Read at Watashi wa Sugoi Desu!
Chapter 31 (Part 1)
When I turned around to look at Noel and the others, the middle-aged man from the Dark Organization was standing there, just as I had expected. He was holding onto Noel’s unconscious body with his tentacles.
Bennett was lying on the ground, her arms restrained by the scantily clad woman, while Cindy was also restrained by the bespectacled man’s tentacles. Her breasts were being emphasized, but I pretended not to see that.
More members of the Dark Organization appeared, one after another. We, as well as the knights in the back, were completely surrounded. Because Noel and the others were taken hostage, no one could move.
Now that I think about it, after Luca knocked him out with his magic, he disappeared before any of us could notice. Maybe his companions had retrieved him at some point.
The dragons had been defeated, and the knights were here. So, under normal circumstances, they would have sensed the danger and fled. But because of this unexpected incident, we gave the Dark Organization a chance to take advantage of us.
Even though Luca’s intimidation had taken hold over the place, I still should have been more aware of my surroundings. If I was at least in my normal physical state, I could have saved Noel and the others in this situation. Since my mana was nearly depleted at the moment, I couldn’t move my body normally.
The middle-aged man’s throat quivered in amusement as I furrowed my eyebrows and clicked my tongue.
“Fufufufu. Yes, it’s that face, Zagan-dono. Finally, I can see the reaction I’ve been hoping for. I’m so satisfied. I never thought that a cruel man like you would have such lovely friends.”
” …Your demands. The Star fragments?”
“Of course, I want your life—ugh!”
The killing intent that came from behind me was so overwhelming that it made one’s heart feel heavy. The man who it was directed towards grunted and couldn’t continue speaking.
Not good. Because of the earlier incident, Luca’s mental state was already haywire. He could not keep his cool. That was why he was trying to kill his target, even though there were hostages. I didn’t want to lose Noel, nor did I want Luca to commit murder.
“So it’s either my life or theirs? That’s not an acceptable deal. Think about it a little more and try not to provoke him too much. Otherwise, hostages or not, you’re dead.”
“…Looks like it. Haa, he’s just like Asura, isn’t he? Zagan-dono, you seem to be very fond of your lover.”
“He’s very kind to me.”
“I don’t care about how lovey-dovey you two are. Anyway, we will take the Star fragments. Two Star fragments for each hostage. Isn’t that an appropriate exchange?”
The Star fragments were to purify and destroy Lumiere. If I were to give it to him, the kingdom’s land would diminish and eventually be destroyed. Moreover, as per the game’s scenario, the evil god would return, many people would die, and their own lives would be lost.
But if I didn’t give it to him, Noel and the others would not be released. If I were to refuse, they would be killed. Even with so many lives on the line, I still wanted to save my sister.
“…Okay. I accept.”
“That’s a good answer. Then, have the little lady beside you bring it to me. Of course, you will place your wands on the ground, please, unless you want these people to die.”
Camilla, who he’d brazenly ordered, looked up at me and nodded to reassure me. I nodded back, and while she was placing her large wand on the ground, I pulled out the Star fragments from my magic bag. Six. I placed them in her small hands, careful not to let them fall.
Camilla carefully walked over to the man so as not to drop them. No one moved, but they were all carefully watching the situation. Our side was being held hostage, and the Dark Organization didn’t want her to turn back along the way. They probably thought that they’d selected a mere kid who couldn’t make good decisions just in case. However, the truth was that she was actually the oldest of the group and could make better decisions than anyone else.
Camilla arrived at the man’s side. She silently presented the gems to him.
“Thank you. Such a good girl. Hmm, so these are the Star fragments. What magnificent power.”
As the man admired the gems, he also captured Camilla with his tentacles. Honestly, I had a feeling that this would happen as soon as he had picked Camilla instead of Miranda.
But still, as I had expected, they only restrained her; they didn’t point any weapons directly towards her.
“Since we’re here, why don’t we take the prince’s fragments as well?”
“…That’s not what we agreed upon.”
“Fufufu, we are cowardly and deceitful dark attribute users after all. It’s foolish to trust us.”
“I’m a dark attribute user myself, but I’ve never thought of myself as cowardly or deceitful.”
“You may be right. You’re not like us, after all.”
For some reason, he looked forlorn. But soon, his face returned to its familiar mocking expression.
“Why aren’t you expressing your hatred? That woman lying over there who called us dark attribute users cowardly and deceitful was trying to kill you with a sneak attack, which is also a spineless, dishonest method.”
Indeed, that woman was cowardly and devious. I didn’t deny it because I did believe it to be true. Because of that, she lost both of her arms.
“They try to kill us just because we’re dark attribute users. If we don’t kill them first, we will die. You would have been in danger too if it weren’t for this girl, right?”
Right. I was grateful to Noel for protecting me. But if she had died because of it, I’d have been so furious that I wasn’t even sure what I would have done in retaliation.
If Noel had stayed away from me, she wouldn’t have been hurt. It was all my fault.
“No matter how you look at it, it’s their fault. They’re the ones who want us to be like that. That’s just humanity’s way of doing things. You don’t disagree with me, do you?”
I didn’t know enough about the man’s life to be able to deny all of his principles.
Even so, no matter what kind of person one was dealing with… even if they wished you dead, one should not go as far as murder; that was how I felt. I didn’t want to do anything that would truly cause someone else grief.
“I’m sorry, but I don’t agree with that. I’d rather protect someone’s life than take someone else’s.”
Instead of anger and sadness, I wanted joy and peace.
I would rather witness a smile than tears.
“…I see. So you’ve set yourself apart from us after all.”