ABM – Chapter 38

Translator(s): ShimizuA    Editor(s): Yuzuha    Proofreader(s): Merp-merp


One’s Belonging

For Richelieu, Shizuru was her first disciple, her only successful work, her absolute standard.

Now including the girl who had just been formally accepted, Black Maria’s members had become 49 people in total. [1] However, if the former members of Black Maria were also counted, over 200 people remained in their records.

Among those members, a few people were selected.Promising youths whom  Richelieu personally trained.

But, the end result was ―― all of them were failures.

…… No. Even if they ended in failure, the truth was quite different. To express it more accurately, everyone who was taught by her was not able to reach the area of ability demanded by Richelieu.

But Shizuru successfully went beyond that. More than that, he also did it beautifully.

Therefore, with Shizuru as the standard, Richelieu requested for the following disciples to be equal to his level. She asked for it.

However, Richelieu herself understood, that Shizuru’s completion, helped by some coincidence, was a result close to a semi-miracle. Again, the teaching of Richelieu, whose ability deviated from the norm, was indeed unforgivable, and those who were taught had collapsed along the way.

It was natural. She couldn’t go easy on them, they always got compared to Shizuru at something, and everyday was filled with harsh training. They couldn’t keep their sanity. Inside them, they resented Shizuru, even going as far as trying to kill him. But when they tried to kill Shizuru, who didn’t have any shred of hostility, they were instead moved by him, which brought upon Richelieu’s anger so they couldn’t kill him.

And after single-handedly crushing some people who crossed the line, Richelieu gave up on raising disciples. She understood that she was devastatingly unsuited for teaching.

―― That’s why Richelieu. Her obsession over Shizuru was frighteningly strong, even when compared to her famous sword breaking streak.

Her solely perfect successful work, whom she couldn’t make a similar existence of ever again.

If there was someone other than Shizuru who could handle the extremely ferocious Casca, rather than putting him in the 3rd squad, she would have made him her adjutant. He was the only one she allowed to call her by name, Richelieu, and not Boss. Just one insignificant, trivial lie couldn’t help but make her remember how frustrating it was.

To the extent of being able to call her paranoid, that was Richelieu’s obsession towards Shizuru.

◇◇◇

“How many times have I told you, don’t you ever lie to me.”

Richelieu’s gray pupils peeked through her opened eyes that were usually closed. Her blind, unfocused gaze shook with intense irritation.

“I don’t care who you trick. But you’re my work. My property. Why, why you don’t you do as I say?”

Richelieu couldn’t completely understand any animosity directed towards herself. She understood that she was superior than most people, so she sincerely thought the others, at least her subordinates, would follow her orders without hesitation.

Therefore, she couldn’t comprehend this deviant’s logic. She also couldn’t follow what the deserter was expecting.

This for Richelieu, who had high pride, to not understand something was a big shame. That’s why if she couldn’t understand it, she destroyed and killed it, no questions asked.

Today was also the same. Yet since the other party was Shizuru, a “question” was included.

“Why? Why are you answering with ‘nothing’? Answer me, answer me right now.”

Richelieu inquired with flat and cold tone. If she could understand his answer, then she wouldn’t kill him. If not, she would kill him.

Since he had been associated with Richelieu for a long time, he could read her without thinking. Shizuru slowly combed her long, spreading silver hair, while his collar was still being held.

“―― I’m sorry, Richelieu. Somehow, it is hard to say. Even my own self doesn’t know why.”

He whispered it to Richelieu, close to her ear. But contrary to her, he did it with a gentle voice, one that could melt anger and irritation.

“That girl, she will become a good killer. I’m a little shocked myself that I could say such words as if it was given.”

Those words, mixed with a bitter smile. rustle The sound of the silk-like silver hair being caressed resonated finely.

“I want to quit being a killer. I’m always saying that, but I realized that I have become familiar with that line of thought.”

He wanted to quit killing, to escape Black Maria. Richelieu knew that Shizuru had always thought about it. That was why Shizuru was exceptional as a killer, who killed anyone emotionlessly.

“‘Ahh, it seems I was broken’. Well, I knew that I, myself, wasn’t decent, but somehow I disliked to admit it easily. That’s why I told you it was nothing.”
“ …… So, it was…… like that.”

The irritation that was raging inside Richelieu’s heart dissolved and disappeared while hearing his peaceful voice. Richelieu released his collar which she had grabbed so strongly that the fabric seemed to be tearing apart, and then she understood. In other words, Shizuru lied to himself and didn’t mean to deceive Richelieu.

She felt embarrassed for jumping to the wrong conclusion. While closing her eyes that had unconsciously opened, Richelieu moved back one step and cleared her throat a little.

“Excuse me……  that is, I was too hasty in drawing a conclusion. Please don’t look at my embarrassed face.”
“I understand.”

Richelieu turned and showed her back to Shizuru. Then she silently tapped at the table twice with her fingertips, as if to dodge the awkwardness.

“Shizu. I don’t know what you meant by ‘decent’, but humans can live even if they’re not always decent. In that case, it’s not something that you should worry your mind over too much ok?”
“ …… Ahaha. That’s really like you, Richelieu. Yes, that’s right, it’s certainly as you said.”

Even if they weren’t decent, even if they were abnormal, they still could live. Shizuru eventually summarized it and understood. In the first place, something like decency was just an opinion of the majority unless you changed how one looked at it. For example, if 90% of people in the world said that murdering was fun, it would become common sense. It was a concept that was vague, easy to shift, and without any clear indicators. It was foolish to stick with that kind of framework.

――But. There was a little something left that Shizuru couldn’t let go from inside his chest.

If his family and friends, whom he couldn’t remember anything, their faces nor names, saw the current him. What was he supposed to say?

“ …… Um, Richelieu. If…… this is only ‘if’, alright? If I really leave Black Maria, what would you do?”
“I will kill you with my own hands.”

Shizuru’s wry smiled deepened as she immediately answered his question. That meant that he must stay abnormal until he dies.

“Ahaha…… I know right~”

After smiling wryly, he spoke those words with a light tone. What kind of feeling had he put inside of himself?

Even Shizuru himself ――he didn’t really know.


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  1. (ED: a serious question is this taking into account Liz and Beth’s split personality?) (Merp: Probably not, as technically they’re both residing in “one person”)
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