Finally, chapter 6 of Ototsukai is ready!
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Chapter 6: The Sound of Moving in the Shadows
Two days later after that, on Friday, I received an email on my Anonymous mobile phone. It was passed midnight.
The sender was called ‘Kuroinu’ 1.
I thought while I opened the email.
‘How about joining me for a job tonight?
I understand that you don’t know us yet, but Hakunetsu 2 will be there too.’
This was the content of the email.
In short, it was a job invitation.
In Anonymous, you usually do missions together with a partner whom you’re compatible with, and you polish your combos in order to raise the missions’ success rate. That’s the usual policy, but, like now, there are times when you do missions with other members apart from your partner.
In Anonymous, these kinds of invitations are called ‘shades’.
Roll said that I won’t be shaded since I’m a newcomer.
As for the reason why, obviously it’s because the mission’s success rate would drop.
And yet, what does this mean then?
It’s been only 5 days since I joined Anonymous.
On every member’s work phone a new contact address with the characters ‘Shion’ appeared, so I bet that everyone in the organization is aware of my existence.
And there was also the incident on the surface too.
Also, everyone should already know that my ability is beyond my control at this point.
There’s that too, but it might be actually normal to be shaded after 5 days. Who knows!?
Even though I haven’t done any one shot mission before…
At such a late time as well?
I have many doubts.
At any rate, I’ll send Roll an email at once to ask her about this. She might be asleep though.
‘I was shaded.’
I sent her this email and took one breath.
Since I was sweating, I thought about taking a shower.
I considered whether or not to do it when my phone vibrated. Not even one minute passed since I’ve sent that email.
I thought it was an email, but, in fact, it was a phone call. Obviously from Roll.
I answered the phone.
Her cracked voice could be heard. As I thought, she was asleep.
“Hello. Sorry, did I wake you up?”
‘Ain’t that obvious!? What time do you think it is? It’s 1, you know?
…….Well, leaving that aside, who shaded you? I bet it was Kemuri 3 or someone of his level.’
She had such a fast reaction even though she was asleep less than 1 minute ago? If I were to send that email on her private phone, not the work one, she probably wouldn’t have responded that quickly.
“Nope, it’s someone called Kuroinu.”
‘Aah, that guy? Then Hakunetsu is there too.
Decline them. Or better, ignore them completely.’
I see. Well, even if I were to go, I would only be a hindrance to them, so it’s only natural to refuse. My ability is the only thing strong about me.
However, I really thought that she would say “Why not give it a try?” or something.
“Understood. See yah.”
I said, and was about to hang up when Roll continued talking.
‘Since I thought it wouldn’t happen, I haven’t warned you yet, but you must not accept any shading. It’s too early for you. And it’s dangerous.
You’ll be free to accept shade missions only after we’ve done a few regular missions together and you develop your skills to a certain extent.
Until then, I prohibit you from doing that.’
It seems this is the reason I can’t join shade missions yet. Does she really think about my wellbeing?
For the time being, it would be better not to go against her.
I thought and answered.
‘Good. Good night.’
She hung up.
Well now, since they went to the trouble to invite me, I would feel bad to ignore them as Roll suggested, so I’ll just call Kuroinu-san and refuse him politely.
I looked up for Kuroinu-san in my work phone’s contacts and made the call.
I feel a little nervous to be honest.
I hope he won’t get angry after I refuse him.
After a short while, my call was answered.
‘Yo. It’s a great evening, above-the-norm boy! You coming!? You’re coming, right!?’
A loud voice resounded all of a sudden, so much so that I had to keep my cell phone away, at a considerable distance from my ear.
It seems that when talking with this man on the phone it is better not to keep it close to your ear.
Nevertheless, how will I refuse him…….
“No, I will have to refuse for today. I’m really sorry.”
‘Whaaaa! Did you hear that, Hakunetsu? He dared to refuse us!’
I heard the voice of the so-called Hakunetsu from the other side of the call. He said ‘Give me the phone’.
‘Hey, this is Hakunetsu.
Will you tell me the reason for turning us down…….No, I will guess it.
Roll told you to, am I right? She told you to decline.’
AhahahaHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!! You are completely under her thumb! You’ll do everything that woman says! Stuuupid, stuuupid!!’
………What’s with this guy?
‘I checked you up, you know!
Virgin! No girlfriend! Even though your face isn’t that bad, you’ve never had anyone confess to you!
Kuhahakahaha!! What are you living for!? Ahahahahaha!!’
I could hear their laughter clearly. Kuroinu-san is laughing too, it seems.
Their unpleasant laughter continued to resound.
They were not making fun of me, rather, they were trying to make me angry. I understood that.
I was about to hand up without saying anything.
As Roll said, maybe it would’ve been better to ignore them.
‘Stoooooooooop! You were about to hang up just now, right!?
Haha, AHAHA, to be honest, I haven’t checked you up at all!! HAHAHA……Fuhihi.
Anyhow! You are lacking in passion! Just violate Roll’s orders!
What? Even if you make a mistake during the mission, we won’t blame you!
Besides, this time’s mission is like a walk in the park at night!’
What should I do?
After these last words, I, just a little tiny bit, felt like wanting to go on mission with them. It kinda seemed like fun.
And then, leaving their provocations aside, would it be really all right to stay like this, after what they said?
To be honest, I didn’t really feel much restraining force coming from Roll’s order.
Until this very day she hasn’t told me about her ability, and perhaps she’s even weaker than me.
To put things bluntly, Roll is not too scary.
‘Ooh! I can feel the waves of hesitation coming from your way!
You’re coming!? Are you coming!?
How is it, my man, Shion! Come on! Come on, baby!
And then I gave my answer.
“…….I accept. Where should I go?”
‘Yeeeeeeeeeah! He’s comiiiiiing!!
Café, no. 10! The password is <A I U E O>!
We’ll be waiting! Good bye!’
“No. 10, please.”
Currently, I am at the Café directly managed by Anonymous.
Yes, it’s the usual entrance.
This is where you can trade for important information.
No. 10 is used for information that is too sensitive and cannot be transmitted openly, so the café master manages it.
“……A I U E O”
I said the mysterious password.
“Point A-12. Knock 2 times the 5th shutter.”
After I received this info, I left the café and went towards the indicated place.
Of course, I walked.
Everyone in Anonymous is very strict in handling information about their ‘whereabouts’.
It’s a little annoying, but this kind of thoroughness is somewhat cool.
Point A-12 was a parking lot.
I confirmed the 5th shutter two times then knocked twice.
Having done so, the shutter opened vigorously.
“Thanks for coming, Shion! I’m Kuroinu!”
“And my name is Hakunetsu!”
The lights got switched on, illuminating the dark insides of the warehouse.
The first thing that came into view was an extremely fast-looking car (I’m not very knowledgeable when it comes to cars, so I don’t know its brand).
Its black body was illuminated and it started to shine bewitchingly.
Hakunetsu-san sat down on the car’s bonnet, bringing his hand to his bright red sun glasses.
He was wearing a white suit, and was looking like a dangerous person.
And, behind him was Kuroinu-san, standing with his arms crossed at his chest.
He was wearing a black suit and black sun glasses.
Kuroinu-san had a solid build. Hakunetsu-san had a tall and slender figure.
“…….It’s nice meeting you. I’m Shion.”
“Yo! Yo! Thanks for coming, Shion-kun.”
“It’s thanks to Hakunetsu!”
“Ah! It’s thanks to me!”
This is bad. These two are extremely noisy.
“Well now, there’s something we must warn you about at once.”
Hakunetsu-san ended his pose and started walking towards me. When he arrived next to me, he grasped my shoulder firmly.
He raised his sun glasses a little and looked me in the eye.
Then he started talking.
“You must definitely not tell Roll anything about this, all right!?”
“Yeah, that’s also a request from my part.”
Kuroinu-san agreed as well.
…….In spite of everything, maybe it would’ve been better to obey Roll’s order.
Looking at these guys’ attitudes, Roll must really be dangerous…….
“Well, if Roll finds out about this, it won’t be easy for you either, so I don’t think you’ll tell her.”
“…….As I thought, Roll is really amazing, right?”
“Well, yeah! Her overall evaluation is ‘all S’! She’s a monster!”
Are you for real?…….Is she really that strong?!
I don’t actually understand what an overall evaluation means, but I’m kinda scared now……..
“In terms of power, Roll is Anonymous’ no. 6, you know!
Anyhow! Roll must not find out about this!
She must absolutely not find out!”
I got cold feet and nodded vehemently.
I regret not listening to her and coming here.
“If you knew that you’ll be in trouble if she finds out, why did you shaded me?”
Kuroinu grinned broadly.
Hakunetsu smirked too, and put his sun glasses back in place.
“It’s for the thrill and enthusiasm! We wanted to go on a mission with you! C’mon baby!”
They said, then got into the car and started the engine.
Kuroinu-san sat on the driver’s seat, Hakunetsu-san on the passenger’s seat.
Before I noticed, the rear seat door got opened too.
However, I was quickly and completely frozen in place, dumbfounded.
“Get up, noobie!”
I was taken aback by those words and rushed inside the car.
The car took off with great speed.
I knocked my head against the window with all my might.
“Weeeell, let’s go!!”
“Wait, what kind of mission is this!?”
We departed without even finding out about the details of the mission.
I got in the car, so there was nothing I could do anymore.
There was no turning back now.
“I’ll only say it once, so listen closely!
This mission requires driving to the neighboring town!
There’s an underground casino there, where a certain ‘product’ washed away! It appears that a comrade from a branch division made a mistake!
He must retrieve that and BAAN! Destroy it! Most likely, the SDF will be there too! According to the situation, combat engaging is probable!
The degree of difficulty for this mission is between C and A!”
“Oh! Approximately! However, well, for us, the degree of difficulty has no meaning-inu!!”
I listened to them then put on the seat belt.
I had my work phone inside the pocket.
I hesitated whether to ask Roll for help or not, but, in the end, I decided not to.
I sighed softly.
The car ran at a speed that clearly violated the law, and the roar of the engine resounded as we hurried on the highway.
The flowing landscape.
My town was rapidly going further away.
If I could send a message to the me from one hour ago, I would write something like “You must listen to what Roll said”.
“When will we reach the neighboring town?”
I asked, my voice drained of strength.
“We’ll get there soon! In about one hour or so!?”
I gave up and decided to do my best for this mission, then closed my eyes.
Seemingly wanting to interfere with my determination, the roaring engine and the loud music resonated inside the car.
Other stuff: Mockii