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Chapter 7 – “I gotta protect Edim’s secret.”
“DON’T MOVE! If you move a hair I’ll use my magical bullets.”
I looked at the maniac’s eyes. This is bad. He’ll seriously shoot.
“P-Please calm down. Let’s think things through calmly. Timu and I are just the daughters of a chef; we’re commoners. Why on earth would we need to get involved with demons?”
“That’s suspicious in and of itself! How on earth could the daughter of a mere cook outdo the sons and daughters of nobles. That Timu girl has probably been bewitched by a demon. After all, it’s impossible that a noble would lose to a commoner.”
So the truth is finally revealed…! In other words, this aristocratic elitist looks down on commoners. That’s why he’s so suspicious of Timu’s talent. There’s no way a commoner could be the Dux Litterarum, huh!
God, what a stereotypical medieval noble. Thinking that their nobility makes them absolute, and anybody who threatens their position should be hanged as a witch.
“Just listening to you disgusts me. Is this how a teacher should be thinking? Who decided that a commoner can’t be as good as a noble? Timu’s ability is because of the demons? Stop talking rubbish! Timu’s ability is because of her own hard work!”
“Hmph! You don’t understand a thing. One’s ability in magic is almost always determined by their heritage. There are certainly commoners who have some skill with magic. But they never amount to much.”
“And I’m telling you that’s a bias! Don’t get Timu mixed up in your elitism. To begin with, aren’t you the one who praised Timu in the beginning!”
“Indeed. There may certainly be exceptions within the commoners. It is exactly that thought that led me, for the sake of this nation, for the sake of the royal family, to put aside my personal feelings and suggest that the likes of a peasant should become a court wizard. And far from feeling grateful, that girl… to a noble like me… looked at me like I was nothing more than a bug! Absolutely unforgivable!”
The ultranationalist elitist sprayed spittle everywhere.
So unsightly. Doesn’t he realise just how much harm that classist way of thinking is doing to the country? Timu understood just how foolish and disgusting this man was.
“It’s because you act like this that Timu looked down on you, you know.”
“Hmph. Thinking about it carefully, there was always something inhuman about that girl. I’ll bet she’s the underling of a demon or something.”
“Hahh~ Don’t you understand how absurd you’re being? You’re being looked down upon because of your own conduct. And of all things, you’d even slander us with a false charge because you couldn’t stand losing to a commoner…”
“Shut up! You damned traitor! You’ve sold us to the demons. You two sisters are going to the gallows. All enemies of the royal family shall die.”
“…Y-, You’re insane.”
The nails that stick out are hammered down. Timu is a commoner with more talent than the nobles. I’ll bet this elitist bigot didn’t look kindly on that. A man mad with jealousy.
But even if he’s a madman, he’s still a teacher at the Magic Academy. Just his word against ours is enough to doom us.
W-, What should I do.
Before I could think of a plan, reality struck hard when the doors suddenly opened. Guards came walking in. A pair of buff men.
Kuh-, is there nothing else I can do…?
“You’re here. This girl is a traitor who has connections to the demons. Capture her immediately! Her sister as well. I’ll leave it to you.”
“What’s the matter? Hurry up and restrain her. She’s a traitor to the nation, you know!”
I thought I would be arrested immediately, but for some reason the guards weren’t apprehending me. Far from it, they were just standing around.
Mn!? Somebody else is coming in. Some girl walked briskly and coolly into the room――wai-, Edim? What’s going on?
The guards parted to either side, and Edim strode gallantly down the middle.
“Mu!? Aren’t you Edim? Where have you been all this time? Casually playing truant? How shameless.”
“Eh!? Edim, you haven’t been to school?”
“My sincere apologies. I have been busy with more important places, so I haven’t been to the academy yet,” she explained apologetically.
“Huh? More important places, you say? Depending on your answer, I may need to suspend you, no, expel you.”
“Edim, what was more important than school? Skipping school isn’t good, okay? Please stay with Timu.”
“M-, My most sincere apologies. Because of the decisions we made at the war council, I simply could not find even a little time, and have shamefully not come here yet.”
Edim was even more apologetic now.
“War council? Edim, could it be that the royal family secretly called for you? In that case, there’s no helping it. The royal family comes before all. I understand the circumstances now, so return to class.”
“War council? That wasn’t just an E.G.A. meeting? If you had some job to do, then I guess it can’t be helped. Mn, mn. Once you’re done, go back to class with Timu, okay?”
“Understood. I will return with pleasure,” she replied with an ecstatic expression…
Wai-, who has she been answering all this time? This ultranationalist’s questions have been kind of aligning with mine.
Well whatever. Anyway, what to do about this situation? At this rate, I’ll be imprisoned under false charges. In this world without lawyers, it’s common for people to ignore anything the commoners say. If I just go along with it, I’m done for.
There’s no other choice. Should I make a run for it? But I can’t imagine being able to escape these macho men.
Mm~mm, should I ask Edim to help then? I don’t know why she came in with these guards, but I’m sure Edim can help.
But if she does, then there’s the chance of her real self being exposed. Still, Timu is in danger right now. I have to make a decision.
“Ah~ Edim, the truth is that at this very second, I’m in a rather tight spot.”
“A tight spot, you say?”
“This ultranationalist elitist has been going on about how Timu and I are the underlings of demons, and about he’s going to throw us in jail. Isn’t he a massive idiot?”
“Hmph! I’m a massive idiot? You two sisters are done for!”
“What an annoying guy! Edim, that’s how things are, so could you help?”
“Edim, pay no heed to the babblings of this traitor. Now then, return to class.”
After listening to the maniac and I, Edim gave a clean nod.
“What are you doing, Edim? Return to class at once! Mn!? Speaking of which, why are the guards with you…”
“Tilea-sama, I understand the situation now. I will grasp hold of the academy next. Get him, Dalf!”
At Edim’s command, the young man named Dalf attacked the ultranationalist elitist. Because he was stunned, he showed no resistance as Dalf sank his fangs into him.
Dalf audibly gulped down blood.
Pitifully, Ultranationalist Elitist fell to the ground, drained of his blood. It had only been a few dozen seconds.
Then, a few minutes later, the ultranationalist elitist got up, and knelt before Dalf like a retainer.
He was like a totally different person.
The ultranationalist elitist was looking at Dalf like he was a god. The characteristic fangs of a vampire were sticking out of his mouth.
“E-, Edim-san, could I ask one question…?”
“What is it, Tilea-sama?”
“Could it be that the macho men standing over there are both vampires?”
“Yes. They are my kin, Dalf and Milio.”
Edim tilted her head and looked at me a little confused.
The whole place was quiet, like the earlier chaos was a lie.
Edim and I looked at each other for a while, and then…”
“W-W-W-What a-are y-y-you doing! Sucking blood… D-, Doesn’t that make you no different to a monster!”
In my panic I criticised Edim.
Oi, oi, oi, what the hell is going on? Didn’t Edim get her human heart back? Why is she attacking people for their blood!
“INSOLENCE! HOW DARE YOU SPEAK TO EDIM-SAMA IN SUCH A MANNERR!”
Apparently one of Edim’s kin was enraged at me. In his anger, he raised his fist to hit me.
H-, HYOEH~!? SERIOUSLY!?
O-, Of course. I scolded the master, so of course her kin would be mad.
“U-, Umm, w-, wait a――”
“BASTARDD! WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO TILEA-SAMA!”
Edim began to violently beat her kin.
“YOU USELESS SCUM! DO YOU INTEND TO SHAME ME IN FRONT OF TILEA-SAMAA!”
Still enraged, Edim continued to beat her kin relentlessly.
Uwahh, that looks painful…
As expected of a vampire. Her strength is really no joke. The buff men were spewing blood in no time.
“P-, Please stop. Please forgive Dalf-sama.”
Ah, the new vampire Jayjay started trying to cover for Dalf.
“Hahh, hahh, bastard. Don’t speak out of turn. You are in the presence of Edim-sama.”
W-, What the heck is with this drama.
The former monarch-supremacist Jayjay was now desperately covering for Dalf. Does that mean Jayjay worships Dalf, and in turn Dalf worships Edim?
“Oi! Stop Edim-sama as well, you idiot!”
Jayjay suddenly screamed at me. But, can I even stop Edim? It’s true that she’s Timu’s friend, and I think of Edim as my friend too, but…
At any rate, Edim attacks people. Even ignoring Jayjay, she attacked Dalf and Milio, so that’s already two victims.
Could it be that she’s actually still a vampire inside?
No, but she saved me just now. It was because Jayjay was going to imprison me that she turned him.
And when they tried to attack me, she got angry for my sake and was the Edim that I remember.
Mn, I’ll believe in her. There has to be some reason that she did this. How could I suspect Timu’s precious friend!
“Edim, please stop.”
Edim obediently agreed. She really is the Edim I know.
“Edim, could I speak to you alone…?”
“Yes. Dalf, Milio, take the new guy and wait outside.”
“H-, However, defending you is――”
“I won’t say it again. Leave!”
“”As you wish.””
The two kin left as ordered. Their movements were those of veteran soldiers.
Is this because of vampiric bewitchment or something?
Anyway, I’ll ask why she attacked people. Maybe it has something to do with why she hasn’t been going to school.
“Edim, this is an important question. Could you answer it?”
“Um, Dalf and Milio, was it? Why did you turn them into kin?”
“Milady, Milio is a member of the Guards. He discovered that I was a vampire, so I had no choice but to turn him. As for Dalf, it was because he was a captain of the Guards.”
Aaah~ So that’s how it is.
S-She had no choice, she had no choice. There were extenuating circumstances, okay? I mean, she’d be executed if people found out that she was a vampire. There wasn’t any choice with Milio, right?
Then what about Dalf? Why did she go out of her way to change him if he hadn’t even found out?
“I understand Milio’s case, but why Dalf?”
“If I turn Dalf, then I can control the entire five hundred guards. Or would it have been better to turn all five hundred of them as well?”
“N-, No, definitely not, but…”
“I-, Is there something else you are dissatisfied with? What on earth should I…?”
Edim looked at me uneasily. It was the expression of a small child who didn’t know why she was scolded.
T-, This is…
I see! Oh my god! How could I have said something so cruel!
This is what actually happened!
Even though Edim is a vampire with the heart of a human, her body is a real vampire’s. It wouldn’t be strange at all if the Guards, Safety Force, and the other government agencies came after her.
One day, Edim was spotted by a guard…
『Oi, I’ve found you! A remnant of the vampires! PREPARE YOURSELF, YOU ENEMY OF THE KINGG!』
『Stop it! Please stop it! I’m a human!』
『SHUT UPP, MONSTERR! I’LL TAKE REVENGE FOR ALL OF YOUR VICTIMS!』
『Stop! Stop! I’m a victim too! Help!』
Guards tenaciously pursuing her… And naturally so, because of the vampire attack that just happened… Nobody would listen just because she claimed to be a former-human…
『Heh. You’ve nowhere left to run. Just see how I torture you to death!』
『No! No! Please stop it! GABUH-!』
They drove her into a corner, and she did it out of desperation and fear. That’s legitimate self-defence. To think that Edim has been fighting such a struggle all this time. No wonder she couldn’t come to school.
And then, a few days ago, Edim realised. That if she continued this way, one day she would be caught and tormented to death. In that case, it would be better to go for the Guard Captain to begin with. If she stopped the leader of the hunting force, then they wouldn’t be able to continue. In fact, doing so would reduce the number of victims. That’s why she had no choice but to attack him.
What a pitiful girl. Who on earth could blame her. Nobody could. She’s a victim. She did what she had to to live. True, what she did might have been a crime. But as her friend, I at least need to stand by her side.
“Edim… It must have been hard.”
I gently wrapped my arms around her.
“U-, Umm, Tilea-sama, what do you mean by that? D-Did I make some mistake?”
“No, you did the right thing. No matter what anyone says, I’ll support you.”
For a while, Edim and I hugged each other.
Now then, what do I do?
Edim vampirised the Captain of the Guards, so there shouldn’t be any vampire hunts for now. In that case, Edim shouldn’t attack any more people. It saddens me too that people had to be attacked.
Ah!? Speaking of which, these new vampires aren’t going to run wild, are they? After all, during the attack on the capital it was like a zombie game…
“Hey, Edim, your kin aren’t going to run wild, right? It would be bad if they ran out randomly attacking people like the time with the vampires.”
“Please be at ease. The reason that happened during the invasion was because the parent vampires lacked both ability and character. I am a first-rate vampire, so there isn’t a problem.”
“I-, I see. I’ll believe in you. Also, what happens to the people who are turned? Like, their character, or rather their personalities and the like?”
Even if it was to save Edim, these people have families too. I wouldn’t be able to bear it if their lives were ruined because of this.
“Their character and personality will stay the same as before. If that weren’t the case, people would notice abnormalities, after all. The effect of turning them into kin are that the abilities of their body are boosted, and that they prioritise their parent vampire.”
I see. In other words, boneheads remain boneheads, and cowards remain cowards. But a person who values the country the most will instead value the person who turned them the most.
Mn!? Then won’t people notice a change?
But well, I guess people do change beliefs. And they’re not dying or anything, so I guess I don’t need to worry about it too much.
“I see. Also, does Timu know about the blood sucking?”
“Yes. The decision to turn the Captain of the Guards was decided during the Evil God Army’s war council.”
W-, WHAT DID YOU SAYYY!? Was I the only one who didn’t know!?
Haha, what is this feeling of alienation…
It’s true that it’s best to keep this stuff a secret. But I’m her friend too. If Edim is in trouble, then I want to her help too.
Hmmmm… I don’t really like it, but I bet Timu said something like “Please don’t get Oneesama involved.”
I’d say that too if I were in her position.
But wow, I’ve got a better opinion of those guys now. I thought the ‘leaders’ of the Evil God Army were just playing around, but they were actually brainstorming ideas to help their friend.
I see! I’ll bet it was Dryas’ idea to convert the Captain. Dryas would definitely have come up with the best solution to her crisis.
“Edim, was it Dryas that suggested vampirising the Captain?”
“Yes, exactly as you say. I did as Dryas-sama instructed.”
I knew it! As expected of my Zifang. He came up with the solution with the least sacrifices.
“Hey, is this what you guys have been discussing in your meetings lately?”
“Yes. Not only this, but…”
I see, I see. Everyone cooperated even though it was a crime because their friend needed help. They’re actually pretty good guys.
“Edim, it’s been rough for you as a vampire. But don’t worry. Everyone is on your side. Of course that includes me too.”
“Tilea-sama, it isn’t rough at all. The joy of being able to serve you and Camilla-sama is incomparable to anything I experienced as a human.”
She spoke in chuunibyou, but I understood. In other words, she’s glad that she became friends with Timu and I. She appreciates people who still accept her. Even if she used to be a human, she’s a vampire now. Normally people would be frightened or repulsed.
But Timu and the others all treat Edim like normal, without any fear or hatred.
I always thought of those guys as nothing but idiots, but I like this part of them. Well, I feel the same way though.
It’s okay. I won’t let the country have you. I’ll definitely protect you, Edim.