V2 Chapter 91: Klimt’s Decision

As Klimt returned to the room where Lan and Yamato were, he was met with a solemn-faced Lan bowing deeply in apology.

“What’s going on?” Klimt asked, puzzled. After all, he had already received thanks for saving them from the mantis-like monster before the council meeting.

Seeing his confusion, Lan hesitated slightly before speaking. “I must apologize… I had suspicions that you might have been a spy for Nakayama.”

“Is that so? Don’t worry about it.”

Klimt responded without any anger, merely nodding. The truth was, his motivation for taking on this nearly thankless protection duty was already minimal. He didn’t feel like using formal language with a Kijin, and his choice of words was often rough. It was only natural for those he was assigned to guard to harbor some doubts.

In reality, Lan had deeply doubted Klimt’s intentions. But if he had truly been a spy for Nakayama, he wouldn’t have saved them from the monster. That realization probably cleared any suspicions she had towards Klimt.

Watching Lan, Klimt couldn’t help but be internally exasperated. Was she really so naive that she’d clear her suspicions just because he saved her once or twice? He could have had ulterior motives for saving them.

To call her honest would be one thing, but her naiveté was unbecoming of royalty. He suspected that she must have been coddled a lot during her upbringing. To someone like Klimt, who grew up in the harsh environment of the Berch household, this was the only way he could rationalize it.

Or maybe, this was just the usual behavior for the Kijin tribe. If that was the case, they might be easier to deal with than he’d thought.

While Klimt was lost in thought, Yamato began to address him. Perhaps Yamato was trying to ease the tense atmosphere created by his sister’s earlier confession.

“You are really strong, aren’t you, Kurt? ‘Faster than the eye can follow’ truly describes what I saw from you earlier,” Yamato said.

“I’m honored,” Klimt replied curtly.

“Um, if it’s alright with you, could you possibly teach me? I want to become stronger too!”

Yamato leaned in eagerly. Klimt was about to decline when he remembered his earlier thoughts. To get close to Yamato and Lan, he needed to earn their trust to some extent. Still, he had no intention of humbling himself before a Kijin. However, taking on the role of a sword instructor seemed like a meaningful proposition to him.

“My sword style is different from that of the Kijin tribe. Are you sure about this?” Klimt inquired.

“Absolutely!” Yamato replied instantly. Klimt then turned to Lan to gauge her reaction, but she showed no objections.

“Very well,” Klimt accepted Yamato’s request. In any case, he wasn’t planning to teach an eight-year-old child full-fledged swordsmanship. If it was to help his sister Claira, teaching the basics of sword swings was not a big deal.

“However, there was something that needed to be done before that,” Klimt thought as he looked around the room.

The room where the siblings from Mount Ganzan were staying still had a large hole in the wall. They had covered the wall with makeshift cloth to make it invisible from the outside, but as a repair, it was quite shoddy. Even the bodily fluids of the magical creature had not been properly cleaned up.

Moreover, it seemed that the siblings had taken care of these issues themselves. It wasn’t so much that Kasasagi deliberately ignored the siblings; rather, he simply hadn’t thought of it.

For Klimt, who was meticulous about everything, leaving the situation as is was not an option. It was more for his own sake than for Lan and the others. As the bodyguard for the two, Klimt inevitably spent a lot of time in this room. He had already been quite uncomfortable with the raw smell of fresh wood and the heavy humidity. Adding to that the stench of the magical creature’s bodily fluids and drafts from the gaps was more than he could bear.

Cutting wood, carrying it, and assembling it were not much trouble when he enhanced his body with Kei. Preparing hot water to wash away the bodily fluids was also easy for Klimt.

Without giving the siblings a chance to offer their help, Klimt quickly finished the repairs and cleaning, all the while mocking himself in a corner of his mind for what he was doing.

That night, Lan fell asleep before her younger brother. Normally, she would wait for her brother to fall asleep before doing so herself. But today, perhaps due to the attack by the magical creature during the day, her body seemed to crave early sleep.

Klimt, who was keeping watch at the entrance to the room, noticed small footsteps approaching. Soon, Yamato’s voice reached his ears.

“Klimt, may I talk to you for a moment?”

Looking at Yamato, who was speaking softly so as not to wake his sister, Klimt nodded silently. He thought Yamato would bring up the sword practice they had promised earlier, but what Yamato spoke of was his sister.

“Klimt, if something dangerous happens like it did today, please protect my sister over me.”

“…That is—”

“My sister is a kind person, like our mother. She’s good at knitting and sewing but knows nothing about fighting. I know she cries every night, trying not to let me hear. She’s not someone who should die in a place like this.”

Yamato regretfully said that he should be the one protecting his sister. ‘A man should protect a woman,’ had been their late father’s saying.

But he was just a child now, without such strength. That’s why he was asking Klimt.

Perhaps Yamato had surrendered earlier with the sole intention of saving his sister. Of course, he was also genuinely concerned about the soldiers.

The sister wishes only to save her brother, and the brother wishes only for his sister to be saved.

Klimt was not sentimental enough to see himself and his sister Claira in the two siblings. To begin with, Klimt would never entrust his sister’s safety to someone else. Whether he was powerless or whatever, he would try to protect her with his own hands.

Therefore, Klimt did not nod in agreement to Yamato’s request out of sentiment. Instead, he responded as follows:

“Don’t underestimate me.”


“You think I can only protect one of you? Stop worrying unnecessarily.”

Hearing Klimt’s blunt words, Yamato blinked in confusion for a moment. But he quickly realized what Klimt meant and brightened up.

Seeing Yamato look up at him with sparkling eyes, Klimt awkwardly turned his face away.

Just then, a hurried voice from Lan shook both their eardrums. It seemed she had woken up in a panic upon realizing Yamato was missing.

Upon spotting Yamato standing next to Klimt, Lan instinctively put her hand to her chest and let out a deep breath.

“Yamato, you’re here. Don’t worry me like that.”

“Ah, sorry, sister. I was wide awake, so I was talking with Klimt.”

“Klimt is on guard duty. You shouldn’t disturb him.”

Lan, who had admonished her brother, turned an apologetic face towards Klimt. This had happened several times before, and each time, Lan had looked at Klimt with eyes full of caution.

However, Lan’s expression now was softer and more relaxed than before, likely due to the events of the day. For Klimt, this was uncomfortably unsettling.

Why were the siblings so unguarded around him, a man of unknown origin? Just as Klimt was about to reply to Lan, harboring a frustration that was almost like misplaced anger—


A black figure descended from the sky as if weightless and landed right in front of Lan. It was so sudden that at first, Lan thought a bird or animal had fallen off the roof.

However, the figure, wearing a four-eyed demon mask, a black jacket, and a red loincloth, clearly contradicted Lan’s assumption.

Lan’s eyes widened in sheer surprise. The masked figure smoothly drew a thin sword and aimed its tip at Lan’s right eye.

Just as the thin sword was about to pierce Lan’s eyeball, a sword strike from Klimt, released without even drawing his hand back, forcefully deflected it.


Amid the high-pitched clang of metal echoing in the night, Lan stood dumbfounded, not understanding what had just happened.

Ignoring Lan, Klimt quickly transitioned to the offensive. He swung his sword in an upward arc, then flipped it in mid-air. Using the technique of Swift Turn, he reversed the direction of his sword strike and swung it down at the intruder.

The counterattack was perfect in both power and timing, but the intruder immediately kicked off the ground and retreated.

The intruder, who had flown back with his red loincloth fluttering, and Klimt, who stood in a straight line between him and Lan, readied his sword to protect the siblings.

He didn’t ask, “Who are you?” For Klimt, the identity of the intruder before him was clear. Although he was surprised that the intruder had acted so quickly.

“You’re in the way, human.”

A strangely high-pitched voice emanates from behind the demon mask. Likely a trick by Shinto Futo to conceal his identity.

Feeling as if he’s been subjected to a poorly executed play, Klimt lifts the corners of his mouth. Noticing this, the gaze emanating from behind the demon mask intensifies.

“…If you withdraw quietly, I will plead with King Nakayama to—”

“Your cheap theatrics are unbearable, Shinto Futo.”

With mockery, Klimt exposes the identity of his opponent. Surprised voices from Lan and Yamato can be heard from behind him.

To be honest, Klimt had intended to gather more information about the divine artifact before taking action. Even if he killed Shinto Futo and earned the siblings’ gratitude, it would be a wasted effort if they knew nothing about the divine artifact.

However, since Shinto Futo acted so quickly, Klimt was forced to choose between protecting Lan or abandoning her. Though it’s a choice, Klimt, who has no intention of obeying Shinto any longer, only has one answer.

And if he’s going to make an enemy of Shinto Futo anyway, he might as well reveal the secret first to seize the initiative. That’s what he thought.

Before Klimt’s gaze, the figure in the demon mask reluctantly removes it. The face revealed beneath is, as expected, that of Shinto Futo.

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