Read at Watashi wa Sugoi Desu!
Chapter 12: The Black Cat Dances
—W-When did this happen…?
The moment I saw that silver flash, I reflexively turned my body to the right. When I did, the silver flash headed straight to the spot I previously stood and stabbed the floor. The hem of my habit received a large tear and revealed my bare leg. However, it was fortunate that I wasn’t wounded. I thought about what would have happened if I had hesitated for a moment in my movements and felt cold sweat run down my back.
Was that an ax?… No, perhaps it was a halberd? The weapon had considerable weight, so what kind of person could swing it that quickly?
From the direction where the halberd was thrown, there stood a muscular man who was wearing a white mask. Based on his weapon and movements, I assumed he was a mercenary since he didn’t seem like a knight or assassin at first glance.
“You’re amazing, little black-cat girl…You are a girl, right? Well, I’ll know once I kill you. Ugh, but this really is annoying,” the man said and removed his mask.
Once I saw his face, I frowned underneath my own mask. Sam… He must have disguised himself as the gatekeeper. I was not one to talk about others, but his acting skills were commendable.
Sam intended to kill me. That was why he removed his mask and revealed his face.
I pulled out a knife and prepared to fight. Naturally, there was no way I could grab that halberd, but this was better than being completely unarmed.
“Squad Leader, what is the matter?!”
When they heard the commotion, several white-masked men appeared from behind me. Because of the lanterns they were holding, the whole area was brightly lit.
“Guys, we have an intruder. She looks like a black cat, but she’s actually a rat. I don’t care if she’s alive or dead, but if possible, I’d like you to capture her alive.”
I was cornered on both sides… What should I do? Fighting was out of the question. The moment Sam appeared, I had no hopes of winning. Then, running away was my only option. Sam was likely the strongest among the group. He probably had a long history as a mercenary. It was obvious that trying to rush past Sam would be difficult. In terms of likelihood, I would have more success going towards the white-masked men.
—Okay, plan set!!!
Before he could attack me, I threw my knife right at Sam, and he knocked it aside with his halberd. It happened in an instant. And I gambled on that moment. I took a smoke bomb from my pocket and threw it to the ground. Our surroundings were suddenly filled with thick, white clouds. The white-masked men were taken aback, so I rushed towards them in their confusion. I slipped through a gap between them and snatched one of their lanterns on the way. The masked men acted as a wall and it prevented Sam from immediately pursuing me. Then—
I threw the remaining smoke bombs in my pocket onto the ground and created an even thicker cloud for increased cover. It would take some time for the narrow hallway to clear out with the amount of smoke bombs I threw. However, it didn’t seem like an inhibited field of vision negatively affected Sam.
Then, what about an explosion?
I exited the white cloud and chucked the lantern to the ground. It crashed onto the floor, and the moment the glass shattered—
A small-scale explosion happened. The smoke bombs I had used a particular kind of powder. It ignited from the lantern’s flame and caused the whole area to catch fire.
Although I was relieved that my strategy had succeeded, I continued to run away at full speed. But I couldn’t relax yet. Run away—That was the only order running through my body.
As I ran through the maze of hallways, I sensed the presence of several people before me. Crashing into them would be annoying, so I raised my voice and shouted, “Those whose hands are free, hurry to the place of the explosion! A rat has appeared!!!”
I sounded exactly like Sam. Voice mimicry was a part of acting that I had absolute confidence in executing.
It seemed that the people I sensed were moving towards the explosion site. I managed to buy quite some time with this. I had no means of checking on the situation with the explosion, but it would be helpful to me if several of my pursuers were now incapacitated.
I ran through the hallway and finally discovered a hidden door. I wanted to avoid exiting from the ward’s hallways and being seen as an intruder. I didn’t know where this door connected to, but I had no other path to take except for this exit right now.
I opened the hidden door, went up the stairs, and came across another door. I pushed against the wooden door blocking my path.
The room smelled of mold, and the layers of dust made it seem like this place hadn’t been cleaned for many years. Was this a storeroom? Based on the dust, no one had entered here for many years. The Sabbath participants may not know of the existence of this hidden room I had discovered. But then again, I probably wouldn’t come back here again.
When I left the storeroom, I was standing in the rear garden of the church in the royal capital. The White Dormitory was nearby. Fortunately, the trees were abundant and conveniently allowed me to hide. I concealed my presence and headed to the dormitory.
When I neared the dormitory, I checked my surroundings and was relieved to know that no one saw me. I approached the trees that grew in front of the dormitory and nimbly went up the stairs without making a sound.
Phew… I guess acting as an acrobatic street performer was useful. You really don’t know how useful a skill is until you need to utilize it.
I opened the window that I had left unlocked beforehand and smoothly slipped inside the dormitory. When I entered my room, I jumped right into bed.
“Wow, I thought I was gonna die.”
I muttered out in a tone unbefitting of a marquess’ daughter. If Mary saw me like this, she would certainly scold me. I felt a tinge of loneliness when I remembered that Mary wasn’t with me as my body relaxed from the tension and fell asleep.
# # # # # # #
Three days had passed since I infiltrated the Sabbath. I continued my everyday life as Erin. It appeared that I had managed to safely get away. However, I was simply lucky. I should probably avoid approaching that stage for the time being.
Now that I had successfully infiltrated the Sabbath, I decided to submit a progress report to Edward. We had prepared a means of communication in advance. Therefore, I gripped two letters in my hand. One letter was for a disguised Edward, while the other was a fan letter to the popular author, Adolf Taylor. In short, this one was a camouflage to hide my correspondence with Edward. I walked through the dormitory to mail the letters when I saw Anne and Miria standing around talking. It would be strange for me to ignore them and walk past, so I called out to the two.
“Anne, Miria, what’s the matter?”
“Oh, Erin. I came back from work and saw Anne here, so we’re just chatting.”
“How about you, Erin~?”
“Well, I was on my way to mail a letter.” I flashed the letters in front of the two.
“Then, just dump them in the red box out in the dorm foyer. Miss Catharia will gather them up and mail them out later.”
“I’ll do that.”
I wanted to mail them out myself, but it would be a hassle if I looked suspicious. So,I obediently nodded at Miria’s suggestion.
“By the way, Erin. Who did you write a letter to?”
“I wrote a fan letter to Taylor!” I said.
“Oh, yeah, you borrowed Taylor’s book the other day. You must really like him~.”
“But you have two letters. Ah, I got it! It’s a love letter, right?”
“A love letter~?”
“Eh?! I-It’s not like that!” I shyly denied her words.
“Whoa…you’re being suspicious. Come on, show me!”
Miria grabbed the letter from me. She fortunately wasn’t senseless enough to read its contents, although she was staring hard at the receiver’s name.
“Dear Zeke… A man. It’s a man, right?! Is he your lover?!!!”
Naturally, Zeke didn’t exist. He was made up just so I could contact Edward. It was impossible for someone who didn’t exist to be my lover, but I sensed that denying it would lead to trouble, so I chose to play along.
“What kind of person is he~?”
“H-he’s from the same orphanage as me, but he’s smart, so he works in a pretty large company now. He’s a ver~y kind person.” I made up Zeke’s personality on the spot as I told the two.
“Ooh, so? What did you write in the letter? Did you make a date or something?”
Afterward, I was pressed by a grinning Miria and teased by Anne. By the next day, my ‘date with Zeke’ became a well-known fact among the nurses in the dormitory. Rumors were a truly terrifying thing.
Author’s note: The next part will be Edward’s turn at last.