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Kyou Kara Ma No Tsuku Jiyuugyou! - Volume 6 - Chapter 9

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Hi! I feel like it's been a while! Although that could just be an illusion because I didn't have internet for a few days this week. Anyway, finally finished this chapter! I really felt bad for Yuuri this time around. Just wanted to hug his dumb ass :(

Chapter 9

As we near the shore, the speed of the boat decreases and our heading is changed more smoothly. At last, we quite admirably squeeze into the perfect spot in the line of boats.

The helmsman wipes the sweat off his brow in satisfaction and receives generous applause from the crew.

However, I was in a panic about the thought that popped into my head just a few minutes ago. If the ship had come to a sudden stop and pitched forward and we all fell into the river, I definitely wouldn't have noticed. Big Shimaron, with which Flynn had made a deal with, wanted both the box and the key. They had gotten their hands on 'The End of the Wind,' but their vital key might refuse to open the lid. So, they used the Wincott Poison to create a puppet with absolute obedience.

The fire weapons that the Big Shimaron soldiers were supposedly using and the mysterious poison on their arrowheads... and Flynn was looking for a Wincott descendant. Everything was lining up. The more I thought about it, the more it made sense.

The soldiers from Big Shimaron invaded The Great Demon Kingdom through the guidance of a criminal connection inside the kingdom. They attacked because they were after Conrad, Günter or myself, but which one? Which one of us was the key that would open the Pandora's Box that should never be opened because it would invite all sorts of disaster? If it was Günter, he was still in the kingdom. He was probably protected and healed by those who came running afterwards. Then if it was Conrad...

’’Shibuya, what's that?’’ Murata asked standing right next to me. I hurriedly wipe my nose and with feigned ignorance, extract the paperknife from my breast pocket.

’’Hm? Ah, yeah, I bought this from a kappa.’’

’’From a kappa? Then it's a cucumber.’’ (1)

’’It feels like it might be ivory. In Japan, it'd be a rare and high class item, but here it's cheaper than sheep food.’’

’’Isn't this human bone? Anyway Shibu-Captain Crusoe, your nose is running. Your voice is a little stranger than usual too. You might have caught a cold running around with all this cold wind blowing.’’

’’Geh, really!?’’

Like Murata had said while staring into the distance, there was a group of armed soldiers on the shore. There are probably about as many soldiers as there are students in my year at school. There are easily two hundred. They're all in light blue uniforms and their chests and lower legs are wrapped in leather and they have swords at their waists. They seem to be waiting as they smoke cigarettes or draw pictures of rats in the ground and are generally relaxing. Since he's only seen modern day militaries, I wonder what my friend thinks of these RPG fantasy troops.

’’That's awesome. Are they doing cosplay? Is there some sort of renaissance fair? The Society for the Preservation of Medieval Times has it rough.’’

So now they're a preservation society.

But even if they don't have guns or machine guns, long swords are dangerous enough. In Japan, they'd be violating the Firearm and Sword Possession Control Law and if this was in the Chiyoda district, they'd be getting a fine for violating the law against smoking cigarettes while walking. With just over two hundred soldiers, they are plenty enough threat without firearms. The three of us went to the farthest corner and decided to simply wait until the boat departed again with bated breath. The booker who Flynn bought off was talking with a soldier that looked like a commanding officer. Their discussion wrapped up a few minutes later and the small man jumped agilely back into the boat. (2)

’’Did he just get a bundle of money?’’

’’Yes, but it's strange... He said that he wouldn't take Small Shimaron money because he didn't know if he could use it once the war started.’’

Murata answered Flynn's questioning look with surprising seriousness.

’’He probably sold something. Something lively that they wanted.’’

’’Robinson, was there fresh fish on board? Isn't there just that boot you fished up?’’ I asked.

’’... I've got a bad feeling about this. It'd be nice if it were just fish.’’

Murata wears a dark and severe expression that makes his Laughter Mode that he'd had on until now seem like a lie.

The group of soldiers in light blue, Team Powder Blue, are all going to the same barbershop. The way their beards and hair are cut are all in perfect uniformity. All two hundred of them have close cropped hair on the sides and ponytail;all two hundred of them have trimmed beards connected to their sideburns like a wrestler or a foreigner. Abbreviated: Cropped Ponytail. Abbreviated cutely: Cropped Pony. Definitely not a Cropped Pommy. (3)

If there are a hundred of those Nigel Wise Maxines (who absolutely won't die), the hair must be part of some sort of uniform.

’’That beard on the Small Shimaron soldiers is like their national flag. You instantly know who they are no matter what,’’ Flynn explains.

’’Ah, yeah. They're definitely not part of some passionate fan club, huh?’’

Seven or eight of the soldiers from the shore boarded the boat. I thought maybe it was to strengthen the security, but they open the door to Commander Mountain Range plus the around one hundred prisoners and bring them all outside.

’’What's going on!? We're not at the cape yet!’’

’’We're going to the paradise cape! It's a nonstop voyage!’’

’’We'll catch colds if we go outside. Mishy Terrine is always naked, you know.’’

They say you catch colds through your head, but I guess a skull would be cold too.

’’Hey, check everyone besides the crew. There might be one hiding amongst the regular passengers.’’

The armed soldiers start checking the few passengers. I pray that the Plainsmen or someone hasn't spread around wanted posters of us. However, the soldiers aren't asking names or addresses, but are having everyone show them their palms. Flynn and Murata's are barely glanced at, but...

’’You, get off.’’

’’Huh!? Why!?’’

For some reason, I'm the only one getting dragged away by my clothes after showing the inspectors my palms. I properly hid my eyes and hair with my sunglasses and pirate-style bandana so it's unlikely I've been exposed as a demon. Flynn steps up to the soldier and starts making a furious objection and Murata chimes in with little affirmative words.

’’Hey, Crusoe is my companion. I'll be very troubled if he disembarks here!’’

’’Look at his fingers. These are prominent sword calluses. Are these the hands of a merchant or scholar? These hands are even different than the farmers with their hoes. He might be using a specialized weapon, but he's definitely a combatant. All combatants of unknown origin and prisoners are to be brought before Lord Saralegi. I'm sorry, but you won't be able to travel with him anymore.’’

’’We don't need an army that just patches things up with an 'I'm sorry!'’’

Flynn is slowly turning into an angry aunty. But anyway, combatant? What am I, some underling of an evil organization?

’’No, these aren't sword calluses! These are bat calluses. My hands got this way from too much passionate practice-swinging!’’

Lately I'd had some doubts about taking the lead so I figured I'd work on my batting skills. The inspector tilts his head suspiciously.

’’What's a bat?’’

’’Um, a stick. You hold it with both hands and you hit stuff with a ping. And there are wooden and metal varieties, by the way.’’

’’You hit people with a club? That's an extremely primitive and cruel weapon!’’

’’No, I hit balls! Don't go running off with your gruesome imaginations... Hey let go! Listen, listen to what I'm saying- uwah!’’

An overhand throw. It might have been because I was resisting by swinging around my arms and legs and even my head, but my captor suddenly released me. My fingertips reach around in vain for something to grab as I'm thrown over the edge of the deck.

’’Hey wait a minute! I have to swim in the middle of this cold weath- ugh glug gah!’’

I think back fondly of the me who was wondering if this water was okay to wash my face with. Under the rich green water, I desperately doggie paddle for the surface. If I wasn't wearing this ridiculously heavy leather coat I'd be able to swim with a gallant crawl. This isn't funny. I can't be separated from Murata. He doesn't know a thing about this world and there's no one else to protect him. Besides, there's Flynn...

She trusted me and told me everything so I can't just leave her like this.

The boarding plank is put away and the ship is quickly moving away from the shore. With Flynn and Murata onboard. Leaving behind me and the prisoners in an unknown land. The Plainsmen graduates are regretfully parting with their Mistress. However, speaking of the Mistress...

’’Flynn, are you serious!?’’

’’There's no point if I don't have him! I bet my life on him!’’

Yelling out what could sound like a love confession to people who don't know the whole story, Flynn rolls up the sleeves of her coat and jumps from the deck. With a huge splash, she falls right in front of me.

’’Wh- why did you do something so stup-ugh!’’

’’.... swim.’’

’’Huh? What?’’

’’I can't swim!’’

You didn't even think about that!? I grab Flynn's neck and somehow manage to press her body against mine. If the drowning victim flails about, the person going to save them will get taken out with them. Luckily, she's calm and completely trusts me as a lifesaving device. It's lucky that the flow is gentle. I can keep my head above water and there's hardly any danger of drinking the-

’’How mean! You guys are leaving me behind!’’

’’Nmo!?’’

It's unbelievable. Even Murata jumps off the boat and T-Zou dives in like she's chasing him. Are they lovers? Is it a love triangle? The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals? The people around us are getting increasingly more excited. It seems everyone is a fan of soap operas. I know that Muraken can swim and the sheep looks like it will float so I don't need to worry if they'll make it to shore. The problem is me and Flynn.

As I pray 'my feet should be touching bottom, please let them touch bottom,' I desperately try and carry the weight of two people. Just when I was thinking 'Damn it! Why aren't I making any progress!?' someone pulls us with great strength all the way to the shore.

I didn't know whose arms they were, but I immediately knew whose arms they weren't.

It's not Conrad.

I'd lost the proof that he was still alive.

Dripping with dirty water, we walk forward supporting each other. Our savior is also lending a hand so it's easier to walk. Out of breath, I brush off Flynn's hair that's clinging to me.

’’Why did you do something so reckless!? Staying in the boat was obviously safer!’’

’’But Captain Crusoe... you didn't look like you'd be able to come back to the boat! What am I going to do in Big Shimaron alone? I explained clearly, didn't I!?’’

’’... You had Robinson.’’

’’Honestly! You're really slow on the uptake. Mr. Robinson is useless. You're the one I need. There's no point unless it's Crusoe you-’’

’’Stop saying Crusoe! I'm not really Crusoe!’’

We're knee deep in water. If we turn to our right, the shore is just there.

’’... Who are you?’’ Flynn asks in a small voice, letting her hand drop from where it was pulling at her hair a moment ago.

’’Who? Uh...’’

’’Ah, did we finally get found out?’’

The nimble Murata who had swam to shore before we did pulls on my clothes. We both slosh forward onto dry land. My feet and fingers tremble with joy at the feeling of being on ground for the first time in a while. T-Zou, in a gesture of gratitude, rubs her furball of a body against me. She seems excited.

’’Nmonmonmonmo.... Nmoshkashteeeee!’’ (4)

It's a sheep voice overcome with emotion. It's very seldom heard.

’’Nmoshkashteeeee!’’ Part 2.

Because his contacts aren't prescription, my friend is squinting at me.

’’What do we do, Shibuya? Should we just spill our guts? Or, if we need another bluff, I'll think one up for us right away. Leave the bluffing to me. I'm a bluffing thoroughbred. My father's great-grandfather's mother's brother's wife was a ninja in Iga, ninja ninja.’’ (5)

’’That means you're not related by blood, Murata.’’

’’Your name is 'Shibooya,' Captain Crusoe? Robinson's name is 'Moorata?'’’

We're interrupted by someone very pointedly clearing their throat.

’’Lady and gentleman, are there no words of gratitude for me?’’

Our savior has loosely tied back orange hair and has both hands on his hips. He shrugs like a mischievous rabbit.

His name is Josak Gurrier. He's a joker but he's talented. He's rude but you can't hate him. He's also half-human half-demon and he's Conrad's friend and former subordinate. He helped us out during the whole Morgif uproar, but since then he's mainly been hiding out in other countries on a bunch of missions and doesn't really have time to come back home.

’’Josak...’’

’’What's wrong, Young Master, making a disheartened face like that? It's times like these that goat milk does the trick! It'll stimulate you, restore your strength and give you unmatched vigor!’’

’’Goat's mil- eh!? Yo-yo-you were the woman serving lunch at that shop in Gilbit!?’’

’’You got it! Josa was sad because you didn't recognize her again and she cried a little.’’

Sometimes he's excessively passionate about his work and he becomes a woman in body and mind. But, it must be remembered that he does that for work and definitely not as a hobby. Maybe.

’’Well it seems I got to see yet another mid-journey, embarrassing display over there.’’

He's got a husky voice you'd hear on an old jazz record, a thick neck, a splendid stature, and you can see even through his clothes that he's got an admirable outfielder's body. I give him a slap on his arm and feel relieved that nothing about him has changed. The pink clothes he's wearing is the prisoner's outfit, if I'm not mistaken. So that means that this time he was disguised as a prisoner and slipped in here? He's got some serious skills.

’’I was surprised when I found you there. I couldn't believe that the Young Master was walking around in really dangerous human territory without a guard. I ended up specially sending out a message to Boss Gwendal via Fly Fly White Pigeon.’’

’’White Pigeon... by the way, what do pigeons sound like?’’

’’Doguu.’’

’’... doguu..?’’

’’Anyway,’’ he points with his chin to Flynn who's still in a daze about our names and T-Zou who's in a state of fervent rapture. ’’I can't take my eyes off you. In the time we've been apart you've gotten yourself a woman and livestock. How are you going to make this up to wittle ol' me? You were just playing around, weren't you!’’

Getting teased by such a masculine figure just gives me goose bumps. Not being able to laugh at his joke, I introduce my three companions.

’’Murata, Flynn, this is Mr. Josak Gurrier. He's a friend of a friend in The Great Demon Kingdom... ah, well we met in a different country. He's a multi-soldier who'll even dress up like a woman for a mission.’’

’’Hello, Sis! Thanks for before!’’ Murata says cheerfully.

’’Sis... Hey, how do you know him!?’’

’’He's the guy who gave me the candle and smoke bomb. At Flynn's estate.’’

’’Eh..?’’

My vision instantly starts swaying and I'm hit with dizziness. I'm out of the river, but I feel like the ground under my feet has disappeared.

’’... It wasn't Conrad?’’

’’Hm? It was definitely this guy. It was dark, but I remember his voice.’’

I'm flooded with disappointment and a strange sense of relief.

Somewhere inside me, a part of me whispers. Admit it. Just admit that Lord Weller died. Accept that and cry your heart out. It'll be easier that way. Rather than hanging on to a near non-existent hope, accept the painful truth and let your tears fall to your heart's content. That way you can focus only on you and the people around you to get through the troubles ahead. But...

I spread my palm as wide as I can and cover my face. I squeeze my eyes that got dirty water in them shut and wait for my dizziness to go away.

Can I cry here?

Murata is oblivious to the danger we're in, as usual, and Flynn Gilbit is exhausted body and mind by the succession of unforeseen events she's been assaulted with. That woman who was so bold and confident is now a miserable little soaked mouse. I've got the reliable Josak here now, but he's not going to just understand everything about what's going on instantly. It'll take a long time to explain our situation to him.

I take my hand off of my face one finger at a time. By the time my right hand came down to my chest, the ache in the back of my eyes and the worrisome dizziness had settled. Like I had my finger on the volume up button, the sounds around me are slowly coming back into focus. Flynn has just started to speak wildly.

’’You snuck into my estate!? Ah, that makes you a thief!’’

’’I didn't steal any of your brassieres so calm down. As a matter of fact, they wouldn't fit me. Ah, this is at my own expense,’’ Josak says in a way that makes it seem like there should be a heart mark at the end of his sentence. He then pulls down his collar and shows her his chest. He's wearing very elegantly designed underwear... for-for work! They're for work! But even so, that's some serious se*ual harassment.

’’A lot of your friends are perverts, aren't they?’’ Flynn asked.

’’That's none of your business. Josak is a little, you know. He's a special case. Who else are you thinking of?’’

’’That man Adalbert. And Nigel Wise Maxine, too.’’

I can't really call either of them my friends. But, I felt like there was no one else to suggest.

’’Not liking your husband's friends, that's very young-wife of you.’’

’’Hey, Robinson, don't make jokes that'll deepen the misunderstanding!’’

Ahead of us, the prisoners are being threatened into walking. There are over three hundred of the armed Small Shimaron soldiers, so there's a bit of a time lag for them to get to us at the end of the line. A soldier nearby draws his sword and comes at us in a group of five.

’’Frankly, it's not like even a gentleman like myself can't break through about five people. What should I do, Young Master Pacifist? I'll do whatever you say.’’

Even though how much of a gentleman he is has nothing to do with it, Josak is strong. But regretfully, he's the only fighter we have on our side. The only other one with any battle potential is... I guess the wolf in sheep's clothing.

I steal a glance at the bank out of the corner of my eye. There are several people who seem to be in command on sturdy horses.

’’How are we going to get our hands on those horses..?’’

’’Yeah, bazashi would be good.’’ (6)

Murata, not for food.

’’Where do they plan on taking us... weren't they going to the cape?’’ Flynn asks.

Like a well-informed man, Josak denies this.

’’No, that place was closed down two years ago. Their destination was different from the start.’’

What were they planning to do by transferring the prisoners... or rather, the former enemy soldiers turned prisoners of war?

------

(1) Kappa are said to really like to eat cucumbers. If a family wants to bathe in a river, then they'll toss cucumbers in so the kappa will let them bathe in peace. Incidentally, this is also why cucumber sushi rolls are called kappa rolls or 'kappamaki.'

(2) The Firearm and Sword Possession Control Law basically says that no one is allowed to own firearms or swords barring a scant few exceptions related to hunting, industrial work, ceremonial purposes etc. This law is so strict, it even requires permits be filled to possess a nail gun for construction work.

(3) For those not familiar with the term, Pommy is a nickname for the Pomeranian breed.

(4) I kept this in (kind of) Japanese because it's more of a sound effect than the word. The word being 'moshikashite' or 'possibly.' I also took out the silent vowels to make it more sound effect-y. The original is written 'Nmoshikashiteeeee.' I'm sure you remember this if you've watched the anime XD

(5) Iga was one of the two provinces where ninja training villages first appeared. The other province was Koga. Iga and Koga ninja were the elite ninja during their time and the rich and powerful hired them. Also, Murata used an old-timey ninja/samurai sentence ending here and is obviously just messing around ^-^

(6) Bazashi is horse sashimi (slices of raw horse meat) and is a delicacy. It's actually also really good. I had it once before when I was staying with a family in Kyushu. Although, to be honest, when I found out what I was eating, I was like o.o! And because I had just said that it was really ridiculously delicious, they gave it all to me. The rest of the meal I was like (T-T) Horsies, why you so delicious?



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