Rikudou Reika stared at the revolver whose trigger she had pulled. It was an Italian handgun with an extremely narrow gun barrel, known as a ‘Rhino’. Reika didn’t even know the gun’s name in the first place, though. A Romanian gang that Jack had ‘eaten’ had possessed a heap of firearms, and she had chosen this one because it was the lightest and smallest among them.
How strange, she thought. This thing, which was just big enough to fit into the palm of her hand, could steal a person’s life with just the pull of a single finger.
Wasn’t life something precious and sturdy? At the very least, wasn’t it supposed to be that way? And yet, in the course of just a century, people could die just from getting hit in the brain or heart by tiny lead balls.
Naturally, even magi weren’t an exception to that.
She looked down at the corpse—he looked younger than her. But if he was a magus, he might have some kind of rejuvenation spell. However, it was a fact that he had just tried to save her.
“How pitiful. Truly, how pitiful.”
Reika had raided places that magi used as their residences countless times, and had basically grasped their lifestyle. A home expresses the inner nature of the resident. For example, there were many cases where fastidious people had unexpectedly messy rooms. This was an expression of how, though they could pardon their own messiness, they couldn’t pardon the messiness of others.
The homes of most of the magi had been simple and cold abodes. This most likely signified that they didn’t attach importance to their daily lives as human beings.
Reika knew of a similar kind of people. Workaholics… The type of people who simply think of their homes as places to sleep and take baths. Merely a place to rest the bodies of these people who had no hobbies and devoted their entire lives to their work.
On the other hand, each of the magi had ingeniously devised workshops in their basement or in hidden rooms. Looking at those, Reika felt that she understood the nature of magi. It was in those workshops where their passion came out. Their life was in there. A wish similar to a grudge was in there. And at the same time, there was despair in there.
Reika had questioned the magi and learned about their way of life. In order to master the mysteries of magecraft, their passed on their blood and accumulated knowledge from generation to generation, and even while knowing their ultimate goal was unreachable—they devoted their entire lives to it.
To Reika, it seemed like an extremely empty life, but there were certainly such people out there.
However, this boy was still an obstacle to Reika. She felt no emotion beyond pity. Now then, if things had gone well, both this Master and his Servant should have been taken care of by her and Jack.
If she trusted Jack’s words, two or three Servants had died on that battlefield a few days ago.
“There’s still a long ways to go.”
Sighing, Reika was about to leisurely walk away through the fog when—
She immediately stopped and turned around. Though blood flowed out from his chest and gushed out from his mouth, the boy writhed and struggled on the ground. It appeared he was still alive.
She should have shot him three times at point-blank in the heart. There was no way a human could survive that.
But that was the kind of being a magus was. Though surprised at the fact he was alive, Rikudou Reika did not panic. Ah, is that so? she thought, simply accepting the facts.
In one smooth motion, she switched out the cylinder of the Rhino, threw away the empty shell casings, and reloaded the gun.
As she did so, her movements were frighteningly calm, possessing not a single bit of confusion or hesitation… It could only be called abnormal.
There were humans who could cold-heartedly fire a gun. But there were no humans who could maintain their calm in the face of seeing someone who should have been killed still alive.
Moreover, Reika was not even a professional, and she had never touched a handgun until she came to Romania. Even so, she could calmly pull the trigger. If it was for the sake of her daughter Jack—she could calmly kill anyone.
“I wonder if you’ll die if I shoot you in the head?”
She approached the struggling boy and leveled the gun at him once there was less than a meter of distance between them. I won’t miss like this, Reika thought.
The boy was still lying face-down, gripping his chest in pain. His breathing was rough and wild, and it seemed he hadn’t even noticed that Reika was pointing her gun at him yet.
Please properly die this time.
With that wish in mind, Reika fired the gun.
The strength from her finger went from the trigger to the firing hammer, the firing hammer hit the detonator, the gunpowder exploded, and the bullet was shot with overwhelming power. It had more than enough energy to destroy a person’s skull. That boy was completely powerless in the face of the bullet flying swiftly towards him.
No… he should have been powerless.
“Straße \ gehen.”
Just when she thought she saw a pale light suddenly shine, the boy swung out his hand as if to protect his head. There was the high-pitched sound of something popping.
The bullet that should have pierced through the crown of his head had disappeared somewhere. To be precise, it hadn’t disappeared, but been smashed to pieces.
Without hesitation, Reika pulled the trigger once more—and the boy repeated the same words as before, with the bullet vanishing at the same time as he struck it with his palm.
“This is… no good, huh?”
The boy’s breathing was starting to gradually settle down. He was still kneeling on the ground as if prostrating himself, but he raised his body up with his left arm and took a firm step with his right foot. He seemed to be receiving damage due to being within the fog, but—it didn’t seem to be any significant obstacle to him.
“So you’re Assassin of Black’s Master?”
The boy asked that in a low voice.
Now then, what to do—while pondering her option, Reika retreated a step back.