Tuesday, November 29, 2022 @

Chapter 21, Part 2

 I was given a cup of hot sencha tea, and received a small bag of konpeito candy as a snack from one of the maids, not as food for me, but as a treat, as I guessed they had heard something about Shiro.
 (No, it was a little bait...)
 It seems that the fox is so shy that she only wants to talk to me and me alone, except for the gorilla princess. And the maids, who had seen me talking with her several times, seemed to be trying to use me to bait her. Well, it's better than being scared or scorned.
 (Well, that's convenient, isn't it?)
 As a servant, I can't act too conspicuously, and it is difficult to gather information. If bad, even a conversation with other miscellaneous workers may attract attention and make me look bad.
 Then, isn't the fox girl a good cover in a sense?
 Thinking about this, I returned to the room with the tray in my hand. In front of the shoji (paper sliding door), I kneel down on one knee and offer.
 "Princess, I have brewed tea as you requested."
 "Thank you, come in."
 In response to her voice, I quietly open the sliding door, applying the concealment technique.
 "Oh yes, I have an additional order for you. ...Do your best to get out of the way."
 Immediately after I opened the sliding door, I saw something shining in front of me. A tenth of a second later, my body reflexively threw a tray with a cup of hot water on it in front of me. I strengthened my legs with my spiritual power and fell backward as fast as I could.
 Still, I felt the impact of a shallow cut on my mask. This is...!
 "...Oh, you're reacting to the iai (one sword technique)...? I was planning to stop it just shortly, but my fears were unfounded. If this is the case, I could have gone for a more serious cut."
 I look nervously at the owner of the voice in front of me. I opened the sliding door, and right in front of me was the figure of Ako Murasaki, who was holding a long sword with a fierce expression on her face. At her feet are a tray and a teacup, both of which have been cut in half. At the back of the room, a clear-faced peach-colored gorilla rests her elbow on her side breath with an expression of observing, and a frightened white fox shivers and trembles beside her.
 "...Ako-sama, what is happening here? Although you are our guest, this kind of behavior at the place you are visiting is considered to be a matter of honor for your family, if I may be so bold."
 I commented to the girl with reddish-purple hair, but she was offended by my comment. She tosses the sword she is holding in her other hand while keeping a stern expression on her face. Realizing she would do something, I ready my long spear (the third generation) for the group leader that I had left behind half a month before and catch her attack. My nerves were not thick enough to remain unarmed in this murderous atmosphere.
 "Don't worry about that. I have my cousin's permission."
 "However, this house belongs to the Oumi family..."
 "Don't worry. I'll make things right. Or if you'll just stand quietly and let me cut you down, the garden won't be ruined."
 "Are you kidding me!?" I curse at Murasaki and the gorilla-sama, who is boasting with amusement in her heart.
 "Don't worry, cousin (itoko-sama), I won't cause any bloodshed. He's just a servant. I can at least take it easy on him. So please come and see the difference in our abilities."
 The girl who loves her cousin with a sullen look on her face declares to Kizuki Aoi. And I catch a glimpse of her expression as if lured by it.
 "Oh, I see."
 The gorilla princess also seems to have noticed my gaze even through my mask and replies to her cousin's voice with disinterest. And then...
 She looked at me with a small smile on her face.
 ...Haha! This gorilla, she's playing with me...!
 (It's just like a gorilla, though...!!!)
 It's not funny that it's no wonder considering her wildness, self-indulgence, and moody selfishness in the original story. You bastard, you've fired up your cousin...?
 "...I have no reason to disobey my lord's order. I'm young, inexperienced, and immature, so please forgive me if I don't satisfy you."
 Realizing that there was no way to avoid this harassment, I was determined to do so. At the same time, I make preparations to avoid injury as much as possible.
 "...!? Are you being sarcastic!!?"
 The next moment, the Ako girl's mouth trembled as expected, her face flushed and her voice raised. And then... she vanished before my eyes.
 I aimed my spear 'in advance' in the direction the blow would come. At the same time, a metallic sound echoes...!
 "You... b*stard!?"
 I immediately realized that the impact was too heavy for a cheap spear to be able to withstand it, even if the material itself was made more durable with spiritual power. Therefore, I instantly tilted the spear to deflect the impact...!!
 The deflected blow sends a violent shock wave toward the garden behind. The next moment, there is a deafening sound, and the dust and blowing leaves and branches of the trees in the garden dance in the air. Hey, was she really holding back just now?
 On the other hand, the girl's eyes widen in shock that I was able to deflect the blow. Well, that was just a cheat... But, hey!?
 "No, wait... wait...!?"
 Two or three shots from the youkai sword hit me from a close distance. I avoided the first one and deflected the second one with the hilt of my spear. But then the third blow, which I must have been expecting, came at me...!
 "I can't keep doing this!!"
 Immediately, I swung my foot to throw my opponent off balance on her slender feet. And aiming for the smallest possible opening, I backed away to keep my distance. Immediately afterward, the claw marks of the fourth slash, which I couldn't even see, appear at the foot of where I was...!
 "Did you notice that...!!"
 The girl in front of me, Ako Murasaki, is staring at me with a look of deep vexation. Or maybe with resentment. No, she won't be convinced even if I tell her that it was just another cheat.
 "Could you go easy on me? If I may be bold..."
 I ask, after taking a glance at the garden of another's side, which has been ruined within a few dozen seconds, and sweating profusely from our earlier fight.
 "I have. If I wanted to kill you, I could have fired eight shots."
 The girl in front of me who said so calmly was not sweating at all. And her words are not lies. In fact, if she were serious, she would have been able to land ten blows in the previous confrontation between us.
 "Do your best. I'm looking out for you, so I'll give you a little support."
 The gorilla princess waves her fan in unenthusiastic support. Oh, I knew it.
 "...haha, I'll have to do it. Still..."
 Well, how will I lose? In this unreasonable situation where there is not even a chance to win, and even if I win, it would be a big loss. But now, all I can do was re-setting my spear and think only about how to get the best way to lose...
By the way, Murasaki's brothers abilities are around Reinhardt (Re-zero), Kenpachi Saraki (BLEACH), Sabi Hakuhei (Katanagatari), her father is Munenori Yagyu (fate series), and her grandfather is Genryusai Yamamoto (BLEACH).
If you don't mind me saying, Murasaki is the smallest of the small fry in her family, so she has a huge complex. In the game, only her family's back view and her family name are shown in the game, partly to create a wall between her and her family.
...in the "Gaiden (secondary/side story)" series, she is not good at expressing her love and affection for her family members, and she is the type of person who finds out that her family actually loved her a lot, just because she herself didn't realize it (the follow-up to despair).

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