Translator: DC, Shimizu Editor: Matty Proofreader: Matty TLC: Shimizu, DC, Lox
One day – Night
The incandescent sun had sunk into the horizon, and the pastel moon had begun to take its place high in the sky. On the main street of the southern section of the royal capital, Shizuru walked at a brisk place.
This was perhaps the first time he had been alone since taking in Mary, marking for an unusual occasion.
At any rate, his train of thought greatly differed from that of the average human. And since Mary had a severely neurotic mental condition, she became dependent on Shizuru’s love and affection; it was like a drug to her. Even if she was notified in advance of his leaving her side for a few hours, she’d start to panic. As a matter of fact, one time, while Shizuru was being carried off by a drunk Casca, Mary threw a fit.
Beth was there to take care of her on the fly that time, but it was only by sheer coincidence. Due to that fortuity, Mary had become emotionally attached to her as well. Well, it also has to do with factors such as the feeling being mutual. She could recognize if it wasn’t so, and it seemed like Eliza didn’t fit the requirement.
This evening, Shizuru was on an outing, unaccompanied, while Beth was looking after Mary. Somewhat contrary to her pessimistic grouses, if Shizuru was refused by Beth, or if Mary didn’t take a liking to her, he wouldn’t have planned this outing.
[Hah ―― you seriously owe me one. You better be back on time, unless you want to be skewered alive. ](Beth)
“She just can’t be honest with herself… ” (Shizuru)
Shizuru snickered as he recalled what Beth said the moment she agreed to take care of Mary.
Why are you so twisted? There was nothing to think about; Eliza was at fault. Every time she became guilty of something she herself incurred, the blame would be shoved unto Beth, as Eliza alone had the ability to change personas. After repeatedly being forced to clean up after Eliza, it wasn’t surprising to see her with a screw or two loose as a result.
―― But back to the topic at hand. For now, let’s put that aside and go back to why Shizuru went out alone this time around.
“Ah…. Hey, Hound!” (Shizuru)
Simply put, he had promised a rendezvous with a friend of his, to drink till the night in the sky ran dry. And that’s where he was now, heading towards the meeting point.
“…. Hm,” a tall young man not much older than Shizuru responded.
He wore a Mao Suitm and his orange hair was slicked back, giving him a rather imposing appearance. His other hand withheld a large sword contained within a metal sheath ―― seeming like a gimmick weapon from its silhouette―― giving him the air of someone working in a shady line of work.
“Have you been waiting long? Sorry, it took a little while to get here.” (Shizuru)
“No… I just got here too.” (Hound)
The man simply shrugged Shizuru off, who gave a dry laugh without a tinge of remorse in its tone. His name was ‘Hound’, and he was one of the few male members to join black Maria. The rest of the group, approximately 90% of it, were composed of females.
He was also the current commander of the second squad, left in charge of the Southern District.
They had entered their usual Pub, taking a seat at the counter where one could line up their glasses and mutedly compete with the other drinkers.
“So, to start us off, cheers!” (Shizuru)
They clinked their glasses together, but the sound was trampled out by the noisy and ever so busy interior of the Pub.
“Pardon me for not being able to make it last month. The Eastern Section proved to be a bit of a challenge… (Shizuru)
“Ah, I’m aware.The Eastern Blood Knights standing guard at night definitely made it difficult. There were even reports of them spreading to the Southern Section. “ (Hound)
This sort of get-together could only be chanced upon once a month. The goal of it was a casual exchange of information… Occasionally, half of the talks derailed to the Hound suggesting that two men should bond over drinks. It was a custom started around a few years prior.
However, he was unable to oblige last month due to the ‘Chopper Incident’ ―― Mary just wouldn’t let go of him. Luckily, since Beth agreed to take care of her, he was able to come this time.
“These hardships are really starting to take a toll on you, Shizuru. Babysitting a bunch of rascals at your place.” (Hound)
“Ahaha, yeah… Honestly, I’ve started to wish I could go elsewhere to unwind at least once a day..” (Shizuru)
“ …… That’s to be expected. If it’s you we’re talking about, you could definitely go anywhere you wanted… But you got tied up with the wrong crowd.” (Hound)
“I wonder how many times I’ve thought of escaping; take the Lady and disappear into the countryside for a while… Just imagining it is a fun, yet terrifying, experience.. “ (Shizuru)
“Boss would be willing to follow you to Hell and back, you know that? They say if you were to escape, no place in this world could be your refuge.” (Hound)
Even among the many members of Black Maria, the amount of attention Richelieu gave Shizuru was tremendous. If there was any opportunity left for him to part ways, she surely would’ve squandered it with her own hands by now. Shizuru was no fool; he knew that escape meant being killed. There was no point in him deliberating about it.
“But think about it, without you here, who’s going to control Caska? She’s not a woman as easy to control as Elizabeth. And that Demonic beast would also leave Black Maria. It must be difficult for you, being the Third Squad’s linchpin. They need you.” (Hound)
“Haha… I don’t like admitting it, but maybe I’m too qualified for this job?” (Shizuru)
“I’m not sure….. There are somethings professional killers just shouldn’t ponder on; otherwise, you’ll end up miserable, so knock it off..” (Hound)
“I’ve already been suffering for a long time now… it’s too late for us,” Shizuru said this with a dismal smile.
There are roughly two categories of atypical people on a grand scale: people who aren’t normal to begin with, and people that end up becoming abnormal later on in their life.
Shizuru and Hound fell into the latter. They have great talents, but they lack individuality and self-assertion; they just live adrift, going with the flow, gradually being dyed by the events and people around. Those who have chosen this way of life have no chance of living any other way… The life of a Professional Killer… Tragic.
“…. To say that here, a place of merriment through alcohol. Don’t feel depressed. This conversation is over and done with. Got any lighter topics?” (Hound)
“Ah, yes, I know… Well, Hound, there’s always Mary…” (Shizuru)
While Shizuru began to ramble on and on about his daughter, Hound downed glass after glass. The atmosphere of the two bonding men changed in an instant, and they conversed about various topics well into the night…
- A Mao suit is a formal suit originating from Chinese culture. More about it here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mao_suit.