After watching Cain hurry to the Royal Palace, I pondered for a while and broke into the food warehouse using a Hiyuma’s secret art.
Of course, the two people inside didn’t notice. I had no intention of committing a blunder like that.
Having then moved to a place where I could watch the situation, I drew away from what I heard.
The man was holding the hand of the unconscious Princess and saying in a spellbound voice.
“Lady Ophelia, the ship will leave soon. Let’s slip on it and go to another country together. There, we’ll be able to live with just the two of us. Not as a princess and her personal knight, but just the two of us as a married couple. Aah, Lady Ophelia. I will protect you from any danger.”
My face twitched.
I’d heard from Mr. Shinigami that he was a dangerous man, so I should’ve known, but he exceeded my expectations.
While thinking it would be a problem if Mrs. Crown Princess and others weren’t brought quickly since he was talking about things like going abroad on a ship, I intently waited for Mr. Shinigami’s return.
However I suddenly thought.
Come to think of it, it’s strange.
I, who had long ago abandoned being a Hiyuma, am now working with the next… no, the current head of the Hiyuma clan.
Of course, for him it’s a request from his master so it’s not like we’re fighting together because we want it, but I think life is strange.
When I was working as an information broker in Sahaja, I never imagined such a thing happening――
Eighteen years ago, I was born to a Hiyuma father and mother who had nothing to do with them.
Of course, I had black hair and red eyes at that time.
I, who inherited the colors of the Hiyuma, was raised with great care by both my father and mother.
Father was a henpecked husband, but he loved Mother and seemed very happy.
Mother also loved Father deeply, and she often placed me on her lap and talked to me.
“You see, your mom can do her best because your dad is here.”
Mother had no home to return to.
I heard that Father had one day found Mother sitting in the middle of a forest in a daze and brought her to a village where his clan lived and took care of her.
It seems that after being picked up by Father, Mother didn’t speak at first. She didn’t reply when Father talked to her either. She always looked sad, and Father worried if perhaps she couldn’t speak, but after around a month, Mother suddenly spoke to him.
“Where am I?”
While surprised that Mother, who he’d thought to be unable to speak, suddenly talked, Father gave her the explanation she wanted.
Having heard it, Mother seemed to fall into despair.
“Perhaps I can’t go back anymore?”
It seems she appeared so miserable as she lamented that Father unconsciously hugged her close. Mother grieved, and she didn’t say anything for another month.
It looked like she was rejecting everything.
Father continued to take care of Mother as she remained silent. Father didn’t take care for Mother out of pity. He said it was because Mother wasn’t repulsed by the red eyes of the Hiyuma clan.
She didn’t draw away after seeing his eyes. She didn’t call him a monster, or the clan cursed.
For Father, that was enough reason to take care of Mother.
One day, when Father looked into the room where Mother was staying to check on her, it was empty.
Panicked about Mother’s disappearance, Father rushed outside to search for her, and he saw her there playing with rabbits and birds.
“… I was worried.”
As Father let out a large breath of relief, Mother said while stroking a rabbit’s head.
“… It’s mysterious. I understand what these children are saying. I also began to understand your words one day all of the sudden. At first, I didn’t understand what you were saying at all.”
“… Whatever the reason, isn’t it good that you can understand?”
Mother was able to talk with every living creature.
She said she didn’t know why. However, thanks to that, she was able to keep living with the encouragement of every living creature. I came to think that I must live on, she was saying.
And, six months after she regained her will to live, Father proposed to her.
He fell in love with Mother who didn’t loathe his eyes. He fell in love with Mother who enjoyed talking with animals. He didn’t want her to leave his side. He wanted her to always stay with him. Father told Mother all that.
She was troubled at first, but finally she accepted his proposal.
Mother was also in love with Father. She fell deeply in love with Father who picked her up as she suddenly found herself in the forest, helped her, and was always at her side, supporting her.
They got married and I was born.
I loved my parents, and when Father left for Hiyuma work, I was always waiting together with Mother for his return.
It happened on one night like that.
“… Get up, Abel.”
Father was away on a long-term job. While I was sound asleep, I was woken up by Mother.
“… What, Mom?”
“Animals are making a fuss. Something bad is coming. Abel, run away immediately.”
“Run away, to where?”
Mother’s panicked voice immediately blew away my drowsiness. Pulling my hand, Mother went outside the house and told me.
“Abel, go call Dad. He is now working in the town down the road.”
“Mom, what about you?”
“Mom can’t go. Unlike you, I haven’t received any Hiyuma training, so I’d be a burden on you. Mom will wait at home, so call Dad. Please.”
“… Got it.”
To tell the truth, I really wanted to say no. But the expression Mother showed didn’t allow that. She lovingly stroked my head again and again.
“Because you and your dad were here, I thought I could keep on living. I came to think that it didn’t matter that I couldn’t go home. I have no regrets. I’m truly happy that I came here, met a person I love and gave birth to you, Abel. Even if I was asked if I wanted to go back, I would certainly answer, “I don’t want to.” That’s my answer.”
Mother somehow appeared terribly scary as she said something I couldn’t understand.
Then she pushed my back.
“I said go. Call Dad. And then help Mom.”
I nodded and ran down the road in total darkness. I wanted to look back, but somehow, I understood that I shouldn’t.
That’s why I ran all night long to the town where Father was working. So that I could go back, I had no choice but to bring Father back with me as soon as possible.
“Abel, what happened!?”
“Dad! Mom is!!”
I arrived at my destination the next day before noon. While I was loitering in the middle of the road without knowing where Father was, he found me. I jumped at his chest and begged him to help Mother.
“Mom said something bad was coming… She said to go call Dad…”
I desperately related to Father what I’d heard from Mother.
Father nodded and said he’d immediately return to the village.
Father didn’t have a master he served, so he couldn’t use Hiyuma’s secret arts. Holding me, Father rushed back to the Hiyuma village.
What we saw there――
Nobody survived, it was the very picture of Hell.