ABM – Chapter 42

Translator(s): DCThanatos    Editor(s): XSSpeed    Proofreader(s): The Colorless King, DCThanatos    TLC(s): ShimizuA


One day – Early Morning

Ever since being ‘invited’ to the 3rd squad of Black Maria, Mary has been clinging to Shizuru.

When he gets up, just like the duckling of a spot-billed duck, she follows behind. When it was time for him to go to sleep, she nestled close to Shizuru, and substituted Lady as a pillow, sleeping on the floor instead of the bed.

Shizuru didn’t want her to get depressed and such, so he allowed her to do what she liked.To begin with, no emotion existed for him to feel annoyed, so it was natural so to speak.

Yellow day of the week. White Magic’s effectiveness is considerably weakened, and so the medical office is closed on this day of the week. Shizuru was writing early in the morning inside a room across from the 3rd squads base, using it as his home for camouflage.

“Well… Because I used five silver coins here…”

While comparing several memos, he occasionally played around with his abacus[1] and wrote down the calculated results on paper. While he was doing so, before long, a faint voice sounded out quietly from behind him.

“Mother…? M-mother?”

“… Yes? Oh, good morning Mary. You’re sure up early”

As Shizuru turned his head, he saw Mary, who was wearing an oversized shirt in place of a nightdress, appeared from the partially open door while rubbing her eyes from drowsiness. Shortly after, her small footsteps sounded out as she rushed towards Shizuru and embraced him in a hug. The child had a peculiarly high body temperature that was emitted through her clothes.

“Mary…? What’s wrong?”

Not only body temperature, Shizuru also felt a faint trembling at the same time, so he placed his pen down for a moment, and turned to face her. While he gently rubbed her head, she looked up at him with a look of anxiety on her face.

“Did you have a scary dream?”

In response to the question, she swung her head back and forth horizontally. Then, after a moment of silence, Mary opened her mouth while trembling.

“When I woke up in bed… When I woke up, mother wasn’t there… and I thought that I had been abandoned by mother…!”

Mary’s eyes began to shed tears like a rain cloud around her second mother. She desperately clung to him, and Shizuru rose up from his seat and gently hugged her.

“Mother…… Don’t go anywhere……!”

“… I’m sorry, Mary. I’ve scared you.”

Shizuru calmed her voice down by cuddling and patting her slender back. Before long, little by little, she began feeling relieved within his gentle hands

“Mother, mother, mother…”

――Mary was broken. She was like a shattered glass figurine, only held together by glue, barely retaining its former shape. As such, in order to prevent it from falling apart, someone has to always keep careful watch over it.

However, the broken glass was too sharp, meaning most humans who touch it are cut, letting it slip from their bloodied hands only to break again. It was only Shizuru and Beth who could touch Mary’s heart without breaking it, without being cut.

“It’s all right. I’m not going anywhere.”

Shizuru, in a voice that gave people relief, whispered closely in Mary’s ear.

Immediately after awakening, she got anxious from Shizuru not being by her side. The fear of the thought of possibly being abandoned surfaced.

From finding him safe, came relief.

There were a lot of feelings mixed in her heart, but everything was washed away with one statement. Afterwards, only Mary’s unconditional relief remained, and an innocent smile that was appropriate for her age hung upon her face.

“Mother……What are you doing?”

She had regained her calm demeanor back from her noisy heart.

Suddenly, Mary recalled that Shizuru was sitting at his desk writing something.

And with children, they were always curious about their parent’s actions. Thus when she gave a look of curiosity, Shizuru picked up the document off the desk.

“Oh uh, yeah, I keep an account book. How much money we spend, and how much we earn, things like that.”

Although Casca is the captain of Black Maria’s 3rd squad, she can neither read, write, or calculate numbers, to begin with, her type of character wasn’t suited for the job. So, in actuality, almost all squad management was conducted by Shizuru’s hand who was the vice captain.

“From food expenses to weapon maintenance fees, intermediary fees for the broker who arranges the request, the rewards paid to each member, and so forth various other necessary expenses…… And then there is the twenty percent gross income that was decided to be given to Richelieu-san, I have to properly manage it all.”[2]

In addition to managing the clinic, gathering intelligence, client negotiations and so forth, Shizuru’s tasks happened to be truly diverse. In relation to account books, despite Elizabeth who is the daughter of a merchant――Eliza is poor at calculating, so Beth sometimes helped him, but even though this was taken into consideration, he still did three people’s worth of work skillfully.

However, for Shizuru who is a healing magician, he can make himself recover from the fatigue. And because, amongst his emotions, he can’t feel any connection similar to that of anger, there is almost no stress is felt. As a result, he was feasibly able to work ten days and nights without any sleep or rest.

However, he was stopped because of Lady, so unless his schedule was greatly packed, he wouldn’t do it. At any rate, basically, the magic that was consumed wouldn’t be restored unless he slept. Ten days, that’s the period that Shizuru’s magic could sustain him if he devoted himself, after that, it was too much and his magic power completely runs out. Long ago, he collapsed like a puppet that had its strings cut and had not woken for a whole day, since then, every day as much as possible, Lady entreated him to get sleep.

To digress, Shizuru’s magic fell into a considerable amount of categories. It was a byproduct from Richelieu’s instructions to overuse magic every day and night when he first started learning healing magic as soon as he realized that he had an aptitude for magic.

“I do things like this early in the morning, late at night, or on a day where I have time off at the clinic. Sorry for leaving you alone.”

“……Ehhh”

Mary shook her head in a serious manner towards Shizuru who had an extremely apologetic look.

Although Mary’s mind was a mess, contrary to her outward innocent appearance and behavior, she quickly shook her head. Though she couldn’t deny that her knowledge was insufficient since she didn’t receive any decent education, surprisingly, she could quickly remember and learn anything right away.

Therefore, Mary understood it immediately. Because she was being taken care of, Shizuru had been deprived of time.

She would do anything without a second thought for Shizuru, even murder. How could she reduce the burden, even by a little bit?

She thought about it――and was struck with an idea.

“Mother. Is it possible that I do that too?”

“Huh?”

“Writing, Calculating…… However, I can’t do it well. Is it possible if I learn it perfectly?”

I want to help Shizuru. Mary thought this as it took root, however, absorbing knowledge was the driving motivation. She was happy to get praise, receive even more praise, and quickly memorize new things. I’m a good girl, right? If I’m a good girl, then I can get gently stroked, right? It can’t be helped since I’m happy.

“……You’ll help me?”

“Yeah”

Mary was honestly too cute and Shizuru couldn’t help himself. Although it’s abnormal to incorporate ostentatious and murderous behavior into one’s daily life, it itself was the essence of mild youth. He couldn’t think of anything other than cute towards the girl that was attached to him.

“Thank you. You’re a kind child Mary.”

When lightly stroked, the girl with white hair smiled limply. It was so cute that it would make him listen to everything she said. To Mary, he had become the mother of her family in just one month. Shizuru had already become a doting parent.

“Well then, are you ready to persistently study? I’ll teach you properly.”

“Yeah!”

Mary nodded vigorously. At any rate, it’s good if she can learn reading, writing, and calculations.

In this world, one can go to school in the Shi-Ruvan kingdom, but it’s limited to the wealthy classes like Elizabeth. Incidentally, according to the information which Shizuru gathered, he heard that Ludmilla had formerly gone to school. Well, if he thought about her descent, it’d be rather strange if she didn’t receive an education.

“From now on it’ll be alright, Mother.”

“Haha. Although it’s nice that you’re motivated, let’s have breakfast first. Before long Lady will be back from the marketplace, I’ll go wake up Cassy.”

“Yes”

Mary left the room, her light footsteps echoing. Shizuru walked towards the window and looked up to the sky as the sun thoroughly rose.

“Well. Let’s do our best today.”


Footnotes:

1. TL: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abacus Also called a counting frame.
2. (TL: You know… In retrospect, I feel like Shizuru’s hard work is under appreciated, especially when having to put up with peoples(Like Casca’s) bullshit.)(PR: Same, if both of them were here in the modern age, Shizuru would be called a “Sugar Daddy” and she’d be called a “gold-digger,” umm not that I’m implying she is one. Hope I didn’t offend any Casca fans xD .)

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