「Konia, behind! 」
At Marrieda’s warning, the small-stature girl, Konia turned around. The orange colored pupils looked surprised for a moment.
That small exclamation was her last words. Without even the time to swing the dagger in her hands, the wound split open from her right shoulder to her left waist and blood exploded.
Kyrill’s anguished cry reverberated in the entire room. There wasn’t anyone there to support Konia who was falling down.
It was because no one there had the room to do so.
「The tune of rupturing winds played by the pristine shrine maiden ――――Schelwi! 」(Wind Blades)
The experienced Orphellia wasn’t thrown off by the death of her ally, and immediately launched her counterattack.
The shapeless blades that were created flew towards the attacker. However, the magical blades that can easily dice the enemy’s body were stopped just in front of Konia’s murderer at a purple barrier.
「Magic barrier! A magician!? 」
The red-haired magician showed a gap momentarily because of the unexpected element.
「Get down! 」
It was quicker than the warning from Nicole. The assailant moved at an inhuman speed towards Orphellia, and a sword was swung looking effortlessly.
As if laughing at Nicole who was trying to stop him, the assailant’s sword cut off Orphellia’s head. The dull sound of a head falling on to the ground was heard, and another ally was turned into an unmoving object on the blood drenched floor.
「The penetrating pebble of the unwavering heroism of the knight ――― Dessel! 」(Earth)
Kyrill who was stunned for a moment finally chanted magic. The three rock bullets that appeared in the air revolved and shot towards the assailant but, two of them was dodged, and the last one was deflected by his sword.
「No way! 」
Without regards to Marrieda who was surprised, the assailant moved onto Kyrill as his next target, as he got into a lower stance with his sword pointed towards Kyrill.
「As if! 」
Nicole stood in between. Nicole’s sword and the assailant’s sword crashed into each other in a discomforting sound.
「Kyrill! Quickly take Ojou away! 」
「But, Nicole-san! 」
Leaving aside of Kyrill who was hesitating, Nicole’s words directed to another person.
Marrieda who judged the fight not going in their favor listened to Nicole and decided to retreat.
Kyrill wasn’t able to use any large-scale magic in the narrow room, and Marrieda being in this room in the first place was just being a nuisance to Nicole.
But of course, Nicole is going to have difficulties against the assailant’s ability that can easily kill Konia and Orphellia in an instant.
However, if Marrieda and Kyrill are both here, they would only be a hindrance as Nicole would have to protect more people.
Fighting by alone will be better as there will be no need for him to be careful for his rear.
「I will get backup immediately, don’t die! 」
「Who’re you saying that to! 」
Marrieda had trust in Nicole who said so lightly despite being in a dangerous situation.
She had immense trust in Nicole as he was the one who had protected herself through many desperate situation. And Nicole too believed that Marrieda wouldn’t make a mistake because of emotions.
Exactly because it is them two that they could communicate with the least words to arrive at the best choice.
「Kyrill, Gresche and the others outside――! 」
Marrieda who was shouting suddenly swallowed her breath.
「Ah, M-Marrieda……san. 」
Under Marrieda’s eyes, Kyrill’s pupils lost its light. A thin silvery blade was growing from his throat. Rather, it was pierced through from his back.
Kyrill who coughed up blood drooped his head forward listlessly.
Along with Marrieda’s scream, Nicole painful grunt was also heard. His left arm was cut off.
「Escape now, Ojou! This guy is not normal―― 」
Between Nicole’s brows who warned Marrieda for the last time, the assailants sword pierced through it like a fork.
Marrieda’s vision turned gray. Nicole who would lend a hand to Marrieda without complaining and easily fight off any enemies. Someone like him had his head pierced through by a sword.
Her mind turned white, as Marrieda felt something important was pulled out from herself. It was not a short relationship. Although hired as a capable mercenary in the beginning, they had already been together for about ten years.
Their standing position together, their strides of walking down the streets, and the cooperation between them even if it was a sudden battle.
Despite one side being the protector, and one being the protected, they became understood of each other by some point.
Each other’s food likes and dislikes, displeased and sleepy face, or unexpectedly things they stick up for――.
Originally unnecessary to know, despite so, they had naturally come to know after knowing each other for a long time.
Just as a drop of tear was dropping from Marrieda’s eyes realizing the agony of losing him――, a scorching pain assaulted her left chest.
Marrieda who looked down at her own left chest for the first time noticed the thin sword piercing through it.
Breathing became difficult. Warm liquid blocked her throat, and unnaturally rose up to her mouth.
Marrieda turned her neck around like a rusty doll, and looked behind her. There was the same assailant that pierced Kyrill before.
It was an involuntary action to eject the blocking liquid out of her respiratory tracts. The iron-smelling liquid from Marrieda’s mouth coughed out, and part of it landed on the assailant’s face.
The assailant’s face that looked gentle without an injury on it didn’t avoid it. There wasn’t any humane light in their eyes, even their cheek or mouth didn’t show a sliver of emotion.
A white luxurious crown circled around the head, as Marrieda felt strangely humored at the incompatibility with the expressionless face.
Her vision turned darker. Her body hitting something, as a loud sound can be heard. The sound of herself falling on the ground felt like someone else’s.
The footsteps of the assailants exiting the now silent room. She can still hear sounds of battle from afar. It seems like it’s not just them who got attacked.
There’s probably more than two assailants. In her thinning consciousness, Marrieda shed tears only in her heart, while covered in freezing cold.
「Haa, haa, haa………」
Marrieda calmed her breath down while just having sprung up from her bed drenched in cold sweat. Her gray bangs stuck to her forehead, while feeling an uncomfortable feeling down her nape.
The surroundings are dark, enveloped in silence.
「Haa, haaa………. Here is……? 」
It was a mutter for herself.
「……My room, in Reiten? 」
Marrieda who had calmed down for a little surveyed her surroundings, before putting her hand on the thick notebook on the desk just beside her desk.
Putting her hand over the cover, the cover glowed for a bit around its shape, and the completely shut diary opened itself.
In the dim room without any lights, she read it with the moonlight shining in from the window. Opening the book, the first page was occupied by large written words, 『This is reality』.
After seeing it, Marrieda finally understood that she was back in reality.
「I see……. It was another failure huh……」
Marrieda put on the lights in her room, before writing down what she saw just now in a new page of her diary.
Although there were many images that she wouldn’t want to remember, she still had to record all of it down before they disappeared from her memories to avoid the same failure again.
Her 『Prophetic Dream』 ability that can predict the future. The ability that she never wanted to begin with helped her to become one of the biggest business association in Reiten, however, it also made her aware of truths that she wasn’t supposed to know.
She had neither the power to accurately make a prophecy, nor change the future. She had only the power to see what would happen in the future because of her choices.
「How many times is it already? 」
What Marrieda could do is only write down all the failures she had, and choose the correct choice via elimination.
Excluding a selected few, it is an ability that she basically never discloses to others. That is because even if Marrieda made the same choice, just speaking of her ability to another person would change the result.
She didn’t know why she had this ability but, she never thought she was fortunate to have it. It was a curse for her.
「Seriously, getting killed every night is not enjoyable. 」
A dream where only she dies would be better. However, the dream she had this time resulted in her seeing Nicole and Kyrill getting killed.
It’s only nightmares for her. Seeing the people that she held dear to now and would in the future getting killed one after another, before getting killed herself in the end.
Although it was better than seeing both her parents died when she was little, it’s still a nightmare nonetheless.
「It’s not like I’m asking for a good dream……」
A good dream, it was something that she only saw back when both her parents were still alive.
After awakening to this ability, all the dreams she had saw were painful experiences that makes her realize the dirtiness of humans.
Countless times being killed, she even experienced being sold as a slave, or even sold to brothels multiple times.
Although her body is still undefiled, her mind was already not, being violated in her dreams before. Despite more than twenty years old already, the reason why she didn’t have the slightest intention to find a lifetime partner is not only because of being busy with business.
「Please let me sleep well at least once in ten days. 」
On top of that, until she finds the best route, it’s a chain of unescapable nightmares. For Marrieda, sleeping was not a time for rest, rather a time for suffering.
The burden on her mind was enormous.
The continuous trips between her dreams and the reality. Moreover, the dreams were so realistic that she wouldn’t be able to discern between reality and her dreams.
Occasionally, she wouldn’t even be sure of being in reality or was dreaming.
「Come to think of it, Ardis-kun and the others are about to arrive from the capital right? 」
She knew that Ardis would be chased out of the capital and arrive at Reiten. However, the reason behind it wasn’t told in her dreams.
「But to think that the reason was being branded a heretic……. Seriously, it’s really a useless ability like Ardis-kun said. 」
Few days ago, Marrieda finally knew the reason from the church’s declaration. If she knew about it in advance, then she would’ve had hands to play.
「The time…… is almost dawn. 」
Marrieda got off the bed and closed her diary before putting it on her desk. While changing from her sweat drenched nightwear, she started chanting as if giving herself a suggestion.
「This is reality. Here is Reiten. I’m Marrieda, the president of the Litte Business Association. 」
It is a ritual of some sort to anchor herself back to reality.
「Today is another day to try…… my best~nii. And the nightmare will for sure end tonight~nii. 」
By purposefully putting back her funny suffix, she regained a sense of reality in her mind, telling herself that this isn’t the dreams that wouldn’t go her way.
In a situation where her dreams and the reality can be easily mixed up, it was Marrieda’s best effort to protect her mind from her cursed ability.