What was of the man who opened the birdcage – Part 3
Takumi returned to Suzuran after the meeting.
“Hi guys, sorry it took me so long… what’s going on here?”
A loud noise invested him when he opened the door.
He saw a little crowd cramped in the dining room. Suzuran’s three most famous members Kunon, Karin and Mirta, the special tasks’ team Jill and Geiz, the demi-human force’s honor members Aigle and Lewin, their lifelong friends Lilia and Killfer and many others were gathered in there.
For some reason, Lise was being thrown high up in the air from the middle of that crowd.
Karin turned around to see who had come, and there stood Takumi who was looking at the scene dumbfounded, probably wondering within him what on earth was going on.
She approached him.
“Welcome back. How was your talk with Lux?”
“Oh, we talked about territory and stuff… wait, why the heck are they throwing Lise in the air?”
“Weeell… when we started Lise’s welcome party, Lilia shouted that the winner of the drinking game would’ve won the right to hug Lise, but then Jill won and Aigle started crying and begging him to hand over the right, aaand… things ended this way, I guess.”
“I don’t get how it came to this. I’m getting the chills…”
“Honestly, I don’t really get all this either…”
Karin pointed at the crowd just in time to see Lise, who had been released in that very instant, running to them to look for help.
“He-Help me! They will break me if this keeps going!”
“NHHH~! Only touching Lady Lise makes me burst INTO JOY!”
“Stop it! Especially you, bird! I want you to stop coming at me!”
Lise hid behind Takumi as the huge frame of Aigle closed their distance.
“NYUUUHHH! WHAT SHALL I FOLLOW NOW, THE FAITH IN MY HEART OR THE LOYALTY IN MY BRAIN~?!”
“Dammit, does your faith ask you to chase after children? Also, keep your stupid voice down.”
“HAAAHHH! I BEG YOUR PARDON!”
“Lewin, punish this boisterous bird.”
“Whaaat?! That’s a punishment for me as well, isn’t it?!”
“If you don’t behave, Kunon is gonna kick some discipline into you.”
“LORD LEVIIIN! I DO WANT TO DIE NOOOW!”
“Then leave it to me, Aigle! Let’s get our prize from Sis Kunon!”
The people watching them laughed soundly.
Takumi ignored them and turned his gaze to Lise, who had tugged his sleeve up to that moment… and there she was, with her arms wide open.
“What is it?”
“Everyone hugged me all together… now it is your chance to fulfill your duty.”
“Who decided that hugging you was my duty…?”
“It would be unfair if you were the only one who didn’t.”
She blushed slightly as she turned her face away from him, but she kept her arms wide open.
Takumi smiled wryly as he lifted her up quickly.
“Look how high you fly~!”
“This has been way more cringey than expected. Let me down, please.”
“Oh, c’mon, don’t say that. Can’t you see?”
Takumi pointed at the crowd with a nod of his head, and Lise turned her head to peek that way: everyone was smiling.
The closest people and the two clowns were laughing loudly at the funny scene, the ones who had ignored those dummies were wearing a wry smile, those who had kept a little distance were dragged into the mood by the liveliness.
Different races had broken down the walls dividing them… it was very nostalgic, as if the entire world had forgotten about that feeling until that moment.
“It’s a great view, right?”
Lise smiled happily in front of Takumi’s grin.
“Yes, it is wonderful… and you are too, since you have made it come true.”
Her words were soft as her lips curled into the most pure and innocent of smiles.
The person in Takumi’s arms wasn’t the gloomy child who was always afraid and worried by her surroundings: she was the little girl who earned her freedom after being caged for so long.
Thinking that, he couldn’t help but smile her back.
“I fulfilled my duty now, right? How long should I keep hugging you like a child?”
“…I am not a child. But I will turn a blind eye for this time.”
“Oww, thank you. This is your welcome party, isn’t it? Go have some fun with everyone.”
He let her down and pushed her slightly towards the lively crowd. Lise nodded before approaching the people happily.
The next moment, Takumi turned on his heels.
“Karin, I’ll leave the rest to you.”
“Okay, but… where are you going?”
“Elsa is waiting for me. I have to go with her.”
“Oh, do you have a new job? Then let me…”
“Nope, I’m going alone. ‘I’ll leave the rest to you’ means that you have to stay here.”
Takumi showed her a troubled smile while ruffling her hair.
“Stop it! How many times must I tell you I’m older than y—”
“This is why I leave everything specifically to you.”
He then flicked her on the forehead and left her behind. The elf looked puzzled as she stared at his back until the door, shutting behind him, hid it from her sight.
The slums were noisy as always. Takumi took a deep breath of air – which not even a flatterer could describe as ‘clean’, ‘pleasant’ or ‘fragrant’ – before facing Elsa.
“Thank you for your concern, Elsa Fairstadt, Captain of the Guards.”
He tried to be funny, but Elsa, who was waiting for him outside the door, didn’t change her expression.
“I already told you to stop acting like we don’t know each other. This is why I am concerned.”
“I see… but aren’t you going a bit too far?”
Takumi looked around them shrugging his shoulders.
Dozens of soldiers had their eyes on him, all of them with the same gloomy expression she was wearing. They were all guards of the slums.
“I took this measure not to make you run away from me. If you try, I’ll be forced to take your head.”
“That’s quite brutal, but I guess you’re just doing your job. Don’t worry, I don’t plan to resist. I’ll behave.”
“…Thank you for collaborating. Follow me according to formalities, then.”
Elsa pierced Takumi with her sharp gaze after taking a deep breath.
“Takumi, slave merchant of Suzuran, you are suspected of murdering Prince Kiad Fortesea. You are to follow me to the central and attend the inquisition’s trial, where your guilt will be discussed.”
Elsa then bit her lip as she understood she had just announced a death sentence.
“You’re under arrest.”
She spoke loudly, a sour expression on her face as she faced Takumi’s smile.
“Okay. I’ll come with you.”
Afterword (November 1st 2017)
Hey there, I’m Fujiki Washiro. Thank you for letting me publish the second volume of Saiteihen kara New Game. I’m really grateful to share this story with everyone and I’m glad I can keep working on it.
Since this is the afterwords of the second volume, let’s talk a bit about its contents.
Warning: this afterwords contains spoilers.
I introduced Lise Crest, the unfortunate key character of this arc, in this volume. She can hardly be herself with people, so she shows a lot of different parts of her personality or none at all.
Living her situation must be unfortunate and pitiful… that’s why I pictured her like ash.
I believe that being accepted and understood is a form of freedom too.
By the way, Mr. N – who was in charge of me this time – said ‘Lize is adorable! I sooo want to bully her!’
As the author of this novel, I would’ve never expected someone to get excited about seeing a little girl being treated like that.
Oh, but let me clarify: Mr. N is a very diligent and serious person.
When he informed me that ‘I really enjoyed choosing Lise’s pictures for this volume! Especially those where she gets beaten!’, I could hear the excitement of a diligent editor who took his job very seriously.
I also have to say that the e-mail where he said ‘Nice! There’s quite some bullying on Lise all through the volume! I like it!’ made me understand how serious and gentle an editor he is.
It is exactly because he’s that serious… that he must be really tired right now… (Me looking in the distance…)
Thinking about it, the first time I handed him the script he said ‘Wow, Mister Fujiki, you really like to bully little girls, huh?’ and well – no. That’s just a misunderstanding.
I like the latter part, which is ‘despite being an unfortunate little girl, once Lise got saved, she could finally show an innocent smile to everyone’, which means that I don’t strictly like the process that brings to that ending, but the ending in itself. It’s a different literary current.
I hope you enjoyed the Lise my editor Mr. N got so excited about.
Now I need to talk about the structure of magic in this world.
Rather than flashy scenes with magic, I pictured magic simply.
The characters will have a lot to do with it from now on in this story. I’m planning of writing at least ten volumes of this novel, and to do so, I needed to define it early in the story.
I’m hoping I can reach my goal, so I introduced it in this one.
I hope I explained it well… I’m still a bit worried about it. I’ll keep doing my best.
Okay, now I’m done with the serious part of the afterwords and I’m a bit tired, so think of the rest of this part as the author being an ass.
Maaan, the Goddess’ tiddies’ size was suuuper appreciated!
Yeah, in this novel there are a lotta characters with big breasts!
In the first volume, the only small-breasted girl was Kunon, that’s why I tried to balance the ratio with Lise and the Queen in this one. I’m the worst, huh?
On the other hand, the Goddess’ grew bigger. Let me be honest about it, I even set a reminder that explicitly stated ‘Make the Goddess’ breasts bigger, please’ for both the illustrator and I.
The girls’ breasts aren’t filled only with dreams, but they also foreshadow—
Crap, there isn’t enough space for it! Oh well, don’t mind my inclinations too much, please.
Enough with the stupid talk, it’s time to thank everyone who’s helped me so far.
To the person in charge of me, Mr. N: I picture you as the man who enjoys seeing little girls being bullied. Our literary schools might differ, but we share similar tastes, so I’m looking forward to working with you again.
To the person in charge of the illustrations, Yuzuka: thank you very much for all the illustration you did. When I first received your design of Lise, both my editor and I talked so much about how cute she is that we didn’t have more time to talk about the rest of the story. In a way or another, you demonstrated perfectly how cuteness can be a destructive power.
To the editorial staff and the people who allow me to publish this book: I’m grateful to all of you from the bottom of my heart.
To you: I hope you enjoyed this volume. I would be very glad if you did.