The attack that was headed for me was easily stopped by no other than James, along with his beautiful pure snow white katana Nanashi in hand.
[James] “Sheesh~ the least you could do is wait for me, you know.”
Though his voice sounded a little peeved, I could still tell that it was because of his worries.
[Lancelot] “I know, but I can’t really stay there after hearing about Mr. Eustace and the others getting trapped here. And besides…”
Before finishing what I’m about to say, I look at him and gave him the warmest smile I could give.
[Lancelot] “You’d do the same if you heard that there are people trapped in here.”
[James] “I—I guess…maybe…yeah, you’re right.”
Fufu, I really find that honesty of his cute sometimes.
While I silently admire his adorableness within my thoughts, the one with the tattooed number 1 on her shoulder attacks James from the side with a piercing attack.
I was about to call out to him, but he realizes the upcoming attack even way ahead of me. And with James’ quick reflexes, he waves his sword to the left and blocks the attack by using number 2’s chains.
Or at least that is what I thought.
Not only did he block the number 1’s attack, but he also got a hold of its blade by letting it go in the hole of the chain.
And without missing a beat, James moves behind number 1.
Number 1 then turns and slashes at James, but he easily dodges it by rolling from number 1’s front and then jumps back to the same position from when he protected me.
He then got his sword out of the chain with his right hand and grabs the chain connecting to the number 2 and pulled her towards him with great force.
While the number 2 is now flying towards him, he kicks number 1, thus ramming face first against number 2.
With both numbers down, James uses the extra chain and ties them up quickly.
[Lancelot] “That was fast…”
When I was fighting them, it took me like 10 minutes to stop both, but James did it within like a few seconds.
Just how far are James’ capabilities?
Seeing as the two are knocked out, James walks towards them and continues to entangle them with the chain.
I couldn’t really just keep sitting around looking surprised, I the turn around and frees Mr. Eustace from the bindings, as well as the other captives.
[Lancelot] “Now for the one at the ba………”
Going for the last hostages, I quickly realize who the last two are.
[Everry # 1] “………………”
[Everry # 2] “………………”
Though I don’t really have any grudge against them, I don’t really like getting close to these types of people.
[Lancelot] “…………………Do you want to stay?”
[Everry # 1 & 2] “Please save us!!”
But then again, because of them I was able to see James angry for my sake, so I guess I’ll forgive them.
Finishing untying the last two, I walk towards James while telling the surrounding people to calm down.
[Middle Aged Man] “What do you mean calm down!? If we stay any longer, we’ll burn to ashes!”
[Lancelot] “Like I said sir, just calm down and we’ll think of some way to—“
[Middle Aged Man] “Then hurry up and think of something!”
The man who shouts at me starts to get rough and grabs onto my shoulders with force.
I guess his attitude couldn’t be helped, I could see both fear and anger on his face. Btu acting like that will get us nowhere.
[Lancelot] “Don’t worry, he and I will find a way out and get everyone to safety. So please, calm down and—”
[???] “Excuse me! Excuse me, Ms!?”
I was about to calm the man down a bit more, but I was then called out by a woman who looks similar to someone I know.
[Lancelot] “Yes? Can I help you?”
Just when I answered back, the woman who called out to me come along bringing two other men and another woman with her.
With a nervous and scared look on her face, she stares at me and finally asks.
[Woman # 1] “Have you seen three kids? They’re our kids and we couldn’t find them anywhere.”
Both women then starts to tear up, while the two other men, which seems to be their husbands, comforts them.
I wasn’t really sure if it the same kids, but they were the only ones I meet.
[Lancelot] “Are the kids’ names Troy, Trish and Burton?”
[Woman # 2] “Yes, that’s their names, have you seen them!?”
[Lancelot] “Calm down, they’re safe outside the town.”
[Woman # 1] “I see, that’s good.”
[Man] “So they’re safe.”
Looks like not only both families calmed down, the other town’s people regain some composure after see these family smile.
[James] “We should get out of here first, before anything else.”
After doing the finishing touches on the tied up Number 1 and 2, James is now standing behind me.
[Lancelot] “How are the Automatons?”
[James] “Automatons? Oh, you mean those two. There not automatons…well, at least not their whole body.”
[Lancelot] “Huh? What do you mean?”
[James] “Their bodies are flesh and blood but their arms aren’t, I guess you can call the arms Automaton-like. Honestly, this is a first for me.”
[Lancelot] “Is see, no wonder they move faster than the normal Automatons.”
Hmm? Wait a minute, the only way to find that out is by…
[Lancelot] “You felt them up?”
[James] “Wha—no! I mean, yes! But I didn’t do it for anything lustful! I swear, I just want to know what I’m fighting against!”
This is kind of fun.
But unfortunately, now isn’t the time for this. I want to tease him more, but if I did the fire might get to us.
Oh well, I guess I could always save that for later, for now a way getting out of here is more important and the teasing comes second.
I just have my fun some other time.
As I hope for Lancelot to understand that I didn’t do it for perverted intentions, I made a small sight and look for a way out.
I then quickly found a way out of the fire without trouble.
I mean it was so big; it’s kind of hard to miss…well, as long as no one is panicking. But I guess in this kind of situation, I can’t really blame them for not noticing it.
But it might be empty so I walk close to Mr. Eustace and ask him about it.
[James] “Hey Mr. Eustace, is that water tank up there filled?”
[Eustace] “Huh? Oh yeah, it is. The town uses that in emergencies or in events.”
Hmm, since there supposed to be an event happening today, which I was really looking forward to by the way, that tank is most definitely filled.
I then look at the Mayor who is standing next to Mr. Eustace, I need permission for what I’m about to do after all.
[James] “Mr. Mayor, I know it’s important to the town and all, but can I use that tank?”
The mayor as well as the other town’s people looks at the direction where I’m pointing and quickly realizes what I wanted to do.
[James] “I swear that I’ll replace it.”
I wasn’t sure if they’re going to agree to it, but given the situation right now…
[Lancelot] “We will also help rebuild you houses with our finances.”
Huh? Finance—oh right, I’m supposed to be a big company holder.
After making a few more sweet offers to the town, Lancelot walks closer to me and drew her lips close to my ear and starts to whisper…
Even with all these fire, she still smells nice…ah, forget I said that.
[Lancelot] “I’m the one who caused all of this, those things came for me, and so I’ll take responsibility for rebuilding this town.”
[James] “So you knew?”
[Lancelot] “I did say that a few important people went missing and as the new head of the Monrrow Family, I’m practically a big Sign that gets all of their attention.”
The first I found was on the plane heading here, an Automaton that has the same face of Percy. The second was the one I took down while I’m running this location and it had the same face as Lancelot.
It didn’t give a seconds thought on taking them down because even though they had the same faces, they were bald.
There is no way they would shave their head, even if I ask them to.
[Mayor] “If it’s the only way to get away from here, then please do whatever you need to do.”
[James] “Thank you Mayor, La—Vistela, you should stay here in case something else happens, I’ll do something about that tank and about those two…”
[Lancelot] “Alright, be careful.”
Oh, but before I go…
[James] “Here, in case something bad happens.”
Without anyone noticing, I show Hiltraud to Lancelot while still on my hand.
[James] (Is that cool with you Hiltraud?)
[Hiltraud] (I’m glad to be of use James, don’t worry.)
Since Hiltraud is fine with it, I hand her to Lancelot. She then twitches in surprise and spoke.
[Lancelot] “Oh, i—it’s nice to meet you too. I’ve actually heard about you from Sir Gawain.”
[Lancelot] “Yes, he is doing fine, though he sometimes tries to escape from his duties.”
[Lancelot] “Yes, I’ll talk to him about his laziness and correct his manners.”
I have no idea what Hiltraud is talking about, but I can somewhat tell and more importantly they’re getting along well.
Though I’ll only be gone for a bit, at least they’ll be safe with Lancelot and Hiltraud here if more of those Automatons came.
[James] “I better get going before the fire gets any worst than it is now.”
I then wave my hand and ran towards the water tower.
Making it to the tower, I quickly realize just how big the tank is.
Good, with this much water, I’ll be able to put out a lot of fire with this.
Or at least enough to make an exit.
Speaking of fire, how did those Automatons start this fire? On my way here, I did take a few of them out, but none of them have the weapons to start one, nor the ability to.
While I’m still in my thoughts, I walk closer to the tower’s support beams, ready to cut its support beams.
But before I even get close enough to touch them, I suddenly feel the air change. I then look at the direction where I felt the strange air and found and big round Automaton.
Its body is like a big round ball with limbs and its face has make up like a jester.
This Automaton looks like a balloon. I could have sworn I saw a circus clown wear the same thing before.
[Nanashi] (Aruji-sama, my I have the pleasure to cut this annoyance? It’s very existence makes me want to cut it to shreds.)
Huh, this is new. I never would have thought that Nanashi has hatred when it comes to clowns, or maybe because of its appearance?
[Nanashi] (Smiling for no reason. Tch! That smile has neither meaning nor purpose for this world, allow me to erase it!)
Hate by appearance, got it.
As I kept my eyes on tons of fun, I suddenly felt the same thing around us and find more of the same Automatons surrounding us.
[James] “Hee~ so there are six of them.”
I feel like a Ringmaster standing in a center circle of a circus. Now all I need is a whip and top hat.
[James] (Hmm, Nanashi?)
[Nanashi] (These thing…these things…these…these…gnnnng.)
[James] (Nanashi…umm…Nanashi-san? Daijoubu des ka?)
The shaking of Nanashi while still in her sheath gets stronger and stronger.
Her anger must be rising, I better let lose or she’ll start cutting something else other than the enemy.
[James] (Alright Nanashi, lets…)
Without letting me finish, tons of fun and his marry friends’ opens their mouths and shot out red flames.
So they were the cause.
Just when the flames are about to reach me, I imagined a 5 feet dome circling around me and cut off the oxygen outside the imaginary dome, making me unreachable for the flames.
With one of the Automatons flame getting weaker, I quickly charge to it while cutting its pillar of flame into two.
And as soon as I reach its round body that stood in about 6 feet, I did an attack called ‘Iai’ and cut it vertically.
I then ran towards the next one while avoiding their upcoming flames and did the same attack.
For some reason Nanashi kept shouting ‘Punishment’ in Japanese while I cut down each Automatons.
She must hate their smiles a lot. But then again, they are fake smile so I guess I somewhat understand her reasoning.
Though they had big circular bodies, they were surprisingly fast but I was still able to catch up and cut every last one of them down, and yes, Nanashi still shouted ‘Punishment’ in the end.
[Nanashi] (Your existence has no meaning here. So keep those fake smiles in hell and never show it to the living again.)
In all of the years I’ve been with Nanashi, I’m still amazed on how she keeps making those phrases.
I honestly think they’re good, I even thought of writing them down in a notebook once, though I refrain in end.
In then walk back to the water tower and cuts both support pillars. It then goes down, making a gigantic burst of water flow out creating a big blue wall.
I then run in front of it and cut it individually, making sure the water could spread evenly.
[James] “Now then, let’s go back and see if everyone is safe.”
[Nanashi] (As you wish Aruji-sama.)
With my somewhat poetic sword in my hand, I go back to Lancelot hoping that no trouble came their way.
A few hours has passed after the big fire died down. Luckily, no one died from the fire and only got scratches or receive slight burns.
All of us gather at the town’s entrance while making sure that no one was missed.
[Lancelot] “Mr. Mayor, how’s everyone?”
[Mayor] “Everybody is here; there is no need to worry.”
[Lancelot] “I see, that’s good.”
Though Lancelot says that, I could somewhat tell that she is feeling down. She must be blaming herself for the attack.
Honestly though, it isn’t all her fault. I should have realized that they would find us, if only I misdirected their search.
Man, maybe I’m getting rusty.
[Mayor] “Umm…what should we do now?”
Hearing the Mayor’s words, all the townspeople got silent and worry covers the air around them.
[Lancelot] “Umm…I could help with the town’s restoration.”
[Mayor] “Really, that would be a big help for us but.”
[James] “Don’t worry sir. After all, this town will be like a business partner to us. It’s only natural to help.”
[Mayor] “Tha—that will be good news for us, thank you!”
After hearing that we will be support them with the restoration, he walks towards the towns people and gave them the good news.
[Lancelot] “James, you didn’t really have to. After all, this happened because of my negligence and—“
Lancelot, who is still depressed, got closer to me while looking down on the ground.
Can’t really keep her feeling guilty all day and like I said…
[James] “This is also a failure in my part as well, so let me do something to, alright?”
With her head still hanging down, I place my hand to her and gave her a gentle patting. And while I’m patting her, she slowly leans on my chest and didn’t say a word.
Both of us just went silent and I still have my hand on her head, it doesn’t seem like she hates it so I guess I’ll continue to pat her until she’s satisfied.
As I continue to pat her head gently, Lancelot and I hear propellers drawing closer to our location.
At first, we thought that it might be another attack, but once the copter got closer, we eventually notice the Round Table‘s secret emblem that only a few in the country knows.
At first, everyone got a little cautious from the sudden loud noise, but seeing both Lancelot and I not panicking must have helped them relax a bit.
The helicopter then lands a few feet in front of us. And as soon as it lands on the ground, the steel door slides open and a young man in a black tuxedo steps out.
And that young man happens to be someone I know quite well.
[???] “Hey guys, sorry for not coming sooner.”
[James] “It’s quite an honor for the prince himself to come pick us up.”
[Lancelot] “Prince Nicolas, good to see you came in late, like usual.”
[Nicolas] “Come on Vistela, I came as fast as I could.”
Due to someone very famous and very important suddenly showing up made the people around us freeze in shock.
I guess having the prince of your country suddenly appearing in front is a very big deal.
But since I’m someone who isn’t deeply connected to a country, I have no idea what they’re feeling right now, other than being shocked.
But I do enjoy their surprised look though; I could easily tell how shocked they are with their mouth and eyes wide open.
I’m not really sure if heading here is one pf the prince duties, but my bet is because of his other title that he hides from the public.
Not only is he the prince of this country and the first child of the queen, he is also one of the Knights of the Roundtable, owning the name of the ancient knight Gawain.
[Eustace] “Uhh…James…c—could it be that you’re friends with the prince?”
Hearing a voice that is a few steps away, Eustace and his wife Margret stood frozen behind me.
[James] “Yeah, I guess you could say that.”
[Nicolas] “Please sir, you don’t have to be so stiff, please calm down.”
This might take a while.
It took exactly an hour for everyone to calm down, and we, along with Nicolas, finally got to talk about the town’s restoration properly.
[Nicolas] “The construction worker will be coming at the afternoon, for now I called in some copters to send everything the town people needs.
[Mayor] “Thank you, thank you so very much your Highness!”
While Nick talks to the mayor, Lancelot and I are talking to Mr. Eustace and Mrs. Margret and saying our goodbyes.
I think Mrs. Margret got attached to Lancelot since she’s hugging her pretty tightly. While having Mr. Eustace shake my hands vigorously.
[Eustace] “I know it’s only been 2 days, but it was great having you and your wife here.”
[James] “Thanks for letting us stay in your home Mr. Eustace. Oh, and about the factory.”
[James] “The renovation will also be at the afternoon. So when the factory is done, I’m kind of hoping that you might want to be its Consultant and Manager.”
[Eustace] “Really!? Th—that would be my honor.”
With his hand shake gotten stronger, he gives me an energetic smile.
I guess that’s a really big yes.
[Troy] “Hey Mister!”
Right after finishing my talk with Mr. Eustace, the hem of my burnt shirt got pulled. And as I turn around, I found the boy named Troy as well as his young sister and his friend.
[Troy] “Are you and big sis here leaving?”
Huh? Wait a minute, why did he call me ‘Mister’ while he called Lancelot ‘Big Sis’, do I look that old!?
Maybe due to shock, I wasn’t able to answer back, so Lancelot answered for me.
[Lancelot] “That’s right; we need to go somewhere very important.”
Right after hearing Lancelot’s words, the three kids’ eyes started to sparkle once again, alternating their sights towards Lancelot and me.
After a few seconds of admiration, Troy’s little sister came forward and asks.
[Trish] “D—does it have something to do with the fire here?”
Wow, this kid is pretty sharp.
And I guess I wasn’t the only one that thought of it, since Lancelot looks at me with a slightly surprised look.
Lancelot then look at the girl and pats, she then puts her pointing finger to her lips and said…
[Lancelot] “That’s right, so don’t tell anybody, alright?”
And once again, the kids react to her words, their eyes no longer sparkles but shine brightly.
In a way though, we aren’t completely lying to them. Lancelot is an agent working for the queen, while me on the other hand is only a normal civilian…
Yeah, that’s right. I’m just a normal civilian taking a trip.
[Margret] “Oh wait, before you kids go, here…”
[James] “Hmm? Ah!”
It’s those addicting milk coated cookies, and it’s in a very big basket container to!
[James] “A—all of these are for us?”
[Margret] “Well since the festival won’t be able to continue, I might as well get rid of all of them before they rot in the food cabinet.”
[James] “Th—thank you very much!”
Making our goodbyes, Lancelot and I wave our hands while slowly making our way to the helicopter.
I sat deeper while Lancelot sat right next me and to the helicopter’s window.
Even when the helicopter is ascending to the sky, the people of the town is still waving at us full of smiles.
Man, this town is strong.
Even though half of their town turned into charcoal, they can still show such smiles.
Urk! This guilt in my chest hurts.
We were the ones that lead those automatons here, so being shown such kindness is really piercing me in the heart.
I’m sorry, I’ll be sure to make that factory quick as possible, so you guys can rest easy!
[Nicolas] “Hey, what’s with the Round Basket?”
[James] “Oh this?”
Hehe~ so you want to know, huh? It’s just one of the best cookies I ever had!
[Nicolas] “Wha—what’s with the creepy smirk?”
I’m not smirking, that was a smile, and it wasn’t creepy! Just for that, I won’t give any cookies; you can just watch me eat these amazing pastries!
I didn’t say anything and just open the basket silently. Nicolas’s eyes quickly look down and see the white pastries in side.
[James] “So, *Munch* *Munch* there must be a reason why ‘You’ yourself flew over here. *Munch* *Munch* Well, other than the big fire of course.”
[Nicolas] “Well actually, back when you two were enjoying a relaxing farm life…”
Huh!? What is this!? Why is your hand casually hovering over my cookies!? Could it be that you are planning to take one!? I won’t let you!
[James] “So, what happened?”
[Nicolas] “…………Th—there was another broadcast from Mr. Hyde”
He didn’t say anything about me slapping his hand away and just from the basket and simply answered my question while rubbing his left hand.
Like I said, I won’t let you have any.
[Nicolas] “He did another speech about what he is planning to do once he takes over the Royal Family…”
While he slowly explains what the massage is about, I hand out the basket to Lancelot and the other agents in the helicopter.
They took 1 or 2 pieces of cookies with them and all of them ate the cookies pleasantly. Except for Nicolas, because I didn’t give him anything other than a slap on the back of his hand.
[James] “And the massage was?”
[Nicolas] “…………The start and the middle part of the speech were only visions, but the last part was the part that got our attention.”
[James] “Which was…”
[Nicolas] “Which was ‘I will recreate everyone in my image’ is what we are concerned about.”
So that’s how it is.
In other words, this Mr. Hyde guy is planning to make the biggest Ugly Contest in the country in which everyone is the winner.
Nicolas is right, that is very concerning. My eyes are scary enough as it is, like hell I’m going to let that guy make my look even worse!