Happy New Year everyone! Here’s to 2021!
Intermission Interception Part 1
“Then…..let us proceed as such.”
“Mm. There will be no missteps with this. As an added precaution I alerted a few of the more tight-lipped individuals such as Asterios to the intruders so they could further strengthen the barrier. We must take care in the surrounding area to ensure none of the students are harmed.”
“I shall be sure to locate and reveal the targets for you. Um, if you were to loosen the choker’s seal even a little, I would not only be able to find the enemies but detain them for you?”
“Shut up. Those words should only be said by someone with a modicum of trustworthiness in their bodies.”
Such a conversation took place inside a small, wooded area where no lost lambs could potentially overhear. There were a few people who were about to pass by unawares, but for some reason their instincts screamed at them about a tremendous danger nearby prompting them to turn away without knowing why.
“Then we shall begin taking action immediately. Sophie will be participating in the three-legged race next, so all suspicious individuals will have to be removed from the premises before then.”
It was still early on during the afternoon competition. Any yet the sports meet was already about to reach its climax in a swirl of conspiracy, frenzy, and murderous intent.
In the midst of the school’s sports meet, three men who appeared to be any other ordinary visitor slipped through the crowd of guests as they tried grasping the surrounding situation and locate the two girls who were their targets.
(Commencing with mission)
Reaching their hands into their breast pockets, their fingers played across the intricately adorned handles of their needle tipped daggers. Submerging all emotion from their eyes and faces to prevent anyone from noticing their murderous intent, the men slowly stalked the two white haired girls. Step by step, they continued closing the gap, aiming for the instant they fell within range of their surprise attack.
If there was any cause for concern it would be the adventurers who were mixed in with the surrounding crowd. What the heck are they all doing here……there was no way these assassins could know about the sweet bait the witch had laid out to lure these adventurers here. They had gathered an extensive amount of knowledge about the past years of the event, so all the assassins could say about the sudden changes that made their task so much more difficult is that it was unfortunate and then persevere.
(There are no issues)
However at present, none of them seemed to care about their existence. It gave the men confidence.
To begin with adventurers were those whose work focused on the subjugation of monsters, so their skillsets would significantly differ from the men’s who specialized in the killing of humans. Certainly many adventurers would notice and respond against a simple murder attempt, but none of them could notice someone who was hiding their murderous intentions inside a crowd of this size.
(Our mission is to trade our lives for the target’s.)
There was no method of killing their two targets here without any of the adventurers noticing, and it would be impossible for them to get away. However that wouldn’t be a problem. The men were sent here fully understanding that from the very beginning, and it was something they thought of as natural.
In fact, each of the men had a back molar that was loaded with a type of poison drained from a nine-headed snake which boasted incredible acidic properties. Even a tiny amount is enough to quickly dissolve a human body to a mud-like state to the point where not even magic could be used to identify the victim.
There is a type of magic that could be used to pick up residual thoughts from the possessions left behind, but it takes time for those kinds of emotions to stick to an item strong enough that any kind of magic would be able to pick them up. Therefore that kind of magic wouldn’t be a problem either. Everything the men had on them were items they had picked up on their way here from the kingdom, so not enough time had passed where anyone would be able to get any information from their possessions.
Thus whether their mission is a success or a failure, their master would face no consequences. Obviously it would be for the best if they could carry out an assassination and escape unnoticed, but if that was not possible, they would not hesitate to commit suicide if the need arose……that was the life they were born in to.
(Targets within range. Executing mission.)
One girl was sitting in a chair yawning while the other was standing at the entrance gate chatting with her classmates. Aiming for their thin necks, the three men used the spell 《Invisil》 to refract the light around them. In that instant, they pulled out their blades and launched them forward, aiming to make bloom a flower of blood…….and in that instant, the three men disappeared off the school grounds…….and from the world entirely.
“Where is this?”
“Unknown cause. Impossible to understand.”
By the time they noticed, the men had found themselves surrounded by stone walls inside a labyrinthian prison. Something akin to bloodstains clung to the walls here and there, and even though vestiges of the summer heat could have been felt a moment before, right now there was a bone-chilling wind that cut through as if it were mid-winter………it was like a scene you would expect to find in Hell.
It didn’t take long for the men to realize their current situation was the result of some kind of magic and for them to regain their focus. Their surprise had overtaken them for only a second…….but in that instant that they raised their guards――――
They saw a blur of white hair flying past as if it were picked up by the gale of a hurricane and the gleam of a blade belonging to the god of death itself. That was it, and then their bodies were reduced to a pile of shredded bits on the floor.
Excruciating pain ran all throughout their bodies. Their heads bounced off the scattered chunks of their torsos and rolled away through the dirt. One of the men recognized that everything from the neck down had been minced to pieces, but he found it curious.
It is said that death row prisoners are able to remain conscious for a few seconds after their heads had been decapitated, but what he was experiencing now was much too clear. He had emotionlessly accepted his death, yet even though a few seconds had passed since his decapitation, things had yet to turn black.
Around him, he recognized the heads of his two companions rolling away from their own minced bodies as well. He was surprised that they had been cut down without being able to do anything despite their extensive training in interpersonal combat, but with his head and neck remaining, he made to break his back molar and activate the snake venom……but he quickly found that the poison bag had gone missing.
“……I found poison loaded into their back teeth.”
“So they are professional assassins after all. They were trained well to take their own lives in the event of failure. Not that it will change the result.”
A clear blue eye and a fiery red eye were seething with rage, and with her sword…….《Nerves of the Underworld – Ipetam》, resting in Shirley’s hand, she pressed her foot down on the man’s head while looking over the small bag of poison Canary had given to her through transfer magic.
The man recognized her as someone labeled as needing special attention during their mission debriefing. They had been confident they could sneak past the woman and fulfill their objective, but she had managed to catch them much easier than expected.
“Then I will be heading to see Sophie’s event. Once I’ve released 《Seven Heavenly Cages》――――”
“Take them away without letting anyone know? I know, I know”
The men had recognized that they had failed. However that did not mean the mission was a failure. This operation is at its core a wave attack……..even if they had been repelled, one group after another would continue to come, using the difference in numbers to achieve their goals.
Most people would drop their guards in relief after intercepting a group of assassins. It was the men’s duty now then to not reveal the number of people who were part of their mission. No matter what kind of torture they would be forced to endure, it couldn’t be any worse than having your entire body shredded to mincemeat.
“Oh, and don’t indulge yourself in any sweet delusions that you’ll succeed as long as you stay silent.”
Almost as if she had read his thoughts, Shirley looked down on the man and informed him of the truth.
“She is far more brutal and cruel than me.”
A huge smile spread across Canary’s face. The man didn’t know the reason, but when he looked into that face, his heart that had long forgotten what it meant to feel emotion stirred.
“It’s okay. No need to be scared. No matter how much of a nihilist you are, I’ll turn you into an honest person who will cry as you beg for forgiveness and tell us everything we want to know.”
“Huh? You’re pretty late Shirley.”
“It’s almost Sophie’s turn.”
“I just had a small errand. I will have to head out a couple of times after this as well, but I will definitely be back for my daughters’ competitions.”
“Is something wrong?”
“Just a small problem with security, but nothing serious. Nothing that will cause any problems for the sports meet at the very least.”
Shirley took up her camera once again as if nothing had happened earlier. Any doubts Kyle and the others may have had were quelled after seeing her like that, so they quieted waited for the next event to begin. The scheduled starting time came and went however, and yet nobody had taken the field. Just when they began wondering if something had happened, they noticed a commotion at the front gate with Sophie and the other students.
“Haaaah!? Why do I have to go with this gray-haired granny!?”
“I told you my hair is white!”
There was a fight going on between Sophie and Marco. Thanks to her long ears, Leia was able to pick up on the details and filled in the others.
“The school’s three-legged race is a relay type race with three pairs from each class. But two of the children from Sophie’s class can’t run because they got hurt. Those two children were Sophie’s and the noisy boy’s partners…….”
“So they’re thinking about having the two of them pair off together?”
“What was that…….!?”
Because of the nature of a three-legged race, it is more important to be able to keep pace with your partner than overall running ability. So why would you want to pair up two kids who love to hate each other? Listening in, it seems the first pair of runners plan on running an extra lap to make up for the smaller number of runners.
However, there is no way that one pair could be expected to run the entire relay race themselves…….which means that even if they’re not compatible, Sophie and Marco would have to team up.
(What the hell…….! What a terrible thing to do to Sophie, forcing her to pair up with that nasty Marco boy…….no, more importantly, making a young boy and girl who aren’t even adults yet come in such close contact with each other…….!?)
All of the plans and overwhelming violence Shirley was thinking up inside her head to avoid the current situation would end up going to waste as Sophie and Marco made the decision to compete together.
“Just to make sure, you know you can’t go running off on your own right? Put out your right foot as I move my left and properly communicate……..”
“Tch! Why do I have to match you!? All you have to do is match my――――!?”
“Hm? Is something wrong?”
“N-No……for some reason, I felt a chill……so, so I just need to do what you say……..? Huh?”
Shirley no longer had the power to overturn the decision. So in order to perform her duty as a loving mother, she would at least do what she could to allow Sophie to comfortably concentrate on the event……so she had no other choice than to control Marco’s domineering behavior towards Sophie using a method that did not rely on magic.
――――If you trip and injure my daughter……..you understand what will happen to you, don’t you?
She focused her murderous intent into a blade and used it to bind and manipulate Marco’s actions. Every time he was about to yell at Sophie or run forward without matching Sophie’s pace, Shirley would read his intentions and slide her blade into his back. He was blue from beginning to end, but he quietly ran his leg of the race without incident.
“With Sophie’s turn over, I’m going to head out for a moment.”
“Again? Okay, we’ll see you”
The game safely came to an end. (For everyone besides Marco who had to retire because of a mysterious case of mental exhaustion.) Frankly, Marco had been a huge hinderance, but Shirley still managed to take some wonderful photos with her daughter in center stage until the point that her finger broke again.
And so bidding farewell, she disappeared from the stands, a few particles of golden light being all that was left behind.