“How impatient, asking me what I want straight away,” said Birkyne, speaking to Vandalieu in a leisurely tone. “Even if we do away with the introductions… don’t you want to ask, ‘What is going on here?’ or, ‘What did you do to them?’”
“… I never heard that you were the type to be concerned with such dull clichés,” said Vandalieu, showing no signs of preparing for battle.
He was still standing right next to Matthew, who had led him here, right in front of Birkyne. He appeared defenseless and full of openings.
But Birkyne and his confidants were on full alert.
“Move to his side, on the opposite side of that boy… and if he tries anything, protect me,” Birkyne whispered to Seris.
“Yes, my lord,” she said in response.
He was restricting Vandalieu’s movement as much as possible by having Seris stand next to him, even if it only made the tiniest of differences.
It was a fact that Vandalieu had defeated Ternecia, though she had been wounded at the time, as well as Gubamon completely on his own. Among the three Pure-breed Vampires who worshiped Hihiryushukaka, Ternecia had possessed the most powerful offense, and Gubamon had possessed the most powerful defense and a skill for space-attribute magic.
Even now, Vandalieu’s empty expression and flat-toned voice was exerting an unbelievable amount of pressure on Birkyne and his confidants.
That was exactly why Birkyne was acting in a leisurely manner towards him.
A society enveloped by such darkness that it made even criminal organizations pale in comparison. A society where it was normal for its inhabitants to toy with and devour those who were weaker than themselves. A society where if one did not do that, they would become the ones to be devoured. Birkyne was one of the individuals who had built such a twisted, hierarchical society.
Birkyne couldn’t even remember how many hands that were grasping at straws he had stepped on and crushed underfoot.
That was why he was afraid of ending up on the side that would be crushed and devoured.
“I suppose it is Eleanora who told you about my nature,” Birkyne murmured. “Bellmond and Miles would not be so well-informed about me.”
What he was trying to show Vandalieu, someone that he could not so easily lay a hand on, was half-instinct.
“Yes, Eleanora is very good to me,” said Vandalieu.
Naturally, he was not speaking in a leisurely tone. He had indeed made preparations so that he would be ready no matter when Birkyne showed up, but… him infiltrating the city without warning and taking everyone in the orphanage hostage had been beyond his expectations.
Even if he used space-attribute magic to teleport here directly, Gufadgarn would have noticed. And I’m examining Matthew and Seris right now, but there’s no sig
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