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Chapter 10: A Ferocious Sound
The audience inside the observation room was standing still.
I could hear Kuroinu-san and Hakunetsu-san cheering for me from behind the enhanced glass.
Getsuri-san stood 5 meters in front of me, and he was already prepared for battle.
The boss’s voice resounded in the training room.
I’ll explain now the rules for this duel with Roll at stake.
The first to incapacitate his opponent wins. Neither of you is allowed to use weapons. Killing is prohibited.
As a handicap, Getsuri is not allowed to use attacks stronger than C ranked ones. Nor is he allowed to unlock his restrictions.’
They gave him a handicap.
Well, it has nothing to do with me. If I don’t end this in one blow, I will surely lose.
‘Roll will give you the start signal.’
‘What? Me? ………All right.’
The boss handed over the mic to Roll.
I gulped down my saliva.
Then stared at Getsuri-san.
It was Roll’s voice.
I used her signal, and changed it into a roaring explosion sound.
Still, the moment before that, Getsuri-san covered his ears.
Getsuri-san kicked the ground and arrived before my eyes in an instant, then he seized my head.
My vision got distorted as he slammed me to the ground on my back.
In that moment, all the sounds I was hearing vanished.
I couldn’t hear Kuroinu-san’s cheering anymore, nor the sounds outside the training room.
All I could hear now was the sound of my breathing.
I took the liberty to lock your ability.
You have no way of winning this.”
Is this for real?
He beat me this easily…….
“If it weren’t for Roll’s voice, my eardrums would’ve been destroyed by now.
You’re too obsessed with speed, you know.”
I stood up and stepped back.
When will my ability come back…… I didn’t know.
At any rate, all I can do now is running around…….
“I’m sorry to say but I won’t let you run away.”
My vision turned dark.
I actually closed my eyes. No, I was forced to close them.
And I can’t open them either.
He locked my eyes……!
I could hear a heavy step.
Immediately after, I felt an impact at the back of my head.
Before I could realize, I was crawling on the ground. Something was dripping. I had a nosebleed.
Did I hit my nose on the ground just now?
All I can do is give in……..
“Why in the world is this guy Roll’s partner!?”
He kicked me in the stomach. For a moment, I could not breathe, but I somehow staggered and managed to stand up.
Normally, it’s easy to stand up with your eyes closed.
But now, for some reason, I felt it really difficult.
Was standing up always this difficult?
When I managed to finally stand, he punched me again and I fell on my buttocks.
The attacks didn’t stop.
With my eyes closed, all I could do was groan as I continued to receive Getsuri-san’s strikes.
When I stood up, he kicked me to the ground again; when I crawled around, he trampled me down.
“Fuahahahahahahaha!! Be disillusioned by Roll!”
I was panting.
I can’t open my eyes but I can feel that they’re swollen.
He punched me in the pit of my stomach and I tumbled down, unable to breathe.
“……..You’re such an uninteresting man. Why did Roll……Why……..”
This is no good. On a second thought, I’ll just kill you.”
Kill me……? I’m sure that the boss said killing wasn’t allowed…..!
This is foul play!?
The moment I heard those last words, something like an electric shock ran through my body.
I bent back my body as I dodged Getsuri-san’s attack, then stood up again.
Immediately after that I took off my restraint ring.
I could hear this sound.
…….It was the sound of a heartbeat.
I can hear now. My ability is back…….
My eyes were still locked.
But I could hear things.
I could hear everything around me. Even without my vision, I could see things.
Calm down……. Calm down, myself……
—— Calm down and kill.
“You dodged it well, didn’t you?”
“…….I can hear sounds…….coming from you. The sound of your heart, …….the sound of your breathing.”
I detest death…….
To prevent it, all I can do is kill my opponent.
There’s no way my Skill Lock would wear out this quickly.”
I crouched down to dodge his mighty kick, as I got close to Getsuri-san.
I couldn’t see him, but I imagined that his expression was one of surprise, even shock.
I held my left hand in front of Getsuri-san’s face and snapped my fingers.
I destroyed his eardrums…….Did I leave him unconscious too?
I grabbed Getsuri-san by his hair and pushed him down.
He didn’t fight back, so I knew that he lost his senses. He fainted.
However, I could still hear his heartbeat.
…….I must kill him.
This person is dangerous.
My vision was still dark. Even so, my senses were so sharp that I could clearly see everything.
I removed a knife from my waist holder and grabbed Getsuri-san’s hair again.
I could hear the door to the training room opening from behind me.
And then, the sound of people rushing towards me.
This is bad, I gotta kill him fast …….!
My knife was about to reach his neck, when my right hand was firmly seized by something.
I dropped the knife.
Without a moment’s delay, I was about to take out another knife with my left hand but I couldn’t move it either.
‘That’s enough, Shion. You won.’
It was the boss’s voice.
I opened my eyes and saw that several people, Roll included, were restraining me.
All of them were ready for battle, and if I were to move again, they would suppress me in an instant.
“……Why are you stopping me? You didn’t stop Getsuri-san when he was about to kill me.”
‘That’s because I believed you could handle it.
From the very beginning I thought that you would win.’
That’s not it.
“Since he tried to kill me, I bet that this guy won’t complain if I kill him instead…….”
‘I said no killing.’
“I don’t get it.”
All my joints were aching. He seriously beat me.
“Shion, you won, so it’s all right. Control yourself. Because of this, Getsuri-san will be sent to a branch agency again.”
Roll said. But I didn’t turn my eyes away from Getsuri-san.
“Calm down, Shion. Why are you so furious?”
“……..I am calm. And I’m not furious at all.”
“…….I understand what you’re feeling, but there will be many times when you’ll be on the verge of dying from now on. You will kill many people too.”
Roll said to me in a kind voice.
But it’s not really about that.
“I came to this place precisely because I didn’t want to die!”
I pressed my middle finger against my thumb and clicked them.
A thunderous roar. I refrained from using my full power though.
Those who restrained me faltered, and I took that moment to grab a knife and swung it down towards Getsuri-san’s neck.
However, before the edge could reach it, a felt a shock running through my body.
Right after that, I got slammed onto the wall and lost consciousness.
When I woke up, I found myself in Roll’s bed. Her nice scent tickled my nostrils.
My body wasn’t hurting anymore. Most likely Chiyaku-san healed me.
I then started to remember the incidents from some moments ago.
Maybe it’s something like a trauma for me.
I am too obsessed with living. I can’t forgive those who try to kill me.
No…Actually, I don’t understand it anymore.
When he attacked me yesterday, it was nothing like this. Maybe because Roll was there too.
“Did you calm down?”
“Sorry. I kinda lost myself.”
I stood up and looked at Roll, who was sitting on a chair.
At that moment, I realized that the restraint ring was back on my finger.
“It can’t be helped.”
The mattress sheets got a little wet because of my sweat. The pillow as well.
“Sorry, your sheets are drenched with sweat. You should maybe wash them.”
“Don’t worry about that. Do you want some water?”
I got out of the bed and fetched my phone from inside my schoolbag.
It was past eight.
Was it already this late?
I drank up the glass of water she placed for me on the table, then thanked her and sat down on a chair.
I took out my school stuff.
“Hey, will you help me study now?”
Roll made a happy expression and brought her chair closer to mine.
It seems that my partner is quite a nice person.
She’s sometimes wild and scary but, some way or another, she’s kind.
To be honesty, it’s about time I fell for her.
Leaving the jokes aside, four days passed since my duel with Getsuri-san; it was a Saturday now.
Today, I went to the secret base again; I haven’t gone there since the duel.
During these four days that I haven’t visited the hideout, I did nothing but study and train.
Thanks to this, I am quite confident in the upcoming tests.
And, because I declared this, Roll told me she will take me on a mission with her today.
In truth, this was our first mission together.
The mission’s content is ‘Suppressing a buried dragon’.
Even though it’s a dragon suppression mission, the buried dragon is a magical beast, smaller and weaker than all the other dragons.
The bones of a buried dragon don’t burn out, so the Development Department requested some, since the ones they used until now broke off. And Roll accepted this mission.
Almost all the magical beasts hunting requests come from the Development Department.
There are times when the boss brings some in from underground routes.
“How far do we have to go?”
“To the Tsuhara Plateau.”
The Tsuhara Plateau? That’s quite far away.
The elevator made a short ding as we arrived to the café.
Roll went to talk to the café’s owner and I walked towards the exit.
“Master, No. 8. Stray Arrow.”
“C-47. It’s the third truck from left.”
Roll finished her exchange with the café owner and walked towards the exit.
There were many people inside the café today. Usually, there are mostly people who go to the hideout around here, but it seems that this place is often used as a normal café too.
“Well, let’s go now.”
We left the hideout.
When we arrived at point C-47, we found out that it was a restaurant’s parking lot.
Roll did as she was told, and got into the third truck from the left. She started the engine.
I got into the truck too and sat on the passenger’s seat.
“Can you even drive this thing?”
“You might say so.”
A short time later, the truck took off; we soon left the town.
That’s the name of Roll’s ability.
Roll was a chosen human being.
There were very few people in this world who had ‘something like that’.
Yes, a Skill Repeat.
Roll has two abilities.
Together, they make the Rolling Cat.
Her first ability is a manipulation type, called ‘Only Roulette’.
Roll can ‘one-time rotate’ all the things she touches.
She can freely control the speed of the rotation, but it has a upper limit. It doesn’t have a lower limit though.
The range for this ability is ‘everything that Roll can touch’.
Roll can freely control the direction of the rotation as well. However, just by touching the ground, she can’t rotate the people who stand on it.
There are a few other restrictions to this ability, but it also has many practical uses; no wonder that Roll is the organization’s no. 6.
And then, she has another ability.
An enhancement-type one, called ‘Stray Cat’.
This is similar to Kuroinu-san’s ability, a physical changing enhancing type.
This ability has a unique use; all the people who enter its range will be pulled towards Roll by a strange psychological gravity.
Roll is not really too willing to use this ability since it is stamina consuming, and, therefore, hard to maintain.
Also, according to rumors, …….. she grows cat ears and changes her figure into something extremely charming.
I haven’t seen this form of hers yet, but, in all honesty, I’m dying to see it.
Anyway, this reconfirmed Roll’s awesomeness.
And yes, the mission finished without me being able to do anything.
“It was an easy victory.”
Roll said, as she drove the truck.
We were carrying the corpse of a buried dragon, with its twisted neck, on the roof rack.
“Was there even a meaning in me coming here?”
“Nope, there wasn’t. Once we’re back, you’ll have to continue studying.”
The truck roared noisily on the plateau.
Roll was driving quite dangerously too.
At that moment, I suddenly heard a noise coming from behind our back.
A listened carefully.
……..What sound is this?
I opened the window and peeked behind us.
“!? What the hell is that!?”
I looked at it and drew my head back inside the car.
“Roll! Something is flying towards us!”
That thing unexpectedly reflected in the rearview mirror.
It was a huge dragon, that couldn’t even be compared to the one we carried on the truck’s roof rack.
“It’s an edged dragon…….! We sure are unlucky!
I’m gonna use the rocket engine! Shion, hold on tight!”
“Wait! Are you serious?”
Right after I took an anti-shock position, I got held in the passenger seat with a thud.
The truck was making a thunderous roar, as the scenery seemed like it was flowing.
“Shion! Check if it’s still following us!”
The edged dragon wasn’t showing in the rearview mirror anymore.
I could neither hear its roar because of the engine’s noise.
I looked again behind us.
It wasn’t there.
I looked up at the sky and saw the edged dragon.
“This is bad! It’s still chasing us!”
“Wha! I’ll go out! Shion! Continue to drive!”
Roll opened the window and got out.
I hurried to move to the driver’s seat and seized the steering wheel.
“Go full throttle!”
I heard her voice coming from above, and I stepped on the pedal with all I got.
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