While the audience of the parade were captivated by the fireworks adorning the night sky, a group of people had gathered for some reason.
They had gathered in an alley between stores that Shinichi’s group never approached despite turning the park inside out, and with most of the people taken by the parade or the fireworks, there was no one to notice their existence.
“T-This isn’t what we planned. What happened to the bomb!?”
“Like hell I’d know. No one said anything about this!”
That’s why they didn’t draw attention even when they yelled a little.
Their group consisted of people dressed as customers and staff; visible agitation could be gleamed from their faces as they talked among themselves.
“I hear Warunyaa is a rare character that sometimes appear in events. The guests this time around were just lucky, or unlucky, I guess…”
The man who seemed to be their leader calmed them down while explaining the situation, and from the reaction of the members, it seemed as though his explanation was good enough.
“Hmph, well, fine. Either way, the bombs are still there, so it’s just a matter of time now. That being the case, what you say we slip away now and just wait for the news flash?”
The group consisted of people of men and women of various ages, but one thing they did have in common was the grin they wore.
With a face like that, it was evident that they hadn’t the slightest idea how much damage their actions could bring.
Indeed, whatever hell they could imagine was nothing more than a chastened depiction of the real thing.
After all, the sight of the real thing wasn’t something people born and raised in a peaceful world could possibly endure.
Indeed, this group was truly nothing more than a circus that couldn’t even realize that they themselves would retch at the sight of the tragedy they were about to bring about.
That’s why the ending that awaited them was – in a sense – inevitable.
“Right… Anyway, what did you call us all here for? I heard you needed us together for some reason.”
“Huh? What are you saying? You’re the one who said that something urgent came, so go and gather everyone.”
“Huh? Since when did I say that?”
“Don’t be ridiculous. You’re the one who said we should gather together to celebrate…”
It was then that they finally realized that something was up, and the air among them tensed.
Everyone here was here because someone called out to them for some reason or another, but now that they were finding out that the person that called them had also been called out by someone else.
No matter how dumb they were, even they would feel a chill from that.
But they were lucky— Because the person that called them here didn’t come.
“───Such hopeless people, indeed, good grief.”
Compared to him, ‘she’ was a much gentler hunter.
“Who is it!?”
At the sound of a young woman’s voice, the group turned around to see a lone woman standing.
With a black suit and a slender body adorned with white hair, that was a beauty ill fit this place.
Yet as mouth-watering as her figure was, no one here was captivated; and instead, the sharpness and chill her face emanated only served to make the group tremble in fear.
“It’s your world’s culture, so how about paying attention instead? My master once told me that it’d be the end of humanity when people can no longer have fun.”
“W-Who are you!? I don’t know what business you have with us, but you should get lost!”
Was it bravery or foolishness on his part to put on a bold front and brush aside her advice said out of pity?
However, one of them, a woman, realized the meaning behind that beautiful white hair.
“…No way… Is that… The Sword Saint of Garesto?””
“They saw through our plans? They lured us here? D-Damn it! Since it’s come to this, then!!”
It was curious what they were trying to do, but whatever they had in mind would never bear fruit, for a wind blew past them.
When they lost sight of the Sword Saint from another world, they lost their composure and looked around them with much panic, only to find her standing behind them.
A tuft of her white hair was a beat slower and was still moving, yet as beautiful a sight her back was, the people here could only pick up on the chilling atmosphere in the air and have their backs drench with sweat.
〈At times like these, I believe it is customary in Japan to say ‘I cut something disappointing.’〉
“Huh? What are you saying? I didn’t even cut them, I just hit them.”
Before anyone knew it, a blade had appeared in her hand, held with the back of the blade facing forward. The moment she put that away with her foster—
—an impact that seemed to echo through the criminals’ heads rendered them unconscious.
But Frire didn’t even bother to confirm their situation and just looked at her legs that moved on their own.
Nay, to be more precise, she was examining the tight miniskirt that she was wearing for the first time in her life.
“I haven’t worn a skirt since coming to the estate because of how hard they were to move in, but this length seems alright. Did he pick this out specifically because of that?”
〈No, that is most likely just one factor that affected Mr. Nakamura’s decision.〉
“Really? This is pretty good, though. The slits make it easy to tear when push comes to shove, and the short length makes it easy to roll up. Isn’t it great?” Frire said as she fiddled with the cut and hem of her skirt, but Shirayuki’s response came in a low key.
〈Master, do please exercise the minimum modesty and shyness one would expect from a lady; otherwise, I will have to prepare to inform Mr. Nakamura of everything that you said just now.〉
“O-Okay, I got it.. Sheesh, I’ll do my best, so don’t tell him.”
〈Roger that, I shall look forward to your efforts, Master.〉
Frire sighed in grief and relief, but at the same time, she couldn’t help but wonder when this AI became in charge of her education.
However, she at least had
But of course, the fact that she only had a ‘semblance’ of awareness regarding how unladylike her earlier behavior was meant that she was still a long way away from ladyhood.
Then the explosion sounded again in the sky, and Frire found herself naturally raised her head to gaze at the blooming flowers that adorned the evening sky.
“So this is fireworks… It just goes to show that even weapons of destruction can be used for other things depending on how you use them. That’s not an idea a Garestonian could come up with, though, but yeah…I guess this makes it worth the wait.”
Though she knew about fireworks, she couldn’t help but admire how something as destructive as gunpowder could be used for something else other than destruction. After all, Garesto couldn’t afford to use their weapons and technology for anything other than their original purpose
It was such that even someone as uncultured and clumsy as herself actually found herself smiling, captivated by the blooming flowers in the night sky.
〈Master do be informed that it is highly recommended that the criminals be secured and a report be given to Mr Nakamura post haste.〉
But the AI just had to ruin it for her. Frire frowned, but she knew she couldn’t blame Shirayuki.
“You could at least let me enjoy this for a bit, right? …What are you hurrying me for anyway?”
〈At this rate, I fear that the atmosphere between them might become too romantic; hence, it is recommended that you intrude as soon as possible.〉
That remark was so out of the blue that Frire couldn’t be faulted for pondering if the AI had finally lost it.
〈It took so long for a customer willing to purchase a stock as troublesome as my master to appear. It would prove most problematic if we were to lose him now.〉
“Okay! I have no idea what you’re talking about, but one thing I know for sure is that you’re mocking me!! If it’s fight you’re looking for, well it’s a fight you’ll get,” Frire said as she started arguing with her own terminal while securing the unconscious criminals with photon ropes.