Popii swallowed the saliva in her mouth.
The demon that looked to be a cow demon and the wolf faced demon, and also the red haired demon were all glaring at her. The eyes of that demon with a red hair she had the impression she had seen before were sharp in particular. They were eyes that weren´t believing in them at all.
At the first moments, she was embarrassed about those geisha clothes that showed too much skin, but this itching feeling of embarrassment was easily settled in front of that feeling of oppression. It was as if she had been made to stand in a bed of needles. Cold sweat was flowing down her back.(TL note: The word used to say she was going to act as an “instrumentalist” is芸子, apparently means geisha. At the time, I was too lazy to google it and have to explain everything because apparently it also could be used for artists in general. Well, because of that, there is a big chance that the “geisha” is being used in the literal sense.)
If she was to fail this mission, there would be no hereafters for her.
As a spiritualist that surrendered to the demons, she would carry shame with her. As a spiritualist of the Buryuuser, only that she needed to avoid at all costs. Popii silently fixed the position of the violin bow. Putting the tip of the gourd shaped instrument at the floor, she gripped the strings while embracing it. She was telling herself to concentrate.(TL note: Violin bow is that stick that is used to rub at the strings. I didn´t know it was called like that until I googled it actually.”
“This is my prided geisha. She plays very good tunes.”
Theodour was spitting out words that sounded like self-praise. The red haired demon narrowed her eyes, feeling those words were suspicious. However, this was not the place to be worrying about her gaze. Popii quietly lowered her head.
“Thank you very much.”
As long as she played it with her whole body and spirit, it would be fine.
And then, after all this was finished, it would be the beginning of her new self. Thinking about Rook´s face, she put the bow onto the five strings.
“Now… I will begin.
*Poron(ぽろん) (TL note:What am I supposed to put here…Bloody onomatopoeias. Damnable be this super long and weird word too.)
Using the violin bow to play the instrument, a pleasant sound reverberated. Popii heard someone let a voice of admiration. It wasn´t something she was prideful of, but she had knowledge of how to captivate people more than any spiritualist. With only a single sound, she had the hold of the hearts of everyone gathered there. Even if it was for only a moment, as long as she had caught the heart of the person listening to it, the rest was easy. She should now infuse her attribute into the delicate sounds. The sound that invaded the defenseless ears would arrive directly to the brain. And then, whether it was a demon or a human, it would enchant their consciousness and induce them into a deep sleep.
Poron, pororon… (TL note: …)
Inside the provisional tent, a sad melody that made the heart tremble was being played. The nostalgic memories of somebody special from their home place that was distant would be thought about by hearing it. It was a musical performance that would make tears flow from the eyes. She noticed the mood that was filled with killing intent a few moments ago was now gradually calming down. In place of that, suddenly, she started hearing snores. When the last note faded away from the air, Popii had finally raised her face. And then, the scenery in front of her eyes made her smile in satisfaction.
“I-I did it.”
Theodour was loudly snoring, the cow demon was sleeping with her mouth wide-open and he wolf faces demon was dozing off. Besides that, the red haired demon was hanging her head down without making the slightest movements. The people gathered here all had their eyelids closed. Lying her instrument down on the ground, she calmly came closer to the one that seemed to be the most powerful of them, the red haired demon. She moved her hand to the silver colored sword that was at that demon´s waist.
“Now… With that, all I need is to take the head of these guys, and then….”
All this would be over.
Putting her hand at the handle of the sword, she was about to draw it. It was at that instant. Moving like a snake, the arm of the red haired demon wrapped around her neck. Popii tried to release herself from the demon, but the red haired demon wouldn´t loose up her strength. Instead, she increased the force more and more, suppressing her.
Why was the demon that should have been sleeping not? Without being able to properly breath, she was roughly breathing through her mouth. By becoming more in panic, thinking became troublesome. Her consciousness started to become white. In contrast to Popii, who was in confusion, the red haired demon´s attitude had always been calm since the beginning.
“I have a very discerning ear. No matter how well you play, I will know it when wicked intentions are in the sound.”
While muttering that, she straggled Popii´s neck. Glaring at her with a provoking sidelong glance, the demon glared back with eyes full of hatred. Deep in her dark pupils, a dark flame was burning. Because of the fear she felt by looking at those eyes, Popii unconsciously started to scream. But because her neck was being straggled, all that was leaving from her mouth was a voice that looked like the one of a chicken agonizing to death.
“…With that, it is over. I´ve heard a good musical performance. Good bye, Popii Buryuuser.”
The instant Popii had heard those last words, blurred memories went through her mind.
When she was young, there was a certain girl that would come to the same auditorium she would. She was a weird girl that all the times would be at the corner of the place wearing a hat. Because she didn´t have any attendant waiting next to her, Popii had thought she was from a branch family just like her. Mustering her courage, Popii went and talked to her. She had made a surprised face, but she happily answered back.
The girl was having problems in her spiritualist training, but even so, she said she wanted to become a first-rate spiritualist. Both of them found they sympathized with each other. They would talk about each other´s families, would eat sweets together, and would also play together. Once, Popii played a music to her when she asked her to. With the exception to her family, she was the first person to hear her playing. With sparkling eyes, she clapped her hands while saying “Sugoi sugoi”.(TL note: I didn´t find any english counterpart that would make her properly sound like a kid, except for awesome, which is laaame.)
In a certain day, when she asked why she wore that hat even when inside buildings, the girl anxiously agreed to say the reason if she promised to keep it secret. Of course, the young Popii immediately nodded. The girl showed a troubled smile, but then, while looking a bit happy, at the moment she took out her hat… Popii ran away while screaming. The detested and ominous red hair had appeared before her eyes. Running as fast as she could, she rushed to a group of people she knew.
She left the red haired girl behind.
Yes, the name of the girl that was crying while holding her hat was…
Right before her throat was completely crushed, that name painfully left her mouth.
However, she was not able to speak the following words. The red haired demon… The red haired girl´s arm had completely destroyed Popii´s throat. Light vanished from Popii´s eyes. While feeling a cold gaze at her, Popii was tormented with a single regret.
Much more than Rook, there was a friend she needed to apologize to before. A pitiable friend she had to look for; to support her at all costs. After that had happened, she definitely regretted what she had done. But then, why had she forgot about those memories…? Right now, until her last moments, she wasn´t able to remember. The doubt swirled in her mind. But despite everything, she needed to say it all costs. With all she had, while her consciousness was disappearing, she somehow opened her mouth to say the words she needed to say.
“”I´m sorry, Riku-chan””
However, those words didn´t leave her mouth. Popii Buryuuser, who had her neck indifferently broken, had silently died.
After Riku verified Popii Buryuuser wasn´t breathing anymore, she took her arm off her neck. The body, which had lost its strength, crumbled down to the floor. Because she had her neck broken, she couldn´t speak anymore. But even so, at the last of her moments, Riku had the feeling Popii´s lips had moved. Without saying anything, she looked at the dead body for a few moments.
Saying those last words, she didn´t look at that corpse anymore.
In the instant she gave a glance to Asty and Vrusto, who had completely fallen asleep, she dropped her first onto Vrusto´s head.
Jumping up, Vrusto put both of his hands onto his head. While rubbing the place he received her fist, he looked at Riku displeased.
“…For you to hit me suddenly, you are heartless.”
“It is because you would keep sleeping for a long time if I didn´t.”
“It can´t be helped, you know? I don´t have interest in music after all. Besides, ojou-chan is always able to something about it whenever something happens, right?
With Vrusto muttering that in an easygoing manner, Riku´s forehead became wrinkled. Whether he was pushing the irritating things to Riku for her to deal with them or because he relied on her power, although she had the feeling it was the former of those two, she didn´t have. Carrying Popii´s dead body and Theodour, who was fallen nearby snoring, she turned her eyes to Vrusto.
“Come with me, second lieutenant Vrusto.”
“Stupid, even if you don´t tell me, I know it.”
Riku and Vrusto left the tent.
The pleasant sea breeze caressed their cheeks. The sound of the waves hitting the rock walls were possible to clearly be heard. From a slightly distant place, Theodour subordinates were waiting for the return of their leader, wondering when he was coming. Coming in front of the spiritualists that were lined up, she threw Popii and Theodour at their feet.
“I´ve heard everything of your plans from those two. After having them drunk, it is a walk in the park, you know?”
She actually didn´t hear anything from them, but simply saying that was enough. With the faces of the spiritualists losing its color, all of them kneeled at the same time. The trembling spiritualists was quite a funny view. While playing with her halberd with one hard, Riku was enduring, trying not to laugh.
“Then, did you guys know about that?”
“Y-yes. We knew…”
“Theodour-sama was full with confidence, saying that after he came with the head of the demons, we should attack them all at once… I thought it would go well, but to think it would end like that.”
Apparently, Theodour was planning on having everyone sleep and quietly attack them.
“Doesn´t it mean their surrender was a lie?”
Vrusto let out a surprised voice.
“Well, I guess with that it means we will have to look for the crown ourselves.”
“Yes… Let´s go find it and leave this place already…Sergeant major Roppu, go deal with those guys.”
Riku gave her order to Roppu, who had been on standby outside the tent.
She wanted to leave this island as soon as possible. Hearing the sounds of the sea storm striking the island, she couldn´t help but feel an unpleasant feeling. Lightly doing a signal, ten demons, including Vrusto, entered at the temple along with her.
At Sherr island, the sound of the stormy seas were resonating.
Whether those sounds were a ill omen to or not, that, nobody knew yet.