My appreciation to all of you and my editor Shirayuki.
Happy Birthday Shirayuki!
Wish you success and healthy.
Seriously, without Shirayuki around, I can’t deliver so much chapters every week to everyone. Many thanks! And let’s do our best in the next week batch releases. 😉
Enjoy the bonus chapter~
It was a year ago. ――――――On a rather humid day. A time when the White Wolf Knight’s fame was spreading all over Ardesil. The young knight leader who was hailed as the second coming of a hero and praised by the people, Maruto, was attending the meeting of the knights leaders.
They discussed a wide range of topics from the replenishment of the forces to the countermeasures against the recently appearing demons. The meeting was held from morning and touched upon a certain agenda regarding the actions of the Fuhren Saint Knights and hours of discussion on whether they could deal with this trouble.
The general consensus had been met and thus, the meeting was over. Maruto’s face looked spent. His mind overused while a headache and fever tormented him.
At the end of the meeting, the adjutants went to the bar and served liquor to all the participants. Maruto who, at first, hesitantly participated, finally relented by the sweetness of liquor. Although he wasn’t supposed to drink it, he got drowned by the alcohol anyways. Finally, after getting heavily drunk and almost collapsing, he fled from the scene.
The exhausted Maruto went back alone to his home without waiting for escorts in the dark of the night. The road was empty. It’s frightening but feeling to go to bed was much stronger.
There was a vibrant and bustling tavern. When he took a look, he saw his subordinate dancing and singing from the window. Turning his body towards his house, he walked.
A shadow followed him from behind, lurking behind the scenes. No matter where he went, the shadow kept following from a certain distance. When he stopped, the shadow also stopped moving.
It’s quite obvious that it was stalking Maruto.
Maruto finally noticed the sharp gaze that was coming from behind him. While continuing to walk casually, he carefully looking back without alerting his stalker.
He could see the air ripples. Something was lurking under the pitch dark shadow. Maruto narrowed his eyes, walked quickly and changed his course. He entered the narrow alley on his right.
The shadow realized that its presence had been noticed. It drew a dagger and followed the route Maruto took fearing that he had escaped.
The alley led to the center of the marketplace. In other words, it’s a backdoor. The alley’s ceilings were quite narrow that moonlight didn’t shine through. Its stone pavement was wide enough for two people to walk in side-by-side. Maruto was nowhere to be found. The shadow impatiently crossed the alley.
For the mysterious stalker, the alley seemed to be a straight path. But actually, if one look to the left and right, they’ll notice that the alley actually branches out.
The sound of a sword being drawn can be heard from behind the stalker. It stopped upon hearing that.
[You. Who sent you?]
There was no reply. Maruto shrugged his shoulders and spread his hands.
[Well, it’s not like I have no clue about it……for example, it’s probably Runatitas, isn’t it?]
There was no answer, however, he noticed a slight shaking for a moment. Maruto narrowed his eyes.
[Is it on point?]
It was told in a mischievous voice, but the small statured assassin remained silent under the hood.
[I guess you won’t tell me that easily, huh…]
The small assassin charged with dagger drawn. Judging the distance between the two of them, the assassin kicked the ground and took a stride toward Maruto. Closing the distance before the enemy could react, the assassin swung the dagger. Seeing the dagger came close to him, Maruto fearlessly received the attack with the short sword. Sounds of metal clashing could be heard.
He blocked the blow very neatly. It’s as if he already knew beforehand his opponent’s movement. The assassin decided to reassess the target’s capability.
(―――――I was told that…..no……)
Rumors say that the target was not proficient in swordsmanship. He always stayed behind his men and protected by his aides. In other words, it should be easy to kill him when he has no escort around him. After waiting for several days, the opportunity finally came. So the assassin decided to strike.
But he’s still standing there. Despite his life is being targeted, the gentle looking man could still muttered in a light tone.
[Ee~ that’s a good one. However, I also have a good sense regarding my distance to the opponent.]
A voice leaked out in disbelief. To think that he can still speak like that in this kind of situation. Right in front of the enemy no less. It’s like he’s a teacher practicing with his pupil. The assassin looked up, trying to figure out what is he thinking. At that time, her face became partially visible. Strands of silver hair spilled out from the hood. The thin jaw that formed an inverted triangle was too beautiful to behold.
The little assassin was undoubtedly young. Maruto raised his eyebrows upon seeing all that.
[Eh, you are that young? How old are you?]
[Moreover, you are a girl, aren’t you?]
The assassin clenched her teeth at that question, glaring as if to kill. It’s said that when it comes to assassination, it doesn’t matter how cheap you act, you must be quick before any stray escort or knights accidentally appeared and started to retaliate. With that thought, the girl lashed out again.
The girl silently swung her dagger, targeting the chest area. It’s the way of assassination. Having a dagger is more advantageous in close quarters.
However, all she heard were the sounds of her dagger cutting through air. Maruto, who was in front of her, twisted his body so that no slashes managed to land on his body.
(―――――――Why, why it won’t hit!)
Maruto easily evaded the attack aimed at his neck.
[Whoops, that’s dangerous. Ah, by the way, what’s your name?]
Like before, he kept spouting questions. No matter how she looked at him, he neither seemed like a warrior nor that he looked strong. And yet she couldn’t land even a single hit.
Rocking his body left and right, even quick slashes using rebounded movement was avoided without difficulty.
The girl was enraged by that gaze that seems like he looked down on her fighting spirit. Every time their eyes met, he started to laugh. It’s as if like she’s being played with. The girl’s slashes started to be filled with the heat of anger instead of the previous coldness. Maruto was completely defenseless and didn’t even try to attack back. He simply took one step backward, then another step and so on.
Once again the girl aimed for his chest, thought that it finally hit, only to realize that it was just his mantle. Using that opportunity, Maruto pulled down the girl’s hood.
For a moment she couldn’t see in front, but she quickly returned her hood to its original position―――――――to find out that Maruto was no longer in front of her. When she finally found him, he’s already at the end of the alley. He actually managed to escape. That act just now was to distract her.
[The knight ran away?!]
The girl soon calmed herself down but the face under that hood turned gloomy as she kicked the ground and started chasing.
Eventually, after fighting continuously in the maze-like streets, the girl was able to corner him into a dead end. Not noticing that she was lured there.
The girl lifted the corner of her lips, convinced that this was the end. Maruto on the other hand was leaning on his back against the wall behind him. He looks so miserable that it’s funny.
She said that there is no escape for him now with a low voice. This time, she’ll definitely take care of him. The girl pulled out another dagger that was hidden under her leather armor. And with that, she wielded a pair of daggers at once.