Chapter 25 – The girl with white cat ears
The suburbs of the royal capital Razhausen, the old Town district. A woman holding a parasol was seen entering an abandoned building. The wooden door creaked as she entered, closing the parasol. Underneath she wore a purple fur coat and hat extending out past her shoulders.
Even wearing the coat you could tell she was quite plump, she wore an absurd amount of lipstick and a strong scent perfume wafted outward. It was because of this appearance that she was called ‘Madam”.
“Madam Fran, thank you for your time.”
A buggy eyed man with hollow cheeks by the name of Gido, gave a shallow bow as if to beckon her in.
“I thank you for your invitation. I would first like to properly introduce myself, I am Fran Bolflaine.”
White teeth were visible behind her red lips as she gave a graceful smile.
“You may call me Gido, but alas this is not the first time we’ve met. We’ve met once before long ago.”
“Ah, to have forgotten, how rude of me.”
“Please, do not trouble yourself. Allow me to introduce my Assistant, this is Yun Yee.”
“Oh my if it isn’t Yun-chan. It’s been awhile, how are yo~u?”
“There are no issues. Pleased to see you.”
“As unfriendly as ever, but(!) that’s OK.”
“My apologies, Yun has a dark personality but her arms are reliable please be at ease.”
“I’m well aware, Yun-chan has been excellent since long before now.”
The conversation suddenly came to a halt as Gido and Fran stared at each other smiling, their expressions appeared bloodless almost as if they were dolls. And then, the conversation resumes.
” Well now why don’t we get down to business. We have a problem, the nymph beast you sent has been killed and is now useless.”
“I see, how many people did it kill?”
“That’s the problem, it didn’t kill anyone.”
“I see, and?”
“A troublesome adventurer got in the way, by the time the white knights arrived it had been turned to mud?”
“Mud? That’s a strange way to put it but go on.”
“Yun has recovered the beast, and using your magic I would like you to bring it back.”
“I see, go on.”
“I see, I understand. Now thenー”
Fran set a large bottle with a black liquid inside on the table.
“Oh? What’s this?”
“I understand that this is quite rude of me but when you contacted me I generally understood the situation. As such this is a farewell gift from me, I’m sure you will find it useful.”
Gido picked up the bottle and stared at it.
“Thank you for your kindness, would you mind explaining what it is?”
“A monster horde.”
The moment Gido heard this his eyes opened wide and he smiled.
“It’s been a pleasure.”
“Customer satisfaction is my highest priority. Inside you’ll find monsters of B rank or higher. I knew it would be necessary so I borrowed a few S rank monsters as well.”
“I see, by the way, what do you mean by, you borrowed?”
“That’s a bit of a sore spot. When I left the Empire, I took some data with me from the lab. Although please rest assured, this is only a small part of it I’ve recreated. There is no chance of being found out.”
“I understand. I apologize in advance in case it is discovered.”
Yun set two glasses on the table and poured wine.
“So when does this get set into motion?”
Fran drank a mouthful of wine.
“After one week. I would like to increase the number of nymph beasts as much as possible.”
“I understand, well then, one week.”
Without warning Fran stood up from the table and left.
“I can still smell the perfume, I’ll wash it away with water.”
“Even if you’re being sarcastic please complain to her not me.”
“I don’t think that’s necessary.” Yun stared at the bottle on the table. “Do you intend to attack with monsters?”
“It’s insurance, because I do not want the aforementioned adventurer to interfere again. Madam Fran is a woman with a good understanding. That’s the big difference between you two Yun. She understood right away, you need to be vigilant.”
“I’m tired of hearing your bitching. I just do my job.”
“Getting too deeply involved is prohibited. This is an order, just watch her movements.”
“I understand.” Yun said coldly and left.
“My goodness, women are troublesome.”
Holding his wine with one hand Gido admired the bottle sitting on the table and laughed happily.
“Please find us.”
Leaving behind a feeling of sadness, the figures of Shawn and the Revenge god disappeared.
“Masamune, did you say something?”
“No I didn’t say anything.”
Guided by Sierra, we were visiting a Walstein specialty store.
Holding what looked to be a spare rib from female jowastein Toa made an odd face as she stared at me. Across from us sat Sierra eating meat with a lively expression as she watched us.
” Masamune-dono is it really OK not to train with the sword today?”
“It’s alright today.”
The same that she did yesterday Sierra was supposed to train me in the sword this morning. However I was still tired from last night. The words of my friends still ringing in my ears. It was kind of depressing.
It was her daily routine so Sierra still went to the garden to wave her sword around. I went in order to watch the mock battle between her and Toa but I noticed something. Both the white knights and the demons sword play seemed to be moving in slow motion, as if they were children playing a game.
Although if I thought about it, it was obvious. All of my techniques were handed down to me by a swordsman of over 150 years. As a demon I don’t know Toa’s life span but for a human Sierra could have only been practicing for a small number of years comparatively.
What would Sierra think if she crossed swords with me now? The numerous sword techniques Shawn learned over his long journey, I felt them all as memories.
“Is your body condition getting bad?”
“My body condition?”
“Yeah, your face doesn’t appear to have much color to it.”
“Masamune is that true!?”
Having two beautiful girls worry about you isn’t bad. Although I feel guilty having them waste their worrying on me, I should stop wallowing in my thoughts.
“I feel as good as any other day, I just wanted to take a look around town today more than practicing the sword.”
“I see, I just thought maybe you’d begun to hate practicing…”
“When we practice I can feel myself growing so it’s a lot of fun.”
“But you haven’t held a sword even once this morning.”
“I don’t know, I just didn’t feel like it.”
If I picked up the sword my body would move naturally. I would hold my sword completely different from yesterday with no gap in my defense.
An astonished look floated onto the two girls faces, I would probably be questioned after this.
” Sierra, what’s that?”
Toa pointed out the glass window. Across the main road from the shop, a dark alley was set between two buildings leading to a backstreet. There a fat man with an evil looking face, had grabbed a white haired girl by the arm and was taking her somewhere despite her resisting. At that point I noticed something unfamiliar about the girl.
“He’s probably a slave merchant. Although the buying and selling of slaves within Razhausen is illegal, that goes doubly true for kidnapping.”
“That girl had white ears growing out of her head.”
The girl was small, probably still a child, before I knew it both the girl and the man had disappeared.
“She’s a beast person. Masamune-dono is this your first time seeing someone frome the beast race?”
“Really? Well, for now let’s follow them, others may have been taken.”
We quickly settled our bill and followed them down the ally.
“Put this’n in the cell, a white cat will sell for a good price.”
The scared little girl was taken to a dim warehouse covered in dust.
The new voice sounded as if the owner had no teeth and the girl was handed off to a different man.
“The branding is finished, don’t injure her.”
Scrunching his face up at the smell, the fat man left the warehouse.
“Come on tiny.”
The toothless man spoke coldly and girl followed behind him without resisting. Her back was hunched over as she walked, utterly terrified.
“Get in here and shut up. You make any noise and I’ll cut those ears off.”
Looking from the knife the man held to his ruthless eyes the girl nodded fearfully. Her eyes were swollen and red, her cheeks wet with tears.
Soon after the man left she shrunk into a corner of her cage and cried alone.
” Sister…. Sniff….. Somebody…”
Two men appeared, different from the two before and they gave ugly laughs.
“Oi Kevin, there’s a white cat today.”
“Oh for real, compared to that whore yesterday this is some high quality goods.”
“Right? Hey while they boss is out, how about you and I have some fun?”
“Oh good idea! I’ve been super stressed out lately.”
They unlocked the cage door with unsavory expressions on their faces. The girl stared at the scene before her with moist eyes.
“Just stay quiet girl, this’ll be over quickly.”
She could hardly speak out of fear.
“You say somethin’?”
“Hey hurry up, what are you going to do if that fat ass comes back.”
“I got it I got it, so impatient.”
He reached out for the girl with a dirty hand, at that time a man suddenly appeared behind the two of them. They let out grunts and fell to the ground.
“Should I kill them?”
It was a man’s voice but the warehouse was dark so the girl couldn’t see his face. He was looking down at the two unconscious men seemingly uncertain of what to do.
“Whatever I’ll leave these guys to Sierra she’s a white knight after all.”
He bent down and looked into the cage.
“Are you alright?”
He scratched his head looking at the scared girl and smiled bitterly.
“Uhm, I saw you and…. Just decided to come save you.”
“So let’s go…”
He holds his hand out to the girl with an awkward smile. She hesitated but eventually reached her small hand out, she had translucent white skin. Her hand, no different than a human girl’s despite being a beast person. As she placed her hand in the boy’s, her trembling stopped.
“Relax, I don’t want to hurt you. I’m going to take you home.”
Her hair was snow white with two cat ears peaking out. Dressed in tattered robes, the little looked up into Masamune’s face.