BBYW Vol. 1 Chapter 16

Chapter 16 – A Midnight Visitor

In a small town located in the eastern province of the Lamperouge kingdom…

In a building immersed in complete darkness, voices could be heard.

“A request has been received from Sullivan Nommes for the assassination of Dyngir Maxwell.”

The presence in the darkness rustled ever so slightly.

Several other presences surfaced, then another voice echoed in the dark.

“Hohoho…for the disinherited crown prince to wish for the death of the eastern hero. How imprudent…”

“That man has no chance of winning against Dyngir Maxwell using conventional methods, surely.”

“Definitely…once a request has been received, we shall do everything in our power to fulfill it. Such is the law of the 『Fangs of Steel』.”

“Hehe, this marks the end for that man.”

One of the presences in the dark vanished. The others followed it, one after the other, until only one was left.

“Well then…will things proceed as planned, or not? This will be interesting…”

The last presence vanished as well. The only thing left in the dark room was a deafening silence.

~

The man clad in black was running through the slumbering town.

It was already late at night: only the moonlight illuminated the streets.

The man in black brushed past drunkards and women of pleasure in his path, but no one seemed to notice.

It was like the man was part of the night scenery: everyone walked on, oblivious to his existence.

“Hah!”

The man eventually reached his destination.

He used the momentum of his run to leap over a tall wall. He landed without a sound and quickly snuck into the shadow of a small tree.

Concealed behind the tree, the man scanned the garden of the residence he infiltrated.

There were armed soldiers here and there in the garden, accompanied by hunting dogs: the residence’s security was comparable to a military fort.

“…security’s tight, as expected of a margrave.”

The place infiltrated by the man was one of the most guarded locations in the eastern province, Margrave Maxwell’s residence.

Soldiers patrolled the manor at all times.

Even the man, a veteran assassin, could not have infiltrated the manor’s premises easily without advance information about the position of the guards and their patrol schedules.

“Okay then…at this hour, the target should be in his room, probably with one of his women.”

The man recalled what happened earlier that day, then sighed and shrugged.

He had been spying on the target, who was at another residence and found him engaged in lewd acts in broad daylight.

The man continued observing, feeling frankly envious, but the target apparently detected that he was being watched, yet continued enjoying himself nonetheless. In the end, the man in black was unexpectedly attacked.

“As brazen as always, I have to say…no wonder they call him a prodigy.”

The man took advantage of a slight opening in the manor’s security and snuck into the entrance hall.

He had burnt a special incense in advance, in order to fool the guard dogs’ sense of smell.

Inside the manor, there did not seem to be any guards. The residents were apparently all asleep, as the man could not sense any human presences.

“The target’s room is…”

“Oh my, a guest at this hour. How rare.”

“Whuat!?”

Startled by the sudden voice coming from behind him, the man flipped and turned around.

There was no presence just seconds ago, but now a human silhouette stood before him.

“Esteemed guest, I must ask you to ring the doorbell first before you enter.”

Standing before the man in black was a young maid of short stature.

The maid had black hair and black eyes, a rarity in the kingdom. Without a sound, she stepped right next to the man.

“Kh….!”

The man noticed that something shone in her hand and instinctively performed an evasive maneuver. 

The next instant, a blade slashed through the space previously occupied by the man.

“Talking before making a surprise attack? Aren’t you a kind little girl!!”

The man was sure that if the maid attacked before saying anything, he could not have completely avoided her attack.

The little girl before him was a denizen of the underground, like him, with skills possibly superior to his.

“I have to exercise sometimes or my body will get sluggish.”

“That’s some confidence! A lethal trait in our line of work!!”

The man took throwing knives out of his pocket and shot them at the maid.

The maid, however, dodged the flying blades without much effort.

“Naive little girl!!”

The man had naturally predicted that she would dodge the knives: he had used them only as a diversion.

He grabbed the maid’s right arm, preventing her from using her blade, and took advantage of the difference in their physique to push her down.

“Victory is mine!”

“So it seems.”

The maid accepted her defeat all too easily.

The man had a wide smile on his lips, but his expression soon turned to ice.

“Mph!”

“Nghah!?”

A tiny needle shot from the maid’s mouth, piercing the man’s neck.

Paralysis quickly spread through the man’s body, which slipped and fell, powerless.

“A…dart…? Poison…?”

“Of course. I would never wrestle a man with thin arms such as mine.”

The maid pushed the man’s limp body aside and slipped out from under him.

She then punted his sides, as if to give him the coup de grace.

“I am terribly sorry, but the only man allowed to mount me is my master, Lord Dyngir Maxwell.”

After saying these words, with a sort of pride in her tone, the maid reached for the man’s mask. She stepped over his body and removed it forcefully.

“Even if we are related, you are not allowed to touch me without permission…brother Oboro.”

“You have become truly skilled…Sakuya.”

The man in black honestly praised the maid (and little sister) who had defeated him so easily.

◯ ◯ ◯

I waited for Sakuya and Oboro’s sibling fight to end and went down the stairs toward the entrance hall.

“So is it over ye….hey, what are you doing?”

“Ghah, ghuh, gheh, hel, help…!”

On the marble floor lay Oboro, assassin and acquaintance of mine.

Then, for some reason, Sakuya was standing on his torso — or more precisely, she was stepping on it. 

Her rhythmic steps made it look like she was dancing, as she continued stomping on her older brother’s chest and stomach with her heels.

“…what’s that, Sakuya?”

“A form of grooming, Lord Dyngir.”

Sakuya answered my question without changing her expression a bit.

“If a pathetic man like this one, who loses to his sister, five years younger than him, becomes the next head of the 『Fangs of Steel』, it will be a grave issue for both Lord Dyngir and house Maxwell. Thus I must correct my brother’s crooked character, as you can see.”

Sakuya did not stop “dancing” on her brother throughout the explanation.

“Dah! Gwah! Gah!! Yo-young master!! I beg for! Your help! Gwah! The heels are piercing my liver! It is going to burst!”

“Silence. You are not to speak to Lord Dyngir unless spoken to.”

“Gwah! Is that the way to treat your brother? Gwuh! Ow! Ribs broken!”

“Did you not hear me? I told you to be silent. Are your ears mere decorations? I suppose you do not need them then?”

“Gweah!? No kicks to the head!! The toes got into my ears…my eardrums!?”

“…Sakuya. Get off him for now. I can’t talk to him like this.”

“Understood.”

Following my order, Sakuya suspended her torture…no, her “grooming” immediately.

I approached Oboro, pitifully sprawled on the floor, crouched, and looked at his face.

“You all right? Can you hear me?”

“I…I wish you’d have…helped me sooner…”

“Well, you know, it isn’t proper to interrupt communication between siblings.”

I chuckled and shook my head.

There might be people who enjoy being kicked and stomped by a girl out there, but, unfortunately, Oboro did not have such peculiar preferences.

“Okay then, can we start with interrogating this prisoner of war? Why did you infiltrate the manor?”

I knew the answer already, but I asked all the same, out of formality.

“Heh, I cannot answer that. The 『Fangs of Steel』 do not betray their patrons.”

Oboro refused to talk, as was their formality.

It was the kind of exchange you had to go through for form’s sake…but Sakuya, despite being aware of such circumstances, sharply rebuked her brother.

“Lord Dyngir asked a question! How dare you refuse to talk?”

“Gwah! N-no, this is just for appearances…hey, enough kicking!!”

“Ah, er, so can you answer me now?”

The conversation was about to be derailed again, so I interrupted them.

Oboro grasped the chance of salvation I gave him and eagerly answered.

“I-if! If you ask so much, then I suppose I must talk! We have been requested by Sullivan Nommes to assassinate Dyngir Maxwell!!”

Oboro’s confession confirmed what I suspected.

I looked down and sighed deeply.

“Aah…I see. As expected, he couldn’t become a member of the eastern province nobles…he couldn’t part with his past as crown prince.”

“You have my condolences, young master.”

I don’t know how Oboro took my words, but he tried to console me.

I, however, shook my head and laughed.

“Oh no…it is well within the realm of my expectations, but it’s sad nonetheless. To be forced to condemn a man with royal blood in his veins, it’s just…so tragic…haha…hahaha…”

“Your words and expressions do not match, Lord Dyngir.”

I flicked my hand at Sakuya’s serious remark and continued talking with Oboro.

“You have proof that Sullivan requested my assassination, right?”

“Of course. That man signed the contract and even sealed it in blood. He did it so easily, without even thinking it could be a trap.”

“Really. Fools will be fools, I guess.”

I honestly didn’t expect him to fall for it so easily.

A man you happen to meet tells you that the legendary assassins, the 『Fangs of Steel』, really exist and you believe it just like that?

Not only that, but also that the measly amount of money you could pay was enough for the assassination of a margrave’s son?

You went ahead and even signed the contract, believing that everything was going to be resolved?

This was all my plan. There wasn’t a single chance for Sullivan’s “revenge” from the start.

“A moron without limits. To fail my ‘test of loyalty’ like that…at least now I can dispose of him without reserve.”

Sullivan’s death was now decided.

The series of events started by my broken engagement continued longer than expected, but the conclusion was finally in sight.

(As for a final gesture of mercy…you’ll be the one to choose whether you die a quick death or a really painful one.)

While considering such thoughts, I expressed my gratitude to Oboro.

“I’m sorry for having you do something so troublesome, Oboro. You can go now. I’ll send some good alcohol your way next time. Give my regards to the elder too.”

“Understood, young master. …by the way, Sakuya…I can’t seem to move an inch yet. What kind of poison did you use?”

“A lethal dose of paralyzing poison, dear brother.”

Sakuya’s answer to Oboro’s question was rather shocking.

“L-lethal!? How could you kill your own brother!?”

“Rest easy, dear brother. Thanks to your training, you will be able to resist its effects for two hours.”

“So in two hours I’ll be dead!? And I should rest easy!? G-give me the antidote, now!!”

I looked at Oboro, still lying on the ground but kicking up a fuss, and a question popped in my head.

“You can’t move an inch, but you sure can talk a lot, huh?”

“Yes, I made a special concoction that would make it possible to interrogate the victim of such a poison. I did not learn it during my time in the 『Fangs of Steel』, but created it myself.”

“Oh, that’s impressive to continue studying like that. Well done, Sakuya.”

I pulled Sakuya closer and patted her head.

Her expression softened and she put her head against my chest.

“H-hey, you can have your wholesome moments later! Antidote first!!”

I would have liked to carry Sakuya to bed like that — but the man sprawled on the floor, Oboro, got in the way of my plans.

“Sakuya, it’d be a pain to have him die, so give him the antidote already. He’s going to wake up the whole manor.”

“Yes, my lord.”

Sakuya responded to my order by pinching the hems of her maid skirt and bowing politely.

“I shall now go concoct the antidote. Please wait a little while”

“You’re going to make it now!? Why didn’t you prepare it in advance!?”

“Please stop making a fuss. It makes you look pathetic, dear brother. It will only take me one hour or so for the concoction, so please wait here.”

“That’s very close to my limit!! So you really want to kill your own brother!!”

Sakuya ignored her sibling’s pleas for his life and walked up to me.

She stood on her toes and pressed her lips against mine, smiling faintly.

“I shall be at your side as soon as possible. Please wait for me in bed.”

“Yeah, I’ll be waiting…but let me have a quick taste in advance.”

“Mmh…”

This time I pressed my lips against hers and penetrated her mouth. Sakuya stretched her tongue and entangled it with mine.

“Antidote!! Please!! Death approaches!!”

Sakuya and I continued exchanging passionate kisses, with Oboro’s desperate pleas as a sort of background music.

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