not a fight he can interject in, but I thought he would try something at least.

“Such a curious thing. I thought I was fine with being killed by that knight there, and yet, to think the situation would flip to this degree.” (Hilmera)

“…Is that the composure of the winner?”

“Right. It doesn’t matter who wins between those two to begin with, but seeing my own subordinate win makes me feel good.” (Hilmera)

I have no intention of pouring cold water on the relationship between Murshto and Envoy-sama.

I was put in a sour mood by some outsider regarding Onii-sama.

I want to throw a provocation or two to get back at him.

“Hilmera-sama, you won’t win against him in a battle of words.” (Murshto)

“I know. That’s why I wanted to insult him a bit to get away with a win.” (Hilmera)

“Get away with a win…huh. It is true that it is about time.”

“…?”

Envoy-sama exhaled heavily as if he had been enduring until now.

“Hilmera, do you know why I am here?”

“Why, you ask. To stop me, right?” (Hilmera)

“You think there’s a meaning to me being here?”

There’s no point at all in Envoy-sama being here.

My objective is to help Onii-sama in becoming the king.

It doesn’t matter if it is here or if it is a little bit in the future. It is my win as long as it is achieved with my death. That won’t change no matter what.

“…None. You are not even trying to persuade Murshto to stop. You are just standing there until your life is taken. Isn’t it a waste of time?” (Hilmera)

I am here for the sake of fulfilling the winning condition. When two sides are fighting, only one wins. You are misunderstanding the meaning of a victory for me on a fundamental level.”

“…? As I said, I—” (Hilmera)

“Hilmera, the reason I am here is for the sake of not letting you win.”

The sword at the waist of Envoy-sama moved slightly.

The tool possessed by a devil that Murshto told me about before.

I was told it had the ability to take care of matters around Envoy-sama, but it shouldn’t have the power to overturn this situation.

If it did, he wouldn’t have been watching until Ilias got injured to this point.

The shape of a shadow was made from the wooden sword and drifts about near Envoy-sama.

Envoy-sama put a hand inside that shadow, took something out, and threw it at me.

“Just what in the world…” (Hilmera)

I wouldn’t have blanked out if it were something I didn’t know of. But I could tell in an instant what that was.

It is something I know. Something I prepared…and something that shouldn’t be here.

A small cloth bag that I use often to put small things in it.

That’s what’s laying on the ground in front of my eyes.

“Familiar? It is something you prepared so that the undead you unleashed wouldn’t get close. The stink bag that you set in the side watchtower you locked up Washekt in.”

“W-W-What have you done?!” (Hilmera)

Impossible, impossible, impossible! There’s no way I could have predicted that Envoy-sama would do something this stupid.

There’s no way I would have imagined he would be an idiot that couldn’t understand the meaning of bringing something like this here.

“You were sure me and my comrades would notice that the undead are not approaching the side watchtower, and would realize the existence of this stink bag, right? You thought we would use this to evacuate him to a safe place.”

That’s right.

I was sure Envoy-sama would find the place Onii-sama was in and rescue him since he gets along with Onii-sama.

That he would notice the existence of the stink bag and would use it to bring him out in an even safer fashion.

“If you knew it—?!” (Hilmera)

I said that much and noticed one possibility.

I may have noticed it, but my head doesn’t want to accept it. But the eyes of Envoy-sama are telling me that’s the correct answer.

I don’t think you are evil. I will even comprehend and share those feelings with you. But I have decided to crush that ambition of yours. That’s why I took the option of taking away your victory. You won’t win no matter how if Washekt dies.”

“Lies… Lies! You are lying! There’s no way you would do something so horrible! Doing something so cruel without directing any hostility towards me…” (Hilmera)

“Hostility is the act of not hiding your desire to cause harm. Yeah, I don’t have any hostility. What I am directing at you is just malice.”

Envoy-sama smiled with a tired expression.

The moment I saw that smile, a muddy emotion traveled through my body, and I felt as if vomiting.

This person…this abomination has put Onii-sama in a dangerous position just for the sake of not wanting me to win. He smiled with that intention.

It is like the time with Chisante and Yumis… No, it is an even lower act with the sole aim of harassing me…!

“Even if I take away the stink bag, as long as there’s still traces, the undead outside won’t be attacking Washekt immediately. That’s why it was necessary for me to be here. I needed to buy time so that you couldn’t get a grasp of the situation outside.”

“—!”

This is not the time to be standing idly by at a place like this.

I must save Onii-sama at once.

It is not like it has been settled that Onii-sama has died after all.

“Hilmera-sama, that’s a bluff! Please don’t let your heart be shaken!” (Murshto)

“?!”

I flinched at the shout of Murshto.

He hasn’t called me in such a loud voice in the 8 years he has been with me.

But I regained some composure thanks to him.

“Bluff…” (Hilmera)

“That’s right. The stink bag is real, but him showing it as if Washekt-sama will die is part of his plan. He can’t harm Washekt-sama.” (Murshto)

Yeah, that’s it.

He may direct malice at me, but it doesn’t connect to him harming Onii-sama.

A man that would get enraged by the death of a spy he only knew for a few days wouldn’t be able to abandon Onii-sama who interacted with him in a friendlier manner.

But my heart is still shaken.

I couldn’t throw away the very small possibility.

“B-But this being here means…” (Hilmera)

“There would be no reason to make Wolfe raid the place if he wanted to make the undead attack Washekt-sama. I am sure he has already grouped up with Mix and Ekdoik, and evacuated—” (Murshto)

“It is true that I came to the castle with Ilias, Wolfe, and Mix. You defeated Wolfe, right?”

“…Yeah. But I haven’t seen Mix. With her skills, even if undead were to attack, Washekt-sama would be—” (Murshto)

“Mix has been over there the whole time, you know.”

He pointed at the door and the air around swayed.

The one that showed up there was Mix Taizu who was hiding with stealth magic.

I can’t think about why she was hiding.

What I could tell was that Onii-sama had been left completely alone when he was chained and couldn’t escape, and there’s undead gathering.

“Onii-sama!” (Hilmera)

I began to run as if shot from a bow.

I am the only one who can save Onii-sama.

I have to hurry or Onii-sama will be…!

I ran straight to the door, but that man stood in my way.

He is not even holding the wooden sword hanging at his waist. Just spreading both arms and standing in front of me.

“You think I will let you go?”

“—! You are in the way!” (Hilmera)

I weave magic and shoot it.

The penetrating offensive spell that creates crystals which I learned from Raheight at the time when he taught me necromancy.

It doesn’t have much effect on people with battle experience, but it should pose no issues against a single weak man that can’t even use magic—

“—! Why, Murshto?!” (Hilmera)

The spell that I casted to pierce the chest of the hindering man was instead pierced deeply into the chest of Murshto who jumped in front of it.

That sturdy body could deflect even the sword of Ilias, so I didn’t think my magic would work on him.

No, more importantly, why did he get in the way…?

“I am the one who will break him. I can’t allow that even from you, Hilmera-sama. Now, don’t get sidetracked here and go to the place of Washekt-sama. I won’t let them get in your way.” (Murshto)

Murshto smiled gently and pulled out the crystal stabbed in his chest. The bleeding had already stopped and there stood my usual unfaltering knight.

I began running again.

This time that man didn’t stand in front of me, and Mix Taizu, who was near the door, didn’t get in my way either.

◇◇

Hilmera-sama left the room without turning around once.

I was ready to move in the case Mix got in the way, but that ended in pointless worry.

“You are treating a maiden in love pretty horribly.” (Murshto)

“This much isn’t enough. Hilmera will be regretting it even more later on.”

A crack formed in the shape of his heart.

It tells me that he did something that would make him feel bad towards Hilmera-sama.

I don’t know in full what it is, but my condolences, Hilmera-sama.

However, there’s already nothing I can do to help out Hilmera-sama.

Victory condition…huh.

Killing Haakudoku and Wolfe were victory conditions in my own way, but if I think of it like that, it means I have only been losing.

Well, it is fine as long as I win at the very end though, yeah.

“Lighting a fire in Hilmera-sama was just a passing thought, huh. You made her attack you on purpose, knowing that I would protect you.” (Murshto)

“You could say that.”

It may have been his attempt at assisting Ilias, but this seriously is horrible.

Horrible in what way? Towards Ilias.

Ilias and Mix are relieved from the bottom of their hearts right now.

The heart of Ilias was shaken seriously when Hilmera-sama was weaving her spell.

If she got an order with the assumption that I would get in the way, it wouldn’t have shaken to this degree.

Ilias was heavily injured. She is in a situation where she can’t move as she wants no matter who sees it.

And yet, he purposely made Hilmera-sama attack him -coupled with the order on Mix to ‘not move’.

“If I didn’t come to save you…that’s a foolish question. Yeah, I would have definitely protected you. You comprehended that about me. Has Ilias been watching such reckless behavior from the front seats? Must have been rough.” (Murshto)

“…Right. I have already given up trying to get used to it.” (Ilias)

A sigh leaked out at how thorough he is.

There’s no way you can completely predict things would end up like this.

This is most likely just one of the many possibilities envisioned. The one where I am stronger than Ilias, and overwhelm her to the point that she can’t move anymore.

He factored that I can see the shape of someone’s heart and used the unrest to make me move. So he even made use of the shaking emotions of Ilias and the others.

“Just how many plans do you have…?” (Murshto)

“There’s almost no plans left at this junction. There are less than you think.”

Aah, he didn’t just corner Hilmera-sama with everything he had, but also faced me seriously.

I am very happy about that.

I end up grinning at how much he thought of me.

“I see… Then, let’s continue the fight.” (Murshto)

I face Ilias again and ready my sword.

She endured quite a lot, but she is also close to her limit.

I will end this quickly and face the end together with him.

I cast mana strengthening, take a strong step, and—

“Ah.”

I tripped.

My legs didn’t move as I wanted, and I ended up taking a step in a weird way.

Well, both of my legs have been broken for a while now, so it can’t be helped though.

But this is weird.

Even though I could move them by force until now.

“That’s your weak point, Murshto.”

“…Weak point?” (Murshto)

“Your super human body, the power to see the shape of a person’s heart; they look like they are separate things, but they actually come from one talent. Your talent as an Illegitimate is to maintain the shape of mana. It is not that no attack works on you. You simply maintain your shape no matter how many attacks you were hit with. Your ability to recognize your own shape to not lose sight of it…gave you the ability to read the heart of others…the shape of the other party’s mana.”

That’s right. I have never lost sight of my own shape.

This body of mine won’t lose its function as long as I am myself. It has moved as I wanted at all times.

Even if my body itself gets injured by the backlash, it is fine as long as I heal it later.

But it is not going well now.

The reason being…

“…Ran out, huh.” (Murshto)

“You must have needed quite the strong spirit and mental strength in order to maintain your own shape. Your will was unfaltering towards one objective, and it couldn’t be crumbled. That’s why I blurred your objective. I used myself as bait to make you protect me, so you can break me.”

That’s why my chest was pierced by something weak like the offensive spell of Hilmera-sama, huh.

I must have lost sight of myself for an instant there -the me who decided to break him.

My body ended up noticing it had reached its limit because of this when I was deceiving it until now to move.

It is as if it woke up from a dream.

“Ahaha, you are impressive. You can stab at a weak point even I wasn’t aware of…” (Murshto)

“Murshto, you are already…”

“Yeah. I can’t be saved anymore. I have already been killed by Wolfe. To be more precise, both Haakudoku and Wolfe, I guess.” (Murshto)

Now that I think about it, the bones that were broken from the hit of Haakudoku might have stabbed at my heart and got lodged there.

Well, it might have been just that Wolfe was strong though.

It would feel better if I just thought that I died because I got killed by two people.

“…Is it not enough with just perceiving your end?”

“It is not. I fought for the sake of Hilmera-sama, and ended up dying for it. I am going to die anyways, so I wanted to fulfill my wish with everything I have. That’s why I will break you.” (Murshto)

I concentrate once more and reform my body with mana.

I treat my legs that have turned into lumps of flesh as things that can move, and force myself to stand.

My will was shaken for just that instant alone. It won’t be shaken anymore.

I grab my sword again and look at Ilias with him at my back.

She already fixed her breathing and has prepared herself to face me.

She should be a normal human, and yet, she can still move even when she is so in tatters. She is seriously impressive.

To think there’s someone who can continue fighting by sheer power of will… I am truly blessed.

I take a step and stab at Ilias.

An attack with everything I have just like before.

She already has no way to block this—hm?

“Murshto, your determination has been transmitted to me to a painful degree. You showed me that it is stronger and purer than my resolve to protect him.” (Ilias)

Ilias took on my thrust from the front.

My sword was flung off with the following move, and her sword was swung down at my open chest.

“I admit defeat when it comes to the strength of our resolve. But I shall cut my way through my own resolve!” (Ilias)

This is weird.

It shouldn’t be an attack that she should have been able to block no matter how strong her heart is…

Aah, I see. It was me that…

—–

Author: The protagonist is acting like a villain. It is unavoidable that he will be reprimanded when everything is over.

Supplementary information here. Murshto’s talent is his strength of existence.

He is strongly aware of the shape of his own heart and mana, and can maintain it that way, so he boasts inhuman mana strengthening and endurance.

He can perceive the shape of the mana and heart of others as a side-effect of this.

The weak point is just as the protagonist stated: the effect drops sharply when his will is shaken.

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