Yo, Kiriko here.
It’s still Wednesday in some part of the world right? Right? Uuuu……my apologies. I said I’d have it released earlier in the week, but one thing leads to another and…
I shall confess to the readers. I have a pet monkey named Kirino. And I blame him for everything. It’s Kirino’s fault that I got distracted, starting playing games, and reading LNs, and……NO KIRINO!!! NO!!!!! *cough* So that’s that.
(I don’t think many people will really get the reference, so here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=arj7oStGLkU <– it’s actually quite interesting, if you have to time to watch it)
As always, thank you all for waiting so patiently and continuing to follow our adventures in Paletia! Enjoy the ep~
Kiriko Epawsode 15: The Hidden Truths
Within the poorly lit room, a single man sat behind a large desk. Piles of paper covered its surface, concealing his face as he remained buried within the mass of documents. Only a small part of his light golden-blonde hair could be seen floating above the flood, like a single boat battling a tsunami.
Upon arriving in front of this familiar sight, I bowed politely like some kind of noble before giving my greetings.
“Milord, you called?”
Inwardly, I couldn’t help but grimace slightly at how formally I was being made to speak. Yet, despite my discomfort, it couldn’t be helped. He was the big boss after all. And since he wanted to be spoken to like the ‘noble’ he was, that’s what he got.
A soft grunt of acknowledgement emerged from the lord, followed by the sound of scratching as he quickly scribbled something down.
Haa……this is why I hate being called by the big guy.
Lord Cuyler had always been a busy man.
Even in moments like these, where he had been the one to call me, he’d still ignore me for several minutes so that he could finish looking over that last sheet of paperwork. Though it was infuriating, as a mere commoner employee, I had little say in the matter.
Besides, it was his loss.
Because every second I spent in this office was yet another second where his trash son was left unattended.
And an unattended trash son was never a good idea.
“—eh? Ah, yessir? What is it?”
Snapping back to attention, I straightened my back and turned my focus back onto my employer.
“Your report on Keith’s recent activities?”
One of his bushy blonde eyebrows rose as he gave me a look.
“Ah, yes. After the previous incident at the Guild, the young master ordered a tight watch on the girl’s activities.”
“Hm, I see. And? How did that lead to him capturing the Aurelia girl? Did I not tell you all that she and her brother should strictly be left untouched?”
Don’t tell me he already knows about everything…
My face threatened to cramp with uneasiness.
“*cough* Well, during the watch, he found out that the girl and the Aurelia boy had gone out on a quest together……so he…”
“Don’t dilly-dally! Say it!”
The Lord spat at me, whirling a pair of stern eyes towards my person upon hearing my hesitant tone.
“That’s……he had Black Demon pheromone scattered around the site of their quest secretly, which caused the emergence of a Greater Black Demon…”
“HE DID WHA——*ahem*……continue.”
It was apparent that whatever surveillance the Lord had was rather lacking. Perhaps it was focussed around the mansion, as opposed to the entire town.
“Fortunately, the girl managed to successfully take down the monster, albeit with some rather heavy injuries.”
“I see……it’s quite fortunate that the Town Barrier wasn’t destroyed by the battle.”
Though I almost felt like retorting his lack of care towards the foreign noble girl, his words made some sense. After all, while the Town Barrier was capable of warding off low levelled monsters and could withstand their attacks, the repeated attacks of a high ranked monster was more than capable of destroying it.
Without a barrier, this small border town of Au would probably fall.
It was for reasons like these that the scattering of monster bait like the Black Demon pheromone was forbidden within range of the town. Because it was common knowledge that the barrier wouldn’t hold against the attacks of stronger monsters that would normally avoid human settlements.
Thinking about it that way, that idiot son’s actions were the epitome of stupidity. Although I knew how stupid he was from the start, to think he’d be this bad……
Sighing mentally, I continued my explanation on the sequence of events that had occurred over the past few days.
“While the girl was fighting the beast, the young master happened to catch sight of the Aurelia miss lurking around nearby. When he saw that the monster was about to be defeated, he decided to have her captured so as to utilize the Aurelia boy to catch the noble girl.”
“Hmph. I see…it’s a lowly tactic that suits that idiot son of mine.”
As always, hearing the Lord’s opinion of his own son made me wonder why he didn’t try to actually do anything to fix the boy’s idiocy. Did he think that it wouldn’t affect him at all?
Or maybe he thinks that even if it ends up causing him trouble, he can just use Keith as a scrapegoat and throw him away…
He wasn’t known as the ‘Stone Noble’ for nothing after all. His heart was as cold as a rock. Even towards his own, blood-related son.
“At present, the noble girl is being held in the dungeons together with the young master’s other……captives, while the Aurelia miss has already been returned to her brother. I also have lookouts to ensure the boy doesn’t go gossiping about the matter to other residents, but as of yet, he hasn’t left his house once.”
“Keep a tight watch on him for the next few days. If he tries to tell anyone else about this matter…”
A grim light glimmered in the depths of the Lord’s eyes. Seeing that, I could only give a single response.
Bowing once more, I turned to the exit, intending on leaving the office, when—
A loud noise erupted from afar, shaking the mansion’s very foundations.
In contrast to the surprised shouts reverberating from behind the door, the Lord’s voice remained calm, concealing his fury.
Responding quickly, I opened the door, only to find—
“Any sign of her?”
Casually leaning against the building’s wall, I murmured to my subordinate concealed by the shadowy alleyway.
“No sir, not yet. It’s possible that she’s having difficulties escaping.”
Four days had passed since the girl had disappeared from sight. After realizing that she hadn’t returned to the Guild in the evening, I immediately sent people to investigate.
The result: she had been captured.
While I didn’t particularly care about her wellbeing, if she did manage to escape, I’d be able to end this troublesome mission all the sooner.
“Anyhow, keep a close watch on the mansion. If anything happe—”
A familiar voice cut me off as the figure of my golden-eyed friend approached. Swiftly giving a signal, the presence within the darkness disappeared, leaving behind nothing except a gentle breeze.
Looking at Conrad, I felt a whirl of emotions swirl within my stomach. Thinking about what would happen if my plans went well, a grin spread across my face.
Soon……I’ll fulfill my promise to you guys. Just wait a bit longer…
Because soon, the both of you will be free.
How did things turn out like this?!!
An explosion shook the building as a boulder went flying past me, smashing into several musclemen that had been rapidly approaching.
“Ahahahahahahaha!!! TAKE THAT, YOU PLEBIAN FOOLS!!!”
The maroon-haired girl next to me cackled with glee, having been the culprit that created such an unrealistic scene. Her emerald-green eyes shone with anger as she continued her magical rampage, determined to seek vengeance for the days she had been forced to spend in that dreary cell.
After all, Nelia Terre was one of the girls I had managed to rescue from within the prison Keith hurled me into.
Though I was unsure of how long she had been held captive for, I knew that, thanks to the sadistic tendencies of her captor, she had undoubtedly been tortured in inexplicably painful ways. So I suppose it was no wonder why she had become like this after I told her to make as big a scene as possible.
Glancing at the noble girl’s appearance that seemed to be driven to insanity, I couldn’t help but want to pull back a little.
Mentally, I decided to make a note to never piss off Nelia. Otherwise…who knows what’d happen to me.
A soft voice timidly sounded out on my left, as a ball of water went flying out front, smacking yet another muscle man in the forehead. The meatball’s head whipped backwards as he toppled over, unconscious.
Unlike the lethality of the magic she shot, Riva Mer was like a cute and tiny animal. Being the second noble girl I had found within the dungeons, it was possible that her suffering under the hands of Keith had led to her withdrawn and nervous personality.
That being said, if Keith truly was the cause of her current state, he was – even more so than before – truly unforgivable. Just the thought of it made me wanna give him another thousand stomps.
“Kiriko, what should we do now?!”
Nelia’s voice rang out suddenly, breaking my train of thought as I focused my gaze forward.
Ahead of us was a scene that would definitely make Loli-nee want to rip her eyes out.
That’s right. Before my eyes laid…
A wall of muscle.
Their sparkling pecs bounced up and down hypnotically like a set of fleshy metronomes.
Their muscles, the twitching atrocities they were, rumbled as the men dashed down the hallway towards us.
And the sweltering smell smothered our lungs, cutting off our breathing with the scent of sweat and meatiness.
There was no doubt.
It’s a freaking kinniku rainbow!!!
Indeed. That was all I could say. After all, the only thing that could differentiate them were their vastly differing hair colours. Red, blond, green, blue, purple – they had them all.
I could feel my eyelid twitching with disbelief. However, completely disregarding my rather complicated feelings, the kinniku rainbow wall continued to advance.
And the nauseating odour emerging from them continued to strengthen.
Somehow, I started to understand my elder ‘sister’s distaste (or rather, complete rejection) of the so-called ‘kinnikus’.
Seeing this many was scary.
Rather, I want them to please, get the hell away from me.
“Nelia, Riva, get back a bit.”
Feeling a flood of something rise within me, I gave my allies a short warning as I took my stance.
The wall of men roared out a feral battle cry as they quickly closed the remaining distance between us.
“WHAT THE HELL IS THAT SUPPOSED TO EVEN MEAN?!!”
Hollering out a tsukkomi towards their primitive shout, my body burst into flame as I punched forward. As if to give form to my retort, the inferno expanded into a rectangular-shaped wall, blocking off the line of men with light, as if to cleanse my eyes.
More screams rang out as the flames collided with the men, this time forming hollers of pain and distress as opposed to intimidating howls.
The scent of cooked meat tickled my nostrils, causing my stomach to rumble hungrily.
Mmm…it smells so goo—wait wait wait. If I go down that path, there’s no coming back! Get a hold of yourself, me!!!
As I shook my head, clearing off any thoughts regarding my hunger, the magic began to dissipate, revealing 5 well done pieces of mea- extremely red-skinned men.
Shock painted their flushed faces as they stood there like giant, muscular shish kebabs. However, they soon toppled over, unable to withstand the extent of the damage of their incineration.
“We’re going, Nelia, Riva!”
Jumping over the meaty mass, I called out to my fellow escapees, who were simply standing there, staring blankly at the collapsed men.
The more talkative of the two, Nelia, gave a rather stunned response. Riva, on the other hand, nodded furiously, but silently. Confirming their affirmative response, I nodded back and turned back to the front, preparing to jump over the fallen guards.
However, though the coast earlier had been completely clear of (conscious) people, a sole kinniku now stood in front of me, gazing at us with stern eyes.
His hair, if I had to say, was a dirty blonde, with streaks of brown mixed in together with a darker yellow.
As though the darkness of his hair had accumulated within his irises, his eyes were a charcoal black. Their opacity made it seem as if they held deep secrets concealed within their depths.
It was clear that he was an enemy, standing in our way and preventing us from escaping.
Yet, even so, I couldn’t feel a single ounce of enmity from his large frame.
Perhaps it was because of that that I hesitated.
Unlike the other muscle men who had immediately come charging as soon as they had saw us, this man didn’t. And, unlike the other men, he was but a single stationary target.
Without any animosity, nor any hostile actions taken against me, how could I possibly attack him?
Such were the naive thoughts that floated within my head.
Luckily, however, I currently had companions who wouldn’t hesitate for such hazy reasons.
An enraged cry erupted from Nelia upon seeing the tower of muscle. Raising her hand, she produced tens of baseball-sized rocks, sending them flying toward the unmoving male almost instantaneously.
Like a ballistic God of War, she continued to create countless projectiles with her magic.
It was a pity that the target in question didn’t seem to care at all.
A powerful gust blew as the older man charged forward, somehow evading all the rocks in the process. No, to be more specific, it was as though there was a tornado, with him at the eye of the storm. Before I realized it, he had long since gone past me, sending the emerald-eyed girl smashing into the faraway wall.
Riva shrieked with fear, incomprehension staining her features as tears erupted from the corners of her eyes.
No response came from the collapsed noble girl. Bits of rubble rolled down from the stone barrier, visibly displaying how hard she had crashed against it, like a scene in some fighting anime.
Is she still alive…?
A morbid question emerged within my thoughts. After all, this wasn’t some anime, but real life. That degree of impact would undoubtedly leave an irreparable degree of damage.
Evidently, Riva too had come to the same conclusion as her face warped with rage. Extending her hands out in front of her, she began to chant rapidly, but naturally—
—the muscular male gave her no time to construct her spell.
Riva’s cobalt eyes scrunched with pain as they dimmed, saliva dripping from the corner of her mouth. Her body was crumpled forward, having been punched in the diaphragm by the mysterious man.
An astonished whisper passed her lips, but, unable to withstand the strike, the words were soon lost as she toppled over, unconscious.
Strangely enough, the man didn’t allow her to simply fall to the floor. Catching her, he carefully laid Riva’s body upon the ground before turning back towards me.
“Thanks for waiting~ um…Kiriko, was it?”
“Yeah, and you are?”
Narrowing my eyes, I spoke coldly, carefully watching his bulky frame.
In contrast, the strange muscle man didn’t seem to care as he smirked and gave me a blunt reply.
“I’m Garrett. It’s nice to see you conscious for once.”
Has he been watching me in my sleep or something?? No way, a stalker?!
“Well, I guess you wouldn’t know. After all, I’m the one who brought you here while you were sleeping oh-so peacefully.”
Garrett’s grin seemed to widen even more as he spoke in a mocking tone.
“Though, I suppose it must’ve really shocked you, huh? To have Conrad of all people deliver you to me.”
I could feel my body freezing over at his words. Starting from my toes, a tingling sensation climbed up my legs, immobilizing them completely.
Up until now, I had ignored that one fact. Erasing the memories of the time before my capture, of the time I spent with him, I pushed the pain of his betrayal out of my mind.
Yet now, this guy……no, this asshole just tore open those wounds like he was ripping off a fucking band-aid.
“Hehehe, well it rea~lly couldn’t be helped, you know? After all, the young master was taking go~od care of his little sis. Cute girl, that one~”
My body jolted.
“It’s only natural that he’d trade over some stranger for someone he’s related to by blood. Compared to her, you’re nothing.”
Well, yeah. I only met him a few days ago…compared to that, he’s probably been with his sister since she was born.
I honestly had to agree with his words. Because if the one captured was one of my family……I’d probably hand Conrad over without a second thought. Or perhaps with a second thought, but I’d still do it in the end.
But, even so…
THIS GUY’S FACE IS PISSING ME OFF!!!!!!!!
Currently, the incorrigible dic—*cough* piece of trash was leering at me with an incessantly conceited gaze.
His lips were bent into an infuriatingly smug smile, like he were some villain whose nefarious scheme had borne fruit.
It was truly an expression that made people want to punch him.
So I did.
“Uwohh, what the hell?!”
Tch, I missed.
“Heh, as expected of the one who nearly rendered the young master infertile. Your attacks truly are viciously spontaneous.”
Hearing his words, I reflexively tilted my head in a gesture of innocence, letting out a feline cry. Of course, as soon as I did so, a certain skill activated, leading to—
—my [Neko Transformation]. Taking my stance, I prepared to engage the sneering mass of muscle in combat.
At long last, my battle with the ‘Last Boss’ was beginning.