Chapter 76. A Staged Coincidence

 


–The night sky of Black Day, the only one of the eight days of the week in which there is no moon, is dyed jet black.

The edge of the sky is gradually becoming lighter, just before dawn, when the black day of the week gives way to the Brown day.

The streets of Labyrinthos are still and quiet, and the morning market has not yet been set up.

 

In one particular corner, a rather strange voice was heard.

 

“Unnaaaaaa!”

 

Like ripples on a calm surface, a cat’s purr travels softly but far.

A fundamentally different language, impossible to reproduce with human vocal cords.

 

“Nyaaahhhh!”

 

It was a call.

Every town has its own stray cats.

It was a call to arms for the cats that live here and there as they please.

 

“Nyaaahhhh!”

 

And – it was not a cat that was issuing this summons.

 

One of the hideouts used by the Black Maria 7th Unit.

It is a nondescript two-story house that blends in with the surrounding landscape.

At the entrance of the house, sitting on the high wall, was a blonde woman with a slightly sleepy look in her eyes.

 

Casca was calling the cats.

 

“Nyaa–oh?”

 

Eventually, as if in answer to her call, several responses came from all over the place.

All of them, of course, were in the language of cats. It’s not something that humans can understand.

–But Casca can understand.

 

Casca’s origins are in some ways even more special than those of the other-worldly Shizuru.

As such, she is able to converse with felines.

 

Not long after her reply, a number of cats rushed towards her from the shadows of the streets and alleys.

One by one they sat down in front of her and purred.

 

“…… tsk. Not so many of you guys, only a few here.”

 

Casca looked around at the 20 or so cats and clicked her tongue lightly.

 

However, this is not the royal capital where she has a wide-spread influence.

In fact, she was lucky just to have gathered these many here.

 

“Huh. …… Oh well. Nyaa, nyaa.”

 

After a slight sneeze, Casca ordered the cats in front of her with a throaty roll of her voice.

She then turned the bag next to her upside down and scattered the fresh raw fish inside.

 

The stray cats jumped with joy at the unexpected treat.

They nodded at Casca’s command and ran off in all directions with the fish in their mouths.

 

Well, cats are fickle, unsympathetic creatures who forget in three days what they owe you after three years in your care.

 

‘It would be better if half of them did what I said’, Casca thought, rubbing her sleepy eyes.

 

Then she looked back behind the wall.

 

“Here, I’ve done what you asked.”

 

“Thank you, Cassie.”

 

Shizuru, who was leaning against the doorway of their hideout, told her with a smile.

He took a pouch full of silver coins from his pocket and tossed it to Casca.

 

“Nyahahaha. I got money for drinks and gambling today.”

 

“Haha……I could live for a few days with just one silver coin…….”

 

“You’re welcome to join me, you know?’ I’ll be waiting for you.”

 

Sisel’s smile deepened at Casca’s comment as she licked the back of her curled up hand.

The fact that she has a tendency to spend outrageously can be respected in some way.

However, he has no intention of following her example.

 

“Hmmm……sleepy. I’m gonna go sleep now.”

 

“Okay. Mary and I are going to go out after breakfast.”

 

“Make sure you save some for me too.”

 

“Yeah, yeah.”

 

Casca jumps headfirst down the nearly three-metre wall and lands with one finger.

 

She then switched her body position up and down in a flexible motion, stretched and walked to the door.

Then, when she was standing right next to Shizuru, she tilted her head.

 

“…… By the way, what’s up with the bruises on your face?”

 

“Oh, I forgot to heal …… when I woke you up, you hit me in your sleep.”

 

With a clunk, Izuru placed her knife and fork on the table.

 

“Thanks for the meal ……”

“Oh? Are you done, Izuru?”

 

As she stood up, she was approached by a young man at the same table, a burly skin-headed man.

His name is Keith. He was a member of the Fafnir Mercenaries, the same group to which Izuru belonged.

 

“I’m not hungry. I’m going out for a walk.”

 

With her back turned to him, Izuru leaves the inn with rather light footsteps.

After walking a short distance outside, she turned to see someone running up behind her.

 

“Wait. I’ll go with you.”

 

“….Zack.”

 

There he was, a young man in light armour, carrying a sword by side. Zack, the leader of the Fafnir mercenaries.

As he walked alongside Izuru, he opened his mouth quietly.

 

“As I said yesterday, don’t go out alone too much. We could be attacked at any moment.”

 

“I can protect myself…….”

 

“’Even so, your appearance attracts attention, it is better to stay out of trouble.”

 

“…..Well, you know.”

 

She had unusual dark black hair and good looks for the region of the Kingdom of Si Levant. Whenever she is left alone, people with ill intentions often approach her.

The emblem of the Fafnir mercenaries, although it has gained a reputation in the last few years, is not yet famous enough to deter all of them.

 

On top of that, they are currently in pursuit of Black Maria, an organization that they don’t even know anything about. There is no way to know what will happen, and it is best to avoid going anywhere alone if at all possible.

It’s not like the smartest person in the team doesn’t understand that.

 

“Izuru. I’ve noticed you’ve been acting a bit strange since yesterday, what’s going on?”

 

“Nothing……”

 

It was a lie. It couldn’t be nothing.

In her mind, Izuru could not get rid of the image of the little girl she had met yesterday.

 

–A little child with white hair, who called her mother.

She didn’t recognize her, and there was no way she could have had a child of that age in her life.

She had no memory of anything before four years and was not even sure of her own age, but she was sure of that.

 

It was only two years ago that Izuru lost her virginity.

 

“(But…)”

 

Nevertheless, she could not be sure that she and the child were completely unrelated.

 

Why did she run off like that in the first place?

Why did she  just stand there and didn’t go after her?

 

A clue from the past suddenly appeared.

But she hesitated to reach out for it, and as a result, she failed to grasp it.

 

“(I can’t afford to look for her right now. ……)”

 

The reason why Izuru did not tell Zack and the others about yesterday is that the present situation is not suitable for private matters.

Black Maria, a group of assassins. The mercenary guild sent them directly to take down an organization that turned out to have connections with many high-value targets.

When they took on the job, they never dreamed it would be this big, but this is a unique opportunity to make a name for themselves in the mercenary world.

There is no way she could let her own circumstances get in the way.

 

“(They’re so nice, if you talk to them, they’ll never leave you alone.)”

 

After all, they are the kind of people who, despite the fact that their own lives were in dire circumstances, would welcome a woman with amnesia from who knows where without any hesitation.

 

That’s why she won’t talk. She couldn’t talk about it. She thought that if she did, it would be after they had finished their work.

 

–It was hard to imagine that anyone in a group of assassins could be more skilled than the infamous Wicker Man.

It is probably safe to say that the group he was in charge of was the most elite in the organisation.

 

So they can just take them down gradually.

When all is said and done, they can come back here again, and this time, they can take their time to find the girl.

 

“……Okay, I’ve decided. Thank you Zack, for your help.”

 

“No, I didn’t do anything ……”

 

He was just walking beside her and suddenly she thanked him, and he tilted his head and looked at her questioningly.

But the smile on Izuru’s face made him think that he should refrain from being rude, and he did not pursue the matter.

He is a man who can read the mood.

 

“Hm………Well, since we’ve come this far, let’s take a look around the market and then go home.”

 

Just as she was about to settle her thoughts and shift her focus.

Something small crossed in front of her quickly.

 

“What …… is that, a …… cat?”

 

She quickly composed herself and looked down to see a stray cat.

It took her a few seconds to realise that the cat had something in its mouth.

 

“My emblem ……!”

 

A necklace engraved with the emblem of the Fafnir Mercenaries.

For some reason, a stray cat snatched it away from her, meowed one mocking purr, and ran away.

 

“Hey! Give it back!”

“Mu..”

 

Izuru went after the cat. Zack followed.

 

That necklace was unique and precious to Izuru.

 

She couldn’t bear the thought of losing it. She threw away her last thoughts and frantically chased after the cat.

 

“Cmon …… a little ……!”

 

Izuru gritted her teeth as the cat made a quick escape.

Eventually, the cat turned into a narrow alleyway and disappeared from their sight for a moment.

 

“You won’t get away ……!”

 

Naturally, Izuru and his friends immediately entered the alley.

And then – they came across a small figure.

 

“… What the.. .?”

 

Soft white hair. Clear, light green eyes.

A young girl was holding up the back of the cat’s neck and blinking her eyes.

 

Speak of the devil and he shall appear.

The girl from yesterday was there, just like that.

 

–Further.

 

“What’s the matter, Mary?”

 

“….?”

 

The moment she saw the figure approaching her, her eyes widened to the limit.

It’s not unusual. It was easy to understand why.

 

Because the person she saw in the dark looked exactly like Izuru.

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TL notes: The chapter  title makes a lot more sense now XD. Also fun fact, this double release was uploaded on my birthday(June 18) So I guess this is a way to commemorate it XD. 

Next few chaps are gonna be interesting as hell (As if Casca having animal talk power isn’t). Comment down below what you think might happen hehe.

 

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Stay safe and healthy along with your loved ones. And have a good day!

 

Hope you enjoyed this chapter. Stay tuned for more.

 

~Eclipse Breakdra~