An important guest was coming this early in the morning.
Akane Academy’s chairman, Urushibara Tadanori received that report and went to his back garden.
There was a terrace used for garden parties, and at a table was his long awaited guest, enjoying a morning tea.
His smartphone was placed there, playing an exhilarating tune in place of BGM. It wasn’t classical, though Tadanori didn’t know it, it was music from a game in Japan. It clashed heavily with the early morning mood of the elegant western house.
At his side was a maid serving him.
It wasn’t a member of the house’s staff, it was the guest’s attendant.
The beautiful white woman was wearing a British style maid outfit.
“Tea brewed with Japanese water truly is exceptional.
The guest enjoyed the second cup that the beautiful maid had brewed for him.
“If you had informed me, I would have sent a car to greet you, Sir Edward.”
While bowing like a Japanese person, Tadanori used perfect English as if he were a native.
He faced his long awaited guest, t of the English branch.
“We actually arrived the day before yesterday, but we had some matters to take care of.”
Edward answered with his cup in hand.
“Moroha was his name, right? We went to test his real strength.
Tadanori almost swallowed his tongue in surprise at those words.
“…Surely you yourself didn’t fight, sir…?”
That was essentially an intervention, Tadanori went to protest.
“I just tested him a little. I swear I didn’t rampage, first of all, no one was hurt. Surely no one can complain about that little?”
At Edward’s clear explanation, Tadanori tentatively agreed.
His companion wasn’t so foolish as to tell a lie that could be immediately exposed.
“And you know, that Moroha… he was a total let-down.”
Edward just informed him of his frank conclusion.
This too was a bolt from the blue for Tadanori. Though he wasn’t so inexperienced to show his turmoil on the surface.
“Did you say a let-down…?”
“You were the one that requested I certify Moroha as an S rank, even if it was a lie, right?”
Tadanori nodded in affirmation.
In his schemes to have Moroha become an S rank, his last push was to have it certified by the English branch head, and truly lie.
That was why Edward had been invited all the way from England. His inspection of the academy was nothing but a pretext. Neither Tadanori nor Edward cared about that.
“I want to get along well with the Japanese branch, so I wanted to listen to that request. But it’s a little tricky to call that an S rank. You could call a dog a wolf, but calling a cat a tiger is a little too much, right? Say we lied, all it’d take would be a strike from Russia’s Lightning Empress to reveal us, and then we’d be buried in complaints.”
Edward started talking politics in a casual voice, as if he was merely talking about the weather.
The ‘Lightning Empress’ was a pseudonym of the Russian branch’s leader, she was at loggerheads with the Japanese branch.
If that kind of political opponent discovered their lies, it would bring bad consequences to the Japanese branch, and following on from there, the ringleader Tadanori.
He understood the logic, but he was reluctant to agree.
“That’s strange. Haimura Moroha has actually defeated a Dreadnought class, you know?”
“It is, I thought I’d go along with your plan because of that. But when I tested him, he wasn’t as good as I thought.”
At Edward’s side, the maid was glaring at Tadanori with a dreadful gaze.
Her eyes were asking him if he was truly doubting the White Knight himself.
Of course, Tadanori himself understood the logic.
But that didn’t change that it was hard to swallow as he made a troubled face.
“Perhaps the two that fought with Moroha were strong enough?”
While voicing his guess, Edward tugged on the maid’s sleeve.
“For instance, if there were several A rank Saviours like Angela here, it could only take a few to-”
“However, didn’t you hear the report that it would take a full mobilisation of the Japanese branch to defeat that nine-headed hydra?”
“I did, that’s their tactic for minimising casualties. But, if you don’t care about casualties and fight insanely to the death, then about one out of ten times, you’ll win. With a miracle, one in ten-thousand times, all three will come back alive. If you consider a miracle could have occurred, it’s not that illogical a thought. We have preconceptions of the Ancient Dragon, and are overestimating Moroha. Overlooking the two that were with him.”
Tadanori placed a hand to his mouth and thought for a while.
Honestly, Edward’s words may sound high handed, but…
Not being a Saviour, Tadanori didn’t really have the knowledge to dispute it.
If the White Knight himself said so, then he could only assume it to be so.
And he didn’t think Edward had anything to gain by lying here.
“What was it, Shizuno? Your sister is actually an amazing Saviour.”
Edward’s cheery voice proclaimed his admiration.
Calling it a lie if he thought otherwise.
This was again a preconception. Just as he had been certain Moroha was strong because he was an ancient dragon, Tadanori was convinced of the opposite case.
Because Shizuno was his sister, he’d made light of her from the start.
“You don’t compromise on your own evaluation but aren’t you too harsh on your relatives? Perhaps that is why the Urushibara family has so many skilled people.”
Even though Edward was teasing, he couldn’t refute it.
“…I suppose Haimura Moroha really wasn’t that impressive.”
Tadanori could barely hide his disappointment at having to reconsider his plans.
There was a vast gulf between S rank and A rank.
He had thought that Moroha had just barely reached the other side of that gulf…
But in reality, it was through pooling resources with Shizuno and the other that they had managed to get there.
“He’s plenty impressive for an A rank. Both Moroha and your sister are.”
Edward smoothed things over with a wry smile.
Certainly, his sister being a Black Mage of that calibre was a happy miscalculation.
However, Tadanori still felt strongly that the real catch had gotten away.
As Edward smiled wryly, he suddenly snapped his fingers at a really good idea.
Tadanori also inferred the situation.
“It’s difficult to say so soon after being unable to carry out your request, but would you listen to mine, Tadanori?”
“What would that be?”
“What would you say to having your sister study abroad with us?”
Tadanori was careful to conceal any hint of shock at the blunt question.
Simultaneously, he took a cautious approach and didn’t reply immediately.
“You’re aware too, right? England doesn’t have many mages, and we’re in a spot of trouble. So of course, I’d like to invite Shizuno after she’s shown such potential. Of course, I’d promise that she’d be highly placed after graduating in England. What do you think? I’m sure the Japanese branch will be displeased to lose one of only a few Dark Saviours, but it’s not bad for the Urushibara family, right?”
As he listened to Edward speak, this time he had to suppress his smile. The disappointment he’d felt earlier vanished in an instant.
Edward’s request held that much charm for him.
“Indeed, not at all.”
He rapidly calculated and answered.
The Urushibara family already had strong channels to the Japanese branch. If on top of that, Shizuno could attain a high position within the main British branch, it would shore up their influence within the White Knight Order.
He’d planned to have Moroha become an S rank and invited Edward. That plan had been readily derailed. But even with that, there was an unexpected silver lining.
“I thought you would be okay with it! All that’s left then are Shizuno’s thoughts herself.”
“Ah, there’s no need to worry about that.”
Tadanori calmly declared and took over.
“Her answer will most certainly be yes, please wait a while.”
He left with a bow. Heading into the grounds with a strong stride.
Turning his back on Edward, his first smile split his face.
Not that of a teacher, or a brother.
That of a politician, used to using other people as pieces on a board.
After Tadanori left, Angela, waiting at Edward’s shoulder, spoke.
“He fell surprisingly easily.”
Edward frankly revealed the trick.
“You see, Tadanori’s a highly capable man who’s willing to use any means to satisfy his ambitions. But precisely because of that, he’s easy to control and lead by his greed too.”
“I see, impressive.”
His subordinate was entranced at the unusual scheming of the White Knight.
“Truly, just with a little pretend prod I can’t help but feel a little dissatisfied. If I can, I’d like to fight at full power, with Moroha at full power.”
Moroha’s half-hearted personality and Edward’s restrictions from violence in the country prevented that.
“But, if things went as I said, and Tadanori and Moroha were to clash… see?”
Edward chuckled as he enjoyed his tea.
Angela stared at his profile and said.
“However, why are you so attached to Moroha, my lord?”
“It’s a very… hmm, important matter to the Order.”
Edward drained his cup and placed it down.
“The English main branch and each subdivision, those six organisations are currently maintaining a miraculous balance. There may be skirmishes on the surface, we’re all temporarily united by our duty to subjugate Metaphysicals.”
“The number six is good, that’s what China’s elder says.”
If a faction were to split into two or three, competition would arise.
“And that balance, in other words, can be easily broken by any single incident.”
Angela nodded in understanding.
“If for example, a seventh appeared?”
“Yes, like if a seventh appeared.”
That’s how Edward thought.
That when a seventh appeared, the White Knight Order would split into two.
Into four and three.
Therefore, what country they appeared in, and what kind of person they were was very important.
They were a key person.
Then, dependent on them, the fate of the White Knight Order would be decided.
Whether they would act as saviours of humanity under Edward’s leadership.
Or whether the strong would rule over the weak as the ‘Lightning Empress’ and ‘PSG’ desired.
“So even if I have to use overbearing methods, I need to properly evaluate Moroha.”
Edward stood and left the terrace.
Angela followed respectfully three steps behind him.
The empty cup was left on the table.
As if signalling-
The time for tea was over.
That day, even as morning home room began, Shizuno didn’t appear in the classroom.
From his seat right at the back of the middle row, Moroha gazed at her empty seat.
“It appears Urushibara-san will be absent today due to some family circumstances.”
The homeroom teacher, Tanaka, reported before taking attendance.
“What are they?”
Moroha raised his hand and asked.
“I’ve only heard that it’s due to some family circumstances.”
But Tanaka too answered worriedly. It seemed he really didn’t know.
Some family circumstances. Urushibara family circumstances. Moroha’s stomach dropped.
Satsuki felt vaguely uneasy too and looked between the empty seat and Moroha.
Home room and classes both passed without trouble, but Moroha’s feelings were heavy.
When break time came, he phoned Shizuno’s mobile, but there was no answer at all.
There was no response no matter how many times he messaged.
He asked Tanaka for her house number, but he said he couldn’t give it because of privacy concerns. Akane Academy had the weakness of not needing a class telephone network, being an all-boarding school.
Calls, messages, neither arrived.
As Moroha checked his phone, his foreboding grew and grew. Like there was a gaping hole somewhere in his body, and poison was pouring in.
Shizuno might be like a lantern at noon, or an insincere student, but she’d never take a whole day off like this.
So until now, he didn’t know.
That being out of contact with Shizuno for a day.
That that alone would give him such a feeling of unease.
It was unsettling, like something that should be there wasn’t where it should be.
It was almost as if he couldn’t feel his arm.
It was an emptiness that was difficult to put into words.
During break and lunch, Satsuki worried, but that alone couldn’t cover it.
“Ah ha… ah ha ha… I thought she was a gloomy woman… but when she’s not here… there just doesn’t seem to be any point…”
Finally even Satsuki whined with a forlorn look.
Of course, she didn’t put her best effort in class.
They may have let classes and practical lessons pass them by, but they couldn’t do that with after school training. The Strikers’ eyes were not so easily deceived, the demon vice-captain scolded them time and time again, Isurugi frowned, and Kamii-senpai guffawed.
After what felt like an eternity, school finally finished.
Time that would have passed in an instant with them not really being there turned into a painfully long half a day.
Moroha sat cross-legged on the lawn in the courtyard, dyed red in the evening.
Just once more, he tried phoning Shizuno.
Satsuki was next to him, watching with imploring eyes.
They’d decided that if this didn’t go through, they’d go to the chairman’s house.
Moroha put the phone to his ear and counted the rings.
Five. Ten. He sighed at the repetition. Fifteen. Twenty. He closed his eyes, ready to give up.
On the twenty first ring, Shizuno’s voice sounded from the speaker.
Moroha instinctively pumped his fist.
“Hello, Shizuno? Your nose sounds blocked, did you catch a cold?”
“Liar. Why weren’t you at school? Family circumstances?”
Shizuno was silent.
Moroha waited patiently for her to be honest, but it appeared she was stubborn too.
A contest of endurance was Shizuno’s specialty. The two months since they met had taught him this.
With no other choice, Moroha brought out his trump card.
“If you don’t answer, I’ll come over to your house.”
“I don’t think Nii-san will let you in, will he?”
Moroha quietly patted his lap. He’d confirmed she was at home.
If she had been even further away, in the worst case, he’d thought that could happen, so it was a small mercy.
“It doesn’t have anything to do with the chairman, does it? I’m coming to see you.”
Moroha proclaimed, showing his own stubbornness.
He heard a heavy sigh from the other end of the phone.
“Don’t come. I don’t want to see you.”
Shizuno spoke in a tight voice, as if her stomach were knotted.
“Why? If you don’t tell me the reason, I won’t accept it.”
“I’ll be studying abroad in England. I’m leaving the day after tomorrow.”
“…This is sudden.”
Moroha’s eyes sharpened.
But he wasn’t surprised. England. England again.
Sir Edward’s face flashed within his head.
Accompanied by another, the chairman’s reptilian face.
“I wasn’t at all sure how I should tell you. But if we meet, the lingering affection will worsen and…”
Shizuno sadly said, not telling anything as her voice faded out.
Moroha’s bit his lip in anger.
“If you yourself want to go, then I’ll be quiet and support you. But you don’t, do you? That brother of yours decided something strange, didn’t he? Don’t listen to him.”
“I have to. I can’t oppose things my brother- the Urushibara family decides.”
In a stuffy voice, but stifled with emotion, Shizuno explained detachedly.
Moroha pounded his free fist into the grass.
Satsuki recoiled in fear.
That was how terrifying Moroha’s face was.
Directionless rage dyed his vision scarlet.
A violent tide of fury swirled within him, engulfing his entire body in a whirlpool.
His final words were driven from his throat by emotion, to Shizuno, scolding her.
“-In this world, there’s no chain that can bind a person to another.”
Shizuno’s gasp came from the phone.
And then, a faint sniffling sigh.
At first she could stand it, and it was quiet. But eventually, it burst forth in a torrent.
Moroha was quiet, and calmly waited.
Shizuno answered through sobs.
“Even without your memories… you still… say the same things… Shuu Saura.”
This time, it was Moroha’s turn to gasp.
“Shizuno! You really are the Witch of the Unde-”
“I’m sorry… Goodbye. I’m… so happy you called.”
With a heartbroken voice, Shizuno hung up.
Moroha went to fling away his phone in rage… but gave up.
He affectionately closed it, and held it to his chest.
Because he remembered. The one who gave him this phone, was none other than Shizuno.
“H-hey… What’s up with Urushibara?”
Satsuki asked nervously.
That made Moroha notice that his face was still in a hard expression.
He expelled all the air in his lungs and forcibly changed his mind-set.
“It seems she’s going to study abroad in England.”
“What!? No way? I haven’t heard anything about it? Why’s it so sudden!?”
“It’s the chairman’s and Sir Edwards’s fault!”
A sweet voice answered in Moroha’s stead.
Looking, they saw Maya panting as she ran from the educational affairs building.
“Mari-oneechan. Just got a phone call from the chairman. Telling her Shizuno would study abroad. Sir Edward already negotiated. With the Japanese branch. And sent her records over.”
“W-why? Does he want something from her?”
Satsuki asked while patting Maya’s back as she sank to the floor next to them, panting hard.
“England has few Black Mages. So, a Black Mage good enough to take down a dreadnought class in a group of only three is something he truly wants. That’s what Sir Edward said. He’s guaranteed her future too, so the chairman’s complicit.”
Moroha showed his understanding with an “I see.” Before saying.
“Thank you Maaya, I understand the situation now.”
He gently rubbed Maya’s head in thanks for hurrying to tell them.
Then, he stood straight up.
His expression was sharp as he glared towards the chairman’s house.
But before he could take a step, Satsuki caught his hand from the floor.
“Are you going to go on your own without saying anything else?”
The expression looking up at him was tinged with criticism for leaving her behind.
“I’m not going to play you know.”
“I know how dangerous it can get. And I want you to take me with you.”
Her gaze was frank and strong.
Even as Moroha gazed at her intensely, it didn’t waver at all.
“I don’t want to just be a princess you leave behind, even after being born again. I want to support you and fight by your side, Nii-sama. I’ll come even if you say no.”
Decisively, neither her gaze, nor her request would yield.
Moroha closed his harsh eyes, and worried for a while before sighing deeply.
When he opened them again, his eyes had softened as he looked at Satsuki with a gaze full of affection.
“Sorry, he’s the opponent, so I’ll take all the help I can get.”
“Right! I’ll try super hard!”
Still holding a rejoicing Satsuki’s hand, he pulled her to her feet.
“I’m a help too, and I won’t get in your way, you know?”
Maya waved her hand like a puppy’s tail.
Moroha grabbed her hand and pulled her up.
A gust of wind blew a swath through the grass.
Moroha raised his chin and once more glared towards the chairman’s house.
He cracked each of his joints on his hands, hanging loosely by his sides.
Then, accompanied by the two, he set off from the school decisively.
Strongly, like a soldier marching to a battlefield.
Moroha was going to Shizuno.
Even if her head wasn’t being covered by water, Shizuno wouldn’t do anything.
She was secluded in the bathroom, letting the shower beat down on her.
If she didn’t, she’d burst into tears.
By nature, Shizuno wasn’t the type to be particularly shaken by emotions.
To say nothing of the confines of the Urushibara family. She’d lived thinking that her boring life would never swing to such extremes of joy and sorrow.
Finally, on seeing how mask like her face became.
The head of the family, her grandfather said she would be successful in the future.
And her cowardly older sister had shunned her, saying she looked like a doll and was creepy.
Naturally, a wall had been made between her and other children her age.
Shizuno herself wasn’t particularly moved by how they saw her.
“But Moroha is different… He alone is different…”
She was only being separated from him, that was all.
But Shizuno couldn’t remain calm.
Even though she herself thought of herself as a woman not moved strongly by emotions.
Her heart and body were both cold, like a woman of ice.
But now, Shizuno’s chest burnt, like it was struggling against a searing pain.
“Why… why do I have to go to England!?”
Of course, at first she had refused.
For the first time in her life, she’d gone against her brother’s, against the Urushibara family’s decision.
In the end, her brother was unmoved.
“If you obediently go to England, I will give up on my plan to coerce Haimura-kun to become an S rank. Now, choose as you will.”
As if he was conducting an extremely fair negotiation, he waited for her reply as he steadily stared at her with eyes that seemed to see through everything.
If it had been a threat, she might have been able to muster her courage and resist this one time.
But persuasion… was unfair.
Her brother truly wouldn’t pick his methods for achieving his goals. That also had the meaning of using harshness when needed.
When he’d wanted to curry favour with Moroha, he used Shizuno to try and win him over.
Now that he wanted Shizuno to study abroad, he’d use Moroha as an excuse.
For Moroha, Shizuno’s response was decided.
“Why was I born into this family!?”
She cursed heaven.
She was jealous of Satsuki. She called Moroha brother without worrying about others, and was as spoiled as she liked.
And she hated herself.
Her weakness, only being able to go along with what her brother demanded, she hated the weakness of her heart.
“Why… am I… always…”
With grief, agitation and hatred, she looked down at her own breasts.
There was a sinister birthmark on them, as if something was carved there.
It had been there since she was born. It normally didn’t stand out, but when she was agitated, it swelled red.
Just where in her last life, there was a slave brand.
“Aaahhh… afuu… uuu-uuugh, uwaaaah…”
Her voice raised as she wept, the shower dashing over her.
The shower water and her tears obscured her face.
But they didn’t wash away the sadness gathered in her heart.
It being her ‘kind brother’s’ order, Shizuno could only go to dinner.
The staff had clothed her in her best dress, done her hair and dressed her up.
She reluctantly walked towards the large hall on the south side of the house, where her brother and Sir Edward were waiting.
A table set for four was in the corner of the hall that was big enough for a party.
“Let’s be frank.” Was Edward’s request.
In actuality, he alone wasn’t in formal dress, but in a rough summer jacket that didn’t put on airs.
Shizuno arrived at her seat, diagonally across from Edward, next to her brother and the food was brought out.
Only the two men were chatting friendlily, Shizuno only quietly moved her cutlery.
“I’m truly happy you decided to study abroad, Shizuno.”
“With a direct invitation from you, not even my sister could refuse, Sir.”
“Ha ha, I’m your guardian now, so you can freely devote yourself to your studies. You’re not disheartened at all? So if anything troubles you or you need anything, you can take advantage of me, you know?”
“She’s truly grateful for your consideration, Sir.”
“But Shizuno is very refined. Is that what they call a ‘Yamato Nadeshiko’?”
“That is how she was raised.”
Why was he answering all of Edward’s questions himself?
It’s not like Shizuno particularly wanted to speak, but on the other hand, his attitude was irritating.
Her mask like expression saved her. It would not do to show her discomfort visibly, she thought cynically.
The conversation between her brother, making a good impression as an adherent to power, and a sociable Edward was ridiculously irritating.
Shizuno kept getting irritated.
“I wish a meteorite would fall from the sky.”
Cutting mutton with her knife, Shizuno could only comfort herself with worthless delusions.
Of course, there wasn’t a god that would grant those absurd desires.
But suddenly, the butler, Tatemura intruded upon the dinner.
“Milady’s school friend has arrived and is seeking an audience.”
Shizuno’s heart leapt.
Filling her mind was Moroha’s face.
Her hand holding the knife stopped, and her heart pounded. Her breath grew short and her mind blanked. What should she do? What should she do? She couldn’t think of anything.
“Haimura-kun I suppose. He’s got a good nose, obstinate too. Politely remove him.”
She reflexively opened her mouth to interject at her brother’s order, but fell silent without saying anything.
It was already decided she would be studying abroad, how would she face him now?
The butler examined Shizuno for a while, but soon returned to the entryway.
“Farewell, Moroha. Get on well with Ranjou-san.”
She closed her eyes, and mentally bid him farewell.
With her sense of sight completely cut off, she felt like she had been cast alone into the darkness.
She heard a boy’s voice, feigning innocence.
She heard a large pane of glass shattering, and someone entering through it.
“W-why you… What are you thinking!? This is clearly breaking and entering, Haimura!”
She heard her brother’s dismay, and his yell of anger.
This was nothing more than her sense of hearing.
However, as if by a shaft of light within the darkness, she felt she could see everything.
Her eyelashes shaking in fear an unease, she slowly opened her eyes.
With the setting sun at his back, Moroha stood aloof at the window.
“I just got a little angry. It’s a youthful indiscretion. I won’t ask for forgiveness.”
Speaking brazenly, with a fearless smile, he took an outrageous attitude.
Shizuno was unintentionally moved to tears.
Even though she didn’t want him to come, she was so moved that he had.
Shizuno’s feelings couldn’t lie about that, even if she tried.
“Just in case, what did you come here for?”
While rudely twirling his knife, Edward asked as if inquiring about tomorrow’s weather.
“I came to tell you your eyes are too bad and you’ll be mocked if you keep on like this.”
“Oh? Well I can’t let that happen, what do you mean?”
“Shizuno’s a normal student, not as impressive a Black Mage as you think. If you take her back under your sponsorship, I’m sure there’ll be rumours that you have a bad eye for people.”
“However, I have my own thoughts, and I can see Shizuno is impressive.”
“I’m telling you you’re wrong, after all-”
She guessed his plan.
“You can’t say that! Your life will be utterly ruined!”
Moroha didn’t listen to her calls to stop.
With the huge evening sun at his back, he spoke arrogantly.
“The one that defeated that Nine-headed hydra was me. Me alone. Shizuno was just lying there then.”
As he finished, Shizuno covered her face with her hands.
“Haimura! Are you calling yourself an S rank now of all times!?”
Her brother spat as he ranted.
“I don’t care. I’m me. Haimura Moroha. But, I’ll take responsibility for what I say.”
Moroha answered with serious eyes.
“Do… do you understand what you’re saying? What you’re doing…?”
Shizuno frantically pleaded.
Becoming an S rank would mean.
Moroha would throw off his peaceful lifestyle that he always wanted.
Reigning among the strongest meant that lots of hopes, desires and lives would be placed on his shoulders, that he’d always be fighting battles worse than death.
“I know, I’m ready for it.”
“Why would you go that far, for someone like me!?”
“You don’t get it. It’s because it’s for you that I can.”
Moroha scratched his head.
An inexpressible joy and delight filled Shizuno’s chest.
“I… I… I should go to hell…”
Her beloved was sacrificing his life to help her, and she was this happy.
She couldn’t be forgiven. She was sinful.
She was happy, she suffered, she couldn’t supress her tears any more.
“You’re an idiot… It’s not like it’d be our final farewell… We’d just be separated by a few dozen thousand kilometres… We were separated by death, but we met again, didn’t we…? Compared to that, this is nothing…”
“Listen up, I said that I barely have any memories of my past life, didn’t I? The current Shizuno is everything to me, I don’t want to be separated from you. Do you? We can split hairs for as long as you like, just answer whether you want to be with me, yes or no?”
Moroha stretched his arm out straight.
He looked only at Shizuno, he stretched his arm out to her alone.
“I’m tired of hearing about positions and circumstances, but I haven’t heard what you want.”
He’d gone that far, said that much, Shizuno couldn’t hold herself back any more.
She unfastened her hair and shook it free.
And then cried, as if her throat would tear.
“I want to be with you! The last life, this life and the next, I always want to be with you!”
“Then come with me!”
Invited by her beloved, she leapt from her brother and ran.
Jumping into Moroha’s arms.
She yielded herself, to the warmest place in the world, to the place that thawed her frozen heart.
“Haimuraaa! Are you going to kidnap my sisteeer!?”
It spurred her brother’s anger and he threw vitriol at Moroha.
“You can talk big like an elder brother, I’m just the one your sister yearns for.”
Moroha stuck his tongue out and replied before picking Shizuno up lightly into a princess carry and taking her away.
They left the tombstone-like house, passed through the stifled garden and went out onto the road.
Taking her away from everything that bound her.
At about the same time, a sports car careened from the side. The flashy metallic blue body clashed against the air, tinged with the setting sun as it seemed to slice through the dusk.
Satsuki’s face appeared from the passenger window, beckoning them.
Clad in white prana, still carrying Shizuno, he leapt onto the car’s roof with God Speed Link.
It was like a movie – no, it was a difficult escape scene even for a movie.
Shizuno’s mind was free.
She’d endured for fifteen years, and finally been set free.
A voice leaked from her mouth.
“Did you… just…”
Moroha’s eyes widened at it.
That was right.
“Ah ha, u fu fu, ah ha ha ha ha ha ha.”
Shizuno, said to have a mask like expression, raised her voice in laughter.
And it wasn’t just one laugh. Even as she buried her face in Moroha’s chest and tried to resist, her laughter kept gushing forth.
“Right. Keep holding on like that so you’re not shaken off.”
Nodding at her beloved with a smile, she clung with all her might to his broad chest.
Her hair fluttering in the roaring wind atop the car soothed her heart.
She didn’t look back at her rapidly retreating house.
The chairman, Tadanori was trembling in rage.
A cold wind blew in mockingly through the huge hole in the broken window.
Born to the Urushibara family, a prodigy that had never experienced discomfort, for the first time in his life, he experienced ‘humiliation’.
Because of that brat, Haimura Moroha.
“Sir Edward, I have a request.”
Tadanori spoke darkly as his complexion went passed flushed and darkened.
“Oh, what would that be?”
Still eating, Edward asked back, feigning ignorance.
“Put down the criminal that took my sister and retrieve her. Under the White Knight Order’s laws, Saviours that violate the laws should be executed. Though he may be a student, there’s no room for interpretation.”
He implicitly asked for Edward to kill Moroha.
“I don’t mind, but,” Edward’s nerves were also not normal, as he answered calmly, “being an S rank, if I should fight in another country, that itself is an intervention. Are you acknowledging that, Tadanori?”
“Of course. I’m part of the management in the Japanese branch. I will use that authority and officially request aid.”
“In that case, I’ll be back soon.”
Wiping his mouth, Edward relaxedly stood.
When he finished, his smile had changed.
From that of a sociable gentleman, to that of a lion.
His body was coated in prana, famed as the strongest on Earth.
Something was written in that expression.
‘That’s just what I thought.’