The great nation of Si Lvain, that held great tracts of land and power, and was said to rule over half the world.
Its capital Rosario posessed of a worthy dignity that didn’t put its fame of being the world’s greatest to shame,
In a corner of the capital’s eastern ward.
A squalid, lawless place even if within the capital, it was also commonly known as the slums
There was a two story building that was right at home in the townscape, blending into the scenery
It was the headquarters of the assassin group Black Maria’s Third Squad.
Shizuru, who was sleeping on one side of the room, was roused awake by the morning light shining through the window and the song of the little birds.
The first thing he felt as he woke up was the touch of soft fur coming from behind his back to the back of his head.
A body hotter than his own, the faint beating, and the up-down rhythm of breathing.
He sat up and turned his head around, there was no need to check, Lady was there.
“— good morning, my dear”
Her voice felt good, clear, like the sound of a musical instrument.
Lady would always wake up befor Shizuru did.
It’s not that Shizuru was an early riser, just that she was especially early in the mornings.
Yet Lady would always wait for Shizuru to wake, just like this.
He wakes early in the mornings, and sleeps late at night.
As his self-proclaimed other half, she would of course think that he should at least get a little more sleep.
And above all, Lady loved the time that she could spend close to Shizuru.
“Morning Lady. It’s a nice morning again, today, isn’t it”
“Yes, though I would’ve preferred that the sun doesn’t come up forever”
“Ahahaha. What’s with that”
Shizuru smiled wryly as he stretched his hand and stroked Lady.
Her pleased groan resonated with his spine. Shizuru then got up.
“Let’s get breakfast ready. I’m going to the market, what about you?”
“In that case I will go”
The great wolf was as tall as an adult man even on all fours.
If she went outside like that, she would be certain to cause an uproar.
“Really? Then, please”
But Shizuru didn’t show any unease toward Lady’s offer and nodded.
It was as if this was an everyday happening.
In actual fact, he did entrust Lady with morning shopping everyday.
Not long after Shizuru nodded, her shape began to flicker like a heat haze.
Several seconds passed, and the black wolf’s form vanished without a trace.
In its place, there was a black-haired woman.
— Not only did the noble magic beast Lady understand human language, she was also able to use ‘Black’ magic.
Among the eight colors of magic, Black was especially diverse. Something to change one’s own form was only a simple matter.
However, as should be expected, every time Shizuru saw that form, he would unconsciously display a strange countenance.
“… can’t you stop modelling yourself on Richelieu already? It’s just that, whenever I see it I get chills down my spine … I can’t calm down”
The suit she was wearing on her was white instead of black.
The color of her hair was dark as night instead of silvery white.
Her long slitted eyes would open instead of close, displaying their golden pupils.
These negative-image-like differences were there, but the shape of Lady’s face and the lines of her body were completely the same as those of their boss Richelieu.
Shizuru weakly pleaded to Lady, but the response was as he could imagine.
“I’m sorry my dear. Boss and Casca’s likenesses are the ones I can imagine most easily. But to walk around the slums as a girl that look like Casca will only invite trouble”
“It does, doesn’t it … well, okay, I’m counting on you for the shopping. I’m going to wake Cassie up”
Lady gave a graceful bow, then turned on her heels and left the room.
Each and every action of hers were again the same as Richelieu’s, making Shizuru smile wryly once again.
Not long after Lady left the room, Shizuru changed his clothes, washed his face, and opened the windows.
As he was immersed in the completely ingrained morning routine, he noticed a dull thud from outside the window.
As Shizuru lazily put on the top of his suit, he looked down and saw Lady carrying the shopping basket.
Meanwhile, there was a dirty looking man groaning at her feet.
He was probably making passes at Lady and got some severe punishment.
As a wolf that is of intellectually inferior compared to humans, and a magic wolf at that, she was truly ferocious toward others.
Though, since Shizuru had cautioned her to try to not kill anyone outside of work, there had been no murder incidents.
In that condition he must have had a few bones broken, the physician in him thought as he shook his head.
“Getting into a fight this early in the morning and not even one minute after getting out of the house, the slum’s running normally today, huh”
“Good that things are running as usual,” said Shizuru sarcastically as he stretched, seeing the scene that was by no means peaceful and quiet.
Just how much of a safe place was the place known as Japan.
Now that he’s gotten used to living here, he understood that more and more.
Then Shizuru walked up to the table that was one of the few pieces of furniture in the dreary room.
The bag laid carelessly on the tabletop contained drugs and other physicians’ tools.
They were easy-to-carry goods, due to his job as a town physician, but for Shizuru, who could wield White, Healing magic, they were mostly for show.
If pressed to say what was important, it would then be the thing attached to its outside.
The one with the handle and scabbard made to disappear into the design.
The knife that had a blade about 10 centimeters long with a longer handle, which, if one were to look closely, was warped.
His most prized possession with a cutting edge several times sharper than a razor, that had a blade so delicate that it had to be sharpened again each time it’s used.
When Shizuru picked it up by the handle, he felt some blood and fat still sticking to it.
When he tried looking closely, the tip of the blade was slightly chipped.
Which reminds me, when I cut with it last night, I thought I felt it hitting bone, he thought.
“… I have to sharpen it again”
The voice that came out of himself was heavier than he thought.
Ever since Shizuru was picked up seven years ago and took on the job, he always felt heavy after killing someone.
Especially someone he knew, someone who he, as a physician, had examined and treated before.
He was definitely not good at this.
Isn’t his side job as a physician more his life’s calling.
This was what Shizuru always thought the day after finishing a job.
Therefore Shizuru, the assassin group Black Maria’s third squad sub-leader Shizuru, would mutter each day.
Every day, every morning, every time, he would repeat these words.
Regardless of whether he could actually do it, he would absolutely say it.
Today, he would again repeat it once more.
“Aaaaah … I should get out of here already …”