Chapter 52 – Siblings
After the girl finished eating Katsudon, I decided to accomplish the original objective that Louise had asked of me.
The【Collar of Slavery】has an atrocious effect where if you try to remove it by force, it will inflict an abnormal level of pain to the wearer, and in the worst case scenario, kill them.
Because of that, prohibition on its use has been widely spread to countries around the world, but it looks like that restriction has not been established in Kaiser Empire.
Anyway, my first priority for now is to remove the collar from the girl in front of me.
Even if it’s just a little, I wanted to make her feel at ease, so I crouched to her eye level and tried to speak with as gentle a tone as possible.
「I’m going to remove the collar that is attached to your neck now.」
「-?! ….You can’t possibly do something like that.」
「Yeah, I think your reaction is correct. After all, it is said that the only person who can remove 【Collar of Slavery】 is the person who installed it.」
「Don’t worry! Leave everything to Onii-san!」
I answered, brimming with confidence to her hopeless appearance, because even if it’s just a little, I want to give her some hope.
I myself am really afraid of my monster-like stats because there’s a proverb saying a great power will destroy oneself.
But if my power can save people, then I will stop holding back no matter how much is necessary.
That is the only time I can feel prideful about having power that can save others.
I reach my hand out to the collar attached to the girl.
Chances are that against this collar, my original magic 【Get Well】 will have no effect.
After all, 【Get Well】 is a magic that changes a 『Curse』 into a 『Blessing』.
Besides, to remove the 【Collar of Slavery】, only the person himself who installed the collar can remove it, things like magic that can remove it doesn’t exist.
Therefore, it’s necessary for me to create a new magic.
I’m definitely not going to mess up again like with 【Get Well】, okay?! I’m not kidding!!
That being said, what kind of image should I use for getting released from the【Collar of Slavery】? After thinking up to that point, I stopped.
……Hwuh? More than the time when I made【Get Well】, I can’t create an image??
N-not yet! It’s too early to give up! Th-that’s right, I just have to think of an image based on the idea of releasing from slavery or servitude.
Err…Sl-slave? Servant? …I CAN’T IMAGINE IIIIIIIIIITTTTTTTTーー!
Ah no, it’s not like there’s nothing, actually there’s one thing I can use.
But you know? The knowledge I have of emancipation of slaves isーーー
「Is of President Linc*ln….!!」
[TN : referring to President Abraham Lincoln ]
I did it again! Look, see everyone’s face! They’re making a face that says『Eeeh……President Linc*ln? What’s that?』!!
I want to run away right now.
But immediately after that, my reached out hand began to shine, that radiance flew towards the girl’s collar, and the collar burst open at the moment the radiance touched the collar.
I avoid the fragments as they burst out with great force.
By the way, since I’ve been accumulating practice in controlling my skills with Louise, to some extent, I have started being able to move my body by my own volition. While not completely, I am starting to be less at the mercy of my skills.
Fortunately, there’s no damage to the girl, it appears that I was the only one that the fragments were about to hit……I wonder why?
That aside, it took a little while for the girl to notice the collar has been detached, finally she softly touched her own neck, confirming there was no collar.
「See, it’s done!」
Though I made a big mess of it after all, but the collar managed to be removed so all is good in the end, right!
I uselessly puffed up with pride with that logic, but then I heard a voice in my mind.
『【Magic Creation】skill was executed. Hence liberation magic【President Linc*ln】was created.』
Sorry… Looks like it’s still not settled…
Even though I thought I was being super careful about it, a magic with a weird name was created after all!
Foremost, rather than the name of a magic, it’s a name of a person right?! I mean, it’s because I shouted it, but still!
Still with my appearance looking prideful, my mind goes into agony, and then explanation for my new created magic displayed in my mind.
『Liberation Magic：President Linc*ln』….. It’s a magic that can release something from any and every restriction and bond.
Even so, as usual the effect is pretty damn crazy!
By the looks of it, this magic doesn’t apply just to slavery, but it seems like it has the force to activate for various other types of restraint magic and such as well right!?
Damn….As expected of the President of The Land of the Free……… Who’s spitting out such good lines?…. ーーーーMe huh….
While I was engaging in a sad nori-tsukkomi on my own, Louise called out from behind.
(TLC note: A nori tsukkomi is when the tsukkomi person delays his tsukkomi and goes along with the joke for a while before throwing in the retort)
「Shishou. This…we can call this a success right?」
Since the collar came off, I once again check with my skill 『World Eyes』, and the 【Status：Slave】 entry has also completely dissappeared.
「Hm? What’s wrong?」
Noticing her unexpectedly weird state I called out to her, but in the next moment, the girl began to cry.
「Wha?! Wai-…Why are you crying?!」
「Heey heey! Seiichi-san made a girl cry!」
「Lorna-san, please shut up! 」
I retort as such to Lorna-san when she tried to put a weird influence on the conversation, and since I didn’t know what to do, I couldn’t do anything but be flustered.
While I was doing that, Saria, who quietly watched the events unfold until now, approached the girl and hugged her.
「There, there, it’s alright～. You’re so happy that you couldn’t help but cry right～?」
「That’s right, huh……I don’t know what happened but, this girl took was harmed by the 【Collar of Slavery】, a tool that a low-life would use. And so, being released from that, there’s no way she isn’t happy ya know.」
When I noticed, Al had also approached the girl and was patting her head.
「munch munch, I don’t really know what happened but good for you, munch munch」
「When did you get Katsudon?!」
Rurune was the same as always.
After a while, the girl that was being comforted by both Saria and Al, eventually stopped crying and opened her mouth to speak.
「……Nn, thank you.」
「Don’t worry about it!」
Seeing the girl wipe the corner of her eyes, and honestly giving her gratitude, Saria smiled happily.
「……..My name, Origa Carmellia.」
「You’re called Origa-chan? I am Saria! Nice to meet you!」
How do I say this.
Saria always easily befriends and opens her heart to girls!
「…….Nn, Saria Onee-chan.」
「Onee-chan? Me? Ehehe, that’s somehow embarrassing.」
She’s even being called Onee-chan!?
I couldn’t help but shudder at Saria’s disposition of taking care of others.
After that, the girlーーーーOriga-chan turned her glance towards Al.
「…..What is onee-chan’s name?」
「Hm? Oh me? I’m Altria.」
I thought Al was dumbfounded being called Onee-chan but, now she was visibly getting flustered.
「Wh-wh-what should I do, Seiichi. Somehow being called Onee-chan by this Origa girl……I feel something… warm from inside my chest?!」
「Isn’t that feeling happy?」
What’s with that roundabout way of speaking.
While I was calmly retorting, for some reason Rurune uselessly puffed up with pride and announced herself.
「Origa was it. I’m Master’s servant serving as his knight, Rurune!」
「Why!? Why are you calling those two Onee-chan, but not me?!」
「I think it’s the result of your own habit. Or rather, you wanted to be called Onee-chan huh….」
While we were having that conversation, Origa-chan left Saria’s side and moved to where Louise was.
「Hm? What is it?」
「……Your name is?」
「Aah, come to think of it I haven’t introduced myself. My name is Louise. Nice to meet you, Origa.」
「……Un, Louise Onee-chan.」
Louise seemed like she had received quite a shock with the way her eyes were wide open in response to Origa’s words.
「…..Onee-chan, huh…….Since I only have an older brother, the sound of that is…… pleasant.」
「Hahaha. That’s true, Louise has no other sibling besides me.」
Because Louise is a younger sister, it seems she had the desire to be called Onee-chan, and as a result, she showed much more of a reaction than expected.
As I cracked a wry smile to Louise’s situation, Origa-chan pulled on my robe.
「Me? I’m Seiichi. Nice to meet you, Origa-chan.」
「….Nn, Seiichi Onii-chan.」
When she said that, Origa smiled a little.
……What is this…this feeling…
I’ve been called Onii-chan by Shouta’s sister Miu, but when being called by Origa-chan, an indescribable sensation runs through my body.
I can’t say that Al was exaggerating anymore……
When I was thinking about that, Lorna-san said excitedly,
「O-Olga-chan! My name is Lorna!」
When that happened, Origa hid behind my back, and murmured.
「……I hate that person.」
「……Because she was mean.」
It seems like Olga-chan’s first impression of Lorna-san couldn’t possibly be worse.
After finishing each of our respective self-introductions, Origa-chan’s interrogation began again.
Except, when Lorna-san tried to interrogate her, she refused to say anything, so since it couldn’t be helped, Louise took charge. Also, we were made to participate directly in her interrogation. …… I’ve heard that Lorna-san is an excellent interrogator, but I’m starting to doubt whether or not that’s a lie.
「Well then……Origa. Why did you attack His Majesty?」
「……I, actually didn’t want to attack. But, my body wouldn’t listen to me……」
At Origa’s reply, Louise frowned.
We already expected it, but it’s not like Origa would attack Ranze-san because she wanted to.
All of it was by the order from the【Collar of Slavery】.
Basically, there’s no way to refuse the order. That’s because their body would move of it’s own accord, following the given order.
Even then, if she tried to resist, Origa would be attacked by intense pain.
Thinking about that, I too frowned unintentionally, and when Origa saw that she sent a sorrowful glance at me.
「……Sorry, Seiichi Oniichan. I was given the order 【Kill All Witnesses】, but it’s still true that I attacked Seiichi Oniichan……」
「Me too, I’m sorry.」
Origa-chan didn’t expect me to apologise to her, so her eyes were wide open in shock.
「Although I only lightly poked Origa-chan, but the impact must have been great right? Did it hurt?」
「……Nn, I’m fine. I’m already used to feeling pain……」
The expression on Origa-chan face as she said that, was impossibly sad and pitiful.
Looking at her expression, we felt as though we couldn’t breathe, and she continued in a soft voice.
「……As you can see, I’m a cat beastman. But……I was a Cursed Child.」
「……To the cat beastmen, Black is the colour of misfortune and disaster. That’s why, I used to get hit a lot by mother。『Unwanted Child』, is what I was called over and over.」
「……But, I wanted to be acknowledged. Wanted to be petted. Wanted to be smiled at. Wanted to be loved……! ……But now, it will never come true. Because I was sold to the Kaiser Empire as a slave.」
At the many appalling words that came out of Origa-chan’s mouth, all I could do was listen in silence.
For your parent who bore you, to treat you as an unwanted child, is a helplessly cruel experience for one so young.
My family got along very well.
I thought that was a natural occurrence, but that doesn’t seem to be the case.
My parents who unconditionally loved me, no matter what I was like, were really amazing, and above all I feel I was really blessed.
「……After that, I was soon bought up. The people that bought me, was an assassination unit under the Royal family. There, I――――learned assassination techniques.」
Such a young child, made to learn techniques to kill people……
「……Because I am still small, I wasn’t made to do things that would please men. But, instead, I was made to kill lots of people. That, was all the worth that my existence had to them. That’s why, I’m……filthy. Although I harmed the King under orders, my hands are still tainted.」
Saying so, Origa looked down.
…… This child, has only been able to see her own worth in killing others.
That’s because, since she’s been young her parents have treated her violently, and she hasn’t had a chance to feel any true form of love.
When I thought that, my body instinctively moved.
I pulled Origa-chan into my arms, hugging her, who looked so frail that she might break.
「It’s fine. Origa-chan is not filthy. Because, a truly tainted person……would not even be able to cry.」
Origa-chan was crying.
Unlike just now, these were tears of sadness.
If they were tears of joy, then cry as much as you want.
But, no one wants to see you cry such sad tears.
As I gently stroked her head and back, I continued.
「See, if you want to petted, then I’ll pet you, as many times as you want to. If you want smiles, then including you, we’ll smile as much as you want. Besides……look.」
I pulled back my hood, and revealed the color of my hair.
「See? Just like you, my hair is black right? And to top it off, even my pupils are black. Looking at us, we might really look like siblings huh? Our faces aren’t alike, though……」
「Yup yup. Also, what do you plan to do from now on, Origa-chan?」
「……I have nothing to do anymore. Because, I no longer have a place I belong to……」
「Then, wouldn’t it be fine if you just joined us.」
At my suggestion, Origa-chan looked up at me, her face coloured in surprise.
But, she immediately faced back down, shaking her head in refusal.
「……No. If I were to go together with Seiichi Oniichan, then Seiichi Oniichan will be targeted by the Kaiser Empire too. Traitors cannot be forgiven no matter the reason.」
「I see. If that’s so, then I’ll protect you with all my strength.」
Once again turning her face up, Origa stared at my face.
…… To be completely honest, I feel quite unpleasant.
In addition, speaking of the Kaiser empire, my friends……Shouta and the others were summoned by that country as heroes.
It’s a country that would uncaringly use the 【Collar of Slavery】, so I’m feeling impatient.
Are Shouta and the others safe? If I remember correctly, I’ve heard rumors that they’ve started going to an academy.
Including that, if anything happened to my friends, then I――――would absolutely not forgive them.
Even if I were to be called a monster, I’m confident that I would throw away every bit of restraint and rampage.
…… But what I can do right now is to protect Origa-chan that’s in front of me, from the Kaiser Empire.
「……Is it, really okay……?」
「……will you pet me again, like just now……?」
「I’ll pet you as much as you want. I won’t mind it even if your hair’s become a complete mess!」
「……will you smile at me?」
「Isn’t that obvious? Actually, I’m fundamentally a rowdy person. So you better be prepared. I won’t be the only one laughing, because I’ll get you to laugh with with me too, got it?」
Hearing my words, Origa-chan once again broke into tears.
But, these weren’t tear of sadness, but of joy, so go ahead and cry your heart out.
Holding Origa-chan close to me, I gently pat her back, and directed my gaze towards Louise.
「……With that said……Louise. Could you leave Origa-chan under my care?」
It’s fine to have just gone ahead and progressed this conversation along, but Origa-chan is the perpetrator of the attack on Ranze-san, and she is also an important existence that knows information on the Kaiser Empire.
That’s why, there’s no way for them to just simply hand her over to me――――.
「It’s fine. Because it’s Shishou.」
「I’m afraid!? Recently Louise is trying to clear up situations just using the single word Shishou!」
I was easily given permission. Huh? Strange.
「In the first place, I had wanted Shishou to take care of her.」
「Is that so?」
「Both His Majesty, and I, had intended to protect this young child. I am unable to bring myself to punish such a young child. As such, the suggestion that I should take her under my protection came up, but as I am a knight who protects His Majesty, I am unable to look after Origa-chan to that extent. It might have been alright to leave her with my brother as well, but he is somehow a busy person, so……」
「Hmm, he does seem to be busy, now that you mention it.」
「That’s why, if possible I had wanted to leave it to Shishou. If it’s Shishou, then even if the Kaiser Empire sent assassins after her, she would absolutely be safe with you.」
「Absolutely safe……How exactly do you see me?」
「? As Shishou, but..?」
「I was an idiot for bothering to ask!」
The word 『Shishou』, is gradually turning into an all-purpose word.
「Haa……well it’s fine. In any case、I’ll be in your company from now on, Origa-chan.」
「……Nn, I’ll be in your care, Seiichi Oniichan.」
「Yay! Origa-chan will be together with us!」
Then, Saria flew over and hugged Origa-chan.
「……? Saria Oneechan too?」
「It’s not just Saria. I’ll be there together with you too.」(Al)
「Humph, I was Master’s knight in the first place. So we shall be moving together.」(Rurune)
「……Altoria Oneechan and the glutton……」(Olga)
「Oi! Stop calling me a glutton already!」(Rurune)
「No, it’s the truth though.」(Seiichi)
「You too, Master?!」(Rurune)
Finding out that I had thought of her as a glutton up till now, Rurune was visibly depressed.
「……I see. I am just a glutton. I see, I see……」
「There’s no need to get so depressed……After all’s said, I am quite fond of how Rurune looks as though everything she’s eating is delicious.」
「I-is that true? Master……」
「Yupyup, that’s why, cheer up.」
「……Yes! I will devote even more of myself to food from now on!」
「The object of your devotion is weird.」
What the heck. It doesn’t seem like Rurune will ever change no matter what happens. No, that’s that a good thing, but…
Almost as if the atmosphere just now was a lie, we were all bathed in a harmonious atmosphere now.
That is――――with the exception of one person.
「Pl-please let me join in too!」
「……No. I don’t like this person.」
It seems like Lorna-san is quite disliked by Origa-chan.
…… Or so I thought, but from her small smile towards Lorna-san who had her head hanging down, I don’t think she actually hates her.
「……grudges held over food are scary, you know.」
Correction. She might really hate her after all. I put my palms together in prayer for Lorna-san.
「Oh yeah, in the end what was it that you wanted me to do?」
Once the matter of Origa-chan was roughly settled, I asked Louise.
「Oh yes. My request of Shishou is that you guard His Majesty while I am absent.」
「Eh? Me as Ranze-san’s guard? Or rather, you’re going somewhere?」
「Yes. Actually, there’s a person called the 【Black Paladin】 who’s working with me, but unlike me, he mainly patrols around the Winberg kingdom, and solves various problems while doing so. And, just recently, this 【Black Paladin】 contacted me and reported that it seems that monsters around the border have been getting more active.」
「I see……And so, you were called to help out?」
「It is as you say. While the 【Black Paladin】 is known to be a master of protection, he is only one person. If he’s concentrating on one place, then he cannot go to any other place, so I will command the Valkyries and go there.」
「So that’s how it is……But, for such an important thing, rather than someone like me, wouldn’t it be better to request this from an another, like an excellent soldier from the castle?」
「No, no matter what, if I compare them to Shishou, they’re unreliable…… Besides, even though I said to guard, it doesn’t mean you have to stick with him all the time.」
「Is that so?」
I’m somewhat shocked by Louise’s unexpected words.
I thought i’d be asked to be with him for every waking moment.
「What I am requesting, is that while I am away, you remain in this town of Terveil. As long as Shishou is in this town, I will feel much more at ease.」
「You seem to be quite trusting of me, but I’m just an adventurer……」
「Shishou. Just any ordinary adventurer cannot beat me…… the【Knight Of Sword (Sword Knight) 】」
「Okay, I’m sorry.」
This is bad. A gap is developing between what I feel and what others around me feel.
「Well I guess it’s fine. If that’s the case, then leave it to me. Well even if I say that, it’s really only me not leaving Terveil……」
「That’s enough. Thank you very much, Shishou.」
「Don’t mind it. So? When are you coming back?」
「I don’t intend to take much time, but just traveling will take at the very least 1 week, I estimate.」
「I see……It seems it would be better for me to consider that this would take about 1 month.」
「Once again, my apologies for troubling you, Shishou.」
「It’s fine. Louise too, you should be careful.」
Louise replied to my words, with a slight but visible smile on her face.
Since then, Louise has left together with the rest of the Valkyries.
But I couldn’t help doubting the world would be so kind as to let everything end uneventfully.
That was one week after Louise and the others left.
Author’s Note :
As a correction, I’ve censored one part of the Magic’s name.