But you cannot judge a book by its cover. I could not drive her away after making such a declaration.
She can do her best without getting hurt, and when she understands her own limits, she can go home.
As I thought this, trouble erupted.
A giant man who had been standing behind the girl had dared to touch her buttocks.
She let it go with a blank expression and muttered ‘five’ as she stood there.
But a man who had witnessed it from the side berated the big man, and the fight began.
The girl watched this as if she were not involved and whispered, ‘four.’
“Trouble, I see.”
I took a step forward, but Hijikata Toshizou stopped me.
“The king cannot act as peacemaker in such a foolish brawl. It will lower you in their eyes.”
And so Toshizo walked out and admonished the large man.
From under the hood, the girl whispered, ‘three.’
I wondered what she was doing, but more importantly, the big man seemed to have not taken the warning well. He pulled a battleax from off his back.
Toshizou looked at it with a cool expression.
The moment that the ax was swung, the big man’s head would leave his body.
It wouldn’t be the prettiest sight. Eve said:
“Showing them blood here may have an advantage. Besides, keeping that large man in your ranks would only disturb your armies order.”
“That is quite true… Still, you sound very demonic.”
“I am a demon.”
As we talked, the girl in the hood said, ‘two.’
“Eve, why do you think she is counting?”
“Most likely a countdown.”
“Yes, but a countdown to what?”
“That, I do not know.”
Eve said, and then the countdown came to ‘one.’
The concept of zero existed here, so something would happen very soon.
It was just then, that the large man swung his battleax.
At the same time, Toshizou’s right hand went to the sword on his belt, but he did not unsheath it.
This was because the girl had said ‘zero’ first.
The moment the word was said, she pulled out her sword and struck at the large man in a clean arc.
Before he knew what was happening, his battleax had been severed in two.
His expression upon seeing it was one of confusion.
But he seemed to have known that she had done something, and so he moved to attack her.
How foolish could a man be?
How could he not understand at this point, the tremendous gap in their abilities?
If she cared to, she could have his head rolling on the floor in a second.
But it seemed that it was only I, Toshizou and Eve who understood it.
The big man would die if he didn’t realize it soon.
I was considering giving him a hint, but the girl’s sword danced, drawing lines in the air.
After the flurry of silver streaks faded, a carved out cross appeared on the man’s cheek, and the strings of his trousers fell away.
He looked rather stupid there, with his undergarments showing, but it seemed to have at least showed the reality of the situation to him.
That he had dared touch an incredibly dangerous person.
His face turned pale as he pulled up his trousers and fled from the hall.
The other spectators laughed at the sight, but I and Toshizou did not.
The big man had been laughable indeed, but we were in awe of the ability of the hooded girl.
If I had someone like her among my ranks, she would be worth a hundred men.
But, was she an enemy or an ally?
With such tremendous power to consider, I should not make any rash decisions, I thought. But it turned out to be a groundless fear.
The girl in the hood turned to look at me and took a knee. She said in prayer:
“I am a lamb whose virtue belongs to God. A maid who lives by the sword.
God’s will has sent me to this place.
As foretold, a boorish man touched my buttocks, and I waited for five seconds.
And then, a master who I must serve will appear.
God’s will came to pass.
He would have immense magic within him, and a heart full of benevolence.
Yes, that is you, my lord.
-Demon King Ashtaroth.”
There was something dignified and mystifying of this girl who shouted my name.
She looked like she had stepped out a church painting.
That is what I thought.
And so I asked her what her name was.
She then pulled off her hood, unleashing beautiful blonde hair.
“My name is Jeanne. Jeanne d’Arc. A warrior from the country of France, in another world.”
She said, with the purity of a Saint.