Disclaimer：I cannot guarantee the complete accuracy of this translation
The Answer that Vanished
Naala: The outside……?
I wonder how many days it has been since I last breathed the outside air?
With a mix of joy and confusion, I asked Noor a question.
And when I did, Noor replied with a kind voice that was unbecoming of him――
Noor?: Yes, we’ll be heading to our destination.
For some reason, Noor never returned to his own room.
There were no preparations for the journey, if anything, we were constantly turning corners and passing through tunnels. And these baffling actions just kept repeating.
Naala: Wouldn’t it be best if you greeted Toya…?
Noor?: We don’t have much time.
Naala: ? Is there a reason to hurry?
Noor?: ……Please grab onto me.
Without an answer to my question, Noor began moving the moment he spoke. And from the shaking and wind brushing against my body, I could tell that he was running at a shockingly fast speed.
His hast was suspicious, but I was afraid if I were to make him stop, my hopes would be shattered once more.
I don’t wish to lose this gentle Noor.
Noor?: ……Are you scared?
While clinging onto him involuntarily, I was comforted by that voice. Compared to what I heard down in the basement, it was the difference between heaven and earth; it was filled with warmth.
I may not know the reason for this change, but I wish to believe at least in that.
I shook my head lightly, and that was when,
???: Where do you think you’re going?
Said a low, demanding voice. And Noor stopped sprinting and turned towards said voice.
The arms holding me tensed slightly, and I could sense that he was wary.
???: I’ll ask you again. Where do you think you’re going?
Noor?: ……It has nothing to do with you. Let us through.
???: Is this betrayal?
???: You swore absolute loyalty to him… Yet, why?
Noor?: ……I’m grateful to him. However, never once have I sworn my loyalty to him.
???: You, who had once been his hands and feet, is claiming that? ……To think I once admired you, the strongest assassin.
Noor?: There was nothing else I wished to do, so I was fully devoted to my job, that’s all.
???: Seems like convincing you is pointless.
???: ――Well then, I’ll now have to dispose of you as a traitor.
Noor?: If you can, that is.
He took a short breath, and in the next moment, I felt like I afloat. ――He had taken a large leap.
From there, he changed his course and started sprinting again.
Despite the huge turn, without losing his grip on me in the slightest, he rapidly accelerated.
Naala: W-What exactly is…
Noor?: It’ll be alright. Trust me.
Perhaps I shouldn’t have tried to retract my body. Noor lost his balance and fell onto his knees.
And at that very instant――
As Noor grunted, the strength left from his arms. However, with the sound of tightly clenched teeth, I was lifted up once again.
Naala: Noor!? Are you hurt somewhere!?
Noor?: I-I’m fine.
Naala: There’s no way you are fine!
Noor?: I told you, didn’t I? ……It’d rather lose my life than to see you hurt……
Right as he spoke, sounds that tore up the sky rained down one after another, and each time, Noor’s body shook.
And after the constant tremors――
Suddenly, I was flung onto the ground and sent rolling. Taking a serious hit, my body screamed of pain; it was like my entire body was grating.
I fumbled around, searching for Noor.
When I approached the body that I felt with my fingertips, I heard the sound of something watery…and I felt something warm.
The rusty liquid spread around Noor like a puddle.
The Noor before me was still. As the warm puddle grew larger and larger, conversely, Noor’s body grew colder and colder.
???: ……It’s truly a shame. I’m sure Master Noor would grieve your loss.
(Noor will grieve? What do you mean? Noor is collapsed in front of me……)
I felt a dizzying headache and my ears began ringing.
Naala: You… Who are you……?
The person who brought me out and wished for me to smile; while holding his hand as his body slowly lost its warmth, I waited for an answer that would never arrive……