Ascension Rebirth – Mistakes were made
-A FEW DAYS AGO-
It was midnight. The cold night air combined with the brightness of the moon after it had reached its apex completed the experience of the night.
On the outskirts of the human city known as the [North Capital] stood a single woman basking in the rays of the moon.
Her white hair reflected the moon’s light and her azure eyes seemed to glow.
Adorned in white armor accompanied by a white shield and claymore; she was an adventurer. She had mostly operated solo for various reasons and because of this she had gained considerable combat prowess.
Every time she took a breath she could see the fog. However, she was wearing considerably warm clothing under the metal armour that the chilliness of the air did not faze her.
After waiting a while she could here footsteps drawing closer, yet she was not weary.
Of course there was a reason why she came out all the way outside the city when she could be sleeping on a warm bed within it.
She was to meet someone at this spot, however the number of footsteps approaching her did not match up. There should only be one person coming to greet her yet she heard the footsteps of at least 4 different people.
She turned towards the origin of the footsteps.
Standing there with weapons drawn were four men. They all wore masks and were dressed in a rather shabby armour.
People who operate during such an ungodly hour were usually not honest ones. She herself couldn’t exactly say she was honest either.
She knew what sort of people these men were. Most likely they were bandits coming to murder and rob a lone adventurer like herself.
“Look missy, we don’t want this to go on any longer than necessary so just give up.”
The man gave her a warning.
The woman did not respond and only stared blankly at the men. Their weapons were just daggers and the one that looked like the leader had a buckler.
Compared to the well equipped woman these men were outclassed.
She wondered why these men were so confident in their victory. The difference in strength between a man and a woman could easily be mitigated through training and magic.
Was it because they thought they could win if they had larger numbers?
‘Foolish’. The woman thought. If they truly thought that way there was probably no helping them.
Seeing as the woman just stand there the men took her silence as compliance.
The leader of the bandits ran up at her and stabbed her chest, through to her heart; pierced.
The woman did not resist.
The bandit leader scoffed.
The woman felt a sharp bout of pain but it was nothing she couldn’t handle. Right, she was not human, but belonged to a race of demons known as [Homunculus]. By nature they were already dead; a type of undead.
Therefore even being stabbed in the heart could not kill her. There was no true way to kill a [Homunculus] other than to destroy her body completely or damage it beyond repair.
She grabbed the bandit leader’s head with her right arm.
“Ow! Ow! Ow! Ow! Stop!”
The man squirmed.
The man let go of the dagger that was still stuck on the woman’s heart and tried to pry her hands away from his head. However, no matter how hard the man tried to pull she would not let go.
Instead the woman squeezed even harder.
The man’s head had exploded revealing the inner contents.
The body was thrown to the floor like a rag doll.
The three remaining men lost their nerves and started backing away. However the woman did not relent after killing just one man.
They had ruined her midnight scenery.
The woman charged at one of the men with unnatural speed and cut him down with her claymore. With a single slash the man’s body was torn into two and instantly killed.
The other two men started running away but she was far too fast for them.
She decapitated the one closest to her and stabbed the back and into the heart of the final one.
This all took place in less than 30 seconds.
Her white armour and right hand were now stained in blood. It was a rather uncomfortable feeling.
Using the lowest rank [ice] magic she created water to wash of the blood.
Since the night air was cold it only accentuated the cold midnight air.
“I see your skills haven’t dulled, Chrom.”
Another man’s voice came from behind her. However this voice was different, more commanding and charismatic.
He had spoken her name; [Chrom].
At once she ceased what she was doing and instantly bowed to the man.
He face was hidden behind a laughing mask, but his expressions could easily be told from the tone of his voice.
This man was her superior as a demon and the one she served as her master.
“Master, I did not notice you, forgive me.”
“It’s fine, if even you could notice my presence then I would lose face as the Vampire Lord.”
Chrom stayed silent and let the words of her superior sink in.
Unlike Chrom who was comparatively a low rank demon, her superior, the Vampire Lord, wasn’t able to freely move around within the human city. He would no doubt stand out.
That was the reason why she was asked to meet all the way out here in the dead of night.
“Now then, I have a small task for you.”
“I shall obey your every command.”
Chrom was still bowing to her master, it was courtesy to lower one’s head to a person of higher authority within demons.
“There’s a representative of the demon race will come to do negotiations here in the North Capital. I want you to protect him at all costs during his stay.”
“By your will. Lord Kyrios.”
“Good. That is all.”
Once the Vampire Lord had spoken his piece he had disappeared in a shadowy effect.
Chrom was once again left alone.
It had been three days since the order from her master was given.
Eating breakfast at her usual tavern in her iconic paladin white armour was Chrom. As a Homunculus she didn’t really need to eat in order to survive but she did so out of pleasure. It was also important to deceive the people around her to make them believe she was a human.
While demons weren’t barred from entering human cities they usually attracted unwanted attention. Therefore it was easier to pretend to be human and not have so much infamy.
There were beings like Kyrios who would be spotted out instantly due to his immense presence. As such people like him usually steered clear of human cities. There was also the possibility that he could use some sort of skill to hide his presence but keeping that up for an extended period of time would be tedious, thus upper echelon of the demon army usually let their underlings do most of the work.
Chrom herself has been lodging within this city for a little under a year and has gotten rather friendly with the people who were also there. Many of them were adventurers, of course since Chrom preferred to solo they did not know her fighting style or how strong she was.
After completing her breakfast she checked out of her tavern/inn to her designated area.
As Kyrios had explained to her, a special emissary of the demon race was visiting to do negotiations with an important person here. She herself didn’t get too much of the details. This didn’t bother her all that much, her only job was to protect the emissary and nothing more.
Politics never really interested her all that much in the first place.
As she has memorised most of the areas of the city in her mental map she was perfect for the job of protecting the VIP.
Structural vulnerabilities, good vantage points, short cuts. There were many points in the city, especially within the slum area to be weary of.
“Ah, you must be the one Lord Kyrios had informed me about.”
Waiting outside within the town square in her iconic armour she was easily spotted by the client.
To her surprise the emissary of the demon race was human.
At first this fact confused her and she even wondered if she got the proper instructions.
“Since you’re looking at me like that I guess you’re confused as to why a human is the emissary of demons.”
She didn’t respond but gave a visual nod.
“There’s a long and complicated story behind this but don’t worry I am acting under Lord Kyrios’ directions.”
To prove it the emissary took out a small metallic crest.
It was the [Mark of the Vampire Lord]. It was similar to Astaroth’s [Demon Lord’s Crest]. It was the proof that this person was indeed working under the instruction of the Vampire Lord Kyrios.
“I understand, I shall protect you while you are in this city.”
The emissary gave a smile and nodded.
“Thank you. I am known as [Enrich], please refer to me by that name when you speak.”
“Understood, I am Chrom, a soldier under the command of Lord Kyrios.”
“Pleasure to make your acquaintance.”
A few more days had passed since Chrom started guarding Enrich.
They had been going around talking to various nobles about engaging in trade and diplomatic negotiations between demon and human races.
Historically their relationship has been one of cat and mouse and therefore was hard to maintain a prolonged relationship. However for the past few hundred years nothing major ever broke out between the two races and they were starting to get comfortable.
Of course there were small pockets of anti- factions against each other but they were in the minority.
So far the negotiations were proceeding fairly well; nothing concrete was formed but the talk about opening trade routes towards the northern continent, which was a predominantly demon lived continent, was starting to be seriously considered.
A little more and relations between Ariadyne and the Northern Continents may start blooming.
As of yet there had been no presence of enemies.
However Chrom did not relent in her scouting.
Chrom’s mission was about to come to a close as well without any sort of complications, that was if the final day would go without a hitch.
The final noble that they were going to see was a duke by the name of [Ciel Noire].
He also served as one of the country’s [Minister of external affairs]. Which means that he was the big boss that Enrich needed to secure as an ally if he wanted to make sure everything he’s done up to this point was to succeed.
It was around noon when Enrich and Chrom reached the Duke Noire’s manor. It was a excellently decorated house with a large arch in the entrance. Following a path from the entrance would lead the person to a glamorous fountain and finally the front door to the manor itself.
There were tens of rooms and even separate dorms for the servants.
In this house there really were only two official residents. The duke himself and his daughter, a girl named [Elise Noire].
All the other people were servants and guards.
Even so, the relationship between the master and servants of this house was unusually good. The servants seemed to generally like working here and the guards were friendly with the master as well often even training with him and his daughter.
The Duke himself was a relatively free spirited and merciful man. Of course he had moments where he was serious, usually during his work hours.
The man had charisma, popularity, charm, and the support of all his subordinates. Such a man would be indispensible as an ally.
Walking through the front entrance Chrom and Enrich arrived at the front door of the manor.
After knocking a few times a maid came out to greet them.
The maids of this house all wore the standard frilly maid uniform and the butlers their own butler suits.
“Good evening Master Enrich. Duke Noire has been expecting your arrival.”
The maid bowed towards them and led them to the duke.
The interior of the house did not lose to the exterior decorations. Everything in this house was placed in an elegant manner that expressed only the most richest taste in art.
This entire house was art itself.
After traversing through magnificently decorated hallways the two that were led by the maid arrived at the study.
The maid lightly knocked on the door.
“Master Noire, Master Enrich has arrived.”
“Oh! Please come in~”
The maid opened the door but did not go in.
Enrich replied with a smile.
The two entered the room.
The room was large and covered from wall to wall with books.
Sitting behind a desk was a relatively young looking man with light brown hair and greyish white eyes.
Standing next to him was a small girl aged about 6 or 7 with similar colored hair and eyes. She was smiling and holding a book.
“Thank you for coming. Master Enrich, I’ve heard about how much you’ve accomplished over these past few years.”
“No, you flatter me too much, most of it was accomplished through sheer luck.”
Within only seconds of meeting the two delved into deep conversation. They talked about various issues concerning politics, trade, economics. Topics too hard for Chrom and the young mistress of the house to understand.
Chrom simply had no interest in topics she did not understand and therefore sat by the sofa drinking the tea that was served.
The young mistress came up to her since her father was occupied.
“Hello. My name is Elise Noire, how do you do?”
The girl gave an elegant bow befitting of a noble’s daughter.
Chrom’s expression didn’t change much; her expression never changes much.
She gave a one word reply. It wasn’t that Chrom was particularly trying to be rude or looking down at her because she was a child. Chrom by her very nature was bad at conversations.
“Chrom~ have you read this?”
Elise showed her a book titled [The 3 Heroes].
It was a book about three heroes that journeyed to faraway lands in order to search for a missing god. The contents of the book took place more than 500 years ago and now it’s validity was thrown into doubt.
As a general story it was fairly entertaining but nothing too exciting.
Chrom has heard of the story of the three years but it was the first time she saw the book in Elise’s hands.
Chrom shook her head.
To which Elise took it as a sign for her to read it to her.
Chrom did not object to it so there wasn’t too much problems.
“Be sure not to trouble our guest too much, Elise.”
The duke interjected when he saw her daughter talking with their guest. To him it may have looked like Chrom was babysitting.
By the time both parties had finished with their business it was already dark.
“Why don’t you stay here for the night? We have a lot of guest rooms after all.”
Chrom and Enrich had been staying at a nearby inn so the offer to sleep in a comfortable bed was something to rejoice.
Enrich accepted the offer right away. This was a good thing as it means that the duke was satisfied with his time with Enrich and that negotiations would likely succeed.
At first Enrich and Chrom were placed in different rooms but Chrom objected to it, saying that she needed to be close to Enrich.
After much deliberation Chrom was finally persuaded to stay in the room just across Enrich’s. While it wasn’t instant, if there was any sort of problem Chrom could immediately get to his position.
Luckily there was no such problems during the night. The Duke’s estate was relatively well maintained and guarded. Of course skilled assassins and the like may be able to bypass their security but fortunately such a thing did not occur.
However, something did happen in the dead of night.
The doors to Chrom’s room opened slowly with and audible creek.
Chrom who was pretending to sleep slowly reached for her sword.
The person was standing just over her bed and Chrom had her sword ready to strike if the person were to attack.
The person slowly reached out and that’s when Chrom made her move.
She leapt up from her bed and swung down with her sword.
Only just a few millimetres away from beheading the intruder Chrom stopped.
The one standing over her bed with teary eyes was the duke’s daughter; Elise Noire.
She asked still with teary eyes.
Chrom was at a loss. She knew that Elise was asking if she could sleep in the same bed, but if she did that it would only delay her from getting out of the bed when the need arises.
Elise gazed up at her with a look of pure innocence and cuteness.
Chrom was taken aback, she was no good with opponents she could not cut down.
Chrom could not find an opening to this situation.
In the end she gave up and spent a night with the duke’s daughter. Even Chrom’s heart of metal couldn’t withstand the full brunt force of cuteness that is Elise Noire.
Morning arose but Chrom did not get a wince of sleep due to her predicament. That and the fact that she needed to stay awake to ensure that there were no real intruders.
Despite this Chrom had no real need for sleep since she was a homunculus. There were many advantages of being a homunculus, not requiring sleep was one of them.
The next morning, Chrom slowly got out of the bed without waking up Elise.
After confirming that nothing had happened to Enrich she walked down to the toilet to wash her face. When she looked at herself in the mirror she saw bags forming under her eyes.
While homunculi won’t die from sleep deprivation they will get tire out, it was just that they had much greater stamina than humans. The only reason bags appeared under her eyes were because she hadn’t had a single night of sleep since she was tasked with protecting Enrich.
“You look awful, didn’t you get any sleep?”
The duke that happened to pass by the toilet peered into the toilet since the door was left open.
Usually Chrom makes the bags under her eyes disappear by massaging it but she was caught off guard.
“Ah, because I had to keep watch for Master Enrich.”
“Sounds tough. Wish I could do something for you but keep up the good work.”
“That reminds me, have you seen Elise? When I woke up she wasn’t in her bed.”
“She came into my bed last night. She wasn’t harmed.”
“I see. Then I hope you will make her happy.”
Chrom took a step back at the sudden comment.
“It’s a joke.”
It was Enrich who interjected and explained to the socially inept Chrom. He was a little disorganized but that was why he was going to the toilet in the first place.
“Ah, I see.”
“Hahaha, Chrom you’re too easy to tease.”
Chrom’s flustered and she averted her gaze.
“Say, I was planning to go out to have lunch later with Elise, would you like to join Master Enrich?”
“Oh, that sounds wonderful.”
With that their activities for the day had been decided.
It was about noon as the sun was at its peak.
The streets were packed with many different people, especially the town square; a place in which many different activities take place.
Adventurers, merchants, nobles and commoners all frequented this place. Trading, requesting, establishing parties, selling goods and services.
Inns, restaurants, taverns, weapon shops, armour shops.
It was the perfect scene out of an RPG.
The duke and his daughter were thoroughly disguised since they had rather high positions in the country. It would cause trouble if they were seen just walking around the streets.
In particular it was a common place for assassinations to occur in such places.
To avoid this disguises were necessary.
Since Chrom and Enrich were less famous they didn’t require any.
“I know a good place around here.”
Duke Noire said with a satisfied face. Despite the fact that he was a duke he hardly ever acted in a manner befitting his title. He was friendly, supportive and charismatic, a quality of leader that hardly existed in this world.
“I’m looking forward to it.”
Replied Enrich. He was less charismatic but overall a good man, or so Chrom had judged from what she had seen so far.
The place that they arrived at was a small tavern that was hidden from the mainstream marketplace. There weren’t many customers but the waiters and chef greeted them with a smile when they arrived.
“Welcome~ Oh, it’s you again, mister, and you’ve brought more guest~ will you be having the regular?”
They said with a smile. They had no idea that the duke was their patron but still greeted him like an important person. Such a service was what the duke really liked about this place.
“Yes, that will be nice thank you.”
“No problem~ please wait a while.”
The duke’s party found a seat that was located outdoors and was under the shade. Even the view was pretty decent, they were able to clearly see the town square from up on the second floor balcony.
“This place is actually pretty nice.”
“I know right? I knew you would like this place Master Enrich.”
“Haha, you know me too well.”
The food came after only a few short minutes.
It was mostly just commoner food like soup, bread, pastas. However the quality was comparable to even the duke’s head chef’s.
“This is delicious.”
Enrich unconsciously let out a compliment, this was his deepest thought.
“I’m quite glad you’ve taken a liking to our food, honoured guests.”
The chef that was standing near them waiting for an evaluation heard what he wanted to hear. After confirming that they were enjoying the meal he had left them to their own devices.
The duke wasn’t such a picky eater but to fit the taste of a high noble was a praise worthy feat.
The duke turned over to see his daughter segregating some of the vegetables.
“That’s no good Elise, you have to eat your vegetables you know?”
“Mmm~ but I don’t like it.”
“Hmm, what to do, Chrom do you have any ideas?”
Chrom who was happily eating food suddenly paused at the question.
“Elise seems rather attached to you so maybe you could give her some words of your own?”
“Hmm, if you don’t eat vegetables then your bones will become soft and it would be fatal when fighting.”
Elise jumped up from her seat.
Well, in Chrom’s situation whether she ate anything didn’t really do much for her body. Food was just for pleasure after all.
After hearing Chrom’s words Elise started eating her vegetables. Did she want to become an adventurer?
The duke replied.
The meal continued on happily as the four chatted amongst themselves.
“How dare you?! Who do you think I am?!”
From afar a loud and obnoxious voice could be heard.
The direction as from the town square.
Curious the duke and Enrich turned to see who it was.
Standing in the middle of the town square shouting down at a young woman was a pudgy man. He wore ornate and lavishing clothes made of the highest quality fabrics.
He was no doubt a noble.
Duke Noire muttered under his breath.
“Is he someone you know?”
Enrich asked out of curiosity.
“[Duke Vista Calros]: the [Internal affairs minister]. He’s notorious for his obnoxious behaviour and the way he treats people of lower status.”
Even though Duke Vista had the same position as Duke Noire in title and office he held none of the charm or charisma. In the end he was a stereotypical mob villain kind of character.
He was berating a woman who was kneeling down with tears.
Duke Noire stood up.
Elise called out to her father.
“Stay here Elise, I’ll be right back.”
“Do you plan to go stop him? It looks like he’s even brought strong guards.”
“Yes, but even he can’t lay his hands on me that easily.”
“Hmm, still, I know, Chrom why don’t you go along with the duke?”
Chrom looked back at Enrich. She wanted to refuse that request since her job was to protect Enrich at all costs.
Noticing her weary gaze Enrich added on.
“Chrom, what Kyrios wants to protect isn’t my life but my work, if Duke Noire is hurt by this it will be much worse than if I were to be killed.”
With that Chrom was successfully persuaded. She gave a nod and followed through with Enrich’s request.
At the request of Enrich Chrom accompanied Duke Noire to confront Duke Vista.
At close distance the pudgy duke gave and even more unpleasant aura. He had the face befitting of a villain and the personality of one too.
At first Duke Vista did not recognize Duke Noire and lashed out at the man who stood in front to confront him.
“I do not think you should be treating people like this Duke Vista. It’s unsightly.”
“Who the hell are you to tell me such things?!”
“Does it matter who I am? I’m sure everyone here agrees that your actions reflect badly on other nobles. Throwing a tantrum like a child is very unpleasant.”
Duke Noire stretched out his arms to suggest that everyone was in agreement with him. Of course they were but simply did not have the courage to say it out aloud.
“Gh! You bastard! Guards execute him!”
The guards were about to comply with the duke’s orders but stopped after removing the hood that Duke Noire was wearing.
The guards backed away without touching him.
“What’s wrong?! Why did you back away?”
“But he is Duke Noire!”
Duke Vista squinted his eyes and finally realized who the man that confronted him was.
“Were you not going to execute me?”
“But that is-!”
Duke Vista was left speechless. The crowd was starting to cheer on Duke Noire.
Among the people Duke Noire was fairly popular so he had many supporters. The crowd breathed a sigh of relief when the duke appeared.
After a moment or two Duke Vista regained his composure. Even though he was like scum he was still a noble who had some inclination to act like one, only when it was convenient to him though.
“My, Duke Noire, I think it is you who should not get involved in my affairs, this woman right here committed the ultimate sin of consorting with the demon folk. As such I was taking precautions to ensure that she does not do so anymore.”
Duke Vista was notorious for being a member of the anti-demon faction of Ariadyne. It was still a small minority of people who were in that party, most of them were nobles so they had considerable power even though their numbers were small.
Amongst them Duke Vista held relatively large amount of power.
For now consorting with demons were not prohibited by Ariadyne law so there was no real problem with what the woman kneeling down was doing, it was only that if it got to the ear of the duke it would become a problem.
“I do not believe that Ariadyne has an anti-demon policy. As such whatever the woman here has done she bears no sin.”
“Hmph, of course you’d say that you’re part of the pro-demon agenda. You’d be fine even if you sold out your own country.”
Duke Noire shook his head. The man in front of him only practiced intolerance which is why he was viewed in such a negative light.
“Why do you shake your head so? Very well, why don’t we duel for the woman’s freedom? If your guard over there could best all of my elite guards then I will retract whatever judgement I made to this woman.”
Duelling for judgement was an old tradition within Ariadyne, however it was mostly never used since it was seen as barbaric.
Duke Noire turned towards Chrom who was expressionless. Chrom was not his guard so he had no real right to ask her to fight on his behalf.
“I just have to beat them?”
Chrom asked, still with her expressionless face.
“Are you sure?”
“I understand, Duke Vista I accept your challenge and the people gathered here will be our witness.”
“Hmph, you fool, you think you can best my soldiers with a single woman?”
“It is not good to underestimate your foes.”
Hence the battle between three elite soldiers and the semi adventurer Chrom was engaged.
At first the soldiers didn’t know what to do, even they did not truly like Vista, but they also had their pride as soldiers of the realm. They would not want to be seen as weak so they did not pull any punches.
The first to make a move was one of the soldiers. They charged in with their swords but the attack was easily defended by Chrom’s iconic white shield.
Chrom pushed the soldier still locked in with her shield and sent him flying.
The other two soldiers seeing that scene made weary face and decided to attack in unison.
All of their attacks were dodged or blocked by Chrom.
However she was being pushed back.
Feeling that anymore would be unsightly for a servant of Kyrios she clenched her fist and attacked the soldiers with her sword.
It did not kill them but left them with minor injuries nonetheless.
The second soldier was cut through his armor along his chest and fell.
The third soldier moved back to avoid the sword but was then charged at by Chrom’s shield and sent flying backwards.
It was a completely one sided duel in favor of Chrom.
Duke Vista could not believe what he was seeing. His most elite guards had just lost to one female warrior.
Chrom turned back towards Duke Noire.
“Thank you Chrom, you’ve been a great help.”
“Now, Duke Vista as you said please free the woman.”
“Grr-! Fine! Whatever! I will remember this!”
With those parting words Duke Vista had left.
When he did there was a loud cheer in the middle of the square.
“Thank you so much!”
The woman who was being berated came up to express her gratitude.
“Please, thank Chrom here, not me.”
The town square became much livelier that day.
Nightfall had come once again.
Chrom and Enrich were asked to stay another night within the Duke’s manor.
Enrich did not have a allotted time to work within and he had no reason to reject the offer, so he accepted.
Elise was also overjoyed that Chrom could stay with her.
As usual Enrich and the Duke discussed matters too advanced for either Elise or Chrom to understand. They seemed to enjoy talking which made Chrom wonder whatever was fun about talking about politics or economics.
Elise brought another book, this one too was about the [3 heroes] that set off to find the missing god.
However this book had a different ending that the other book. Within this book the three heroes did not succeed in their quest. All they had found was despair and ruin at the end of their journey.
It was a rather dark twist for a children’s book.
“I don’t like this book very much, everyone becomes unhappy.”
Elise said with a dejected face.
Chrom gazed at her with sympathy and stroked her head.
Elise’s sour mood had diminished and was smiling once more.
Just as yesterday Elise had decided to stay with Chrom for the night.
After confirming that Elise was asleep Chrom got up and sat on one of the spare chairs in her room. She simply sat down gazing out at the moon.
She wasn’t able to sleep anyway since her duty was to protect Enrich.
She heard strange creaking noises coming from the hallway.
Leaving the room she checked up on Enrich and found him fast asleep.
Curious Chrom decided to do a little investigation.
She checked most of the rooms on the floor and found nothing amiss.
While on her way back to her room she noticed something outside her window, a shadow of a person.
However the shadow that was supposed be outside the window was now behind her.
“I’m impressed you could find me.”
“Oho, you’re pretty sharp too.”
Chrom could not distinguish on whether this shadow was a man or a woman, all of the important figures were hidden away by shadow and even the voice wasn’t very clear.
Since the assassin answered her question there was no need for hesitation.
Chrom charged at the assassin even without a weapon.
She threw many punches but all of them were easily avoided.
“You’re skills are nothing too spectacular. What a shame, none of the guards put up any resistance either.”
It was uncharacteristic of Chrom to swear but she had grown somewhat attached to the people here.
The assassin took out a knife and disappeared in a shadowy effect and reappeared behind her.
It was a little late to notice as the dagger had already sunk into her back.
She was temporarily paralysed and fell to the floor. The blow wasn’t fatal, it may have been if she were an ordinary human but she was a homunculus. This kind of attack only stunned her temporarily but it was enough for the shadow to run ahead before her.
This was bad, she thought.
If Enrich dies her mission would be a failure, she could not bring shame to her master at any cost.
She found the will to get up and ran towards Enrich’s room.
When she opened the door he was still comfortably sleeping as though nothing had happened.
Chrom was a little confused as to what was going on but that thought was immediately thrown to the back of her mind.
Something odd could be seen from the window.
It was smoke.
Smoke was rising up from one of the rooms below.
Most likely there was a fire raging downstairs.
Chrom woke up Enrich and Elise to warn them of the fire.
They hastily got dressed and went outside to see what was going on. One of the rooms on the lower floors were on fire.
Soon the fire started spreading.
Amidst their confusion Duke Vista who happened to live nearby also came to see what all the commotion was about.
“What in literal blazes is going on here?!”
Someone shouted and soon there was a massive panic.
Their top priority was to put out the fire. With Duke Vista’s help they were able to gather many ice magicians to water out the fire.
Chrom wasn’t too proficient in magic but did what she could.
Soon half the house was left charred.
“So will someone explain to me what’s going on?”
Duke Vista demanded an answer.
Elise shouted in panic.
When there was no answer she immediately ran into the mansion.
Chrom and Enrich ran after her.
On the end of the hallway next to the study room was the master bedroom.
In it laid Duke Noire with his bed soaked in blood.
He did not move.
Presumably his throat was slit using some sort of knife.
When Elise found the scene she cried and ran towards her now deceased father.
Chrom tried to go over to her but was stopped by Enrich.
He had a grave expression on his face, one that he had not shown the entire time he was here.
Chrom tried to reject that but was shut up by the next words Enrich spoke.
“Listen Chrom, as I said, our lives are not important, my work is what Lord Kyrios wants. The duke was likely assassinated, we can’t have anything tying me down to this crime at all, otherwise my entire work will be all for naught. I understand, I want to help her out to but this is more important to Lord Kyrios.”
Chrom felt she could not refuse this. Her master was the one who gave her the mission after all. As Enrich said, his entire work would be thrown into chaos if he were found in the home of an assassinated Duke.
Since no one other than a few maids who didn’t even really know them were the only witnesses to their stay here it was likely that they could escape with no one knowing.
“Chrom, I know. It’s hard for me too.”
Enrich averted his gaze.
With those bitter words the two left the manor leaving the crying child.
A few days after the incident Chrom was once again in the middle of nowhere outside the Northern Capital. Enrich had returned to the north continent to continue on with his work and Chrom was now just waiting for her master once more.
She gazed up once more at the large, bright moon.
It was cold.
Not the weather. Her heart.
She felt a sense of death within her, ironic as she was part of the undead family. It was the death of her heart that gave her such a melancholic feeling.
She wanted to cry but undead cannot do such a thing.
Anguish. Sorrow. Apathy.
She didn’t know which emotion was correct in such a situation.
“You did what was right.”
A charismatic voice came from behind her.
She turned around and bowed.
It was the masked vampire; her master.
“Lord Kyrios. I have accomplished your given task.”
“Do you hate me?”
When he did Chrom looked up, startled at the question. There was no way she could hate her master, her creator.
“How could I-?”
“I made you do something that you did not want to, all for my benefit. I made you abandon your heart.”
“…No, I did what was necessary.”
“It’s fine you know. To speak out about these things. I can’t have my cute servant become depressed like this, it may cause a problem later.”
“… I, I wanted to save her.”
A day after the death of Duke Noire was announced her daughter was framed for the murder. It was clearly the work of the assassin she had met on that day, if she had testified against that accusation then she could have saved the daughter from being framed.
“Is that your wish?”
Kyrios asked once again startling Chrom.
“Is that still possible?”
“Who knows, I do not wish to meddle in the affairs of humans, but there may be someone who would be willing to help. Help you absolve your guilty conscience.”
‘Someone like that couldn’t possibly exist.’ Chrom wanted to say but she held it in.
“Is there such a person?”
“There is, I hear our lord Astaroth has taken quite an interest in that certain person, but whether that person will help you or not will be his decision. On your behalf I shall ask.”
“You will do such a thing for me, milord?”
“Of course, my cute subordinate is depressed even I can’t stay quiet about this since it was half my fault.”
“Thank you, Milord.”