Chapter 1-2

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VOLUME 4

Chapter 1

Ch1-2

Screams of agony gushed out from every direction. Due to the fog that had instantly enveloped Trifas, the town had fallen into complete chaos.

Having donned her armor, Ruler frantically ran after Sieg, who had jumped into the fog without listening to her shouted warning. But his figure had disappeared in a blink of an eye due to the fog obscuring her vision.

She heard the dry sound of something being struck. It was similar to the sound of cannons she had heard in the past, but softer.

“A gunshot…!”

She was certain that Assassin of Black was hiding somewhere within this fog. But right now she was more concerned about Sieg.

The fog that Assassin of Black had unleashed had no effect on Ruler besides obscuring her vision. She didn’t even receive a rank-down in agility, thanks to her ridiculously high Magic Resistance skill.

“Sieg-kun!?”

“Help… me…”

The one who responded to her shout was not Sieg, but a young child. Without hesitation, Ruler decided to head towards the child.

However—Ruler instinctively sensed that Assassin of Black was somewhere nearby. Resolving not to let her guard down, she gripped her flag and searched for the location of that voice.

Searching through her hazy vision, Ruler immediately found the child. The child was pressing her head against a wall, holding her chest in pain. Her face—wasn’t visible.

Ruler hesitated slightly. Assassin’s true name was [Jack the Ripper], the name of a serial killer who was once famous in Great Britain, but—

There was no way Assassin could be such a young girl. But no one knew Jack the Ripper’s face or true identity.

Perhaps… Choosing to discard not even the slightest possibility, Ruler touched the girl’s shoulder.

…Instantly, she was filled with relief. She could tell immediately by touching her. The girl wasn’t a spiritual being like a Servant, but a living human made of flesh and blood.

“Mo… ther…”

“Don’t worry, I’ll bring you to your mother right away.”

Ruler said that and covered the girl with a holy shroud she summoned forth. If she was wrapped in this cloth which protected those who wore it, she would be safe for the time being.

Luckily, the girl didn’t seem to be hurt either…

“Eh——?”

+++

She didn’t seem to be hurt.

+++

That was completely impossible. Even if it was somewhat weak, this fog had been harmful enough to make homunculi die or faint within less than ten minutes. Yet why was a normal and weak child like this still alive?

At worst, it should have instantly killed her, and at best, she shouldn’t have been able to avoid becoming seriously ill.

“Umm, are you… okay?”

“…Uh-huh. It doesn’t hurt anymore.”

The girl replied thus to Ruler’s question. Ruler felt like something was out of place.

“Where did it hurt?”

The girl silently stuck out her leg. On part of her knee, there was a wound of roughly torn skin. A wound from falling over… was what it obviously wasn’t. And of course, she had no wounds from the fog either.

This was—a scar from being cut by something. That’s why she had cried out in pain.

A chill went through Ruler’s entire body. She was struck by a feeling of ‘killing intent’.

Moreover.

It was…

This killing intent wasn’t half-hearted. It felt like sticky coal tar, a spike that burned so brightly it turned white, or a mutated murderous virus. It was an astoundingly overwhelming malevolence.

Even worse, this killing intent wasn’t directed at Ruler herself—

+++

If I run from here, the child will be killed.

+++

It was directed at the child Ruler was embracing with one arm. Assassin of Black appeared to have overwhelming confidence in his next attack.

“Very well.”

Ruler swore that she would protect the girl she was hugging in one arm. No matter what the next attack was, Ruler wouldn’t fall as long as she had this flag.

+++

If Ruler had made a miscalculation.

It would be that, in this instant, she concentrated all her senses on Assassin of Black who was going to attack—and viewed the girl she was holding as someone she needed to protect.

The girl opened her mouth—and put her hand inside it, taking out a scalpel that had been stored in her stomach.

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TRANSLATOR’S NOTES

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