AN: There are descriptions of cruelty and people dying.
Those not good with these please skip it.
“At least you must survive!!”
Saying so, Father pushed me into the cellar against my will.
Taking the opportunity, he also forced two katana onto me.
I realized they are Father’s precious katana that indicate the head of the family.
Surprised, I looked up at the Father while pressing down on the left eye that lost sight.
“Swear on the name of Hiyuma Clan that one day you will find a master only for you, okay!! Cain!!”
I cold only nod to Father who told me that with a ghastly expression.
To such me, Father happily smiled.
“I’m counting on you, you are the last hope of our clan”
I was only 8 years old when I saw Father for the last time.
Passing through a dark alley, I stepped inside a ruined building.
For an instant I felt many killing intents, but when they understood it was me who entered, the killing intents dispersed.
I got used to the left-over killing intent long time ago.
“Yoo. Cain. Have you finished already”
With vigorous sound of footsteps, a smirking man came out of the back of the room.
Redheaded Gill. I don’t know his surname. A man with filthy snakelike look in his eyes.
Among the many Sahaja’s assassin’s guilds, he’s Red’s guild master.
I don’t know what this man is thinking, but I find his smile detestable.
“… It was a boring job”
“Any job would be boring for you. Right? Red Shinigami? You even got a fine nickname, I’m happy”
I felt unpleasant having my shoulder hugged in a friendly manner.
I didn’t particularly wish for that nickname. It just stuck to me before I realized.
“Ooh, scary, scary”
When I shook him off, Gill laughed but didn’t approach anymore.
He’s the man who picked me up for fun when I ran away from the north when I was 8.
“My guild is Red. Isn’t your red eye just perfect for it?”
Saying so, he’d brought me along, and this man who’s the guild master trained me to be an assassin himself.
“No, I’m happy you’re talented, Cain. It’s as if you’ve always lived like that. You’re a natural assassin… After all you’re the only one who can be my successor”
With these words, killing intent from all around flew at me once.
I don’t care about the surrounding’s irritation.
As I inherited the cursed red eye that my surrounding abhors, I could only think of this talk as absurd.
I don’t want this. This isn’t the place where I belong.
“As if I care, I don’t want that”
“Don’t say that, a huge job is coming soon. If we succeed, we’ll pass Black as the top guild for sure, see?”
“Do what you want. It’s unrelated to me”
I brushed off Gill who tried touching me again and left the spot.
I finished my work quota. Leave me alone.
I returned to my room in silence.
An uninteresting room with only a simple bed in it. I don’t really think of it as my room.
But, I couldn’t bring myself to part with the personal room I got from being Red’s number one.
Like hell I’d want to use the same room as the other guys.
Coworkers of the detestable assassin profession.
They were also orphans who lost their parents and siblings.
Even though they should be the same as me, they looked at me with disgust.
It seems everything is due to the legend of the cursed clan.
At first when I heard it I couldn’t believe my ears, but if they want to hate me, that’s fine too.
I made such decision, but knowing I was being hated there’s no way I’d want to approach them myself.
They find me detestable, but so do I find them.
I held my knees in bed.
―――― It’s been 8 years.
It’s been 8 years since Gill picked me up.
I should have already returned the favor of being picked up by doing the assassination work.
I don’t think of him as my master.
Then, I have to go.
I have to fulfill Father’s last wish.
I don’t use my clan’s skills for the work he brings.
I pressed down on my eye that lost sight.
My clan’s skills are only to be used for the sake of my master.
I regarded my situation with impatience.
I must hurry.
He’s Red’s guild master employed by the king.
If so, the whole guild is the king’s subordinates.
That alone is unacceptable.
I don’t want to serve anybody other than the master I choose.
For that sake, being covered with blood is no big deal.
At any rate, these hands are already stained with plenty of blood.
I think nothing of increasing that by a few people this late.
I tightly clenched my hands.
“Dad… I will certainly fulfill the vow”
Feeling that time approach, I kept cowering in my room.
“The next job was decided!! It’s a request from the country!! If it goes well, we’ll become the king’s personal guild!!”
Flushed in excitement, Gill returned.
At these words, my coworkers raised shouts of joy.
But, on the contrary my heart became cold as ice.
―――― So it has come.
I listened to Gill’s story with an innocent face.
I thought it’s necessary to know the story about what we’d have to do properly.
“The job is assassinating royalty from another country. Even if it’s regrettable, the reward is becoming the guild employed by the country. With this, those Black guys won’t act arrogantly”
The coworkers gathered around Gill who spoke boastfully.
Everybody was listening to his story in excitement.
I absolutely didn’t feel like joining in, so I alone turned back.
Such me was stopped by Gill’s voice.
“Oi, wait, Cain. The talk hasn’t ended?”
“It doesn’t concern me. I will work as usual. That’s fine, isn’t it”
I knit my brows saying so, but Gill shook his head with his usual grin.
“Ah, that’s no good. You have to think about this operation. As the next guild master”
The loud surprised voices of my coworkers drowned out my puzzled voice.
These complaining voices were directed at Gill.
“Gill!! Are you serious!! Such guys being the next guild master!! Nobody will accept that!!”
“That’s right!! We won’t follow somebody with such red eye!!”
In the clamor of voices, they said whatever they wanted.
It’s also not what I want.
But Gill silenced them all with a single look.
“… I’ve already decided. Any complaints?”
Although he hasn’t worked recently, the impact of the person who’d been at the top is considerable.
As soon as they fell silent, Gill persuaded my coworkers.
“In the first place, who among you can win against Cain. He’s Red Shinigami… Besides, don’t tell anybody else, but Cain is the only one with the qualifications to take over”
Gill looked at me meaningfully.
With his words, everybody looked at me.
Almost everybody’s gaze was hostile. I felt nauseous.
“And that’s why it’s Cain. Read the materials and think about the plan by tomorrow. Here”
He threw a bundle of documents, which I hurriedly received.
They were imported documents with assassination target and sensitive information.
Without looking over them I crushed them.
“I didn’t say I’ll do it”
When I told Gill with a scowl, he smiled savagely.
“You’re refusing? You were appointed by the king. It’s not wise to make an enemy of the country, okay?”
“Then. Tomorrow everybody gather first thing in the morning. Cain, think about the strategy until then”
Gill waved his hand at me who didn’t answer and left.
I ground my teeth.
Becoming the guild master, that is the king’s employee??
Who’d want to fall that low.
Ignoring the piercing stares from my coworkers, I returned to my room.
I flung the documents onto the bed.
It came sooner than I thought.
There’s no time to lose anymore.
The time to carry out the plan I’ve been thinking about has come.
I’ve quietly strengthened my resolve.
―――― I’ll carry it out tonight.
I’ll never become the king’s subordinate.
I’ll be the one to decide who my master will be.
It’s late at night.
The winter moon shines high in the sky.
On the desert where the temperature variation is extreme the nights are awfully cold.
After lying on the bed motionlessly in the freezing cold without getting a wink of sleep I silently stood up.
Strangely enough, my mind was calm. Calmer than during my usual work.
I was convinced it would go well.
I had no intention of turning back.
The goal is to exterminate every guild member.
I don’t feel like taking over the guild.
But, Gill will never allow that.
His purpose has always been to make the Red guild be employed by the country.
You could say everything he’s done until now was for that reason.
But that chance won’t come if I escape.
I know if I frankly said I want to leave there’s no way I’d be allowed.
I thought about running away, but I’m sure I’d be pursued.
That man won’t let me go.
Although I owe him a favor for picking me up, 8 years of working without pay is more than enough.
Of course, if he blocks my way, I’ll resist.
I suppressed all my anxiety about the future.
The first one to move wins.
―――― Today I’ll end everything.
Once again resolving myself I adjusted my breathing.
The clan’s katana wrapped in cloth hung at my waist.
Instead, I picked up a short sword used for work.
I pulled it out from the sheath.
I realized my attitude naturally shifted.
It’s okay, I can do it.
With a nod I slipped out of the room that I’d never return to.
“Gya!! … Guaa”
Relying on the moonlight alone I dispassionately swung the sword.
In the room already bathed in blood I thrust my sword while listening to death throes. Blood gushed out from the wound.
I easily avoided it. Being covered with blood is what amateurs do.
I swung the sword to shake off blood, and silently headed towards the next target.
In the large room where my coworkers are, I’d lit incense beforehand.
It’s the kind that causes deep sleep that I often use for work.
They may be bastards, but they still work as assassins.
Usually they wouldn’t be caught by such a thing, so I didn’t expect this to work this well, but they must have become careless being on their territory.
Most of them fell fast asleep.
Using that sleep, I turned it into eternal slumber with no hesitation.
I didn’t hesitate even for a single moment.
From the start, they were people I thought nothing of. Rather, I feel refreshed.
One by one I firmly finish them off.
Of course, some of them had high wariness and didn’t sleep.
I attacked such guys head-on.
“Red Eye!! You!! You dared to betray us!!”
“Don’t call me with a strange name. I’m Cain”
Another coworker returned to the terrible spectacle in the large room and looked at me with hatred in his eyes.
I turned around and smiled weakly.
“You are next…”
Immediately he threw many knives at me.
I calmly ascertained their course and repelled every single one with my sword.
“What was that!?”
“Oioi, what are you doing not being able to do this much”
I told in astonishment to the man who looked surprised.
I haven’t held the top position in Red for years for nothing.
Using the moment he stiffened after throwing knives, I slipped into his bosom and stabbed his heart.
With shocked expression stuck on his face, he collapsed on the floor.
“That’s 20th… This sword is useless now, huh”
The sword soaked in everybody’s blood became heavy, its sharpness got worse.
I easily threw it away on the floor.
Clang, a dry sound resounded.
As a replacement, I picked up the sword at the waist of the man who fell just now.
While at it, I also collected the knives.
Fundamentally we’re provided identical weapons. It’s a good choice that makes them easy to use.
Surveying the moonlit room there was a mountain of corpses inside.
I calmly counted them and compared to the number in my memory.
I thought about the number of people I’d have to dispose of later.
There was a reason I chose this day.
Gill summoned everyone for the big job from the country.
There are few opportunities for everybody to gather.
There’s no other time to carry it out than tonight.
Letting anybody escape is not allowed.
… I must kill everybody without fail.
“Woah!! … Guh!!”
Another person returned to the room.
The moment he raised his voice I threw a knife I’d just picked at his throat.
With the sound of cut air the knife landed at the planned spot.
With a groan, another person fell.
The suffocating smell of blood filled the room.
A normal person would feel nauseated by the thick smell of death.
However, I got used to it. At this point I feel nothing.
It’s more important to count the number of those I massacred.
I slashed people automatically and continued throwing knives.
Little by little, the signs of living people vanished.
In such a situation, I think I was probably smiling.
My mouth curved.
―――― So that’s a ‘shinigami’.
When I felt the signs of movement in the building disappear, I finally stopped moving.
Once again I counted the number of corpses and frowned.
That’s bad, it’s one person short.
Then, for the first time I realized the man with the detestable smile wasn’t there.
The man who was the impetus for this in the first place.
Red’s guild master, Gill.
There was no meaning to it if I couldn’t finish him off.
But, he has a house outside.
I guess since he’s not here he returned to his house.
He’s unusually wary.
Not a single person was informed of its location.
I wonder if he’ll come back.
In the worst case, it’ll be in the morning.
If possible, I want to leave the country at night, but I can’t leave Gill be.
Even if it becomes somewhat troublesome, he’s the only man I want to kill for sure.
If I leave him be, I’ll absolutely regret it in the future.
It’s obvious it’ll turn into bigger trouble than I’m in now.
He won’t return quickly, huh… The moment I started getting irritated thinking so.
“Agaain, you did it flashily”
I heard that man’s voice from behind.
Looking back, I scowled at Gill.
“Yo, Cain. You look lively”
I’m not one to say it, but I felt disgusted by the man who was absolutely unshaken by the corpses of his coworkers.
… He’s as disgusting as ever.
I don’t feel like continuing the conversation with this man, so I silently readied my sword.
“Oioi, don’t do that. Let’s talk peacefully, okay?”
The nerve of this man is truly unbelievable.
“Talk? Looking at this terrible scene you still want to do that?”
Gill exaggeratedly nodded to me knitting my brows.
“Naturally? I will replace any number of members. Just not you. What? There are no contradictions in my actions, are there?”
“I’m also disposable”
I implicitly said so stop with your fixation on me, but he shook his head.
When he looked at me with unusually serious face, I felt a tinge of anxiety.
“No, you aren’t. You’re the last survivor of Hiyuma clan. That’s where your worth lies”
At Gill’s words my body stiffened.
I’ve never talked to this man about my identity.
The fact that red eyes belong to Hiyuma clan shouldn’t be known.
So why is this man aware.
Seeing my complexion change color, Gill smiled meaningfully.
With a creepy sound he disgustingly smiled
“Find it strange? I bet. It’s not the information I gathered. It comes from a person who thought of employing your clan”
“… What did you say?”
I scowled at him in reaction to his unignorable words.
Gill kept grinning, not at all perturbed.
He was so calm I got furious.
He doesn’t care about the corpses at his feet.
It’s as if they didn’t exist.
I shivered at such excessive indifference.
At the moment he doesn’t appear to be holding a weapon.
But, I know approaching this man carelessly means death.
Seeing me reflexively take distance, Gill continued talking with amusement.
“That person knows all about your clan and wants it by all means. Your combat ability is high, you won’t go against any order of your master. You are the best pieces. Your clan was threatened to serve if they didn’t want to die”
With those words I remembered that day.
The conversation between clan adults while we were surrounded by soldiers.
‘Having a master forced on us is absolutely unacceptable’
‘Employing the whole Hiyuma clan? That’s enough jokes!’
Everybody lost their temper.
“If you can’t obtain what you want no matter what, isn’t the only choice to crush it? If they won’t serve, annihilate them before they become a threat. Wasn’t this course of events natural for a politician who thought so?”
“No way, those who attacked us were…”
A conclusion I’ve never thought about until now came up.
As I took distance, he closed in just as much.
It feels like I’m being cornered with completely natural movements.
“When the request came to Red to collect the escaped boy, I was surprised, you see? Furthermore, it said to educate him as an assassin, I don’t know what the big-wigs thinks… Well, I would have never thought he’d have such creepy red eyes though?”
I was astounded by Gill’s words.
Being told everything was arranged plunged me into darkness.
“… Wasn’t it a coincidence you picked me up”
Gill sneered at me who said so with a gasp.
“There’s no way. It was the king’s order. The king’s commands are absolute in this country. I will raise you, and he’ll personally employ the Red guild in the future. That was the agreement from the start”
When it got in the way, Gill kicked away a coworker’s corpse.
“Even if you’d been a brat, you are still Hiyuma. It seems the king wanted your clan no matter what. Even more so when you became the only one left. I participated because of that”
I simply stared at the man who in front of me easily talked about who the enemy of my clan was.
Hearing that I was trained by the enemy country to be the enemy’s hands and feet I felt nausea welling up.
“If not for work, no way I’d pick a creepy brat like you. This country is overflowing with countless orphans”
I realized my heart froze from the truth revealed by Gill.
―――― I see, that’s right.
If I had thought about it a little, I’d have understood why Gill regarded me as special despite everyone’s disgust.
And yet, I wasted 8 years returning the favor.
―――― Ah, how absurd.
I directly stared at the man who far from my benefactor, was an accomplice of my enemy.
I thought once again.
I absolutely won’t forgive this man. Of course, I also won’t forgive this country’s king, but this guy comes first.
But the man declared while looking at me with a smile.
“I won’t let you go, Cain. It’s the king’s invitation. Won’t you take charge of Red?”
I clearly refused.
My enemy is Sahaja’s king.
It’s impossible to serve the enemy.
But, Gill didn’t accept my answer.
“I don’t care about the members. Slaughter as many as you want. I will replace any number. But, I can’t replace you. Why do you think I taught you for 8 years. Everything was for my guild to be employed by the country”
As he spoke, madness appeared in Gill’s expression.
His eyes blazed up, he continued talking as if in delirium.
“Being employed by the country means having your strength recognized. If that happens there are various privileges, you know? You’re even provided with a house. You can even receive a fixed salary. Even a proper status can be provided if you wish for it!
“That doesn’t matter to me. I have to find my master. That’s why I’m going”
“I won’t let you go”
For the first time, Gill took out his weapon.
Seeing that, I also readied my sword.
“Do you think you can win against me?”
He doesn’t get it.
Actually, Gill’s is considerably skilled in combat.
It could be said he’s got fifty-fifty chance to win.
To be honest, I could defeat such a man easily if I used my clan’s techniques and magical arts.
But, that alone isn’t allowed.
Even if I were to die, I have to fight Gill with only the skills I can use now.
“You can’t win against me. What, I’ll just lightly punish you. I won’t kill you. If I accidentally killed you, my plan would be ruined”
I ground my teeth at Gill who seemed to be saying I can deal with anything.
And, Gill’s body swayed.
I quickly readied my posture and leaped from the spot.
One of the pieces of clothing I was wearing was cut.
“Ah, you reached the point where you can avoid that. I see, I’ll better get just a little bit serious”
Looking back, Gill moved to a different position from before.
I couldn’t hide my surprise at his excessive speed.
Laughing kukuku, Gill once again prepared himself.
“Ora, I’m coming again?”
I reacted to his action that I’d expected. I defended against his sword with my own.
Gill raised his eyebrows with hee.
“So you also reached the point where you can stop that”
“Shut up, die!”
Brushing his blade aside, I began a series of attacks.
Gill who’s lightly dealing with every attack doesn’t stop smiling.
But, somehow his stance broke for an instant.
Thinking back on it, he must’ve stepped in a pool of blood I’d made, but at that time it was no more than a once in a lifetime chance.
Without thinking I took out a concealed knife and pierced Gill’s chest.
He coughed up blood and took distance from me.
He scowled at the knife, and a moment later at me.
At last the smile came off and his face dyed with anger.
“Cain! How dare you have the nerve to return a favor with spite!”
I laughed scornfully at his absurd complaint.
“As you were the king’s accomplice, there’s no favor to return”
When told so, Gill propped himself up with both hands on the ground.
“Guh… Damn it, my plan is… Even though it finally came, such brat, such creepy brat hindered it!”
Gill sat down and looked at me with an expression filled with resentment.
Staring at such Gill I breathed heavily.
It was not thanks to my ability that I avoided Gill’s attacks. There was a great deal of luck.
Gill punched the floor over and over.
“I won’t forgive you, I absolutely won’t forgive you. If it came to this, I’ll take you with me. It’s stupid to think you alone could survive, I absolutely won’t forgive you!”
While shouting words of resentment, Gill raised both hands and in the blink of an eye activated a magic formation.
Pitch-black magic formation. I was so surprised by the pattern of two snakes that emerged that I stood stock still.
“Curse of Sahaja!”
I was shocked since I understood what Gill attempted to do.
He activated hexcraft in exchange for his life.
Seeing my face, Gill smiled with satisfaction.
“That’s right, in exchange for the user’s life it’s a deadly curse that will certainly eliminate the target. Suffer, Cain! And writhe in pain as the curse strangles you to death!”
In concert with Gill’s shout, the magic formation emitted black light.
And, the light painfully plunged into my heart.
I involuntarily fell on my knees and clutched my chest.
Gill looked at this with narrowed eyes.
“Serves your right… I’ll be waiting… in hell…”
Leaving those words behind, Gill stopped moving.
I understand his heart raptured as a compensation for using the hexcraft.
I confirmed that Gill died and breathed deeply.
I have to accurately grasp the situation. Thinking so, I uncovered my chest.
As I thought, a pitch-black magic formation floated branded over my heart.
It was absorbed inside my body in the twinkling of an eye.
Despite the anguish I stood up.
I cannot laze around.
Although I destroyed the guild, I can’t say I won’t be pursued by the country.
Especially now that I understand the king’s objective was me.
While pressing down on my heart, I desperately went outside.
If I don’t hurry, the sun will rise.
I have to get away as far as possible and pass the national border.
Even if the deadly curse was put on me, I still haven’t given up on leaving this country.
I want to kill the king who’s my enemy. But, it’s hopeless right now.
“Where… can I go?”
Having no destination, I hesitated for a moment.
I don’t want to return north. I have nothing there.
That leaves the large country to the east and trade country to the south.
Which way should I go.
While I was thinking about it, I noticed the sky to the east begin faintly brightening.
The morning sun will rise.
Thinking normally it’s the usual thing. However.
At that time howver the brightness to the east felt mysterious.
Compelled by that feeling I spontaneously headed east.
“Guh… ha.. a”
I know it’s pointless, but I went forward while holding back the curse with my magical power as much as possible.
Only the existence of the eastern country that I haven’t yet seen kept me going.