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In Maruto’s presence, the girl couldn’t find the courage to kill the superior-looking guy in front of her who, for some reason, people want to have killed. Even if her head told her not to, her body still lowered the daggers without permission.
[It’s a lie…..I’m, a cold blooded assassin. Mission…..must be……fulfilled.]
（―――――――this is……a first ……I…… must prioritize the mission…… but ……why……)
Her fingers started to tremble as if cramping, the daggers easily slipped through her grasp and fell to the ground. She could hear rushing footsteps coming from behind. Knights rushed in with murderous intent. She was surrounded in an instant.
A blue-haired boy stepped forward with sword in his hand.
[Pardon me, I’ll have you die.]
The silver haired girl didn’t say anything. It’s as if she was a sinner waiting for punishment after admitting to all the crime she had done so far.
When the sword slashed down, it was actually Maruto who stopped it.
The blue haired boy stopped his movements then asked with a confused voice.
[Wha, what is it, leader?]
The subordinates raised their eyebrows at Maruto. The person in question simply laughed.
[I’m sorry, but it seems everyone here has a misunderstanding?]
[I was doing a recruitment exam for this kid here.]
Knowing Maruto’s character, Eilam could only facepalm.
[Wha, whatever it is, aren’t you enjoying yourself a little too much….?]
[That’s right, Leader, are you insane?! We’ve heard about it! She must be one of the Dark Hands!]
The reason why the White Wolf Knights rushed here was from earlier.
Some townspeople who coincidentally witnessed Maruto being attacked went to report it to the nearby headquarters. When they heard that it might be an assassin if judging from the clothes, the knights’ face grew pale and thus quickly rushed here.
Hearing that, Maruto could only scratch his head while having a cold sweat. He then spun a lie as an explanation.
[No, you see, it’s an unexpected test.]
Eilam let out a long sigh, still holding his head.
[…….please cut it out. Is leader helping her just because she is a girl?]
Maruto could only smile sheepishly at that guess.
[No matter how much you want to embrace your enemy, there is moderation to it too.]
It was already in Maruto’s nature to try and help when he comes across a girl, especially orphans and vagrants. Most of the White Wolf Knights members knew about this. Eilam, who was a noble, admired this part of Maruto and he volunteered himself to become a member of the knight order. He wanted to aid him since he clearly understood the feeling of wanting to help others.
However, there is a limit to that and helping out someone who attempted to assassinate Maruto is a huge no.
Curling his eyebrows, Maruto gave Eilam a begging look.
[No, we can’t!]
The shouting continued on. The higher-ups of the knight order started to argue. Perhaps because they were of the same age, but the sight of a subordinate boldly scolding his superior puzzled the girl, making her wonder what kind of relationship they shared. No matter how she looked, these people are strange. Normally, the people on top rely heavily on their rank and position, looking down at their subordinates, proudly flaunting their power and bending justice to be always on their side. Those are the kind of humans that the silver haired girl hated. People who’d better be buried in the dark.
However, this man named Maruto was somewhat different.
After several moments of uncertainty, Maruto managed to convince his subordinates, who were drooping their shoulders and shaking their heads while mumbling something.
There was one who wasn’t convinced. It was Eilam. He still strongly objected.
[I can’t put my trust in this person. She’ll definitely try to kill you!]
Maruto rolled his eyes, looking for words to object with.
[Ah, right! Which team was responsible for escorting me today?]
To that question, the knights laughed bitterly. Eilam himself turned skittish.
[Err, aa, kuh! Now that….has nothing to do with this……]
Obviously, the domineering figure from earlier had crumbled. Maruto, who had noticed this, let out a suspicious smile.
[Gufufu…if by any chance, this was a real assassination attempt, simple apologies won’t be enough. You’ll be put on military trial. I wonder what Ortashia will do to you in that case?]
His body shook and his face turned pale when Eiram heard that name being mentioned. Other knights started to be restless as well.
[Ahah, Ortashia will be really mad when she hears about this. Well, perhaps I should tell Ortashia~]
Eilam groaned, balling his fingers into fist, still looking conflicted. He finally returned his sword to its scabbard, his gesture showing disagreement. When he left, he whispered something to the silver haired girl.
[I’ll always be watching you.]
After saying that, Eilam returned back into line alongside the other knights.
The silver haired girl no longer had the right to choose. If she refused here, she’ll surely be killed. She decided to give up on her mission. Once she did, for some reason the world around her seemed different. The figure of a guy staring at her intently filled her vision.
（――――――I want to know. What kind of guy……he actually is……）
The silver haired girl wanted to know what kind of man Maruto is. Her interest had been piqued. Maruto, realizing the change in her eyes, asked for her name once again. She replied with a low voice.
[So it’s Elize, what a wonderful name. Welcome to our “Family”! Welcome to the Order!]
Elize was hired as an escort for the order from then on but was not allowed to get near Maruto. She undertook escort duties during monster subjugation to earn the order’s trust. Protecting the people she was supposed to kill caused a sense of incongruity, but Elize did the job well regardless.
Riru, Maruto’s deputy officer, was trapped during a monster subjugation mission and Elize was the first to act in order to rescue her. Faster than anyone else, Elize fearlessly ran through the darkness on her own and managed to rescue Riru. Upon getting to safety, Riru was too scared that she actually cried while hugging Elize’s leg.
By rescuing Riru, Elize gained the trust of the order and afterwards, she was allowed to go near Maruto, even serving as his escort. At that point, she was really happy since she could approach him now. She’ll be able to get to know him better.
However, also at that point, it was already too hard for him to smile everyday. He had become the target of envy and grudge with continuous assassination attempts. There was only death in his eyes.
As she got to know him better at that time, while staring silently at his back, she was reminded of that sentence he had said back then.
“――――――When I was fighting, every time my opponent received a fatal blow……I got really scared just from the image of them writhing in pain floating in my head――――――”
She still remembered his voice when he said that so vividly. What he was concerned about was not fear of being killed but instead, it was the pain when he’s dying. He already knew even then. One day, he’ll be killed.