Here’s the 17th (complete) chapter of Riot Grasper. First (and only) for the week.
There’s an announcement at the end of the chapter. Do check it out.
Without further ado, enjoy the read.
Translated by mranon
Edited by OnionRings27
2nd Volume, 17th Chapter 【Logins】
――When a rolled up paper had been fastened to the bird perched on a man’s shoulder, it took off into the moonlit sky.
He had swarthy skin. His body was garbed in a mantle so black it blended into the twilight. However, the mask which should be concealing his face was at the moment not.
「Fuee~ I knew putting nothing on would feel refreshingly comfortable.」
The man――Ren, retreated inside the building while carefreely saying so. Under the guidance of dim moonlight, impinging through the crevice in the decayed stone wall, he trod along the pathway.
「Captain~ I have contacted with the guys on standby in the village. Tomorrow, they will rendezvous here with the necessary goods, I think――Eh… Sis Rei? Where’s the captain?」
「Where that girl is asleep. By the way, you can’t possibly have called every member here, have you?」
「Of course not. I have instructed a few of them to stay behind.」
Ren and Rei… were twins with identical features, but it was evident from their conversation that sister Rei held the superior position…
「Still, since the orphanage will soon have no use, isn’t it wasteful to have them [masked men] stay there? If we threaten them [orphanage residents], they will keep quiet until our operation is over, I think.」
「It’s for caution’s sake. Even if they spilled the beans, no one would be able to find this place anyway. That said… a collar will be needed, so that guy doesn’t try anything strange.」
「Waa, killing would be no good. It would be terrible.」
「There’s no point in killing the hostage. We can play around, though, can’t we?」
「Uwaa, Sis Rei is the last person to say that~ back when we were attacking, your killing intent was so bare, you even got scolded.」
「No, no. I haven’t even mentioned the resentment of dropping the candy, have I? Sis Rei has been spiteful since the olden days. Therefore, no matter how much time has passed――Ah, I was of course kidding. Please do without that whip, or my flesh will end up torn.」
When Rei’s hand girthed the whip on her waist, Ren bowed. Diverting the topic, he turned his gaze toward his sister and noticed her fist.
「Ah! Your hand has healed already? That’s great.」
「Because I can use healing magic… It’s not my forte, though…」
「So true~ …Ah, sorry… That aside, back when we were fighting… there was a guy with the same hair color as us… Wasn’t he too strong? How could he outpush both of us?」
「I don’t know, either. He did seem to be from the same place as us, but the color of his skin was fair. I don’t think he’s from Togul.」
Souven Empire’s history was imbrued with invading other nations for territory expansion. Togul was originally a small state situated in the east of the Empire. A few decades ago, it had been assimilated into the Empire. Now, it had merely been reduced to one of the ‘places’. Ren and Rei were Togul natives. Their features slightly differed from those who lived in and around the Imperial Capital.
「I don’t want to fight against a compatriot.」
「N~ and that guy who ambushed him… is just too much…」
「Exactly why I said that we need a collar.」
While scratching his head, Ren voiced another question.
「That guy――That butler, why has he tagged along? Even though he has no more business.」
「I have no idea. Because those two guards who were awake had witnessed the crime scene, he could not stay at the lord’s mansion. Probably that’s why? That said, why did he stop me from killing them… I don’t get it…」
「The captain doesn’t talk about him in detail either.」
「If you’re so interested, why don’t you ask the captain directly?」
「――――Sis Rei… Let’s ask together…」
「N… u… here?」
Upon sensing incongruity from the corner of her eyes through to her cheeks, Marita, who had woken up, extended her finger.
The stains of dried up tears brought her memories back.
「――You have woken up, it seems.」
Feeling rather wary than relieved upon the familiar voice, Marita, who was swollen with anger, raised her voice at the person next to her.
He was clad in the usual butler outfit. His gentle gaze wasn’t any different from usual either.
「I will have you explain everything. Before that… Seiji and Lim are safe, right?」
「Probably. Those two were unaccounted for factors.」
「Why… Why did you do that?」
「When Marita-sama has been released safe and sound, I’ll be gone. Therefore――「Didn’t you hear what I said? Explain everything.」
The screaming voice of the girl, who had her shoulders quivering, echoed inside the room.
「…Very well… Before that, can you promise me one thing?」
「After you have listened to the story… No matter what you think of me, you will allow me to stay by your side until you have been released.」
「What… are you saying?」
After contemplating briefly, Marita nodded slightly. Having received the answer, Logins unhurriedly opened his mouth.
「I’ll start off with the people who attacked the mansion. They’re specially trained soldiers of a certain nation. Their principal function is espionage in other nations. Assassination and abduction of influential figures are incidental functions. This time, their objective is to disrupt the conclusion of the treaty between Lechelle Kingdom and the Western Archipelago States.」
「That… Ah, Logins, too… Someone close to Logins has been taken hostage, too, right? That’s why you’re being forced to――」
「I… guess… The root cause is different, though.」
The expression about Logins face indistinctly distorted. It was probably the fear of telling the girl the truth.
「――――Originally, I was a member of that unit.」
With Marita unable to understand his words right away, silence pervaded the air.
「――Eh… Has Logins not always been a butler?」
「Yes, it has been a decade or so. I served in all sincerity nonetheless.」
「Lie… It’s a lie… Right?」
「It’s not. You should have already guessed as to which nation the unit belongs to, haven’t you? I had long ago deserted that nation. Before a decade or so…」
「Tell me… everything…」
While sitting, Logins fiddled with the fingers of both his hands. With his head downcast, he started spinning his words.
「Marita-sama, I believe you were informed that the death of your mother was accidental.」
「I did hear so.」
「The truth is, she was abducted in the same manner as you now, Marita-sama… Thereby, she lost her life…」
「…Is that true?」
「That matter was concealed from general public because it could potentially develop into a war between the two nations.」
「Who… did that…」
At that question, Logins fell silent. His gaze drifted into the air as he murmured.
「Phylia-sama was an immensely bright and honest person. Even though she had been abducted, she talked to the people standing guard with a calm face. The orphanage she was raised in, her husband, the infant whom she had just given birth to, and so on. She only brought up the subjects that eased the lingering tension in the air.」
「Talk with your enemy over shared values to evoke sentiments and draw negligence out――I was well aware of such a tactic, yet that person was free from such machinations… On the contrary, it extricated the air from malice.」
After briefly exhaling, Logins resumed where he left off from.
「――As you have already guessed, I… was part of the unit that executed the abduction of Phylia-sama…」
Thereafter, Logins narrated the actions which Phylia took on the brink of death.
Contrary to what she was given to understand by her father, her mother had taken her own life. How did Marita receive her mother’s actions…? She didn’t cry out loud; she continued to listen quietly…
「Even though my past was dyed with far more cruel acts, I was at a loss for what to do. Afterward, I ditched my nation and crossed over to Lechelle Kingdom――Whether I, being an orphan myself, was attracted to her circumstances, or I was attracted to her nature; I don’t understand even now. However, the expression about her face on the verge of death had been etched in my mind. It just wouldn’t fade.」
With his face covered in his palms, he shook his head.
「Even though I fabricated my status and changed my name to work under Albert-sama, the guilt had been committed to my memory; I could think of nothing but that.」
――’Please don’t involve my family in this anymore’――
「…I don’t think there’s anything I can do to make up for that, but I want you to believe that the years I spent serving you were not a lie.」
「…Then, why are you doing this?」
「Does Marita-sama know a woman named Eleanor?」
Upon that enquiry, Marita *furufuru* shook her head.
「She grew up in the orphanage together with Phylia-sama. She [Phylia] loved her [Eleanor] just like a younger sister. ‘She’s [Eleanor] just like my family’ …is what she [Phylia] said…」
In order not to get found out, Logins dispatched donations to the orphanage through merchants. However, as luck would have it, he was sniffed out and dragged into this.
「What… All I have heard is how difficult it has been on you. My mother’s dead; I’m in this state… Don’t you think you are the one responsible, Logins?」
「You… Such cowardice against a kid. I don’t know my mother in person… But I know you, who has been looking after me ever since I was a child, very well. It’s… not about getting angry or not getting angry…」
Tears floated up in the corner of Marita’s eyes. But she endured, so the tears wouldn’t stream down her cheeks.
「――I thought you would cry and get angry.」
「…Did you think you could just apologize for her death?」
「Whatever you tell me to do, I will comply. However, can you please wait until you have been released safe and sound?」
「You’re worried that I may take the same actions as my mother? I will be killed anyway if their demands are not met.」
「Why was Phylia-sama targeted…? I realized after serving for all these years. Albert-sama… will never forsake Marita-sama… That person is too soft. He cannot make a calm judgement. Therefore――」
Before he could finish his words, dry sound of a cheek being slapped echoed inside the room.
「…’Therefore’ what? It’s natural not to let someone you hold dear die. Father did nothing wrong.」
「True… True, indeed…」
With her palm trembling, Marita’s tears started spilling out.
The butler, however――kept on looking at her silently.
――Later, Marita went back to sleep after having gotten tired of crying.
Upon witnessing her state, Logins let a breath out. From a dark corner of the room, a man’s voice resounded.
「You, who cannot abandon the guys at the orphanage… are plenty soft yourself…」
Black from head to toe, the man who showed up was――Serdio.
「You… seem to be diligently following what I taught you.」
「Use whatever can be used… even if it’s your former teacher… Do you want me to respect your wishes? Well then, do your best and quietly babysit the princess, please.」
Author’s note: Next time――『The Little Courage (tentative)』
Don’t miss it.
mranon: Guys, I’m sorry to announce that I will be on a long break from tomorrow.
After enjoying NEET life for so long, I have found a new job.
I have to move to a different city in relation to the job.
I will need a lot of time to settle into the new city, then the workplace, then the work.
I will be away for at least a month. It may (most likely) go beyond that.
Riot Grasper and Science shall Prevail over Magic will be on break, too. I have no intention of dropping the series.
See y’all soon™!