Latifa Side Story 2
I no longer recognise my own self.
Killing, murdering, every single one of them, I remembered the awful feeling of each assassination. I recalled the fear from each kill. However, I’ve now come to be able to calmly carry out my orders.
I learnt that this is the only way for me to survive in this world.
However, whenever I’m bounded facing upwards on the bed, I’d recall the first time I came to this world. It’s enough to make me lose my mind.
I can endure the other things, but being bound is unbearable.
When Onii-sama noticed it, he made it a habit to torment me by binding me.
Occasionally, Onii-sama would treat me gently as if he had become a completely different person.
However, that guy will never become my Ani1.
It is a fake kindness-desu.
Stead is just something I call Onii-sama.
My true Ani is Onii-san, not this person.
As long as I remember my present life’s mom, my former life’s parents, and Onii-san, my heart can never be truly broken.
「Aa~h, Princess Christina.」
Ever since a certain day, Onii-sama began repeating some other girls’ names besides mine.
I often hear him calling the names Seria and Christina or something.
As if offering his chastity to them, he rarely caresses my body anymore.
But he still emits those disgusting odours.
Then one day, I wasn’t sure what happened but Onii-sama was in a terrible mood.
Onii-sama seemed to have made some kind of blunder at school and he took out his anger on me in the form of countless lashes2.
Piecing together his disorderly outcries, he seemed to bear a grudge against a boy called Rio.
I’ve heard that name several times.
The boy was apparently on good terms with Seria and is said to be an immoral man who deceives girls. He’s the reason I’m whipped so often.
What was this person even saying? He should look at what’s coming out of his own mouth.
I just can’t understand him.
Several days later, I’m summoned by father.
Whenever I receive a summon from father, it’s for an assassination mission.
I prepare the necessary equipment and after donning my gear, head towards the room where father awaits.
「These are the clothes of the assassination target. Remember the smell.」
Father speaks to me in a voice devoid of emotion.
I give a brief answer and memorise the scent on the clothes as ordered.
Somehow it feels nostalgic.
However, the rising feeling is immediately suppressed by the collar.
I leave the mansion and pursue the scent.
I start chasing the target as the owner of the smell seems to have gone outside of the capital.
On the way, I notice something odd.
The scent remains strong but I cannot find the target.
Despite running and running, I can’t catch up to the target.
Only after two days am I able to catch up to the target.
Just how far is he going to run?
This is the first time I’ve ventured this far from the capital.
I confirm the target entering the bustling city thanks to my enhanced vision.
Surprisingly, the target is a black-haired male.
This is the first time I’ve seen someone with black hair in this world, so I’m abnormally curious.
Moreover he’s around my age.
I want to speak to him but unfortunately, the collar around my neck won’t let me do so.
My body will be assaulted with overwhelming pain if I defy orders.
Once, I tried going against an order; the pain that assaulted my body was enough to almost drive me mad.
I never want to experience it again.
It’s disappointing but I decide to continue carrying out the assassination order.
Even if I wear a hood, there’s a possibility of being discovered as beastman if I enter the city so I decide to wait for an opportunity on the outskirts of the city.
After waiting for a day, the target leaves the city.
I determine that this is a good chance and play dead.
The success or failure of an assassination is usually decided by the first blow.
It’s common practice to lower the target’s guard and quickly kill them.
It’s natural for a person to approach a fallen person in the middle of the forest.
Therefore, I will stab him with a poison coated knife when he gets near.
As expected, the boy calls out to me and lifts me up to confirm whether I’m alive or not.
Even though I’ve had my mind set on killing him, when I see his face up close I hesitate for a moment.
His atmosphere, it resembles Onii-san’s.
Is it because of the black hair?
No, there’s resemblance there too but that’s not all there is to it.
It’s his eyes-desu.
His eyes and the eyes Onii-san had when he would listlessly stare out the bus window, I feel like they’re identical.
However, the collar heartlessly reminds me of my duty and I swing my knife at the boy’s side.
The boy reacts quickly and tries to evade the incoming knife but fails to avoid it due to how close we are.
Although the boy pushes away my body in a hurry, I’m convinced my mission is complete.
The knife is coated in a highly lethal poison and as a result, the effects can be seen immediately.
His face displays slight surprise when my hood falls off revealing my ears but as expected, his complexion worsens in an instant.
Yet, when the hand pressing against the wound briefly shines, his complexion becomes better again.
I can’t shake off my surprise as I jump at him to deliver the final blow.
Despite being stabbed by a poisonous blade, his movements are unexpectedly quick.
The poison doesn’t seem to be affecting him at all.
Fighting against him for a while, I come to realise he’s no push-over.
Judging from his outer appearance, he should be only slightly older than me but thanks to my beastman lineage, my physical prowess should greatly outstrip his.
Yet, he’s able to keep up with my movements.
My strikes which have been forged through harsh training can’t connect at all.
He parries all my attacks no matter how many times I slash at him.
My attacks cannot reach him.
（I— I can’t win…）
Having pushed myself to the limits, it dawns me.
At this rate, I’ll be killed.
I break into a cold sweat.
Even though I’ve killed countless people, I don’t want to die.
Growing impatient, I thrust at him in desperation.
The next instant, I feel a sharp pain in my abdomen.
I’m nearly knocked unconscious.
However the impact against the ground forcibly pulls me back to reality.
Before I realise it, my limbs are restricted and I’m lying face up on my back. My mind blankens in fear.
This position is too much-desu.
I vividly recall the horrors of the first time I arrived in this world.
「Hii, hii, hiiuu, uuuuuuu, higuuuuu3.」
I lose all reasoning and begin wailing in desperation.
The boy’s saying something but it doesn’t reach my ears.
I must’ve fallen unconscious during my struggle. The first thing I realise when I come to again is that my hands and feet are bound by ropes.
Before me is the boy, my target for assassination.
The collar is still ordering me to kill, the urge refuses to subside.
Even though I want to somehow kill him and escape, it’s impossible given my current situation.
And then, the boy begins questioning me in a way similar to those in TV dramas I watched in my former life.
I keep silent. I’m afraid he’ll see through my lies if I open my mouth.
I keep my mouth shut until—
「…Do you want to be released from slavery?」
With a difficult expression, he asks that alluring question.
Despite having already discarded most of my emotions, my body can’t help but tremble at his words.
What I would give for such a thing to come true.
I want to meet those dear to me again.
Amidst the pain and suffering, I still clung onto that desire.
However, as a slave, I had no choice but to live as someone’s pet. I had almost given up hope.
That’s why, those words tugged at my heart.
The boy seems to have understood my thoughts from my reaction.
However, I continue watching the boy, trying to understand his real intentions.
（I… can be released from slavery?）
I embrace the faint hope sprouting from within me again.
My heart can’t help but beat rapidly.
The boy once again asks me if I wish to be released from slavery.
He also asks if I’ll try to kill him again after being released. Of course not, I’d never do such a thing if freed.
The manifestation of my killing intent is only because of the collar around my neck.
（But… it’s not a trap setup by them4, right?）
Could it be that Onii-sama’s lurking nearby? Are they going to pretend to grant me salvation only to snatch it away at the very last moment? My eyes dart at my surroundings, looking to see if there’s anything suspicious nearby.
However, the only people I can sense here are myself and the boy in front of me.
I steel myself and timidly nod. The boy extends a warm hand and touches the collar.
*KAN* With a high pitch sound, the collar falls off.
I stare at the fallen collar in awe.
I frantically move my neck to ascertain the sensation of the collar. (She’s still tied up)
However, the collar that had been restraining me for all these years can’t be felt.
「Ah… hic, hic, hiku, hiku, ueeeeeeeeen!」
Like water flowing from a broken faucet, I burst into tears.
The tears just won’t stop.
In the first place, I don’t even know why I’m crying.
But then I realize, it’s because I’m overwhelmed with joy.
I finally notice it, the feeling I haven’t experienced in so long, happiness. Upon this realization, I cry even more.
I don’t remember how long I cried for.
Gradually, my crying subsides——
「Are you okay now?」
The boy calls out to me.
*Twitch* My body trembles.
I completely forgot the boy is still here.
I’m happy, but I don’t know what I should say to him. In the state of confusion, I continue staring at him.
「I’ve removed the poison so you can have your knife back. You should escape quickly.」
Having said that, the boy returns my knife.
He cuts the ropes binding me and treats my abdomen where I received his attack earlier5.
Realizing my current state, I let out a stupid voice.
I can run.
I can escape.
But to where?
It’s terribly embarrassing because even if he tells me to escape, I don’t know what to do.
「Like I said, you can escape. It’ll be difficult for you to live in human territory but to the east you can find beastmen territory. I’m also heading east, but unfortunately my clothes are torn. I’ll be heading back to town now to replace my clothes so this is where we’ll part. Farewell.」
The boy tells me my options while I was still in a daze.
Which way is east?
I’ve been chasing after his scent without taking note of any directions.
（Since he said he’s also heading east… is it in the opposite direction of the capital?）
While I’m standing here in confusion, the boy has already headed back to the town.
（Ah, he’s gone…）
I stare at the boy’s retreating figure in a daze.
I wander around the area for while.
Where should I go?
The mansion in the royal capital?
I will never return to that place!
It’s just… I don’t know of any other places but there.
（Does my tribe reside in the east?）
My mother was the only person who treated me kindly in this world.
Will those of my mother’s tribe also treat me kindly?
Such hope begins to grow within me.
However, I’m afraid of venturing eastward without knowing exactly where to go.
What should I do?
While I’m still mulling over what to do, I notice the boy from before is heading back towards me. Panicking, I hide myself in a hurry.
（I— I’m going to tail him…）
As I watch his figure moving past the place where we fought, I end up following him from a distance.
Although he’s moving swiftly, I’m somehow able to keep up.
A while after I start following him, all of a sudden, the boy stops and——
There is a hint of annoyance in his words.
*TWITCH* My body jumps.
How? I should have erased my presence.
As I’m wondering how he noticed me, I realise I really can’t win against him.
I mean, I was discovered so easily.
I timidly reveal myself before him.
「Why are you following me?」
Asks the boy.
「A— Ano… east… go… together…」
What are you saying, me!?
I’m able to manipulate my heart to the extent of even fooling the collar and yet, I just came out and asked the person I was trying to kill not too long ago to travel together. There’s no way he’ll agree.
However, I have an inclination that this boy possesses a similar disposition to Onii-san, so maybe, just maybe he’ll agree to my selfish request.
Just like how I was at a loss before, maybe he’ll lend me a hand again.
I embrace the faint hope in my heart.
The boy is hesitating whether to take me along or not, so I decide to gather my courage and convey my resolve to travel together with him.
「…Let’s go, desu.」
Back then, if it was the current me, would I have been able to call out to Onii-san?
Such a thought surfaces in my mind.
「I’m a human you know. We’re a selfish existence. Am I not the same as the ones who enslaved you?」
The boy rejects my suggestion in a troubled tone.
「Unpleasant feeling… not there, desu. Strange smell6, also don’t have.」
But I can no longer back down after having made it this far.
I can’t imagine that this boy would treat me like how Stead and father did.
I mean, he doesn’t have that strange smell Stead had when he got excited torturing me.
Furthermore, he doesn’t carry a tense atmosphere.
How do I say it? It’s as if a gentle aura surrounds him.
It closely resembles that of Onii-san’s.
「Besides, I can’t bring you into beastmen territory.」
Although he seems to be reluctant about entering beastmen territory, I tell him I’m fine with it even if it’s only up until the border.
And so, he grants my selfish wish.
Suddenly, within my mind an absurd possibility arises, could it be that this boy is Onii-san reincarnated?
There’s no way that’s possible.
I only thought of such a ridiculous idea because of his kindness.
「Wait here for a bit. I’m going back to the city to buy a few necessities for you. Let’s see, I’ll be back in about an hour. Alright?」
For some reason, it seems that the boy is going to buy some necessities for me.
I softly nod as he begins heading back to the city.
「Oh yeah, what’s your name?」
The boy suddenly stops and asks for my name.
I give the name given to me by my mother of this world.
It is my precious memento.
「I see. I’m Rio. Nice to meet you, Latifa.」
The boy also introduces himself.
His name is Rio-desu.
I wonder how I should call him.
Rio, Rio-kun, Rio-san.
Is it alright to call him Rio-san?.
That way of calling him suddenly pops into my head.
Onii-san is reserved solely for one person.
However, the kindness felt from this boy resembles that of Onii-san’s.
So, I think I shall call him Onii-chan.
While gazing at Rio’s retreating figure, I think so to myself.
1. Elder brother↩
2. ED1: anyone else vote to kill off this fake ani (preferably by summoning truck-san)? TL : I’m with you buddy, let’s torture him first PF: wouldn’t hitting him with a truck give him a chance of reincarnation and become OP?↩
3. She is crying, just for your information↩
4. Refers to shitty pair of father and son↩
5. ED2: She cried for all that time while still tied up? Rio needs to learn how to treat women better TL : He already built a harem if he can do that]↩
6. It was called estrus smell in Mushoku Tensei, and Rudy got owned so many times by the beast race because of that↩