6-23. Young Lady and Knight Thief
"Father and sister are being tricked desuwa."
How many times have I told this to them. Yet, my words didn't reach anyone. And now, those vulgar ruffians are strutting this castle like it's their own.
<TLN: As you may have inferred, this chapter is told not in Satou's POV because there's no 'Satou's here'. She uses "Watakushi" to refers herself, by the way.>
Maybe that's why. I feel like something is calling me, and I've strayed to the old, old collapsed building inside the castle.
It's an old building that has been around in this marquis Muno castle since 20 years ago.
It has already been 15 years since my father received this territory. My mother, sister and me arrived in this castle 16 years ago, we've never left even once since then. The time when uncle Toruma came to play during my childhood was the most fun time.
Even though it's called castle, there are small forest and pond inside its ground, maybe it's to show the power as a marquis, so I don't really feel locked up.
I've searched through the inside of the castle, but this is the first time I'm here. Usually the maid will not let me inside saying, "It's dangerous."
I wonder if this is because I've entered an unfamiliar place. I think that the floating dust lit by the sunlight is beautiful, I feel pleasant. It seems that I would cough violently if I don't enter while covering my mouth with a handkerchief.
There's a throne in this room, I wonder if it was an audience hall of the marquis. The light spilling from the crumbled roof creates illusion that makes this room looks like a sacred place.
And then, I meet my destiny here.
"O girl, do you desire power."
I answered the words that suddenly came out from the direction of the throne.
Even though I'm reflecting on it, I assert that I don't have any regret on the rash decision that I've made this time.
"Very well! Then, I will give you!"
Silver light that appears from the throne wraps me. It feels like it coils around my hair and body. When I'm assailed with anxiety, elegant bracelets appear knitted with silver thread on both my wrists. I feel something odds on my ankles, and anklets with the same design as the bracelet are there when I look.
"O girl, the contract has been established. Wisdom and bravery are yours to take."
"Where in the world are you? In addition, won't you kindly tell me what these accessories are?"
Even though I could hear him closely, I can't see his figure. I desperately try to keep myself calm and talk to the invisible gentleman.
"There is a large mirror behind that curtain. You should see there."
I go to the mirror guided by that voice. A tiara has appeared on my head before I was aware of it.
"The accessories on your head, hands and feet are my forms. I had ran alongside my master to the battleground, and finally accomplished my long-cherished wish. My master had left me here and said, "Help a person who wish to crush unreasonable power."
"Oh my, how wonderful. What a noble-minded person."
I wonder who is this the master of this tiara. I have never seen a talking magic tool beside in the fairy tales.
"Tiara-san, is it fine to call you that?"
"My previous master called me Raka. It was a name associated with the most famous knowledgeable magic tool <<Intelegent Item>> that came out in tales of his hometown. If you don't have any name you want to particularly use, I'd like you to call me Raka."
"I understand Raka-sama. As for myself, please call me Karina."
"This is pleasant. Karina-dono, you don't need to politely use "Sama" for magic tools. It is fine to just call me by the name."
"Then Raka. I want to borrow your power."
"It is inevitable. I will assist you whether the opponent is a hero or a demon lord."
"Oh my, how reliable desuwa, the opponent is a hero."
When Raka-san talk, the tiara is glowing blue, but is he at loss of words? The blue glow has stopped.
"Is there anything wrong?"
"No, it's just that, I'm just thinking that the master this time is firm, it's excellent. Particularly, master "It's Karina desuwa" Umu, Karina-dono."
"Since the opponent is a hero, does Karina-sama have any experience in magic and swordsmanship?"
"No, I'm good at embroidery and poem, but I leave the fighting to the knights."
"Fumu, is that how it is. My previous master was a hero."
"What is his name!"
I've done a shameful thing. I involuntary bumped against the mirror. This is also something I got from father. He's been talking about heroes since I was small, so I've also gained interest on heroes desuwa.
"I'm sorry, I cannot remember trivial things like name or appearance. Wielding a holy sword, he cut down thousands of demons, he was the owner of tremendous swordsmanship. Even though he couldn't use magic, he could cut the demon lord's magic and subjugated the demon lord. He was an absurd existence."
"That's right, hero-sama has to be like that!"
I involuntarily put power in my fists. A hero has to be strong beyond common sense above all, If not, he's not a hero.
That self-proclaimed hero who has gained favor of father-sama and onee-sama could only narrowly win against a weak knight, he's just a small fry desuwa.
As the proof, he was always eluding the fight against the strongest knight in the castle, sir Zotor.
"Karina-dono, it's painful to say, but I can only reinforce the power that my master has. I, myself, have power to read mind and use simple magic arts, but I need to use my master's magic power to do so."
"Then, am I to remain unable to do anything?"
"Right, you'd be able to win against average knights, and I can give you physical ability enough to jump across roofs. If the opponents are the like of thieves, then you could obliterate them as long as you have magic power."
"Oh my, that's wonderful."
How wonderful it is. It's like the chivalrous phantom thief, Sharururuun.
"However, that is if the opponent is normal."
Hearing Raka-san's words, my fluttering heart hardened as if wedged.
"Is it no good?"
"Even if I could increase my master's power by one hundredfold, if my master's power is 1, it could only become 100. It's appropriate to call an existence called hero as unreasonable."
"Didn't your past master fight against that unreasonable power?"
The blue light is flickering, and Raka-san says something as if he's found a breakthrough.
"It is so. To be admonished by a baby, this is a good day."
"My, I'm an adult even like this."
I feel a bit shocked at my own words. Before I knew it, I'm at the age where I can participate in society. Onee-sama might have unexpectedly knew about the fact that the hero is an impostor. That man only looks like hero on the outside.
"That man is hero desuno."
"Fumu, are you sure?"
I somehow feel the blue light from Raka-san flashing.
His next words are shocking.
"That is an impostor."
Even though, I was insisting about it, I might have believed it (that he was a hero) somewhere in my heart. Then, just what is the sword that he has which lets out blue light like a holy sword.
I went out of the hiding to convict him, but Raka-san's word stopped me.
"Wait, Karina-dono, who is the man beside that fake hero."
"Are you talking about the consul?"
"That man is a demon. He's most likely many times stronger than the fake hero. We cannot win."
N, no way! I was shocked to learn that the self-proclaimed hero is an impostor, but it was even more terrible to hear that a demon had been acting as the consul.
Demons are existences that have to be attacked with army. The only exception where an individual could win against the demon is only a handful of existences like the real hero.
"Ra, Raka. W, what should we do."
"Please calm down, Karina-dono. If my last memory is correct, this is the territory of marquis Muno right."
"Today it's baron, but yes, you're right."
"Then, there should be a community of wood giants in the depth of the nearby forest. If you're with me, we could get their assistance. However, I can't approve of a woman going deep into the forest alone."
I hate to dirty my dress, but a real hero wouldn't hesitate.
"Could the giants win against the demon?"
"Umu, they're not as strong as the hero, but they shouldn't lag behind a common demon."
"Then, let us go."
"It's reassuring seeing your prompt decision. Karina-dono could very well be a great supporter for the hero."
I try to remain calm as much as possible even though my heart is in festive from Raka-san's words, I head toward the forest.
Guided by Raka-san, I leap over the caste's center and borrow a horse from the stable in front of it to go toward the forest.
When I tried to save a Unicorn who was caught by the thieves, I got caught instead, but I reunited with someone unexpected there.
"Milady, what are you doing in this kind of place."
"Sir Zotor, you too."
I didn't think that the strongest knight in this territory who had ran away several years ago would became a thief. Moreover, according to his story, the thieves are going to rebel against father.
With encouragement from Raka, I confide him about the fake hero and the demon consul.
"That, I've thought that he was suspicious, but to think that he's a demon."
"It is the truth. I swear on the honor of my previous master before Karina-dono, I do not tell lies."
I had thought that he probably got a lot of question while listening to my words. But he anticlimactically accepted the talk just like that.
"I feel bad for the chief of the wanderer that had accepted me, but I will leave here. Karina-sama, please allow me to accompany you to the giants."
"I allow it, knight Zotor."
This is wonderful desuwa. It's like in the tale.
I ride on the unicorn's back and go together with knight Zotor to the wood giants' village deep in the forest.
I do not know if I could obtain their cooperation.
No, that's not it.
I will obtain their cooperation no matter what.
By threatening, or defiling this body, I will accomplish my purpose. That is noblesse oblige.
I have the sword of sir Zotor, and also the wisdom of Raka-san who has spent long years.
Yes, right now, I have companions.
"Now, I am not afraid of anything."
I cheer myself so, and, toward the gate of the village of wood giants in front of me, I take a step forward.