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“WHAT!?” Beatrice screamed and looked back to her bodyguard, barely believing what she heard. “What are you saying? That’d kill her outright! She’d bleed to death!”

“I can cauterize the wounds to prevent that,” Ember reassured the succubus.

“W-wha... Th-that’s torture... No, worse! That’s... N-no way,” Beatrice was taken aback by Ember’s proposal, afraid to even imagine doing something like what her bodyguard suggested.

“I’m just doing my job to keep you safe,” Ember explained. “If you don’t want me to kill an assassin that tried to take your life and will no doubt try again if given the chance or sell valuable information about us to our enemies, I have to propose the next best thing to ensure your safety and prevent any realistic retaliation from this girl. Ah, I’ll have to cut her tongue out too!”

“We’re not cutting out her tongue!! We’re not mutilating or torturing anyone! No way!”

Ah, I’m seriously defending someone who tried to kill me? Beatrice thought. But cutting limbs, tongue... Something like that...

“Speaking of torture, I didn’t bother bringing it up because it quickly became obvious that you’d be against it, but we should get additional information out of her about who would want to kill the world’s Savior desperately enough to send assassins.”

“Tabitha can tell us that! We don’t need to torture anyone!”

“Sigh, as I thought. You’re too trusting. All of this could be a ploy to infiltrate our... organization. I can manage to keep an eye on this degenerate if she continues satisfying your needs and makes you happy, but two is absolutely out of the question.”

Beatrice didn’t answer. Ember’s logic was merciless, but not without reason. And as much as Beatrice was against senseless violence, she also couldn’t think of a better alternative. Just let the ninja girl go? That’s naive, Beatrice concluded. But the alternative? Killing someone in cold blood? Torture? Even if I don’t do it with my own hands, simply standing by would be just as bad. No, worse! Is there no better way?

“You’ve been awfully quiet,” Beatrice finally said to Tabitha. “Do you have anything to say considering the fate of your friend?”

“S-she’s not my friend, never has been!” Tabitha said and glared at Olivia. “And as I’ve said before, do with her whatever you desire.”

“Oh, so it’s not like you have no feelings toward her,” Ember grinned as Tabitha’s comment piqued her curiosity.

“She’s mean!” Tabitha shouted while looking at Olivia.

The ninja girl didn’t respond. Ember shrugged her shoulders, quickly losing interest at the lack of drama.

Beatrice turned to Olivia but kept her distance from the bound captive in case of any unforeseen surprise attack.

“What do you think we should do with you?” Beatrice asked Olivia. “Ember made a strong case for your execution.”

“If you let me go, I promise to never come after you again,” Olivia pleaded with a teary eye.

“Pfft,” Ember snorted. “Can’t blame her for trying.”

“I swear it! On my mother’s heart! I’ll even leave the city if that’s what you want! Just please don’t kill me!”

“Ember is right,” Beatrice said. “I can’t blame you for trying, but you obviously would say anything for us to let you go.”

“I’ll tell you everything I know! Anything you want to know! What—”

“Sebastian was employed by Julius,” Tabitha said loudly, interrupting Olivia. “He’s in love with princess Mary and has been vying for her hand for over a year. Furious that she’s been promised like a cheap woman for sale to a random freak of nature, he hired several groups of assassins to hunt you down and bring him your head.”

Olivia was left speechless with a half-open mouth. Beatrice could see that Tabitha clearly did additional damage to Olivia’s already dire situation by taking away her main bargaining chip.

Ember chuckled, realizing the same thing.

“SHE’S LYING!! That’s not who hired us at all!”

Ember laughed and said, “Nice move. Trying to undermine our trust in Tabitha and hope to gain new information from you. But you forgot that I don’t trust either of you. And you’re not a very good liar.”

“She’s the one who’s lying! Not me! Please! Not like this… My sister… I have to save her…”

“Oh boy,” Ember sighed after rolling her eyes at the new sob story.

“Your sister?” Beatrice raised an eyebrow, dubious of the ninja girl’s new story.

“Yes,” Olivia cried. “I’ve only got into this dirty work because it’s one of the few ways left to earn any money. She was kidnapped by lord Belmot’s men. He lives in a literal fortress on the edge of the city. Someone with my skills has no chance to rescue anyone from there.”

“Belmot? Who the hell is that?” Beatrice asked.

“A slave trader,” Ember said. “One of the most influential men in the city. His desires… Are unconventional.”

Beatrice has a bad feeling and hesitated to ask.

Ember felt Beatrice’s hesitation and added, “Yeah. He doesn’t care for all the carefree activities the city is drowning in. He’s only interested in raping unwilling girls until they completely broken and then selling them for cheap. Before that, he offers to sell them to the highest bidder, often back to their own family. For a gargantuan ransom.”

I’m gonna be sick, Beatrice thought. The new discovery hit her like a truck. What kind of a world is this?

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A note from Yuuji Everyleaf

Thank you for reading! :)

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About the author

Yuuji Everyleaf

Bio: An aspiring writer with a love for fantasy, swords, cute girls, cool women, action, and adventure.

Tend to blend dark with humor, usually unintentionally.

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