Volume 1, Chapter 8: I was Captured
Cruel portrayals are present. Readers, please take notice.
After the tea party, I’m talking about today’s events while sitting on Father’s knee. We’re currently on a carriage heading towards one of Father’s private residences.
“……… Do you know that child…?”
“Yes…… He’s the son of one of my acquaintances.”
Muu…… Is your work related to children, Father? But then why was I sent away clumsily in the past? Was he perhaps being bullied by the children with jeers of [Fuhaha, What a Bumpkin!] and the like?
“Isn’t going… No good?”
Ah, no good. If Father says to go, even if I hate it, I can’t bring myself to say no. His reaction, however, is one that makes me feel as though he’s troubled about my opinion.
“If Yurushia doesn’t want to go, then –”
Even though I, with great pains, made up my mind… Why is Father so surprised?
“D-Does Yurushia… Like Rick…?”
Why…? The flow of the conversation has become strange.
“Is that so…… Rick has…”
F-Father…? Why is there an evil smile plastered on your mouth? Vio too? Why is Father’s hand on his sword?
I don’t understand the situation, but are you planning on using it against someone? Please don’t. Although, coming from a Demon, telling him not to cut someone down isn’t very convincing.
Rather than Father, I’ll do it myself if it means keeping the blood off his hands. Umu. I would.
I’d even lift the ban on the certain-death G-rank Summoning.
Well, setting that aside, Father’s mood has become quite bad. But I still have a card up my sleeve.
Throughout all of history, Fathers have always been weak to flattery from their young daughters.
“I wish to marry Father, though?”
“… I-Is that so?”
I’ll become uneasy if your mood can be reversed so easily, Father.
When it’s time for me to be married, things might get a bit difficult…… Your appearance alone scared me, after all.
“He’s not…… Coming home, huh.”
While looking outside her mansion’s window towards the dark sky, Albertine let out a small voice only audible to herself. She took care in confirming, as if to let the truth sink in……
About a year ago, the times her husband hadn’t returned home increased.
The official story was that he was out inspecting their territory, but in reality her husband was a key figure in the country, and spent most of his time in the Imperial Capital.
Naturally, his wife Albertine and two daughters lived there as well; his daughters were born there, too. There were very few people who actually took up residence in their territory’s Manor.
Albertine’s children recognized their secondary residence in the Imperial Capital as [Home].
Indeed, the Imperial Capital was pleasant to live in. Compared to their Manor in the territory, the Capital is gorgeous, and it was easy to know the latest trends, and get one’s hands on any news.
It was a society where a ball is held somewhere almost every evening, and invitations to tea parties are common during the day.
Beautiful women of high status and wealth often invited Albertine to compete in their social events, and showered her in praise.
But to Albertine, they were her enemies.
It wasn’t to the point that she’d pick a fight with them, but she ignored Young Nobles as if they didn’t even exist, and did the same to Old Nobles who held power but found her husband pitiful.
Albertine was aware.
She was aware of what she [Wanted]. Just as they wanted honor, wealth, and praise… She wanted her Husband.
But her Husband hadn’t returned.
She had pulled him from the woman he loved.
Albertine turned to face Zumana, who was dressed in butler clothing and staring dubiously at her face.
It seemed that he was called several times, but wasn’t noticed until he approached.
“I apologize. I was… A bit preoccupied.”
“Are you tired…? Shall I bring you a warm drink?”
She was about to say wine… But she reconsidered. There was no Ball being held that night, so it would be best to refrain.
“Then…… May I have some tea?”
Zumana began to roast her favorite Rose Tea from the wagon that was already prepared.
Not only the taste, but the smell was also sweet, thought Albertine.
And yet her husband wouldn’t return home. …… Even though she was away from home herself due to attend soirées frequently. While thinking so, Albertine leaked a smile which held a hint of self-mockery.
“Is it not to your liking?”
“Not at all; it is delicious…… Have the children already gone to sleep?”
Zumana lightly responded to the topic diversion.
A long time ago the Industry of Magic had discovered Zumana soon after he enrolled. He was a commoner, but had a high amount of talent — he was a protégé of sorts.
Initially, they had only found his magic talent, but it was later discovered that he wan skillful with hands, which would be useful for a Butler or a Spy.
Albertine, who had helped pay the tuition fees of those in poverty, had gained Zumana’s fealty for life… And has tended to her ever since.
All without knowing that his poverty was, in the first place, her fault……
“The young ladies took a bath after having dinner for two, afterwards –”
“Alright. It’s the same as always, then…”
The two daughters have conversations every day with their mother, but they do not love their father. If the situation called for it, they would be able to boast of their father’s good looks to some extent.
But that was only natural… Or so thought Albertine.
To he whose house and power was snatched away forcibly, even if she was able to become his husband and bare his children, Albertine would never be able to gain his heart.
He would still be affectionate to his daughters, and he would try his best to love his wife, but his attitude made it seem as though he was always a step away. Irritated with the cold attitude of her husband, Albertine would sometimes shower him with cruel words… To which he would always reply with a lonesome smile, and nothing else.
Naturally, in must have been hard for the children who grew up watching such parents.
Albertine, who could not win her husband’s love, doted on her daughters — or more accurately, she spoilt them. They became selfish and greedy as a result. In the end, it could be said that they were raised off of Albertine, and gained a resemblance to something akin to her alter ego.
For how long was the Father’s heart tormented by the words of his daughter?
Therefore, the husband devoting himself to [A Beloved Woman] and [An Ideal Daughter] would be natural.
But for some reason…… She could not permit it.
“Zumana. The preparations…… Are they finished?”
“Yes, madam. They were completed without a hitch.”
“Then…… In that case…”
Albertine stood up from her seat, and beckoned Zumana.
It was natural for her husband to be unable to love his daughters if they did not love him to begin with.
That being said, Albertine didn’t know if he was truly the father of his daughters, as they could have belonged to the man in front of her.
Two days later, the brat–…… Er… Rick(?)’s birthday party has begun.
It seems that the party was originally scheduled to take place somewhere amazing, but suddenly, they decided to borrow the house of a different Noble near the suburbs for the occasion.
Whenever I ask [Why?] to Father, he avoids the question by laughing, so I tried asking Vio. She responded with a subtle smile and gave the reason:[Because of Yuru-ojousama]. But why…?
Today, I’m clothed in a soft white dress.
Father had been invited to a different location, which seemed quite important.
Vio and Fer were made to wait in a waiting room, so although it was a long time since I used my feet, I was escorted by a young knight on foot.
I really can walk, you know……
The moment I arrive at the venue, some members of the orchestra make [Gigoo] or [Gigii] sounds with their instruments. The other children also remain at a distance. In other words, there’re no particular problems.
That’s right. There were no problems with the venue.
The problems which occurred with the orchestra is completely unrelated.
I’m genuinely relieved. I’m really, really glad that I’ll also have a friend to talk to. I’m embraced with all her might, so I almost fall over from our meeting.
“I’m glad to see you once again, Yurushia-sama. You look wonderful in that white dress; it brings the image of a Lily Fairy to mind. But, of course, a white rose also comes to mind, and with its texture, it seems as though it was made of the feathers of an angel. Ahh, and your beautiful golden hair would be such an Angle’s lovely halo. With its charm, surely other angels would be jealous. To be able to meet Yurushia with such a charming appearance, I feel quite dizzy……”
That’s likely from a lack of oxygen.
I suppose this is a Noble-sama’s technique to give lavish praise, all while it’s nothing but lip service…… Amazing, Shelly. Even though you’re still young.
“She-Shelly as well, you look like a princess.”
“Ahhh… For Yurushia to say such a thing……”
She finally seems to have calmed down. Excellent…… Shelly, who is wearing a pale pink dress, is pretty like a Princess from a picture book.
Because of Shelly’s slightly eccentric behavior, attention was gathered… But no one is approaching us. With the exception of……
I’m found by the brat which was having a pleasant conversation with a cute young boy, and he proceeds to walk over here.
“If you ended up coming, then quickly –”
“Rick-sama, happy birthday. Thank you for your invitation.”
I interrupt his words and bow as beautifully as possible before he ends up picking a fight. Because of the knowledge I gained from the dream, I can do at least this much. I said what I did because complaints should be barred after doing so.
“Also, this is–…”
“R-Rick-sama, I am currently talking to Yurushia-sama. Come, Yurushia-sama, there’s some fruit juice over there if you’d like.”
“O-oi, what did you say? You’re Shellynn, right? Don’t just selfishly lead Yurushia around.”
With my hands being grasped by two sides, a quarrel began right in front of me. Or, would this really be a quarrel? Their voices aren’t loud yet, and their words aren’t thorny by any means.
Shelly may have thought that I was frightened, or perhaps she simply hates Rick…… Ah, I want to go home already, but I can’t.
Both of my hands are getting a little sore. I should have these two let go pretty soon. Perhaps I should complain about the pain? But if I do that, would Shelly worry about it……?
“An argument… No good…?”
I’ll appeal to the consciences of these children. I’ll give off the feeling of ‘Older Brother, Older Sister, Why are you fighting?’ rather than a more adult-type persuasion.
While the two hesitate for what to say, their grip loosens slightly. But they don’t let go.
Shelly seems to be holding my hand because she’s working hard as the [Older Sister] of a smaller child, but why isn’t Rick letting go? Perhaps he just doesn’t want to lose…?
That aside, the gazes are kind of painful…… I, who is put between the guest of honor and a pretty girl, can feel all of the eyes in the surroundings concentrating on me.
“My… Rick, Shelly, this is no good right? Be gentle to the child.”
From behind, I’m picked up suddenly and held by a beautiful woman with red hair.
Although she brings to mind the person who I saw in the carriage, she was someone else. If that person’s hair resembled the color of a red rose, then this person’s would be described as a glaring orange fire.
She gives off a different impression as well. Much like a fire, she’s warm.
This is Rick’s mother, then? How was Rick born from such a nice person……? It’s a mystery.
Rick’s mother closes the lips of a surprised Shelly.
She looks down at me with a splendid smile.
“Ahh, we meet at last. Yurushia…… Ria’s child, right?”
“… Do you know Mother?”
“I do. I’m Elea, one of Ria’s friends.”
Mother…… You have a friend? I’m released by Rick and Shelly, and then captured by Elea while having such a cruel thought.
Captured…… That’s right. I was definitely caught.
“Y～～～～～～～up, as expected, girls are great～～”
My cuddling personnel increased by one person.
Elea had walked over to a large sofa, and sat me down on her knee. She then proceeded to stroke and fiddle with Shelly’s hair with one hand, as she had sat beside us. …… What kind of night club is this?
On the opposite side, Rick sits down with an dissatisfied [Fuhn].
Erm… Elea-sama? Girls are good and all, but your son is sitting right next to you, you know?
“Rick is cute now, but in 10 years he’ll become a rough man similar to his father.”
There’s no mercy for her 7-year-old son.
“That’s fine, because resembling Father means becoming powerful.”
Ohh, Rick-chan, you’re unexpectedly resilient.
“Rick will become strong, huh… Hey, Yurushia, do you like strong boys?”
Not just my voice, Rick and Shelly leak out sounds as well. I don’t understand the reason for the question very well.
Could there be some hidden meaning in Elea-sama’s words as expected? It’s definitely like that, right? Then, if I answer incorrectly here, this situation will become entirely different, won’t it?
“…… I don’t know.”
“I see. You don’t know yet, huh… Perhaps we should talk about it again with Ria when you become four.”
Please don’t. Wouldn’t that just be a little over two months? Let’s change the topic.
“I’ll think about it later. But isn’t that a question for a woman, rather than a child?”
“It is, but just like boys, it’s best to have a preference for who you’d like to be your husband.”
Ah. Only an unskillful Noble would go on without an heir.
Because I’m a child, Elea talks slowly to make it easier to understand.
“So: Yurushia, Shelly. Be sure to consult someone about it, alright? Your mothers, for example.”
So I should ask for support…… I don’t think too deeply about the meanings of her words.
“That’s right, Yurushia, what does Ria call you?”
“… Err, Yuru –…”
No, wait a second. Isn’t this the perfect chance to change my [Mascot]-like nickname that I’ve been worried about for some time now?
Before, I was a baby, so I couldn’t decide for myself. But now I can. So…… Because my name is Yurushia, something like [Rushia] or [Shia] would be fine.
“Yuru, you say. Is it alright if I call you Yuru as well, then…?”
…… My correction was too slow.
A suitable place for the Birthday of a certain son.
Viscount Peron, who was said to have established relationships with high-ranking Nobles and was such a noble himself, was approached with such a request.
The Villa that Viscount Peron prepared was a personal reward given by the first in line to be King; while it was a bit much as a gift, it was a great honor nonetheless.
It was near the Capital, but it wasn’t close to the Imperial Castle. It was large, making it quiet — almost to the point of being unsuitable to live in. Its taxes weren’t anything to scoff at, either.
It couldn’t be sold because it was given as a reward, so the land was lent out to Viscount Peron’s father and grandfather, as well as other nobles in order to cover the tax.
However, talk between Nobles are carried through stewards every day, and they had begun doubting the appreciation of the Viscount’s gift, and pondered over how he was using all the money he was gaining through it.
And so, when there was a sudden modification in the venue the party would be held at, this villa was decided. The day before the party many cooks and maids arrived, alongside a large quantity of supplies. Escorting them were not only Knights and Guards, even people with the gowns of Wizards were present, making one wonder if the son of a Noble wielding considerable power was to arrive.
And on the day of the party……
“…… I’m hungry.”
Such a voice leaks out of a young soldier, but his coworkers don’t blame him.
“The stuff those young kids are eating looks quite delicious…”
The soldiers, who had been scraped up and positioned without much warning, had only eaten a quick breakfast and weren’t permitted to rest until the party concluded.
The soldiers could only afford to make bitter smiles as they listened to the wretched music at a distance.
In the case of soldiers being stationed to guard such a large party, they’re treated to any leftover ingredients and dishes once the party ends. In the case of a party held for a child, high-quality sweets are often plentiful by the end, as the children can’t eat much.
“…… Are the maids aiming for the sweets?”
“That’s right. Because a big shot’s involved this time, the guys at the back gate said that an outrageous amount of Cake has been prepared.”
It was only a rumor, but the party was supposedly supposed to take place at night originally, so it would seem that the casual children’s party was the only thing planned in a hurry.
“Oi, you guys, pay proper attention.”
The soldiers hurriedly straighten their posture after hearing a sudden voice.
The owner of the voice was a young knight with strange black hair. Because the guards were gathered in such a hurry, they were relocated from various places. As a result, most don’t recognize each others’ faces.
The knight gives a wry smile to the soldiers before taking out a small amount of meat and wine from a basket he was carrying.
“It’s only a little, but it’s for the sake of the celebration. I could only gather this much, though……”
“T-This is for us? Thank you very much.”
The knight shows a bright smile, and lightly waves his hand to the two guards who have similar expressions.
And with that, the plan had begun quietly.
The black-haired knight walks down an empty corridor. Behind him:
“What are you doing here?”
A middle-aged Knight calls out while on patrol with two subordinate Knights. Slowly, the knight with the black hair turns to them.
“Just patrolling the area.”
“You were…? Excuse my impoliteness, but I’d like to know your full name.”
“Hm. I am…”
The black-haired knight pulls out his sword and beheads the middle-aged knight in an instant.
“My name is Zumana. Now, I must be on my way.”
After saying so, Zumana cuts the neck of one of the remaining knights before they could understand what happened. The movement was as casual as a handshake.
The final knight flinches and takes some distance from the knight with blood now spewing out of his neck, he then readies his sword. By the time he did so, however, Zumana had already finished his chant, and pointed the tip of his sword towards the knight.
*Bachi*… With the sound of something popping, a bolt of lightning is loosed through the knight’s metal armor, turning the last knight into a corpse without a word.
“Well… Shall we begin?”
I cover my mouth and hold down a sudden nauseous feeling.
Elea-sama calls out quietly, followed by Shelly.
What is this…? This feeling that’s welling up from my stomach and making my body boil?
“…… Do you feel ill?”
Because even Rick looks worried, I must look quite strange.
Suddenly, Elea-sama looks up and mutters, as if the words were leaking out.
“…… The smell of blood…?”
Indeed, it’s the smell of blood.[Agony] and[Despair] drift within the[Aroma] of the blood, throwing my emotions into turmoil.
Before I knew it, Elea had whispered something into the ear of a Butler. I faintly heard what she said, but I didn’t hear all of it as expected:
“… The soldiers… … Poison…?”
The door was forcefully slammed open, and a knight alongside several other men, all covering their faces, enter the room with their weapons held at the ready.
Even a young lower-class noble like me could understand what was going on.
“The area around the mansion has already been seized. The children will be coming with us.”
Such were the words of a terrorist.
Yeah, this…… This is definitely terrorism. As for their objective, it might be kidnapping for ransom… From a black-haired knight, I definitely felt an intent like that.
“What did you say?”
Elea-sama builds up magic terribly quickly. It was the Fire Magic: Flame Orb judging by appearance…… But Elea-sama wasn’t able to release it.
“Using Magic here… Wouldn’t that hit the children?”
So said a masked knight, who held the arm of a frightened boy.
In vexation, Elea stands still… But she doesn’t dispel the Fire Magic.
The way things are going, this doesn’t look good.
Elea is at a stalemate against the terrorists who’re holding hostages, and Shelly, Rick, and the other children have all become rigid and blue-faced.
If someone panics, it’s possible that they’ll be hurt by the terrorists as an example. At worst, they could even be killed.
The children’s minds are at the breaking point, and the only thing keeping them from crossing over into complete panic is Elea’s presence it seems.
And so, if Elea dispels her magic, the children will most likely breach that breaking point.
The Butlers and Maids understand all of the above, so they don’t make a move.
Even with just a glance…… I can understand that it’s only a matter of time before panic breaks loose.
I could try to make a plan, but it would be ineffective because of their supposed purpose; that is, to abduct children.
As a 4-year-old, it should be impossible to stop them.
I could make full use of my powers as a Demon… But even if the only demerit is being viewed as a Demon, I don’t want to reveal my true nature…… I’m sorry.
So, their purpose will be accomplished… But the real questions are: how many will be taken, and who will be taken?
The first to be taken will probably be Rick. He’s the most important child at the party, and I can’t help but think that the large number of guards were provided for him.
And so, the best plan is to surrender Rick and leave. Yep. It’s that simple.
However, because this is such a large-scale event, after they’ve taken him they might just kidnap as many children as possible.
The number of children rivals the number of terrorists, so taking too many hostages would interfere with the escape, however.
Therefore, at most, they’ll take about five people total.
It can be assumed that even if as few as 3-4 people are taken they will have achieved their purpose, so the problem doesn’t lie with those that are taken, but rather those left behind.
To the terrorists, there isn’t much point in keeping them alive — especially in the case of adults.
It’s risky to stay, and it’s equally risky to remain. How troublesome.
Other lives are relatively trivial, but Elea-sama is a friend of Mother, so it would be unpleasant for her to die — even if it would result in a good scent. And as a worst case scenario, I’d like the cute Shelly to live even if she’s the only one among us to do so.
To me who is a Demon with a strange Human mind, I decide to take an unexpected action.
There’s no helping it…… Although it’s out of character, I’ll go on [The Stage].
“… Elea-sama, lower your hand.”
As quietly as possible, I reach up and touch Elea-sama’s hand…… And speak clearly.
Slowly, I silently slip off of the couch…… And with a dignified expression, I move towards the terrorists.
No one had moved at first, but suddenly the smallest girl changed that. The terrorists turn their eyes towards me in alarm.
“Please release the people here.”
By turning off my emotions as much as possible and staring with calm, quiet eyes, I make maximum use of my inhuman appearance, causing those who were about to say something shrink up.
Fufu, there’re times when my scary appearance comes in handy after all.
Still, I have to finish it quickly before they recover. To start with, this isn’t some [Coercion] ability that would force them to release everyone unconditionally.
“Instead, take me.”
I hear someone say something from behind, but it’s practically inaudible, so I don’t worry about it.
The eyes of the terrorists swim. Only the leader can make the decision.
I smile at the masked knight with black hair as gently as possible. I then start walking before their sanity returns. Don’t provoke him…… Slowly…
If I can walk past them to the door without any of them touching me, I’ll have completed more than half of my objective.
If I can make it to the hallway, they’ll have no choice but to capture me… Supposedly.
So, my gamble is for them to grieve over the sight of my appearance until then. I’m unsure if it will be a success even now.
If it does work, then so long as I’m the only one who’s taken, I can unseal the sure-death Rank G avalanche — albeit reluctantly.
Slowly, I walk past the side of the leader, who has a mysterious expression on his face. Just a bit more… Just a little more…
“Not just Yuru, take me as well!”
“I’ll also go with Yuru-sama!”
“M-Me as well!”
Rick…… No, you can do whatever you want.
Aa~a…… Jeez…… Why did it turn out like this……?
By the way, Yurushia’s voice was heard like this:
“Pweez we-leez da peepo heaw.”
“In-shted, taykh me.”