Kaleidoscope’s Past 3
What should I do to live?
When I thought about it, I realized that having the Hiyuma left eye sealed was a problem.
There are numerous Hiyuma secret arts useful for living. They could only be used after making a contract with a master, but I didn’t want to have one, and in the first place, the Hiyuma way of life didn’t appeal to me.
Red eyes are the pride of the Hiyuma clan.
I’d heard that from Father and other people in the village, and I’d thought so before too, but they only became troublesome. Because of those red eyes, I couldn’t move freely. I couldn’t stand my actions being restricted.
So I relied on a witch I’d heard about.
One of the seven witches in the world. I found her and had her remove the shackles of the Hiyuma. I had her change my red eyes to golden.
In exchange, I presented the witch my right eye as the compensation.
The witch was delighted. I didn’t understand why, but apparently the unusual eye connected to the otherworld was more than enough of a compensation, so I received various bonuses.
The witch placed a large black jewel where my right eye had been and I put an eyepatch over it.
I looked in the mirror. An unfamiliar golden eye looked back at me. It felt weird to see the world with only my left eye, but I quickly got used to it.
It was more important that people didn’t look at me strangely.
Despite paying with my right eye, I was very satisfied with the deal.
Thanks to the witch, I solved the problem of my eyes and the shackles, and to live I became an information broker.
I had the unleashed power of the Hiyuma and birds. My credibility as an information broker quickly increased and I became quite a well-known figure in the underworld.
I was alone.
I had no one to rely on.
No matter what, I needed money to live on.
Money won’t betray me. As long as there’s money, most things will turn out alright.
As a result, I became completely obsessed with money. I proactively took requests from rich nobles and made a fortune.
Of course I saved the earned money, but I didn’t hesitate to use it either.
After all, I knew. You never know when and where something can happen to a person.
At the time, I just didn’t want to die with regrets.
That’s why although I saved money, I enjoyed myself as much as I could.
I did everything I wanted.
I decided to live in the moment.
It was something Father or Mother couldn’t do.
It was something I couldn’t have done if I had continued being a Hiyuma.
Although from the side I did completely as I pleased, there were two things I never did, no matter how much money was presented.
One was assassination requests.
I didn’t want people to die. Even with my abilities, killing a person was impossible for me.
Having seen Mother’s death and waited for Father who didn’t return, without realizing it I suffered from a great trauma regarding ‘death’.
And the other thing, I didn’t accept requests from the Sahaja Royal Family.
Since I became famous, requests from the royalty also came. The rewards were appropriately dazzling too.
But no matter how good the rewards were, I didn’t accept.
The reason was simple.
Father and Mother were killed by Sahaja. I didn’t care about the Hiyuma, but nevertheless, I didn’t want to work for the Sahaja Royal Family that had my parents killed.
I simply didn’t associate with the Sahaja Royal Family.
That might have been the last of my pride as someone who had abandoned being a Hiyuma.
Time passed and I by chance learned that the Lux family line was alive.
For whatever reason, that person belonged to the assassin guild ‘Red’ and was nicknamed ‘Red Shinigami’.
I only watched him from a distance, but he openly exposed his red eye and lived as a Hiyuma.
It’s not that I felt nothing.
After all, he was the same Hiyuma.
However, his way of life was too different.
He was the top assassin despised for being from the cursed clan, while I rejected killing and threw away the proof of being a Hiyuma.
And yet, we both lived in the underworld.
I found him choosing an unyielding way of life just a little dazzling. However, it was a way of life I couldn’t follow.
I was curious about him, but I was the one who had abandoned being a Hiyuma.
That’s why, I just thought that it was good we were both alive.
And yet, not only have I met him, but I ended up fighting alongside him too. You never know what life will bring.
It seems I let my mind wander a little too much.
Until now I’ve never recalled the past while working.
I might have relaxed a little after leaving Sahaja.
I’m at work. I need to focus.
I shook my head to drive away those thoughts and turned my eyes to the target.
Apparently, the Princess had just woken up as I could hear their conversation.
“Your Highness. Lady Ophelia. Are you awake?”
“… Where is this? Untie the rope at once.”
“I can’t do that.”
The man called Ed refused the Princess’s order with a spellbound face.
“Your Highness will elope with me abroad now. When we get there, we’ll live as a married couple straight away. It’s all right. I will provide for you. With you as my wife, that――”
“I am telling you to stop talking nonsense and untie the rope. I am the Princess of Irvine. I won’t run away from this duty!”
The Princess, who firmly said that despite being tied up and unable to move, was beautiful despite being dressed as a man.
Unconsciously, I leaked a sigh of admiration.
Despite lying on the ground, the Princess scowled at her knight.
“In the first place, why did you do this? Elder Brother will notice right away. When that happens, you’ll get caught. Why did you do something so hasty? It’s not like you.”
“It’s not like me?”
The man turned an insane smile to the Princess who spat out those words.
“Then, does Your Highness know what’s like me? Does Your Highness know me? You know nothing. Even though I’ve always been at your side, you’ve never tried to learn anything about me!”
The Princess didn’t care about the man’s wailing.
“… Because I wasn’t interested. But, I at least understand that you are a disgusting man.”
“Haha…! That’s certainly right!”
The man nodded while laughing and stared with intoxicated eyes at the Princess.
“Since long ago, I’ve always loved you. That’s why I asked His Highness Hendrik to let me marry you. Even though His Highness agreed, even though he said he’d cooperate, His Highness suddenly turned around yesterday!”
“… That’s because you lied. You stole my manuscript and lied that it was a diary where I spelled my feelings. You have quite the nerve to think you could marry me after doing that.”
I’d heard the story from Mr. Shinigami, but hearing it again I thought he was an outrageous man.
While my face was twitching, the man made a blank expression.
“Eh? That diary certainly spelled your hidden love for me. Besides, when I showed it to His Highness Hendrik, he acknowledged me as your marriage partner. That was the correct action.”
There was no lie in the expression of his face. He was unmistakably saying it seriously.
Words didn’t get through to him. The Princess grimaced and I also thought that he was the type of man I truly didn’t want to be involved with.
“As if. That was a mere creative work, it wasn’t directed at you at all. Don’t get carried away by your convenient delusions. I’ve never loved you!”
Glaring at the man, the Princess declared that. The man’s eyes went round as he heard that.
“… You don’t love me?”
“Yeah, that’s right.”
When the Princess nodded, the man tilted his head incredulously.
“What are you saying? Aah, perhaps you haven’t noticed it yet? That’s troubling. You wrote such a passionate diary and yet you haven’t noticed your feelings for me.”
“Enough. Wake up, Ed. I’ve never thought of you as anything more than my personal knight. I’ve never thought of you as my marriage partner. Yesterday it was me who told Elder Brother that the engagement with you is impossible.”
The man shouted to deny the Princess’s words.
“You’re lying, you’re lying, you’re lying!! Your Highness loves me. Your Highness is just unaware. That’s the truth!!”
“Ed, listen to me!”
With a bestial shout the man saddled the Princess. Then he put his hands on her neck in a frenzy.
“You’re lying. Your Highness loves me. I don’t need… I don’t need Your Highness that doesn’t! Return my lovely Her Highness! You’re… You’re a fake!!”
“Ed, stop!! Ed!! Ughhhhh…!”
“Fake, disappear…! Return Her Highness!”
His insanity exposed, the man strangled the Princess. The moment I saw it, my emotions overflowed.
“… Cut it out.”
I stood up.
I didn’t care if they’d notice me.
The figure of dead Mother crossed my mind. If the man continues strangling the Princess, she’ll surely look the same as Mother on that day. I couldn’t allow that.
I jumped out and with all my strength kicked flying the man who was strangling the Princess.
“As if I’d allow you to kill a person in front of me!”
Yeah, I won’t allow that.
When I lost Father and Mother, I swore I wouldn’t let anyone else die.
I don’t want to feel that void ever again.
It doesn’t matter whether they’re enemies or allies. I’ll never let a life be ended in front of me.
No matter how trained the knight the man was, I was a Hiyuma and a person who long lived in the underworld as an information broker. He wouldn’t be able to instantly move after being kicked with all my strength when he didn’t expect it.
The man rolled on the ground and, perhaps because I hit his weak point, held his side and groaned. I stood in front of the Princess to protect her.
Behind me, the Princess was violently coughing.
―― Aah, I’m glad. She’s alive. I made it in time.
After a while, the warehouse door was thrown open.
When I looked back, I saw the Crown Prince and Princess, the Princess’s older brother, and Mr. Shinigami who brought them. Who shouted was the Princess’s brother, Prince Hendrik. His face paled upon seeing his little sister coughing, and he rushed to her.
“… Haa. You’re late. Give me a break.”
I brushed up my bangs.
My body lost strength.
Looking at the people who came, I realized my role was finally over.