50 – In the Darkness
In the dark shadows, a light flashed.
The shifting figures. Several faces illuminated by a pale, flickering blue light. But all were wearing masks.
Coarse breathing could be heard, suggesting how stifling it all was.
And then suddenly, the flickering blue light turned to red.
The men nodded to each other, and then cleaned up the tools that were scattered on the ground.
Their job here was finished.
The red light was the signal that the time bomb had been activated.
Now, the only thing left to do was to wait…
Suddenly, a voice echoed in the dark.
The men turned around in surprise.
I looked down at the group of five. Expressionless.
“Quite a coincidence, bumping into you in a place like this. Last time, you just ran away…”
I said, turning my eyes to one man in particular.
While he was wearing a mask, I didn’t need to see his face to detect his presence.
He was the only one here who wielded a sword instead of a gun… The man who had pushed Ms. Iria to the brink.
“…I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
As he spoke, they moved.
Immediately pulling out their pistols and firing.
I cut down the unleashed bullets.
Light and sound were at a minimum. Silencers? So they had them in this world as well.
“Firing guns here? Don’t you think that’s dangerous?”
“I don’t. This isn’t a place that can be affected so easily.”
“That’s good to know.”
Indeed, there were no signs banning open flames.
“…From the looks of you, you must be related to the Count? How did you find us?”
“It’s quite simple. There was no other place you would go.”
“Huh. So you saw it was a bluff.”
Yes, all a bluff.
Show the bomb to Ms. Iria. Tell her that they were going to blow the arena.
They had known that she was listening.
However, the place would be strictly guarded during the tournament. After all, it was too obvious a target for such attacks.
Not only that, but according to the captured man’s confession, the bomb was not powerful enough to destroy the arena.
Though, he was delusional enough to think that it was.
However, while the arena had been built during the age of the ancient civilization, it had been modified to be ridiculously durable.
“Even if the bomb was placed in the arena, all it would accomplish is having the games canceled. However…”
If their goal was to distract security, so that it left another place unguarded… Well, it made sense.
“In that case, what other place could it be?”
The place that would cause the most damage if hit by a bomb.
An etherial…wasn’t quite the same thing as a nuclear reactor from my old world…but it was similar.
If it went out of control, it would cause incredible damage.
“But the core has already been removed. Even if you destroyed this place, it would not paralyze all of the city’s functions. I’m not sure what you meant to do amidst the chaos…but it is no use now.”
“…Tsk. I should have killed the brat when I had the chance.”
I smiled at the man’s words.
“There is one thing I wanted to ask.”
“What? In this situation?”
“You… You did that on purpose, didn’t you? In order to force Ms. Iria to kill.”
The man frowned but looked impressed.
It was strange that they would tie someone up so haphazardly and then throw them into a storage room with a sword. How convenient was that?
He had known from the beginning.
She was the Count’s daughter. And she was out for revenge.
Indeed, she must have found him by sheer luck. And it was by luck that he noticed.
However, he decided to use it.
If the Count’s daughter had been known to commit murder, that would surely throw the police off.
“You always meant for that other man to die.”
“Of course. All I wanted was his knowledge. But he was too crazy. He had to disappear, or the information would leak.”
If it came to it, he would probably have just killed the man himself, and then blame it on Ms. Iria.
Unfortunately for him, Ms. Iria did not accomplish her revenge, and the man survived.
“It would have been quite a setback to your plans”
“You’re damn right. I should have stuck to doing things the way I always do them.”
The man pulled out his sword.
“Kill without hesitation.”
It was what he was good at.
The man tore off his mask and held up his sword. He looked quite confident.
“So, why did you come alone? Surely you’re not after revenge as well?”
The reason that I came here was simple.
“It’s just a job.”
My hand rested on the hilt.
“…I was told to capture you all.”
A single flash—
That was all. And the four men with pistols all fell to the ground, unconscious.
Breaking Thread—Modified Technique, Flash Hit.
As the blades were made of wind, the power could be controlled.
And so they had been brought down to the absolute weakest in order to knock them out.
In sudden realization, the man’s hand went up to press the slash that appeared on his neck.
He did not even know when it had happened.
In other words. It was a cut with a clear, deliberate message. I could have your head whenever I want.
“I won’t kill you now. However, it’s only because I want to ask you some questions.”
After that. Well, he would likely die.
By the Count’s hand.
Ms. Iria isn’t the only one with a grudge. Unable to forgive.
The Count had lost a son.
At the same time, as a father, he did not want his daughter to be sullied by the pursuit of revenge.
“Do you know a group called Death Papillon? A loose crime gang in the underworld.”
The man froze.
“Their leader. A man called Ragi. He’s your younger brother, isn’t he?”
I learned it today. When the police were creating a sketch based on Ms. Iria’s memories. I recognized the face.
And the connection to the butterfly.
Did they use the butterfly because of his older brother? Or was there a different reason?
While Ragi did not say it, he apparently looked up to his older brother.
“It seems that you’ve been leaking information about the organization to him.”
According to him. There was no clear agito for the organization, and they only gathered together when ordered.
According to him. There were ten leaders.
According to him—these leaders had a butterfly and number tattooed to their skin.
However, his older brother had disappeared five years ago. But before leaving, he had called himself Dust.
“Dust. You joined the organization five years ago. To be exact, during the attack on the imperial army in Ithrika.”
“…What if I did?”
“In other words, you’re still new within the organization. It would have been someone else who orchestrated the attack on the imperial army.”
“…Don’t you even think that I’ll talk.”
“It doesn’t matter.”
It was not my job to make people talk.
These men were not going to be sent to the police.
And so they could not expect to be treated well.
The Count suspected that the ‘Organization’ had infiltrated the police department.
After all, members had been arrested before. But they would either die in their cells or mysteriously escape.
And so to this day, little was known about them.
They had to be captured, made to talk and then killed.
That was the Count’s decision.
“Heh…hehehe… Damn you. Damn you…!!”
The man thrust out his hand.
At the same time, numerous stone spears shot out from the ground and ceiling.
They surrounded me completely from all sides. And all together, they pierced through my body.
Or so it would have looked to him.
By that time, I was already standing behind his back.
Walking Technique, Shadow Leaf.
Leave an afterimage and enter your opponent’s blindside.
In order to knock him unconscious, I raised my hand to strike…
I felt a presence, and jumped back.
It happened so suddenly. From their whole bodies, fresh blood began to spray into the air.