Eminence in Shadow Volume 6 Chapter 2

Dear, readers. I’m really sorry for the recent downtime when the site had a traffic overload. The problem is fixed now by upgrading the server to handle things more smoothly. So It’d be nice if you guys can help me to cover the upgraded server cost, plus you’d get more LN/WN translated as a bonus. Your contribution helps keep everything running smoothly. Thanks a ton!


Chapter Two: An Assassin Crashes the Sleepover Party!
 
The main street of the capital was in an uproar.
 
“A corpse…!”
 
“What happened?”
 
“Two nobles were killed, I heard!”
 
“Don’t get close!! It’s under investigation!”
 
In the fountain in the middle of the street, two bodies were hung.
 
The crowd gathered around the fountain, making a commotion.
 
“Are those playing cards stabbed into their throats?”
 
“I heard rumors of nobles being killed one after another recently.”
 
“I know about it. Count Goethe-Mono was killed. My friend Horako works there as a maid…”
 
“What, really!?”
 
“Really! Horako even saw the culprit! He was dressed as a clown!”
 
“That sounds kinda fishy…”
 
“I told you not to get close! Move away!!”
 
The knights pushed back the gathering crowd.
 
A beautiful red-haired girl made her way through the unusual morning crowd.
 
It was Christina.
 
“Let me through, move aside!”
 
“You are…”
 
“Christina Hope of the Duke’s family. I will take a look at the scene.”
 
“Oh, from the Hope family. Please, this way…”
 
The knights who were holding back the crowd reluctantly let Christina into the scene.
 
“This is…”
 
Christina gasped when she saw the fountain.
 
Two men were hung from the pillars of the fountain. She recognized the lifeless faces.
 
“Count Kuzaya and Baron Graham…”
 
Their faces were frozen in fear and shock.
 
“Hmm…”
 
Christina’s cheeks twisted into a distorted smile.
 
Two more parasites have been exterminated.
 
“With three members of the Thirteeen Night Blades killed in quick succession, it’s hard to believe this is a coincidence.”
 
She was addressed from behind.
 
Christina hid her twisted smile with her hand and turned around. There stood Gray, Chief of the Knights’ Investigation Division.
 
“Chief Gray…what do you mean?”
 
“Just stating my honest thoughts, Miss Christina.”
 
Gray laughed lightly. But his eyes were fixed on observing Christina.
 
“Three nobles killed in succession. And they all belonged to the same organization. It’s too unnatural to treat this as a coincidence.”
 
“I suppose so.”
 
“And I hear there’s a noble family that’s been clashing with that organization.”
 
“You’re very well informed.”
 
“It’s my job.”
 
“You’re such a diligent Chief. The Knights must envy you. I’m sure you’ll catch the culprit soon.”
 
“Of course, that’s my intention. Well then, I must get back to work.”
 
Gray turned his back, but then stopped in his tracks.
 
“Was there something else?”
 
When she asked, Gray shot Christina a sharp look.
 
“Come to think of it Miss Christina, did something amusing happen?”
 
“Eh?”
 
“I thought I saw you smiling earlier.”
 
“…You must be mistaken.”
 
Christina removed her hand from her mouth and spoke.
 
“I see, my mistake then.”
 
And with that, Gray left.
 
Christina let out a sigh. Then she looked at the two corpses again.
 
“Christina.”
 
“Princess Alexia…”
 
When she turned around at the call, Alexia was there.
 
“I went to Count Kuzaya’s mansion.”
 
“Count Kuzaya’s?”
 
“The scene of the crime wasn’t here. Looks like the culprit killed them in a hidden room at Count Kuzaya’s estate, then deliberately brought them here. See, the knights are investigating the trail of footsteps.”
 
“You’re right…”
 
The knights were crawling along the trail of red footsteps leading from the fountain.
 
“The state of the mansion is the same as last time. All the guards were killed or incapacitated. The maids were only knocked unconscious and unharmed.”
 
“Impressive work.”
 
“Very skilled. To succeed in carrying out such difficult assassinations in quick succession. Count Kuzaya and Baron Graham were no fools either. Even holed up in the hidden room on high alert…”
 
Christina looked up at the body hanging from the fountain again.
 
Playing cards were stuck in the throat and the back of the head, and those were the only visible injuries.
 
“A single blow with playing cards, just like the last time.”
 
“Count Kuzaya’s maid also witnessed the blood-soaked Clown. It’s safe to assume it’s the same perpetrator.”
 
“I wonder what their purpose is. The weapon, the Clown, carrying the bodies to the fountain, everything seems unnatural.”
 
“I don’t know. Someone with this level of skill is limited. The authorities in the capital will have to investigate.”
 
“It would be good if they find the culprit…”
 
“We should probably leave now. It’s not good for us to be seen at the crime scene.”
 
“Yes, that’s true. Um, Princess Alexia, there’s something I wanted to talk to you about later…”
 
Just as Christina was about to leave the scene.
 
“Huh, that’s strange.”
 
A listless voice echoed at the crime scene.
 
The one who spoke was a plain boy with black hair and black eyes, Cid Kagenou.
 
“Cid-kun, why are you here? I told you to wait at the mansion!”
 
“To wait at the mansion? What does that mean?”
 
Alexia was the one who reacted at an astonishing speed to Christina’s words.
 
“Well, that is… um…”
 
Christina hesitated, unsure of how to explain.
 
She had planned to discuss the Jack the Ripper case and related matters with them later.
 
“For various reasons…”
 
“Various reasons?”
 
“Well, I was planning to talk about that later…”
 
“Later, you mean right after this?”
 
With an odd tension in the air, Christina nodded.
 
“Huh, that’s strange.”
 
Cid repeated the same words as if he were tired of waiting.
 
“Cid-kun, why are you here? I told you to wait because it’s dangerous…”
 
“Well, I was worried about Christina-san, so I just…”
 
Cid said in a monotone voice.
 
“You two seem to be getting along well. When did you become friends?”
 
Alexia had a bright smile.
 
“Cid-kun, what’s wrong?”
 
“It’s the playing cards.”
 
“Playing cards are indeed strange, but…”
 
“Anyone can see that the playing cards are strange. Honestly, this is why Pochi…”
 
Alexia grumbled outside the circle.
 
“True, the first victim was the Ace of Spades.”
 
“Yes, that’s right.”
 
“And this time, the victims are Two of Spades and Three of Spades.”
 
“You mean to say that the numbers are consecutive?”
 
“Anyone can see that.”
 
Alexia said with a sigh.
 
“It’s not just numbers. It’s all spades. The killer chose spades for a reason.
 
“Sure, they’re all spades, but what’s the point ……”
 
“The suits of playing cards each have their own meanings. For example, Hearts represent love, Diamonds represent merchants, and Clubs represent knowledge.”
 
“Never heard of that. So, what’s the meaning of Spades?”
 
“One of the meanings is winter.”
 
“Ah, I see. Spades were chosen because it’s winter right now. Impressive deduction, Pochi.”
 
Alexia said with a mocking tone.
 
“But the meaning of Spades isn’t limited to just that. There are others, like night, sword, and death.”
 
“Night and sword!?”
 
“And death, could it be…”
 
Christina and Alexia exchanged looks.
 
“There are a total of thirteen Spade cards. Exactly enough for thirteen individuals.”
 
“You don’t mean to say they’re planning to kill all thirteen members of the Night Blades!?”
 
“Even if it’s an exaggeration…”
 
This was clearly a provocation and a declaration of war against the Night Blades.
 
“What are they thinking? To deliberately announce it, it can only mean they’re insane.”
 
Alexia remarked.
 
“However, the perpetrator did kill three targets as announced. Only a person with a deranged mind could accomplish that.”
 
Christina pondered the situation.
 
“I don’t know what the culprit is thinking. But he left behind another major clue here.”
 
Cid said meaningfully with a faint smile.
 
“Another major clue?”
 
“Where on earth is it…”
 
Alexia and Christina looked around.
 
“Over there.”
 
They looked in the direction Cid pointed. The onlookers were making a commotion there.
 
Their gaze was fixed on the two corpses. The knights were in the process of lowering them from the fountain.
 
The blood-stained pillars of the fountain remained.
 
“Don’t the bloodstains on the pillars look like letters?”
 
“What!?”
 
“That’s…!?”
 
Alexia and Christina noticed at the same time.
 
“Hey, there’s writing in blood!”
 
The onlookers also seemed to have noticed, albeit a little late.
 
“What’s it say, can’t see clearly from here. It’s Jac…what’s written?”
 
“Jack the Ripper. That’s what’s written.”
 
Cid’s words echoed strangely and spread swiftly among the onlookers.
 
“I heard it says Jack the Ripper!”
 
“Is that the culprit’s name!?”
 
“That’s right, the serial killer Jack the Ripper!!”
 
“A noble killer has appeared in the capital!! This is a challenge to the nobles!!”
 
Shouting that, the onlookers spread throughout the capital.
 
“By noon, everyone in the capital will know about the incident.”
 
Alexia said resentfully.
 
“Well, anyone would eventually realize it.”
 
Cid let out a sigh.
 
“Jack the Ripper…”
 
Christina muttered the name softly.
 
“What’s wrong, Miss Christina? Do you have a hunch?”
 
“No…there’s something I want to discuss.”
 
She said with a difficult expression.
 


 
Alexia read over the copies of the evidence with a serious look.
 
“So that’s what happened… Jack the Ripper already made contact with you…”
 
This was an unused classroom at the academy.
 
Inside were Alexia, Christina, and Cid – three people.
 
“With clever use of this evidence, we can corner the Dacuaican faction. However, we can’t make any rash moves until we understand Jack the Ripper’s motives.”
 
Christina also had a serious look.
 
“We don’t know if this person is enemy or ally. They want us to use the evidence, but what does Jack gain out of it…”
 
“And these documents have no stated source. There are limits to where we can use them.”
 
“I have an idea about that. Can I hold onto these documents for a while?”
 
“Go ahead, but they’re just copies.”
 
“I’ll consult with Father about it.”
 
“That’s reassuring.”
 
“We’ll see…”
 
Alexia smiled lonesomely as she put the bloodstained documents into her bag.
 
“Princess Alexia?”
 
“It’s nothing. More importantly…what’s this about you live together with him?”
 
Alexia grabbed Cid by the scruff of his neck and thrust him forward in front of Christina.
 
“Well, it’s for safety reasons. He’s also seen part of the information, so if the Dacuaican faction finds out it could cause trouble. So…”
 
“You’re sleeping in the same room, right?”
 
“Concentrating security in one location is more efficient.”
 
“That may be so, but…”
 
“Oh right, I heard Princess Alexia pretended to be in a relationship with Cid before.”
 
“Wh-what about it?”
 
“I wonder, could you have actually been in a relationship? If so, I was insensitive.”
 
“N-no way, that’s absolutely impossible!”
 
“That’s right. Dating Alexia? I’d rather die.”
 
“Quiet, you!”
 
Alexia shook Cid violently by the scruff of his neck.
 
“So you actually weren’t in a relationship?”
 
“Of course not! Dating this guy would be a disgrace to the Midgar family!”
 
“Then there’s no problem, right?”
 
“Eh?”
 
“If you weren’t in a relationship, then there’s no issue with me sleeping in the same room, right?”
 
“That’s…I’m worried for Christina. That this guy won’t do anything weird to you.”
 
“I won’t.”
 
“You’re worried for my safety. But there’s no need, my skills as a magic swordswoman far exceed Cid’s.”
 
“That may be true, but Pochi occasionally shows a terrifyingly sharp sword. Just in case…”
 
“Princess Alexia is so kind. To be so concerned about me. Then how about if Princess Alexia joins us as well?”
 
“Huh?”
 
Alexia’s eyes widened.
 
“With Princess Alexia there, nothing untoward could happen.”
 
“No no no, just imagining sleeping in the same room as Alexia gives me chills…”
 
“Be quiet.”
 
Alexia covered Cid’s mouth.
 
“That does sound like a good idea.”
 
“Yes, Father would be happy too.”
 
“Mmmph!!”
 
“Let me check my schedule.”
 
“Yes, I’ll make preparations on my end.”
 
“Mmgh! Mmgh!!”
 
“Well then, see you later.”
 
And with that, Alexia hurried off.
 
“I can’t believe it, Alexia is coming for a sleepover.”
 
Cid said with a tragic face.
 
“Something to look forward to.”
 
“I’ll sleep in the dorms.”
 
“No you won’t.”
 
“Sorry but I can’t handle it. I have things I must…”
 
Just as Cid started to say,
 
“What on earth is this!?”
 
A girl’s voice echoed from the hallway.
 
“That voice…!”
 
“Hm?”
 
“It’s Eliza’s voice. Something must have happened.”
 
Christina and Cid headed for the hallway.
 


The hallway was noisy with Eliza and her entourage.
 
“Doing this kind of nonsense to me. Are you making fun of me…?”
 
As Eliza glared, the onlookers scattered like spiders.
 
Then Eliza’s gaze captured Christina.
 
“Oh my, Christina. For the culprit to be in a place like this, you sure are taking it easy.”
 
“Culprit? What are you talking about, Eliza?”
 
“No one but you would send me something like this!!”
 
What Eliza showed was a letter written in blood.
 
[Thirteen bloated pigs. The first ran around in panic and died. The second died in foolish humiliation. The third died in arrogance and folly. How will the next pig die? Jack the Ripper]
 
“This is…a crime notice? Where did you get this?”
 
“It was in my bag! Don’t play dumb with me!”
 
Eliza glared sharply.
 
“Thirteen bloated pigs refers to our families, right?”
 
“I’m afraid that I don’t know, but…”
 
“So brazen. Jack the Ripper. The assassin you hired, right?”
 
“You’re mistaken.”
 
“Going so far just for this nonsense. You think you’ll get away with it?”
 
“I keep telling you, you’re mistaken.”
 
A dry slap echoed down the hallway.
 
Eliza had slapped Christina’s cheek.
 
“Enjoy your carefreeness while you still can. Father is also angry, so from now on who knows what will happen.”
 
Christina returned a cold gaze.
 
Suddenly, Cid who was behind her was blown away.
 
“Pgyaaa!!!”
 
He went flying while spewing impressive amounts of nasal and oral blood.
 
“Cid!?”
 
“Oh my, how unsightly.”
 
Eliza’s entourage beat Cid up, sending him flying.
 
///
 


 
scene transition


 

 


 
///
 
“What’s going on? He has nothing to do with this!”
 
“I don’t know. This is what happens when someone defies me. Well done, Dekuno-Bou.”
 
The entourage member called Dekuno-Bou wiped his bloodied fist with a smug expression.
 
“Hehehe, I just punched him lightly.”
 
“Amazing, Dekuno-Bou. You sent him flying to the end of the hallway with just a light punch.”
 
Dekuno-Bou’s blow had indeed sent Cid flying to the end of the hallway, over fifty meters away.
 
“Well, I’ve gotten stronger too.”
 
“You’re reliable. I like men like you.”
 
Eliza intertwined her arm with Dekuno-Bou and pressed her chest against him.
 
“Hehehe, leave it to me.”
 
“But be careful. You might be the next target.”
 
“Hah, if it comes to that, I’ll take down Jack the Ripper!”
 
“Hehehe, if that happens, I’ll give you a reward.”
 
Eliza smiled sensually and left with her entourage.
 


 
I was being treated by a sexy female doctor in the school’s infirmary.
 
“Alright, we’re done. Don’t get into fights, okay?”
 
The doctor said this and went back to her other tasks.
 
“Cid-kun, are you okay?”
 
Christina-san peered at me with a worried expression.
 
“It was quite a punch, but I managed to slip away, so I only suffered 3% damage. I barely survived.”
 
I grinned with a swollen cheek.
 
“You should rest in the infirmary today. I’ll come to pick you up after class.”
 
Christina-san said and left the infirmary.
 
I lay on the bed and stretched lightly.
 
“Hello.”
 
Suddenly, a petite girl appeared from under the bed. It was Nina-senpai.
 
“Hi.”
 
I greeted her.
 
I knew from the beginning that she had been eavesdropping.
 
“What’s wrong?”
 
“Just a progress report about Claire.”
 
“Oh, my sister, right?”
 
“Yeah. For now, shall we go to Claire’s room?”
 
As usual, I was led by the petite Nina-senpai, and we moved to my sister’s room.
 
My sister’s room had changed a bit since the last time I was here.
 
Medical equipment and various unknown magical tools were placed around, and my sister lay still on the bed.
 
“Sister…”
 
Beep, beep, beep…
 
A magical device rang.
 
I had seen this in a hospital in my previous life.
 
“Her pulse has stopped. It might be her final moments…”
 
I folded my hands and closed my eyes.
 
I didn’t believe in an afterlife or anything like that, but since I had been reincarnated in this world, maybe my sister would be lucky enough to be reincarnated somewhere.
 
I prayed for my sister to at least be reborn as something better than a cockroach or a mite.
 
“At least let her be reborn as a mouse.”
 
“She’s not dead.”
 
Nina-senpai said with a deadpan expression.
 
“But the magical device has stopped.”
 
“This is the sound of the magic measurement finishing.”
 
The one who said this was not Nina-senpai but the sexy female doctor who had entered the room almost unnoticed.
 
She had a barely noticeable presence and introduced herself.
 
“You… You were also in the infirmary earlier, right?”
 
“Yes. I handle Claire-san’s treatment and also serve as the school doctor, recommended by Nina-san. My name is Mu.”
 
“I apologize deeply,” she said, bowing deeply.
 
Her slightly tanned skin and full, colorful lips. And between strands of silver hair, pointy ears peeked out.
 
A dark elf.
 
“Nice to meet you, I’m I’m Cid Kagenou. I’m the brother of the person sleeping over there, just so you know.”
 
“Of course, I’m well aware. Please continue to take good care of her.”
 
“No, no, the pleasure is mine.”
 
“No, no, no, no, the pleasure is really mine.”
 
A courtesy deserves a courtesy.
 
We bowed our heads repeatedly to each other.
 
Though, Mu-san, why is a doctor bowing so deeply?
 
It’s quite a rare type, but are dark elf doctors themselves rare?
 
Once she finished bowing, she briskly operated the devices and began examining my sister’s magical power. I was impressed with Mu-san’s smooth magical power operation.
 
With her skill level, she’s working as a school doctor?
 
This person is very capable.
 
Her way of erasing her presence earlier was so natural too. Doctors these days are amazing…
 
I should probably leave it to her rather than get involved myself with practically no medical knowledge.
 
“I didn’t know Nina-senpai was acquainted with such a skilled doctor. Friends are something you should hold onto, after all.”
 
“Nyahaha.”
 
Nina-senpai laughed somewhat embarrassedly.
 
“So how is my sister’s condition?”
 
“There is no threat to her life. She will wake up eventually. To explain her condition, the fluctuations in her magical power reacted with the new insignia on her right hand, and…”
 
I stopped Mu-san’s serious explanation with my hand.
 
“Ah, yes, yes, I understand. As long as there’s no threat to her life, that’s good enough.”
 
“Please excuse my presumptuousness.”
 
“It’s fine, the issue is when my sister will wake up.”
 
I want her to sleep peacefully if possible.
 
“If we wait for her to wake up naturally, it will take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months depending on Claire-san’s magical aptitude.”
 
“I see.”
 
“Of course, we could forcibly wake her up, but in that case there would be aftereffects on her magical circuits…”
 
“Ah wait, that’s not good. That would be very bad.”
 
“You’re right, we shouldn’t take the aftereffects on the magical circuits lightly. If we prioritize Claire-san’s well-being…”
 
I let Mu-san’s explanation go in one ear and out the other as I looked down at my sister sleeping peacefully.
 
“You should just let my sister sleep forever,” I murmured.
 
She’s nothing but a noisy pest anyway.
 
The moment I said that, the air froze.
 
Nina-senpai’s eyes shot open, and Mu-san stiffened and gasped.
 
“Is that…your wish?”
 
Nina-senpai said in such a grave voice it was as if she was declaring the end of the world.
 
“The great will looks far into the future. We shall follow it, no matter what awaits us in the end, until this life is spent…”
 
Mu-san knelt down with a look of resolve.
 
“Um…”
 
What’s with this atmosphere?
 
I was overwhelmed by the bizarre tension and took a step back.
 
“Look, I-I was joking…”
 
Don’t get so serious.
 
“Oh, so it was a joke…”
 
“My mistake. You gave me quite a fright there.”
 
The two of them smiled comfortably, the atmosphere completely reversed.
 
But why was Nina-senpai using honorific language?
 
“So, I’ll leave my sister to you.”
 
I hurriedly left the room.
 
Just what was that atmosphere?
 
I reflected a little thinking it was perhaps an insensitive joke.
 
But to justify myself, my sister has been freakishly stubborn since we were kids.
 
She has an abnormally high regenerative ability from birth.
 
She can laugh off a loss of consciousness – that’s how abnormal my sister is.
 


 
After dinner, kanade, Christina, and I were playing Old Maid in the bedroom.
 
“Nooo, Eliza-sama is so angry! I’m going to die, I’m definitely going to die!”
 
kanade whined as she drew a card from me.
 
Ah, she got the old maid.
 
“It’ll be okay. The security here is solid, and I’m here too.”
 
“But, but, Eliza-sama had that big male student with her!”
 
“Oh right, there was one.”
 
The student pretending to be Eliza’s bodyguard in the white fog, and who punched me flying earlier.
 
“Dekunobou.”
 
“Yes, yes! Rumor has it Dekunobou’s father has ties to criminal organizations, and has buried countless people using illegal security forces. If I’m killed, my organs will be sold, my meat will be ground up, my bones dissolved in slime, and every last bit of me will be disposed of without a trace…”
 
“You mean Count Oyanobou. I’ve heard a lot of bad things about him, but would he really dare to breach this mansion?”
 
“I-I pass!”
 
With the card Christina drew, I was out.
 
“Cid-kun you traitor! If we’re attacked, I’ll use you as a shield!”
 
“Yes, yes.”
 
“Ah, I pass too.”
 
“Nooo, why, I’m not winning at all!”
 
That’s because everything you’re thinking shows 100% on your face,
 
I thought, but didn’t say it of course.
 
“Is Old Maid fun with just three people?”
 
“It’s super fun!”
 
kanade answered instantly, eyes shining.
 
“Oh, I see.”
 
To each their own tastes.
 
“Well then, I’m going to take a bath first.”
 
“Nooo!”
 
“We promised the winner goes first, right?”
 
“But I was going to make a comeback!”
 
Ignoring the dissatisfied kanade, I headed for the bathroom.
 
“kanade, want to play two-person Old Maid with me?”
 
“Let’s do it!”
 
I heard ominous voices behind me.
 
Next time Christina takes a bath, it’ll just be kanade and me left alone.
 
No, surely she’ll realize two-person Old Maid is pointless.
 

 
Yet I ended up playing two-person Old Maid with kanade.
 


 
Late at night.
 
Several moving figures stirred within the Hope family annex after all have gone to bed.
 
They wore masks, drew their weapons, and waited for the time to attack.
 
“Father, isn’t it about time?”
 
“Don’t rush, Dekunobou.”
 
Dekunobou and Oyanobou spoke in hushed voices.
 
“But Pops, the lights are out already.”
 
“Leave the scouting to Viscount Shinobi. We’ll wait for the viscount’s signal.”
 
“Got it, Pops.”
 
Dekunobou dissatisfiedly replied.
 
“It’ll be fine Dekunobou. I’ll let you take credit for this raid.”
 
“Really!?”
 
“I’m getting old. Once you graduate the academy and some time passes, I’ll cede leadership of the Night Blades to you.”
 
“Hehe, I’ll rip that Christina chick to shreds. How dare she mock me.”
 
“There’s two targets. Christina and kanade. For Duke Hope…the evidence is prepared and waiting.”
 
“Betrayed by her own family, pitiful girl.”
 
Dekuno laughed derisively.
 
“A wise choice. It would be foolish to let the family continue falling due to some stupid daughter. In exchange for the evidence, we promised to spare Duke Hope alone. Don’t make a mistake and kill him.”
 
“Hehe, I know…”
 
“Be careful. Oh right, apparently there’s one male student rooming with the targets. I think his name was…Cid Kagenou?”
 
“Oh, that random guy who was with Christina. What are we going to do about him?”
 
“I don’t care, but it would be troublesome if he becomes a witness. Erase him while you’re at it.”
 
“Understood.”
 
“That’s good. Don’t mess it up. Reconnaissance is handled by Viscount Shinobi, the assault is our Bō Earl family’s responsibility, and the mansion’s encirclement is entrusted to that Marquis Jet.”
 
“There’s nowhere to run, then.”
 
“Right. If anything happens, the reconnaissance and encirclement units will move in as backup. The assault team includes assassins from the lawless city. In the encirclement team, we have a master of the Byakko-style who was too vicious and got expelled after participating in the Bushin Festival. There can’t be any room for failure.”
 
“Hehe, that’s just like my father. The outcome is determined before the fight begins. The most enjoyable battles are the ones you can’t lose. That was our old man’s catchphrase, right?”
 
“Kukuku, that’s right.”
 
Oyanobou grinned crookedly.
 
“Dad, it’s the signal from the scouting unit!”
 
“Here we go.”
 
And several figures infiltrated the mansion.
 


 
Christina lied on the bed staring at the ceiling.
 
She could hear kanade snoring and Cid breathing in his sleep in the room.
 
I can’t sleep…
 
The cause wasn’t kanade’s snoring, but this morning’s incident.
 
Recalling the blood-soaked bodies hanging in the fountain, her heart ached unbearably. The two who had violence inflicted on them to the limit were mercilessly killed by a power exceeding that.
 
Power.
 
Pure power transcends everything.
 
Law, ethics, authority, are powerless before pure power.
 
“Hmph…”
 
She reached her hand to the ceiling and chuckled.
 
Then she heard the soft sound of clothes rustling.
 
“Is someone awake?”
 
No response.
 
“kanade? Cid?”
 
kanade’s snoring and Cid’s breathing continued unchanged.
 
“Just my imagination…”
 
Then, click.
 
She heard the sound of the door opening.
 
“….who is it?”
 
Calling out, the door that had started to open paused.
 
Faint breathing could be heard from the other side of the half-open door.
 
“Do you need something?”
 
As she said that, Christina took a sword from beside the bed.
 
If it was someone from the mansion, they would have replied immediately.
 
And it was also strange she didn’t hear any reaction from the guard posted at the door.
 
For a while, only kanade’s snoring echoed in the room.
 
And then─
 
“Kill them.”
 
At the signal, a group dressed in black poured into the room like an avalanche.
 
“Everyone, wake up!!”
 
Christina shouted and threw kanade’s futon at the intruders.
 
“Gugooo! Huh!? Wha, what!?”
 
kanade panicked as she flailed awake. Christina threw her a sword.
 
“We’re under attack!”
 
Replying at the same time, Christina blocked the sword of a large attacker.
 
She lightly applied strength to test their ability.
 
Strong.
 
A decent swordsman.
 
She changed the angle of her sword and smoothly deflected his.
 
But he was not an impossible opponent to beat.
 
And Christina’s sword pierced the attacker’s shoulder as he lost his stance.
 
“Guah! Why you little…!”
 
A coarse familiar voice.
 
Five attackers got in Christina’s way as she tried to follow up.
 
“Don’t let your guard down, I told you! Get back!!”
 
“B-But Father─!!”
 
“Not another word!!”
 
The man called Father shoved aside the large man and stood before Christina. This man was likely the group’s leader.
 
“Uwaaaaah! What!? Am I going to die!? I’m going to die here!?”
 
kanade shrieked while barely fending off two attackers herself.
 
And Cid Kagenou,
 
Was trying to sneak out the window.
 
“Ah…”
 
He awkwardly smiled when he met Christina’s eyes, and
 
“Well, so long!”
 
Swiftly disappeared out the window.
 
“Traitorrrr!! I’ll curse you! I’ll become a vengeful spirit and curse youuu!!”
 
kanade’s angry yell.
 
“Can’t let him get away! After him!!”
 
The leader instructed, and three men chased after Cid.
 
“….thank goodness.”
 
Christina murmured softly.
 
Cid had drawn away three attackers.
 
Six remained.
 
One was badly wounded in the shoulder.
 
The situation was still disadvantageous, but not hopeless. If she held out a little longer, the guards would also come running when they noticed the commotion.
 
“You’re thinking the guards will come help, aren’t you?”
 
The leader said.
 
“Oh, am I now?”
 
“Don’t play dumb. I know you increased security at great expense. Unfortunately, help won’t come. The other unit has probably already taken care of them by now.”
 
“Thank you very much. You must be very desperate, Night Blades.
 
It was likely not a bluff.
 
With this, the chances of survival dropped significantly. She didn’t expect the Night Blades to be this serious.
 
“Don’t underestimate us. The Night Blades still stands firm. This is a parent’s love for their child, you could say.”
 
“So you’re Marquis Oyanobou. I recognized your son’s voice.”
 
“Now who could that be?”
 
Oyanobou feigned ignorance and ordered,
 
“Kill them.”
 
The men in black leapt at her simultaneously.
 
The one at the lead swung his sword at Christina.
 
“Tch.”
 
But Christina hadn’t given up yet.
 
She deflected the man’s sword and tried to regroup with kanade before they surrounded her.
 
However, that plan fell apart in an instant.
 
Slash, a sound rang out as the man in black’s body shifted.
 
“Huh? Why’d you…gyaaaaah!”
 
Screaming, the man’s body was bisected into upper and lower halves.
 
“Urgh…help…”
 
The man reached out with a faint voice. But it was surely already too late to save him.
 
“What did you do! This man was one of the top magical swordsmen in the city states!”
 
Oyanobou glared at Christina.
 
The men in black also took their distance warily.
 
“You’re wrong, it wasn’t me.”
 
In fact, Christina hadn’t done anything. All she did was try to deflect the man’s sword.
 
However, in that instant he had already been cut down.
 
Whoever cleanly bisected a first-class magical swordsman without anyone noticing was surely beyond Christina’s capabilities to replicate.
 
“What do you mean someone else is there! Or are you hiding something─”
 
Oyanobou cut himself off mid-sentence and opened his eyes wide.
 
The two magical swordsmen who had been facing kanade were likewise bisected.
 
“Huhhh? Did I awaken? Has my hidden true power finally blossomed!?”
 
kanade spoke slightly excitedly.
 
“Don’t be stupid, just what is…no, wait. That sword…”
 
Oyanobou seemed to have realized something. His gaze was on kanade’s sword.
 
“Why doesn’t the sword have any blood on it?”
 
“Oh, you’re right.”
 
Not a single drop of blood was on kanade’s sword.
 
It was obvious to anyone she hadn’t done it.
 
Then, footsteps shuffled.
 
Everyone turned as if blown back toward the sound.
 
There laid Cid Kagenou’s bed. But he had already fled.
 
Someone unfamiliar was on that bed.
 
Bathed in moonlight, lying face down asleep.
 
“The blood-soaked clown…”
 
Someone murmured.
 
Thud, the clown rolled over to face them.
 
The clown with the stained red mask grinned.
 
“Hii…”
 
Dekunobou backed away.
 
“So you’re Jack the Ripper?”
 
In contrast, Oyanobou remained composed.
 
He instructed his men and turned to the blood-soaked clown.
 
“You appeared precisely, as if lying in wait. So you were the assassin they hired after all.”
 
“N-No! The Hope family would never hire assassins!”
 
Christina denied Oyanobou’s words. But he was no longer listening to Christina’s words.
 
“How much were you paid? You’ve got quite the skill. Thanks to you we’ve suffered heavy losses.”
 
Oyanobou looked to the corpses of the gruesomely killed magical swordsmen.
 
“They were all well known in the underworld. Hard to believe, but this is reality…”
 
Oyanobou heaved a tired sigh.
 
The bloodstained Clown had been lying in bed for a long time, a smile plastered on his mask.
 
“Reality must be accepted. We don’t think it wise to oppose you. Even if we were to win after continued fighting, we would suffer great losses. The same would be true for you. I doubt you could get away unscathed in a battle with Yoruken.”
 
The bloodstained Clown shook his shoulders slightly and laughed.
 
“It would be more sensible for both of us to call it quits here. I’ll pay you triple. I won’t ask you to join me, just walk away. I’ll make sure your reputation remains untarnished. What do you say?”
 
The bloodstained Clown’s shoulders shook violently.
 
He was laughing silently.
 
“What’s so funny…”
 
The shaking stopped abruptly.
 
Slowly, the Clown sat up and pointed a finger.
 
Slowly, slowly, the Clown’s finger pointed at each of the attackers in turn. As if selecting something.
 
The finger stopped, pointing at one attacker.
 
“What are you—”
 
The attacker tilted his head in puzzlement.
 
At the same time, the Clown flicked his finger.
 
In the next moment, the attacker’s head flew off.
 
“You fool—”
 
Spurting blood like a fountain, the headless attacker fell.
 
“Eek! Dad, I can’t take this anymore!”
 
Dekunobou crawled away, his legs giving out.
 
But the bloodstained Clown’s finger was already searching for the next target. It passed over Dekunobou and stopped, pointing at the attacker beside him.
 
“Wai—, wait!”
 
Despite his panic, the seasoned swordsman quickly moved to evade.
 
But as the Clown’s finger flicked, the upper half of his face was blown off.
 
The mouth left on his torso opened and closed as if trying to say something, but only bubbles of blood came out.
 
Next, the bloodstained Clown’s finger pointed at kanade.
 
“Eek! Me!? Why!? Eeeeeeek!”
 
The finger paused there for a moment, then passed her by and flicked at the attacker further back.
 
“Ah…”
 
Bewildered, his head was severed.
 
Now only Oyanobou and his son Dekunobou remained.
 
“Eek! Dad, Dad, let’s run!”
 
Clinging to his father’s leg, Dekunobou.
 
Oyanobou also couldn’t hide his shock at seeing the four swordsmen instantaneously killed.
 
“Negotiations have broken down…I see. Or rather, the fact that you deliberately spared me means you want to gain advantage in negotiations by demonstrating your power. It seems there is still room to talk.”
 
The bloodstained Clown did not react to Oyanobou’s words.
 
“First, let me apologize. I admit I underestimated your abilities. I don’t know how you attained such skill, but I never imagined… “
 
Cold sweat streamed down Dekunobou’s face.
 
“However, this mansion has already been surrounded. I had my subordinates send the signal earlier. The troops who had this place surrounded will be here soon for backup. Among them are the elite forces of Viscount Shinobi and Marquis Jet, as well as the White Tiger Style master swordsman Sword Demon. No matter how talented you are, under these circumstances—”
 
As if to cut off Oyanobou’s words, the bloodstained Clown moved.
 
He rummaged roughly beneath the futon.
 
Looking closely, the futon was unnaturally lumpy and stained dark red.
 
What the Clown pulled out were two severed heads.
 
“Wha—,
 
Two faces that were familiar to the clown.
 
“Viscount Shinobi…and even Marquis Jet…”
 
Stabbed into the two heads were the Four of spades and Five of spades.
 
“The surrounding troops have been annihilated…by just one man!”
 
Oyanobou finally lost his composure.
 
“What the hell are you!? What do you want!? What are your demands!?”
 
Foaming at the mouth as he shouted.
 
Slowly, deliberately, the bloodstained Clown drew a card from his breast pocket.
 
It was the Six of spades.
 
“Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeek! No!”
 
Oyanobou immediately realized who that card was meant for.
 
He hid behind his paralyzed son as a shield.
 
“You gotta be joking, Dad!? Let me go, let go of meeeee!”
 
“Ah, ahhhhhhhh!”
 
The clown swung his arm to cut Six of Spades through, trying to shake off Dekuno-Bou father
 
Just then, the sound of shattering glass filled the air as a tall swordsman appeared through the window.
 
“Hehehe… There you are, Jack the Ripper.”
 
With a calm voice and an eerie atmosphere,
 
He unsheathed his katana, which gleamed in the moonlight.
 
“You… Aren’t you… Sword Demon!? You’re alive!?”
 
Oyano-Bou’s voice regained its vigor.
 
He revealed only his face from behind Dekuno-Bou and smiled.
 
“It’s been a while since I thought I could have an exhilarating fight, but killing the small fry around and running away? I’m disappointed.”
 
The swordsman said, not taking his gaze away from the bloodied clown.
 
He understood.
 
This clown, he was an adversary equal to himself.
 
“Sword Demon, who exactly are you?”
 
Even Christina trembled at his undisturbed magic power.
 
Undoubtedly, he was one of the world’s top swordsmen.
 
“I understand if you don’t know. This man is a martial artist from Wakoku, a country far away.”
 
“Martial artist!?”
 
Christina had heard of it.
 
Across the sea, there was a country called Wakoku, the land of those who mastered martial arts. There, martial artists were known as symbols of power rather than swordsmen.
 
Wakoku was a secluded country, and very little information came from there. But occasionally, martial artists came from there to train.
 
All of them were top-notch.
 
“Furthermore, this man was expected to become the youngest successor to the four major schools of Wakoku, the Byakko-ryu. However, in his pursuit of power, he killed his nine disciples and was exiled.”
 
“Heh… That’s old news. I was getting bored in this country, but I never thought I’d meet such a peculiar martial artist like you…”
 
The swordsman said and readied his katana.
 
“Hehehe, Jack the Ripper! Are you so scared of Sword Demon that you want to run away now? What happened to your bravado from earlier?”
 
Oyano-Bou’s loud laughter echoed.
 
“Let’s go!.”
 
The swordsman crouched low.
 
“Gokuri.”
 
A sound came from kanade.
 
And then, the clown’s finger was flicked.
 
At the same moment, the swordsman’s body blurred as he avoided something. Right afterward, a hole appeared in the wall behind him.
 
“Finger flick… No preparatory movement, yet this power. If it weren’t for me, that single strike would have finished you.”
 
The swordsman muttered with amusement.
 
Even Jack the Ripper seemed a bit surprised, as if gauging the swordsman’s power.
 
“However, it won’t work on me. I can sense your presence even without seeing you…”
 
Saying that, the swordsman closed his eyes and prepared himself.
 
“Come, Jack the Ripper. Your attacks will never hit…”
 
At that moment, a small, anticlimactic sound was heard.
 
“Eh…”
 
The swordsman’s head flew off.
 
The headless body of the swordsman slowly fell, and blood gushed from his neck like a fountain.
 
The severed head, lying on the ground, blinked in astonishment as it looked at Jack the Ripper.
 
“Ha…”
 
With a small sigh, the clown readied six of spade.
 
“Bah, BaCarne …… “
 
The old man-bow backs away.
 
“N-No… Wait, wait, wait! W-We still have a mighty force behind us! Th-That Diab─”
 
Before Oyano-Bou could finish his sentence, six of spades was thrust into his head.
 
“Why…?”
 
Dekunobou was finished off as well.
 
Having confirmed this, the bloodstained Clown turned his gaze on Christina and kanade.
 
An eerie tension lingered in the silence.
 
“We’re gonna get killed… Witnesses always get finished off…”
 
kanade was trembling like a newborn fawn.
 
But contrary to kanade’s expectation, the bloodstained Clown made squishy footsteps as he walked away.
 
“Wait!”
 
Christina called out to stop him.
 
She was enthralled by the godlike power that transcended everything.
 
“Ah, what is your objective!? It must have been you who delivered Goethe-Mono’s documents to me!”
 
At those words, the bloodstained Clown stopped in his tracks.
 
“Why…why me? What are you telling me to do?”
 
The bloodstained Clown did not answer.
 
Behind the mask with its plastered smile, he stared fixedly at Christina.
 
“Kukukuku…”
 
The Clown let out a small laugh.
 
Then he flung a card at her.
 
Christina reflexively moved to block it with her sword.
 
But the card just grazed Christina’s cheek and embedded itself in kanade’s temple behind her.
 
“Eek!”
 
“kanade!?”
 
Blood flowing from her head, kanade collapsed.
 
“Heh…!”
 
The Clown leapt out the window.
 
But Christina could not pursue him.
 
“Are you okay? kanade, answer me! “
 
Because kanade’s life was in critical danger.
 
A friend who she could speak her mind freely with, not worried about family matters.
 
For her, this was the first such relationship.
 
“kanade, kanade!”
 
She has a pulse, she’s breathing, if I can just stop the bleeding…!
 
“Uhh…Christina…”
 
“kanade, hang in there!”
 
kanade laid her shaking hand over Christina’s.
 
“It’s okay…I can’t be saved anyway…”
 
“That’s not true!”
 
“I know my own body best…so I know…”
 
“No, you don’t understand anything, kanade. You’ll definitely make it!”
 
“So…please just listen to my dying wish…”
 
“That’s not necessary!”
 
“Please, Christina.”
 
kanade looked intently into Christina’s eyes.
 
“Alright. You don’t need to say any dying wishes, but if it will set your mind at ease, I will listen. If anything happens, I swear I’ll tell your family back home.”
 
“Thank you, Christina… But I don’t have any dying wishes for my family.”
 
“Huh…?”
 
“My dying wish is…!”
 
kanade opened her eyes wide and said:
 
“Traitor Cid Kagenou! I’ll never forgive you!! Prepare to be cursed to death!!”
 
And with that, kanade peacefully closed her eyes.
 
“kanade, kanade, please open your eyes!”
 
kanade did not so much as twitch.
 
“Hey! I need to clean up this crime scene so don’t sleep here!”
 
Christina angrily peeled off the card stuck to kanade’s head by dried blood.
 
“Ow!”
 
“It’s just dried blood.”
 
“Huh…? I’m alive?”
 
kanade touched her head in confusion.
 
“Don’t worry. You don’t have a single injury, kanade.”
 
“But, but the card stabbed into my head…”
 
“It was just stuck there by dried blood.”
 
“Oh… Damn you, Jack the Ripper!”
 
kanade jumped up, her face bright red.
 
“Ah, wait. There’s something written on the card.”
 
“Huh, what what?”
 
Scribbled on the card Christina held were words in blood:
 
[Look here, brave swordsmen
I slay all villains without exception
I just count them most times
But occasionally I like to play this way]
 
“I wonder what it means.”
 
“He left it deliberately, there must be some meaning…”
 
Just then, the door to the room slowly opened.
 
“Yo everyone! You made it through safely!”
 
It was the plain-looking boy Cid Kagenou, smiling somewhat stiffly as he rushed over.
 
“I’m glad you’re okay.”
 
Christina breathed a sigh of relief.
 
“Yo yo, Cid! How’s it feel showing your traitorous face here after running away!?”
 
kanade was back to normal, glaring at Cid like a delinquent.
 
“No no, I nearly died you know.”
 
“Nearly died!? We actually did almost kick the bucket thanks to you abandoning us! If Jack the Ripper hadn’t shown up, we’d definitely be dead!”
 
“Oh, Jack the Ripper appeared huh.”
 
“Yeah! He dashed in so cool and was like swish swish swish! It was seriously dangerous!”
 
kanade seemed to have already forgotten her trauma.
 
“I see, good thing.”
 
“Yeah! And then, he took out that Wakoku martial artist in an instant— Oh wait no!! We’re talking about you here, Cid Kagenou!”
 
“Ah, yes.”
 
“I ain’t forgiving no traitor! How dare you abandon me and run!?”
 
“I’m very sorry.”
 
“Sorry ain’t gonna cut it! Starting now…you’re getting a beatdown aaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!”
 
kanade tackled Cid with a double leg takedown, took mount, and began raining down punches.
 
“How’d you like that!”
 
“Ow stop it!”
 
And so the beatdown continued for some time.


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3 thoughts on “Eminence in Shadow Volume 6 Chapter 2”

  1. Thank you for the chapter?
    Cid must be having a blast! Playing mob, playing Jack the Reaper, without his sister to bother him. He is really not taking her yandere brocon attitude.

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