OmaeGotoki: Volume 3 004 - To Those Who Dare Defile The Holy Land

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“Eterna? It’s almost time for dinner!”

Eterna, sleeping slumped across her desk, wakes up to the sound of Ink’s voice. She rubs her eyes and turns to face the bed, and just then Ink greets her with a beaming smile. She can’t see, but according to her she can sort of sense the movements of those around her. Ink is currently wearing a shirt a full size too big for her, and because she was just lying down her longish black hair is messy.

“How careless... I fell asleep.”

“Yeah, you were really sleeping hard! You were mumbling something about your Mom and Dad, too.”

“...I see.”

Responding just as she always does, Eterna lets out a sigh.

“That was a big sigh… I never knew you had parents, though.”

Ink, having never met her parents, is likely just curious.

“I’m human. I have parents, too. I’ve never met my real ones, though.”

“Eh, really? Just like me!”

“Nn… we even both had ‘replacement’ parents.”

“So were you dreaming about them?”

“I’ve been having a lot of dreams about back then. I lived in this house a few decades ago, too.”

“Come to think of it, I think Flum mentioned something about finding you when she first came here…”

“I used this room back then, too. I couldn’t help myself.”

That being said, though, trespassing is trespassing.

What that does mean is that Eterna wasn’t just camping out there for no good reason --- Ink’s mental image of Eterna changes slightly from ‘eccentric weirdo’ to ‘just a weirdo’.

“...Huh? Did you say ‘decades ago’ just now?”

“Nn.”

“Ueh!? E-Eterna, how old are you!? You sound only as old as Flum!”

If Ink could see what she looks like she’d probably be even more confused. She looks and sounds just like a girl in her early to mid teens, after all.

“I don’t know when I was born. Maybe I’m about sixty?”

“You’re OLD!”

“Don’t call me that.”

She doesn’t need anyone to tell her what she already knows.

“But if you’re that old, I guess that means your mom and dad aren’t around anymore, huh…”

“I joined the Party partly to confirm that. Before heading out I went to the village they lived in… and visited their graves.”

“I bet they’re happy to see you’re still doing well!”

“I hope so.”

Closing her eyes, Eterna’s memories of Kinder and Claudia readily well up inside her.

I wish I could’ve met them again. They lived a full life, though. There’s no point being sad.

“Hmmmm… I didn’t know you were that much older than me. Maybe I would’ve known if I could see…”

“Probably not. I look only a little older than you.”

“Eh, really!? Why---”

“Eterna-saaan! Dinner tiiime!”

Flum’s voice from the ground floor cuts Ink off.

“Ah, Flum’s calling you.”

“I’ll bring your food later.”

“Okay! I’ll look forward to it!”

Ink sees Eterna off with a smile. She might seem plenty energetic, but she still can’t leave the room yet. Just in case something happens, Eterna leaves one of her floating fish things behind; if it detects anything off it’ll let her know through the other device.

The smell of tomato stew has made its way all the way up from the first floor. Putting a hand on her cutely grumbling stomach, Eterna heads down for dinner.


◇◇◇


“Thanks for the food!”

Having just finished eating, Flum smiles contentedly. Milkit and Eterna echo her, and right after that Eterna takes Ink’s portion up to her room.

Flum and Milkit start cleaning up together. Quite used to working together by now, Milkit dries the dishes that Flum washes and then together they start putting everything back in its place.

I wish it could always be this peaceful --- but even as the thought crosses her mind Flum knows it’s impossible, leaving her feeling a little depressed.

“If only every day could be like this…”

Just then, Milkit mumbles to herself, and knowing that they were thinking the same thing at the same time fills Flum with a simple happiness.

“I guess I’ve got my work cut out for me, then!”

“Ah… I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to…!”

“I feel the same way, so you’ve just doubled my determination is all. I’ll wrap up this little fight with the Church and we’ll be living in peace in no time!”

Just thinking about how long it’ll take and all the obstacles in the way makes her feel tired. If it’s for a blissful everyday life together, however, Flum gets the feeling she could fight forever

“Are you planning on living in the Capital after that, Master?”

“Yeah. I really like living here and I’ve gotten really used to this house, after all. I think I’ll visit everyone back home to let them know I’m doing fine, though.”

“I suppose I should stay here when you do, then. I can’t imagine that you’d want to introduce your parents to a lowly slave like me…”

“Eh? Of course I’m going to introduce you. You’re my partner, after all.”

“Partner…?”

Milkit’s heart skips a beat. The word has an impressive weight to it, a nuance that feels almost a little too progressive.

“Well, you’re definitely not my slave, but ‘friends’ doesn’t quite feel right, either. I know it’s not the best word but who knows, maybe by that time we’ll be calling each other something else entirely.”

“P-Partner’s enough, I’m sure!”

“Enough or not, there’s no helping it if that’s what’s going to happen. We’ll just have to get used to it, right?”

“W-Well, yes, but… Ah, come to think of it, when I meet your parents, Master… I’ll have to take off my bandages, won’t I?”

Milkit puts down the plate in her hands, squirming slightly as she fiddles with the ends of her bandages.

“I didn’t even think of that…”

It’d probably be best if she showed them her real face, but I’m not sure how I feel about anyone else seeing her like that… or actually, I really want to avoid it.

The pleasure Flum feels from having Milkit all to herself, and the sense of satisfaction Milkit feels from being Flum’s and hers alone --- the two of them are slowly coming to realize just what their little nightly rituals mean both to themselves and to each other.

To be blunt, Flum doesn’t want to share that with anyone else.

At first she was hoping to get Milkit used to being without her bandages to the point where she could walk like that outside, but in reality Milkit’s condition is only worsening… or rather, their relationship is only deepening.

Flum doesn’t have any intention of allowing anyone else the right to see her like that, at least for the time being.

That being said, it’d be rude for her to introduce Milkit to her parents like that. After mulling it over for a while---

“...We’ll think about it when the time comes.”

She decides to just put it off.

Milkit gives her a relieved smile.

“Y-Yes, let’s. We still have a lot of time before then, after all.”

“Y-Yeah, loads of time. No need to rush, ahahaha…”

“Ehehe…”

They lightly laugh it off together.

When that time comes, though, there’s a fair chance that their ‘illness’ will have only gotten worse.

I get the feeling she’s not going to be taking them off after all…

For some reason Flum feels as though it’s the undeniable truth.


◇◇◇


You were really nice to me again today... I get the feeling I'll be having that dream again.

Milkit has never had such a clear, lucid dream before in her life.

The dream springs forth from her memories --- a dark, filthy part of her life brimming with emptiness and sorrow, a past that she had begun to forget in her happiness.

Precisely because she knows that happiness, however, the sight before her eyes grows all the darker.

“You were born to be sold, got it? You better work hard for me.”

The first words that Milkit can remember are those.

She was three years old at the time.

Her parents were scumbags, selling their own daughter to a slave merchant as soon as they possibly could, and in turn she was snapped up by a rich noblewoman.

She went completely mad after she lost her real child to illness. She bought dozens of young slaves from the slave merchant, and with her servants she loved them and raised them as if they were her own children. She gave them all names and let them live in the lap of luxury. Since child slavery was already illegal at that point, all her ‘kids’ were obtained through illegal means.

Supposedly, she was the one who named Milkit.

When Milkit was three years old, the same age as the real noblewoman’s dead child, the woman lost all interest in her just like the rest of her ‘children’ and she was sold right back to the slave merchant again. The slave merchant was very pleased with their arrangement, since very young slaves weren’t very popular and she went through the trouble of raising them to a profitable age.

Right after Milkit was sold back to the merchant, a journalist uncovered the noblewoman’s crimes and she was driven from the Capital.

It meant nothing to Milkit, however. It was too late for her.

It was then that the merchant told her those first words. She didn’t doubt him, she simply accepted that as who she was, letting it seep into her core.

After that she was passed from slave merchant to noble and back again, over and over again.

“No… Please, not this…!”

It’s nothing but a replay --- the events of her life as they actually happened repeating themselves before her eyes.

“Stop… I don’t want… I never want to go back there…!”

It’s nothing short of a nightmare.

In the depths of despair, Milkit lived with all the grace and dignity of a maggot. Such a life was so natural for her that she never thought of herself as unfortunate, but never once did she experience actual happiness.

But now, looking back --- the ‘natural way’ of things terrifies her. Her ‘everyday life’ is gut-wrenching.

No matter how hard she tries to deny it the dream doesn’t cease, showing her what happened next.

“Ohh, yessss… You’re beautiful… Your collarbone, and those ribs… You get me? Of course you don’t, you’re too young. But there’s a real charm to watching kids your age starve, y’see…”

A man who found starving slaves to be deeply arousing.

“Those eyes, those cold, cruel eyes! Yes! More! Hate me more! Turn that suffering into hatred and disgust for me! Oh, yes, hate me more!”

A woman who derived pleasure from being looked down on by slaves.

“The gods tell us that no price can be placed on a human life! By that logic, slaves aren’t human. The gods don’t care about you. Hurting you, even killing you isn’t a sin!”

Even a priest who was addicted to breaking children --- all her owners, everyone who turned to the illegal slave trade, were perverts with dark and twisted desires.

When the priest had bought her, Milkit was convinced that she was finally going to die. Fortunately, a journalist caught a whiff of his crimes, and fearing everything coming to light he tearfully sold all his slaves back to the slave merchant before he could lay a hand on her.

She was ten years old when she returned to the merchants. Despite the long years she’d spent in that cruel world she was exceptionally beautiful, and it wasn’t long before she was bought by a new master.

Satils Francoise.

As someone who loved destroying anything she believed to be more beautiful than herself, Milkit couldn’t have been more ideal.

“Ahh, just looking at you is enough to infuriate me! What right does a slave like you have to own a face like that!?”

At first Satils had always asked that question with a whip in hand and curses on her lips, but Milkit’s torture was almost gentle compared to how she treated the other slaves.

Maybe it was because she never had any intention of killing her.

At about the time three of the slaves who’d been bought along with Milkit died, Satils suddenly stopped abusing her and started treating her nicely. For once she gave Milkit a decent amount of food --- and with it the mustaad poison that ravaged her face.

“Oh, what happened to your beautiful little face? You look absolutely horrifying now! You’re completely worthless now, aren’t you!? Ahahahahaha!”

She blatantly repeated those same words over and over with a cruel smirk --- but in exchange Satils’ mood drastically improved, and Milkit kept receiving food and even a proper bed. Even as she did so Satils was relentless with the other slaves, whipping them, slashing open their calves, stomping on them with her heels until they finally died coughing blood and were thrown out with the trash.

Until the end, Milkit was treated not as a slave but as a thing, a tool for stroking Satils’ ego and nothing else.

“What a filthy, filthy face… How pitiful, so pitiful… What happened to you, I wonder?”

She loved watching slaves suffer more than anything else, but she didn’t lay a hand on Milkit --- her 'masterpiece' must’ve been simply too wonderful to ruin.

Eventually, however, Satils grew bored of her. Three years after she bought her, Milkit was sold back to the slave merchant. With her face ruined and thus her one and only selling point lost, all she could do was sit in the cell where she eventually met Flum and await her death.

“Ahh… It’s finally over…”

That dark, cold room that reeked of rotting flesh seemed the perfect place for her die. She simply sat there with an empty heart, patiently awaiting her fate.

She waited and waited --- but in the end that moment never came.

She’d grabbed the hand that was extended towards her.

If the dream were just a repeat of those days, it would’ve ended there --- but this is a nightmare, born of her lingering insecurities.

No matter how long she waits, her master doesn’t appear.

While she waits in vain, the slave merchant arrives and starts his ‘show’.

Nobody saves her, nothing changes, and just like the rest of the slaves in that cell, the ghouls that drop down from the ceiling she is devoured and finally breathes her last.

“Why… why won’t it end? This is wrong, I-I, this place is… no… go away, please stop…!”

Precisely because she knows the happiness of a life with Flum, the raw despair of being eaten alive is almost unbearable.

If this isn’t a nightmare, then what is it?

The slave merchant laughs at her from his front-row seat in front of the cell --- and at some point Satils had come to sit beside her, looking down at her and laughing her horrendously shrill laugh.

“I don’t want to die… it can’t end here, I still… I need to live…!”


◇◇◇


Milkit’s eyes fly open.

“A dream…?”

The room is dark except for the moonlight that shines through the window and illuminates her figure. Turning over, she can make out Flum sleeping on the other bed, her breathing soft and peaceful.

“I was fine up until now… I can’t believe just remembering is so painful…”

The slave merchant can’t kill her now.

Satils can’t beat her or poison her anymore.

The time she’s spent with Flum has made her happy, so happy that just remembering that unrepeatable past fills her with terror.

The fear of loss fills Milkit’s chest, causing her to desperately crave her master’s warmth.

If she only asked, Flum would probably let her sleep in her bed.

If she falls asleep in her arms, she would never have a nightmare again.

“...I can’t expect her to spoil me like that, though.”

Milkit silently scolds herself.

It’s because she’s so kind and generous I’ve got to show some restraint. I can’t be a burden on her when she has such a difficult fight ahead of her.

“Goodnight, Master.”

Milkit closes her eyes again.

She finds herself a little scared of the darkness enveloping her, but she sees no more nightmares that night.


◇◇◇


The quiet night passes and morning arrives.

Birdsong drifts in through the window and into Flum’s ears, and still half-asleep she strains to hear the sounds coming from the first floor. Toktoktok, knife against cutting board, then fssssshh, something sizzling in a frying pan.

The sound of her everyday. The sound of peace. The sound of her.

Come to think of it, Mom made those same sounds first thing in the morning...

Reminiscing, Flum sits up and spreads her arms wide in a full-body stretch. She crawls out of bed, heads down to the first floor with a yawn, and as she enters the living room---

“Good morning!”

Milkit greets her with a smile.

“Nnn… Morning…”

Flum gives her a tired response and she giggles.

Normally Flum would head to the bathroom to wash up now --- but instead she closes in on Milkit, staring at her face at point-blank range.

“I-Is there something on my face?”

“...Did you sleep okay? I get the feeling you look a little tired today…”

To be honest Milkit’s body feels a little heavier than normal thanks to waking up in the middle of the night, but it’s not enough to interfere with anything.

“I’m perfectly fine.”

She smiles.

Flum, still a little worried, returns a “I guess that’s fine, then” and heads for the bathroom.

After quickly putting her hair in order and washing her face, she returns to Milkit’s side.

“You’re up awfully early this morning, Master. Do you have a quest?”

“Nah, I just woke up early. Want me to cut this?”

“Yes, please. Ah, Master.”

“Hm?”

Milkit glances over in Flum’s direction, and noticing an unruly cowlick sticking up off her head she smooths it down.

“There, all better.”

“Thanks. I must be still half-asleep… If Eterna-san had seen me like that she probably would’ve teased me again.”

“She’s quite particular about hygiene, after all.”

Even just after she’s woken up, Eterna’s hair is always in perfect order. Apparently she manipulates the amount of moisture her hair gets to set it, which Flum believes is nothing short of cheating.

“As soon as this is done I’ll go water the flower out front.”

“‘Kay. You’re raising it well, y’know. It’s really pretty.”

“Yes. I feel a little more confident now, so I was thinking of trying to raise one from a seed next.”

“Sounds great! Mind if I help you pick it out?”

“Of course!”

“How about we plan to go take a look next time I have a day off, then?”

Flum suggests a plan as she continues preparing breakfast.

Milkit, already thinking of where they should go, is clearly elated. She finishes frying the eggs sunny-side-up, transfers them to a plate, then leaves the kitchen.

While she’s gone Flum starts assembling the salad alone. Just after she finishes cutting the veggies and puts out enough for four people on the dining room table---

“...?”

Flum notices that there’s no noise at all coming from outside.

Hurrying to the front door, she checks out front.

“Milkit?”

A quick look around reveals no signs of Milkit except a toppled watering can that spills its load freely onto the ground.

Maybe she went to get water. Maybe that nice neighbour stopped her and they’re talking now.

No --- Flum’s raised Intuition catches a very different sound.

“Two people up on the roof…!?”

Flum hates her carelessness enough she’d kill it if she could.

“Dammit, I’m an idiot! I can’t believe I let it happen again…!”

They’d aimed to kidnap her the moment she left the house; they’re clearly not amateurs. Their target wasn’t Flum but Milkit.

She doesn’t know who’s responsible, but just a few days ago Nekt did the same thing. She should’ve realized it there was a chance it’d happen again.

Assailed by a strong sense of regret, Flum bites her lip hard enough to draw blood. As if taking out her frustration on the ground she kicks off, landing on the roof of her house in a single powerful leap. Still crouched down from the landing, she casts a quick glance all around her, spotting two figures in black cloaks fleeing to the east.

Gritting her teeth loudly, she gives the two a look that could kill and starts sprinting across the roof. As soon as she reaches the edge she leaps onto the next house over, and hopping from rooftop to rooftop she hunts Milkit’s kidnappers.

“---Scan.”

She checks their Status. First, the large man carrying an unconscious Milkit on one shoulder. His name is Triet Lanciela, his Strength and Stamina are both over 2,000, and his stat total is a little over 8,000. Second, the slender man who whimsically flips from rooftop to rooftop. His name is Demiselico Ladius, his Agility is about 2,500, and given that his Intuition is also on the high side he seems to favor speed over power. His stat total is also in the low 8,000s, and his only real weakness seems to be his Stamina, which is only in the triple-digits. They’re both A-Rank adventurers.

They’re clearly quite skilled --- but Flum has enough strength to take them on. The only real problem is how to get in close.

She plants a foot on the very edge of a rooftop, and this time channeling prana into her legs she takes a flying leap forwards. Clearing an entire house with ease, she quickly starts to close in.

“Hey, isn’t that little girl getting closer?”

“Dammit, she’s headed for us, ain’t she? This was supposed ta be a quick an’ easy job!”

The two men start to panic as she quickly begins to catch up to them. When they Scan her, though, all they see is a column of zeros. They likely recognize her name, but looking then at her slave mark they’re only more confused. If it’s not really her, though, then how could she possibly match their speed?

“Tch, fine! I’ll take ‘er on, you go on ahead, Triet!”

“Can you handle her alone, Demiselico?”

“She’s just a little brat. Even if the bitch’s A-Rank, I ain’t gonna lose to a girl! Remember that Suzie chick? She talked a good game but when I pushed ‘er down she was gaspin’ in no time! Hurt em’ a little and any woman’s the same! Hyaha!”

“How long are you going to keep bragging about that? I know you poisoned her first.”

“Those wide eyes, the way she foamed at the mouth an’ twitched… Good times, those. Lemme tell ya, there ain’t no bigger turn-on. But now we’re just that gawdy ol’ hag’s pawns… Aahhhhh, it ain’t enough! This ain’t enough! I gotta get me some drugs at least…!”

Demiselico keeps running even as he scratches at his head like a madman.

“This isn’t the time for that, just deal with her. If it looks like trouble, run!”

They were hired directly by their employer instead of through the guild --- a so-called ‘black quest’. The risk might be high, but the reward is even higher.

“Yeah, yeah, don’t worry ‘bout it! I’ll make sure ta check her out nice and thorough-like first!”

Reaching into the case on his belt, Demiselico pulls out two daggers covered in a dark fluid. Whipping around in midair, he throws one with a “Hn!” of exertion, and as he lands he throws the second. The two daggers fly at Flum like bullets, and before they’ve even reached her he has two more daggers in hand. Even if she dodges, he has a follow-up ready.

Flum makes no move to evade his attack, however. Single-mindedly, zealously, she keeps sprinting straight towards him.

“Ha, not gonna run? You really wanna take that paralytic head-on an’ become my sex doll, don’t ya!?”

Flum can see his attack clear as day. Just as the tip of the first dagger hits her stomach---

“Reversal!”

It suddenly changes direction, heading right back at Demiselico.

She sticks her right hand forward towards the second dagger, taking the blade through her palm. It lets out a wet squelch as it punches clean through, but the pain is only enough to cause her arm to twitch a little. Even the poison on the blade doesn’t have any effect thanks to the ‘anti-poison’ enchantment on the Belt.

“Reversal, huh…? So that’s what yer little Rare Attribute can do!”

He jumps to an adjacent house to avoid the dagger, throwing another at Flum in midair.

She flips to avoid it as she pulls the dagger out of her hand, using the centrifugal force of her spin to send it flying towards Demiselico’s landing point. Her form is poor, her aim is off a little, and she wasn’t able to throw it with much speed, but having only just landed he has no choice but to stop and deal with it directly.

Pulling out a gladius with a roughly half-meter long blade, he swats her attack out of the air.

Since he finally stopped, though, Flum is able to catch up to him all at once.

Resolving himself for close-quarters combat, Demiselico draws a shortsword from his belt and faces her in a dual-wielding stance.

“I make it a point ta know ‘bout everyone A-Rank and above ‘round here, but I guess there’s some I haven’t met yet. Ta think a little girl like you…”

He starts monologuing. Judging from his attitude he’s underestimating her for being a girl.

To be honest, though, she couldn’t care less what he thinks of her.

The only thing on her mind is Milkit.

“How dare you…!!”

The wicked black Gauntlets manifest on her arms, and drawing the Zweihander from its extradimensional sheath she swings her blade at him in a wide horizontal arc.

Taken by surprise, Demiselico takes a quick step back. The tip of her sword grazes his chest, cutting open his clothes.

“Not even gonna let me talk!? That ain’t cute, yer never gonna get a boyfriend like that! Ya gotta show yer senpai the proper respect!”

The openings that a greatsword like hers leaves with every attack practically begs a shortsword user like him to take advantage. He steps forward after her blade has passed and stabs at her thighs. The wound isn’t deep but it rips her shorts and draws blood nonetheless. Before she can swing again, Demiselico has already darted out of her reach.

“Shadow Mist!”

Adding magic to injury, a black fog robs Flum of her sight a moment later. She tries to leave the spell’s effect, but a blade comes out of nowhere and bites deep into her arm. His next attack hits her flank, then cheek, then leg, shoulder, back, arm again --- the darkness itself seems to be relentlessly slashing at her, the sheer volume of shallow cuts not even giving her time to breathe.

“How d’ya like this!? How’s it feel ta suffer alone in the dark like that!? I love this! I can’t get enough! This’s almost as good as screwin’ a corpse, hyahahaha! Hahaha, ha--- hah!?”

He fights by sealing off his opponent’s movements and slowly letting the pain of his attacks weaken them to the point where he can deal the finishing blow.

“This is stupid.”

Flum’s injuries heal almost instantly, and she can barely even feel the pain of his strikes.

Even the fog isn’t an issue with a little prana.

“HAAAHH!!”

Cavalier Arts: Prana Sphere.

Prana bursts out of her body, dispersing the fog in an instant.

“T-The hell!?”

Sensing that the tables are turning, Demiselico attempts to jump to the next roof over.

Without a moment’s delay, Flum unleashes a Prana Shaker at him.

As soon as he lands on the opposite rooftop he narrowly avoids the crescent wave of energy by flattening himself against the ground. He stands up and moves to throw his shortsword --- but Flum isn’t done yet.

ReversalCome back!

The blade of energy was filled with her mana.

Demiselico realizes that the Prana Shaker is flying back to Flum only after it’s amputated both his legs.

“Eh…? Agh, aaaaaagh, UWAAAAAAAAGH!?”

His legs remain on the rooftop but his torso slips off to the alleyway below. Literally incapable of landing in a good way, the back of his head collides with the ground and he lets out a throaty groan of pain.

It’s not enough to kill him, however, and with his arms alone he desperately tries to crawl away.

Just then he hears the sound of someone landing nearby, as if mocking his last hope of survival.

A dull scraping sound draws closer, as if someone were dragging a sword.

Death itself approaches.

“Ha… hagh, th-this… it h-hurts… I-I don’t like pain… I just wanna feel good…! G-Goa geh oua…!”

Demiselico tries to scramble away, unable to even speak clearly through the pain and fear embracing him. He can’t outrun her, however, and a shadow cuts off the light falling on him from the gap between the rooves.

Squeezing out a little more strength he turns to look up and immediately regrets it.

She looks down at him with eyes colder than ice.

“Where’s Milkit?”

The other man is long gone.

She’ll have to squeeze the information she needs out of Demiselico.

“S-Spare me… Please…! I’m beggin’ ya, there’s so many bitches I haven’t screwed yet… I don’t wanna die…!!”

His only response is a plea for his life.

If he’s not talking now, just asking him again won’t yield results.

First, Flum raises the Zweihander and severs his left arm.

“AGYAAAAAAAAAAAGH!!”

An unpleasant scream.

“Where’s Milkit?”

Raising her sword again, she repeats her question.

“D-Don’t kill me… I-I didn’t mean no harm! I just needed a little cash…! I-I-If it looked like I was havin’ fun I’ll apologize! I’m sorry… I’m so sorryyyy…! I was ordered to… I’m a good, honest adventurer, really!! I really am…!”

Maybe he’s not an A-Rank adventurer for nothing. He clearly has no intention of sharing his employer’s identity even if it kills him.

“Hahh… I was really hoping to avoid this.”

She hates it, really.

Being in pain, inflicting pain, suffering, making others suffer, getting hurt, hurting others, everything.

It’s the last thing she wants, but if that’s the only way to get Milkit back she has no choice. There’s no way such a cold, cruel world would listen to her otherwise.

She puts the tip of the Zweihander against Demiselico’s palm, and with a wet crunch she drives it through.

“Ghugh, OOUGHHH!!”

He probably won’t be dying anytime soon if he’s still screaming like that. That being said, he might not feel like talking even if she crushes his arm like this. She pours mana through the blade, deciding to do something a little more painful.

ReversalPeel away.

A thin snapping sound comes from the tip of Demiselico’s fingers.

“---!?”

The nail of his thumb ‘reverses’, peeling away with such pain he can’t even scream.

“Where did your friend take Milkit?”

He frantically shakes his head back and forth.

He’s really starting to get on my nerves… He’s going to die either way so he might as well just come clean. Maybe this still isn’t enough?

She reverses the rest of his nails all at once.

Since he still doesn’t say anything, however, she changes her focus slightly.

ReversalBreak.

With a sharp crack, his entire thumb bends back at an unnatural angle.

“Gh, ugh, ougghh…!”

As if he was expecting it, he clenches his arm with all his might, his lips pursed into a small ‘o’ as he moans.

“Where did your friend take Milkit?”

He only shakes his head again, so she breaks the rest of his fingers all at once.

“Kh, agh, AAAAaaaaAAAGH!!”

While he’s screaming she breaks his wrist as well.

“Hgh, ghiiii!! GYAaaaAAAaaAAGH!!”

Jeez, is he trying to scream my ears off…?

“Hahh, hahh, hihgh… hiiiihh…”

“Where did your friend take Milkit? If you don’t hurry up and tell me I might do something worse. Don’t worry, though, I won’t kill you yet.”

She crouches down, putting her hand against his temple.

Next is his face, maybe an eye, maybe even his brain.

“Are you really fine with that?”

“Nghaaaaa… augh, agh… aaaaagh…!”

Tears and snot run down his face.

“O-Okay, I’ll spill, I’ll shpill sho jusht forgibe mheee!”

There’s no telling what she might try next. Just as she says, she’d probably introduce him to countless things worse than death before finally putting him out of his misery. He’d rather throw away his pride and die an easy death than have to suffer any more.

“S-Satils…! Satils told us ta bring ‘er some bandaged slave she saw in town…!”

“That bitchy old hag still hasn’t tormented her enough…?”

Words Flum would normally never say spill out of her mouth of their own free will.

“So where’d he take Milkit?”

“T-The basement…! T-There’s a secret room in ‘er basement… B-But the only way ta get there’s through… through a tunnel in a house ta the southeast… a green-roofed house… there’s nobody livin’ there, it’s just an entraaance…!”

“So if I go there I’ll find Milkit, huh.”

Flum stands up and starts walking towards the East Quarter.

Seeing her back, Demiselico squeezes out the last of his strength to cast some magic.

“He… hyaha… show yer back ta me, huh? Be a good girl… get on yer knees, ya fuckin’ bitch!! Shadow Bullet!!”

He fires a fist-sized ball of black energy at her back.

“...You guys just never learn.”

She’d noticed, of course --- a single swing from the Zweihander wipes out the magic, the blade of energy continuing on to cleave him in half.

His death is quick and quiet. He doesn’t even have a chance to scream.

Putting away her sword, Flum hurries onwards to the East Quarter.


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