Hi everyone, I’m Aria Red, just your everyday wandering newbie TL. I volunteered to do this one chapter. It’s insanely long, about 3 to 4 times longer compared to my usual projects. I won’t be doing the next chapter but I heard someone else already volunteered for it, so no worries guys! (^_^)
Alice Tale still has a bright future!
And I hope this chapter is easy to understand.
This chapter is brought by:
TL : Aria Red
Editor : Seven and Doom
Chapter 02-24 ~ Sacrificial Pawn’s Hunting
(Chapter 46 of the story, but it’s the 24th chapter of the second arc/volume)
The kind-looking man(1) evaded the attack in an instant.
Even if the wound was somewhat shallow, the blade had grazed him, and blood came out from the area around his abdomen.
“…Bastard. Didn’t expect someone this frightening to appear…”
While still grinning, the man truly understood that the enemy in front of him was not someone he could take lightly. Becoming vigilant, he squinted his eyes.
“It seems that you’re in the middle of bragging about your super unlucky life. How unfortunate, such talk is not to my liking. So sorry.”
Shion-san readied her katana in a relaxed manner, completely devoid of fighting spirit.
Calm and collected. Seeing her like this, a sense of relief washed over me.
Just by looking at her back, I could feel myself calming down.
I was struck with a sense of nostalgia. Nonetheless, the weight of the tiny life in my arms woke me up from this sentimental feeling.
“Good gracious. You’re probably the scariest person I’ve ever faced so far. Ah, what to do.”
He stroked his hair while appearing to be playing dumb. He was smiling one moment and serious the next. He kept changing his expression as if he was unstable.
According to his story, he was a veteran who had been wandering from one battlefield to another. A guy with a lot of experience.
“Scaring my little sister like this is not something I can tolerate, and finding a way to justify your wrongdoings is something that I hate even more. In other words, you’re no more than trash, right?”
“That’s so mean, you know? I was only telling the truth.”
“So? Do you now wish to be comforted by your arch-enemy, a detestable human? You should know that there’s no such thing as good or evil in war.”
“Well, I guess you’re right――!”
While saying that, the kind-looking man inconspicuously took his hand out of his pocket.
――a throwing knife!
What’s more, he’s aiming for the girl I’m holding!! Dealing with an attack while being caught off-guard is definitely not my forte. The only thing I can do now is to turn around and endure the attack with my back.
“――Like I said, I totally understand.”
However, Shion effortlessly struck down the throwing knife before I could even make the slightest movement.
Even though she was still being vigilant, that exact moment was what he was aiming for.
Fearlessly charging at Shion-san, the kind-looking man slashed at her.
The speed was incomparable to before.
――Be that as it may, dodging is my sister’s forte.
The man’s attacks were by no means slow, but Shion-san managed to perfectly avoid all of them without receiving any damage.
“Seriously. I never heard that there was such a monster in the kingdom!”
“Hey, let me ask you something. Why did a little girl like this come running to my little sister? With her little legs, how was she even able to escape from you in first place?”
Shion-san began to ask questions while avoiding his attacks.
“Ah, that’s because she was bait. Have you ever heard of the sniper’s hunting method?”
The discussion was in no way an enjoyable one. Nevertheless, the expression on his face showed that he was having fun from the bottom of his heart.
“First you inflict a wound on someone that makes them vulnerable while they are inside your own range. Like shooting their legs for example. And then, the rest is simple. Their comrades who are overflowing with justice will come and try to save them even if it costs their lives. They will then deliberately jump inside your shooting range. That’s when you have your feast, and simply shoot them. Do you understand?”
“I see. As expected―――― You piece of trash!”
Shion-san stopped evading and took the attack head on.
Their swords clashed and became locked together.
Shion-san’s strength is 3.
She is not an opponent that you would dare to lock swords with.
Of course she is.
There’s no way she wouldn’t be!
“So basically, you were planning to exploit the fact that she’s protecting someone because it would restrict her movements, and then cut her down just like that. Tell me, that’s what you were planning, isn’t it!”
“I applaud you. Well, truthfully I was just cleaning up those foolish knights. For that little girl to have conveniently shown up in front of the famous Silver Lightning Spirit after escaping, we can only blame her bad luck!”
The two continued to lock swords, pushing against each other as though to crush their opponent.
“Hey you. Did you kill the black guy using the same method?”
“Well, his movements weren’t bad. However, protecting a child during a battle, he was bound to lose. He was just an amateur who had no place in the battlefield.”
The swords were locked in a draw for a few more seconds. Then, as if repelling each other, the two jumped back to a safe distance.
I didn’t know what Shion-san was thinking when she suddenly sheathed her katana back into the scabbard.
She then slowly took a breath.
“――There’s no point in me wasting more time on you. I’m getting sleepy here. I’ll do the honour of sending you off.”
She gripped the katana’s handle with her hand and slightly bent forward, lowering her waist.
――Ah, I see. It’s Iai!
By attacking immediately the moment the sword leaves the scabbard, in other words a quick draw attack, it gives the opponent no time to react. It is the fastest sword technique.
It is sometimes even called ‘close proximity firearms’.
Shion-san launched her Iai strike, coated with level 5 agility.
“…This looks bad.”
The kind-looking man completely lost his composure as he let out a small groan.
Seeing his attitude changed like like this, he’s a veteran after all.
I watched the breathtaking battle intently as I held the sobbing little girl in my arms.
It was so intense that I almost forgot to breathe.
As I gazed upon the battle, on the edge of my eyes was――
I was so taken aback that I unintentionally let out a dumb voice.
Shion-san seemed to have notice as well as she revealed a big smile.
“――Fufu! It seems that the one who will deliver the final blow won’t be me after all.”
Even though she was already on the verge of slashing, Shion-san let go of her katana.
Confused, the kind-looking man became wary of Shion-san. He saw my dumbfounded expression, and his gaze followed my line of sight. The moment he turned…
On the other side was…
“Isn’t that obvious――――Don’t just kill me off like that.”
He dragged his feet forward while holding his flank which was overflowing with blood.
Being covered in wounds all over his body, he looked like he was ready to collapse at anytime.
Nevertheless, it was certainly the silhouette of a man standing on his own two legs, alive and still breathing.
“Uwaa, wait! You can’t go now!”
Hearing the voice of the formerly (thought-to-be) dead man in black(2), the little girl was ready to jump out from my arms. Panicked by her movements, I hugged her tighter.
After seeing that the little girl was safe, he looked relieved.
How dare he make that face now?
After making a little girl like this tearing up…
Don’t make us worried, you dummy!
“Wow, how obstinate. Well, the guys from the Knight Order weren’t much of an obstacle, so it’s true that I couldn’t be stuffed checking whether someone was still alive after I cut them up.”
With the usual foolish remarks, the incorrigible man threw another knife at the little girl.
Shion-san quickly drew her katana and knocked the knife down once more.
Taking advantage of that interval, the man retreated.
“Anyhow, leaving you alive troubles me, but that onee-chan is bad news for me. So I’ll leave this place to you.”
If he decided to attack the man in black, that man would have probably been able to quickly finish him off.
However, Shion-san would just cut him up during that very moment.
Knowing whom to use (attack) in order to escape, how cunning of him.
But even if he were to escape, where can he escape to in this situation.
I thought so, but in reality, the entire city is currently in chaos.
Although, if he’s doing reconnaissance for the republic, it’s probably being backed by Ostia.
We’re bound to meet again sooner or later…
“――We’ll settle this on the battlefield.”
Leaving an inappropriate wink, as if trying to show off, the man promptly disappeared.
I didn’t consider chasing after him.
I didn’t feel like doing it.
More importantly, the man in black was about to collapse.
I approached him together with the little girl.
He looked like he was about to collapse just from being hugged.
Trying to look strong has its limits.
“…To think that you would even try to chase after Libra, it’s no joke. You’re weak, far too weak!”
Furious at the fact that he’d be defeated and almost died so easily, that ended up being the first thing that left her mouth.
“Disciple!(2.5) That, do that! The one that makes pain go away!”
I briefly looked at the man in black’s injury.
If it’s the current me, I can somehow…
“This is…without a doubt.”
I won’t be able to use healing magic unless I can confirm that my surroundings are safe.
“Ah, yes, I know. It’s all~right. There’s nothing impossible for a magician like me.”
I brushed the head of the weeping girl gently and then turned around to look at Shion-san.
“I’ll be collapsing soon, so please take care of me, literally.”
“Fufu, got it.”
Seeing the world’s most reassuring smile, I psyched myself up and began the treatment.
I made the man in black sit, forcibly rolling up his clothes.
The cut wound was so gruesome that you’d want to look away.
Knowing that it would probably be something of this level, I had entrusted the little girl to Shion-san.
It would have become a big problem if she developed some kind of trauma after seeing how grotesque it was.
I drew my hand closer to the wounded area.
Now, prepare yourself.
“Stop. I didn’t ask for your help.”
The man in black should know that healing magic would be able to cure him instantly.
“If you want to say that… Become stronger so that you don’t worry anyone else! Become stronger so that you don’t end up wasting anyone’s time! Honestly you’re a bother!!”
Without wasting anymore time, I cast my healing magic.
――As expected, the wound was deep.
I used up quite a lot of stamina.
I only managed to get by thanks to my greatly increased mana.
“You should say that to someone else.”
Shion-san caught me in her arms as I fell, and at that,the little girl turned to look at her brother worriedly.
Seeing that, he forced a smile.
Smiling is important after all.
The girl firmly shook her head.
What a stupid brother.
――It wasn’t long before I passed out.
It felt like someone was holding my hand.
Feeling that, I woke up from my fairly long slumber.
I saw a dazzling light as I opened my eyes.
It wasn’t the light of a magic crystal.
It was sunlight.
I raised my left hand and tried to stroke my face. Nonetheless, it felt like something was grabbing my hand so I couldn’t.
It was a room I had no memory of.
The room was mostly white and looked quite luxurious. The curtains on the windows also looked somehow high class.
There was only a bit of light passing through the gap of curtain, nevertheless, to me, who had just woken up, the light was still a little too dazzling.
It seemed that I had been sleeping on the bed of that elegant room.
I more or less understood what had happened.
But, this isn’t a hospital, right?
This is far too luxurious to be a hospital room.
Judging from the peeking light, it’s probably morning now.
Did I sleep through the whole night?
At least, it doesn’t seem like I ended up in a long slumber lasting several years.
“…Well, she’s still a little kid, so it’s fine I guess.”
I shifted my eyes to my left hand, or rather, my left arm.
Crawling under it was a tiny intruder.
Rather than grabbing my left hand, the little girl took ahold of my arm and hugged it while sleeping just like that. Seeing that, I let out a wry smile.
If I’m not wrong, the man in black called her Rin earlier.
But, seeing how calm it is now, has the chaos within the district been perhaps settled?
Is Illya not here?
By the time my head was filled with questions, I could hear the door being softly opened.
When I turned my head towards it, I saw a certain person walking in while carrying a tray.
And then our eyes met.
“So you’ve woken up, Alice.”
Because we were in battle before, I couldn’t waste my time being sentimental.
But now, seeing that the danger is gone and I’m able to relax, I can feel emotions welling up inside me just from seeing Shion-san’s face.
On top of that, I’m feeling weak because I had used up a lot of stamina.
Anyhow, I’m currently overflowing with emotions and sentimental feelings.
“Fufu, idiot. Don’t act so spoiled now. You’re going to wake her up with your weeping.”
Seeing me unintentionally let out a loud voice, Shion-san let out a wry smile.
She then put the tray onto the rack besides my bed and pointed at it.
“Is there anything you’d like to eat?”
There was fruit, a cup of water, bread, and some other trifling things on the plate Shion-san carried over. It was but a light meal.
“Nn…I’m a bit hungry… By the way, how long was I asleep for?”
“It has only been one night since then. It wasn’t worryingly long.”
‘Are you fine with rinnal?’ As if saying that, Shion-san took a rinnal and showed it to me.
I nodded in response.
Shion-san then sat down on the chair by my bedside, picked up a knife, and proceeded to skillfully peel off the skin.
Shion-san is really good at handling cutlery, isn’t she.
Even though she doesn’t cook at all…
“Uhm, where’s this?”
“We’re inside a mansion in Wilmington. After you collapsed, I carried you on my back and asked the knights if there were any place we could rest at. Seeing us, I guess they were somehow moved and contacted the owner of the residence for us.”
This is probably Clansesca’s(4) house.
While talking, Shion-san cut the rinnal one by one into smaller pieces.
“If it’s about the situation outside, it has considerably calmed down since last night. Right now the knights are keeping watch, so it should be okay.”
“What about the castle…?”
“Obviously okay. The imperial guards are keeping the place in check. A riot of that level
won’t affect them much.”
I see. There are imperial guards there.
That kind-looking man is probably planning to join up with the Ostian Army later on.
He has most likely already escaped from the district.
“If it’s about Solt, he’s currently sleeping in another room. Well, he ran out of stamina. What can I say.”
Hearing Shion-san calling the man in black’s name without any honorifics, I blinked my eyes in surprise.
“Oh? You jelly, Alice?”
Once again, this sister of mine said something I refuse to understand.
“No way. Really, no way.”
I couldn’t say anything else at that moment.
“Hmmm? Isn’t he your boyfriend? That girl told me so.”
“Please don’t take what a little kid says seriously…..”
Rather, I was worried that perhaps some kind of love had blossomed between them while I wasn’t aware of it!
“…Your habit of randomly saying weird things still hasn’t changed, I see.”
No no no. That man is very unsocial. What if it turns out that he has been looking at your chest the entire time!?(5)
I’m worried, very worried.
“I’ll eat it. Please feed me. It’s common sense to feed a sick person.”(6)
‘Aaaan’, I opened my mouth just like a baby bird.
After all, you know, I couldn’t move because someone was tightly holding my left arm!
“You haven’t changed at all, really. Are you like this in front of everyone too?”
In front of everyone?
While talking, she sent a mouthful piece of rinnal into my mouth.
‘Nyam’, I stuffed my cheeks just like that.
It was delicious.
“Eh? There’s no way I can be childish in front of everyone, right?”
Even I know there’s a time and place for everything
“…Heeee? So you only act this spoiled in front me.”
No way, but, I see.
Certainly I don’t act like this in front of Illya and Clansesca.
Surely I don’t.
“I see…so this is what motherly love feels like…”
“Yes yes. You’re welcome.”
“What an indifferent response…”
I pouted exaggeratedly.
But whenever I see rinnal coming, I opened my mouth wide and ate it.
How can this be so delicious.
Could it be, because I was being fed while doing the famous ‘Aaaan’?
…Being fed? ‘Aaaaan’?
“Ah, how embarrassing!”
“You’re saying that now!?”
My sister was surprised at my sudden bashfulness.
Anyhow, the feeding still continued for a while until I finished about half of the sliced rinnal.
“You really don’t eat much, do you? Even though you haven’t eaten anything since last night, you can’t even finish a single rinnal.”
Doesn’t that mean I’m energy efficient?
Shion-san ate the remaining rinnal and the meal time ended~
…It was such a waste though!
I should have kept going for a bit longer!
“…By the way, where’s Clansesca?”
“Hm? You mean the young lady of this household?”
“You strangely have a lot of connections, don’t you? Normally you wouldn’t even dream of being acquaintanced with a chibi elf or with the young lady of Wilmington.”
“I know right?”
I also thought it was weird.
“Well, it’s good in its own way. If it’s the young lady, she’s gone off to the frontlines since early in the morning.”
I was taken aback by her words.
“She’s gone to the frontline!?”
“Shhh, speak quietly――Even though they said frontlines, it’s probably the commanding sector. It’s not like she’s actually fighting on the frontlines.”
“But…even in the most unlikely scenario, if something were to happen to Clan, what would happen to this country…”
Even if we were to successfully repel Ostia for now, it would hold no meaning…
It’s true that Sacramento is still here.
However, one of Wilmington’s great three families will end up collapsing.
No, to begin with, what is Ostia aiming for?
――Just what, ahh, someone tell me already!
No, that’s not important for now!
I just don’t want anything to happen to Clansesca!
“――What about Illya?”
“It seems like you’re thinking about something stupid again. The dragon missy went out with the blacksmith kid, saying that they would gather some raw materials. I tried telling her to at least sleep for a bit though.”
She must have been nursing me all night, that kid.
I’ll tell her to sleep later.
“On the contrary, the elf chibi has been sleeping allllllll this time.”
It’s something that is to be expected.
But, I see. Illya went out with Saira.
Her first errand is done, so she’s now on her way to do the second one.
Now that Clansesca has taken up her position, when is the battle going to start?
I need to discuss this with Illya if I want to know more about the situation.
…Fuu, this is too much.
My body is still tired.
I guess I should stop thinking for now.
“I’ve become a bit tired… I’m going to sleep again for a bit.”
“Ah, got it.”
Shion-san cleaned up the plate and was ready to leave.
――But, I pulled her sleeve before she did.
“Nn? What’s wrong?”
“Fufu, Alice, what am I gonna do with you.”
Shion-san smiled and sat on my bedside once again.
Seeing that smiling face really tightened my chest.
During last night’s incident, there was one thing that I truly regretted.
Even the enemy had his own circumstances.
But, because my head was only filled with such thoughts, I ended up not being able to do anything.
You can say that I’m just making excuses here.
That’s why, I’ll say this.
I want you to let me say it.
“Oneechan――please stay with me!!”
This is baaad, my face is burning with shame.
I tried letting her sleeve go and hid my face away, but she was holding onto my head with both of her hands so I couldn’t.
She should have been able to see my face trembling.
Seeing her face head on, I could see her seemingly transparent, pretty eyes.
That face slowly came closer――
She bumps her forehead to mine.
“Idiot――Say that earlier.”
With our faces so close that our noses are touching, I looked up at Shion-san with upturned eyes silently asking something.
“――I’ll stay with you. Because you’re my imouto aren’t you, Alice?”
“I’ll also say this――I will become your sword. I’ll cut open a path for you. I will become a sword and show it to you, Alice.”
“Yes…yes! Ehehe…Onee-chan also should have said that earlier――Ouch!”
She hit my forehead with hers once more.
We separated after that.
Shion-san took the plate from the shelf and promptly left the room.
“Idiot. You should’ve just stayed silent at times like these.”
Those words were the only things left behind.
She ended it just like that!?
”…Like I said～～～”
An angel appeared from the bedcovers.(7)
(1)The kind-looking man, or the seemingly gentle man : 優しそうな男。He seemed gentle, but is actually not.
(2)The Man in Black is Kurozukume (黒ずくめ）
Kuro 黒 is ‘black’, and zukume ずくめ is ‘to be clad in’.
You can combine it with anything, really.
Akazukume （赤ずくめ）, Man in Red. Shirozukume （白ずくめ）, Man in White.
Aozukume （青ずくめ）, Man in Blue.The previous three don’t sound good though, I’d probably translate them as ‘the man clad in red/white/blue. But because there’s the movie man in black, I just borrowed the term for fun.
(2.5)Disciple = Deshi （弟子）
(3)Solt or ソルト(So-ru-to). Salt sounds like a spice to me, so I prefer Solt.
(4)Clansesca or クランセスカ (Ku-ra-n-se-su-ka). Fairy TLed as Fransesca, well it’s in actual english name ftw. I don’t like changing the author’s intended name though, if you still prefer Fransesca, tell the next TLer.
(5)Solt is not that much of a pervert. He’s a only crude gentleman.
(6)Alice is so spoiled and cute, I don’t see any trace of masculinity left in
him her anymore. I think she had already forgotten the fact that she was once a guy since long ago.
(7)Alice is an angel.