It should be all fun and games, but somehow it doesn't bode too well for our protagonist...
Translators: Kurosmith & Kalkin
Proofreaders: Kalkin + imoutolicious
“I shall formally introduce her to you once more, Onii-sama.”
In the midst of countless people watching her in awe, the 《Princess of Pure Darkness》 slowly opens her mouth.
“This very child is the strongest agent that we Bandersnatch take pride in.”
Looking this way indifferently from Maria’s side, the eyes that Lily had were terrifying. Devoid of emotion, it was a pool of empty darkness that spiralled down endlessly.
She’s not acting here.
It’s not a practical joke she’s pulling here to intimidate me.
“With the code name 《Feo Pafisto》, she is the fourth highest ranking officer of Ladies in Black — a multipurpose special forces under the direct control of the head of Blackhazel. I present to you...”
“—Major Lily Shupiel.”
Those girls, so to speak, are residents of another world.
◇ ◆ ◇
“Ahhh, no matter what clothes you wear, they all match you so well, Onii-sama!”
Do they really? Or is she just blinded by love? But in a certain sense, those words might be only natural since I’m wearing a handmade Italian designer suit with an asking price of tens of thousands of dollars.
It’s an early morning at the Blackhazel mansion.
Today, Maria is attending an unofficial party for the members of polite society— Not because of her requirement as the present head of the Blackhazel family, but in response to an invitation from her personal acquaintance in the business side.
The event is being hosted on a five-star luxury cruise ship.
Should I say it’s surprisingly plain? It really doesn’t strike me as amazing, perhaps because it’s on a scale within normal people’s expectations. Just so that there is no misunderstanding, it’s not from my personal point of view.
“Heh~. In the end, isn’t it just casting pearls before swine?”
Donning a pair of black brand-name jeans, white blouse and black suit jacket on top, it’s a casual look for Dorothy. As always, her choices in clothing are consistent and fashionable from the standpoint that there are no accessories with the exception of her necktie.
“These are not pearls but clothes, you damn little sister. So could you call your older brother a winged pig from now on?”
After all, fine clothes makes for fine wings.
Thanks to all the abuse I had taken, this doesn’t even come off as self-deprecating. Instead, it’s to the point where I think I got one back at Dorothy.
So, you should have a general idea of how low my rank is within this household.
With the final touch on Maria’s evening dress by her personal coordinator, all preparations are complete.
“It seems we are all set to go.”
Says Maria in a cheerful voice with her honey-blonde hair finely braided into a chignon pinned by an ornamental hairpin to match the formality of the occasion.
“……Lily, ready to launch.”
Dorothy seems to be in a really good mood. Maybe it’s because she’s excited about going to the party today with her one and only Onee-sama. As proof, she’s very much tame, unlike her usual impatient demeanor from not being able to harass me.
Just how tame, you ask? Although I’m sitting right next to her in the limousine, she wasn’t even complaining about it.
If it was her usual self, she would’ve definitely been making all sorts of complaints and kicking me like a soccer ball.
“A party~♪ A joyful party with my Onee-sama~♪”
She’s just humming a tune and smiling happily like a kid.
That has got to be it.
Without a doubt, this girl is just a kid.
It doesn’t matter that she’s a Blackhazel; in the end, Dorothy’s just a 17-year-old girl, a year younger than me. She’s clearly different from Maria who’s been trained by years of social experience with her position as the present head of the family. Well, anyone would think she’s a normal girl too if they saw her acting this happy over a simple family trip.
In such thoughts, I look down on Dorothy with a wry smile of an adult.
But damn, I may have pushed my luck too far.
Leaning against the car window, Dorothy does a half turn and stomps down on my foot with all her strength.
“You, your eyes are somehow arrogant.”
“Oh wow, now you’re just nitpicking!”
“I don’t like the way you talk, too.”
“And that sleazy attitude of yours, as well.”
Along with the final blow, my head gets planted to the floor of the car. But my bodyguard Lily is just looking at me with a vacant stare, not saying a word and keeping silent.
“Hey! You’re my bodyguard, right?! Are you just going to keep watching?! I’m about to get beaten to death here!”
As I complain to Lily while looking up at her from my current position…
She laughs at me.
You know, it’s not like I want a rough-looking black guy with the sunglasses and all as my bodyguard. In fact, a 12-year-old kid bodyguard isn’t so bad from the setting’s perspective.
What I want is very simple.
It’s not that hard at all.
“Would you please at least pretend to protect me?!”
“Hmph……. You, an idiot?”
Coldly rejecting my desperate plea, Lily quickly turns her head away with an outright, displeased look on her face.
She does so flatly, without the slightest sign of regret or hesitation.
◇ ◆ ◇
After taking a private jet from the Bucharest Otopeni International Airport, we land on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea in Italy. Then switching to a limousine again, we ride to the Molo Beverello of Naples where the cruise ship holding the party is anchored.
It was quite late, and the view outside had changed into nightfall.
The Royal Caribbean International Freedom class cruise ship by the name of Liberty of the Seas was like an empire sailing on the sea.
Surprisingly plain? Within normal people’s expectations? I was totally wrong about what I said before.
According to the schedule, the Liberty of the Seas is slated to set sail tonight and return to port 3 days later.
I’m already hyped up from the thought of enjoying the so-named “leisure of the upper echelons”.
From its indoor facility designed for on-board swimming and sunbathing to the high-rise observation deck and dance hall for overlooking the Mediterranean Sea in the night.
This cruise ship has everything.
Also, a third-class room here is equivalent to a hotel’s presidential suit. As for us, it looks like we’re going to stay at a VVIP room.
Maria opens the door with the keycard, and I follow her into the room.
Just how amazing can a lodging room get in the first place, huh? — I almost feel stupid for thinking that.
The living room evokes the interior of a 19th century royal Arabian palace, which became synonymous with pleasure and luxury. Sets of golden furniture and ceiling with harmonized curves and checks. Looking at the ornaments and pieces of furniture placed in the room, it’s evident that they put a lot of effort in historical accuracy.
Already in the bedroom, Dorothy is jumping up and down happily on the double bed like a kid.
Not wanting to needlessly get involved with her and incur her wrath, I step outside to the balcony. Leaning my body against the railing, I enjoy the night air of the Mediterranean Sea.
It really makes my heart race.
If I knew it was going to be this awesome from the beginning, I wouldn’t have made fun of Dorothy for acting like a kid. Because right now, my excitement level is over 9000.
Kids and adults are the same inside, so to speak. Well, it’s not like I’m an adult, though.
“I’m on a boat!”
Sticking out the upper part of my body over the railing, I shout out to the world.
The night sea, glittering like the scales of a fish under the moonlight, touches the edge of the distant horizon with a dim glow. And every time the waves roll, the lights break into grains of white sand and scatter across the sea.
It‘s truly a captivating sight.
But if I were to fall into the open sea by accident, I’d sink like a brick for sure.
Of course there’s no way a full-grown adult male would make that kind of a ridiculous mistake. Besides, it’d be impossible even if you wanted to unless this chest-high railing splits into two.
The problem in such case is that it would’ve been set up by somebody with ill intentions.
As soon as that thought enters my mind, a cold sweat runs down my back.
“Hmm… So if this unfolds as it always has in my life, there’s no doubt that it’s going to lead to disaster…”
But every cloud has a silver lining.
Keeping my composure in such situation, I notice the presence of a small, lit incandescent light bulb above my head.
“Die, you pedophilic beast—!”
As soon as the sound of air being cut is heard, I lower myself sideways and turn face about.
If Dorothy’s ferocious flying kick land on me, then it would push me over into my watery grave.
However, if that kinetic energy’s intended target were to disappear…
At this height, it’s more than enough to make it work.
In other words, I can send this cyclonic flying kick into the open sea.
This is what the small, lit incandescent light bulb above my head meant.
Having jumped over the railing with great force, Dorothy twists her body around with all her strength while making a cute crying sound like a harp seal.
Eventually, she barely managed to grab and hang on to the outer edge of the balcony with her two arms, and…… Well, she was in a position that main characters in action movies often end up in.
But the problem is that this is real and not a scene from an action movie.
Taking a glance at the surging waves down below, Dorothy’s face turns pale.
She turns her head to look up, and there I am with a triumphant smile.
To her, this situation is a pure nightmare.
“P-please help me!”
And this is coming from the person who tried to kill me? You sure have a lot of nerve.
I lower my tone as much I can to produce a low, mechanical voice.
“I want to play a game.”
“W-wait! N-no! Anything but that…!”
It seems you know a fair share of horror movies.
But you have nothing to worry about, my dear Dorothy.
I actually don’t like games that much.
So, in that sense…
“I’m just joking. Here, off you go!”
Swift and without delay.
Leaving the pleasant echo of vengeance behind, I put my hands in my pockets and turn around, then walk away from the scene of the crime like a boss.
◇ ◆ ◇
Unlike my wish, she didn’t get eaten by the sharks and unfortunately came back alive.
She just came back with her whole body wrapped in seaweed and a cute octopus stuck to her head.
And how do you think the story progressed afterward?
Well, I’ll leave that to your imagination.