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Chapter 13: The Sound of a Sudden Change
Roll and I woke up before the alarm rang at 7 o’clock.
We both woke up in good spirits.
It was a great afternoon nap.
I looked outside the window and realized that the sun was about to set soon from the dim light surrounding us.
The voices coming from the beach were clearly fewer now.
As soon as we woke up, we silently returned the seats to their original positions and waited quietly.
“Want some? It’s gum.”
Roll took out some chewing gum from somewhere and held it out for me.
I took one, then started to make fine arrangements to the passenger’s seat.
I changed the position of my seat so that the rear seat would have enough space for the luggage we had to carry.
Roll got out of the car in order to supply it with gasoline, which was loaded in the car from the start.
“Good. Let’s go now.”
She returned to the driver’s seat and said.
She waited for my answer then took off.
A little away from the beach, a megalopolis townscape formed by countless skyscrapers could be seen.
One of these skyscrapers, the Dealbell Building, boosted an outstanding height.
We were currently eating lunch in a family restaurant situated on this building’s 32nd floor.
The clock hand indicated towards 8.
I kept on looking at the already dark sea as I enjoyed my meal.
By looking through the big glass window, we could see the Sadinta we parked in the parking lot.
At 9 o’clock, someone from the organization will place the ‘luggage’ in the car.
Once we confirmed it, we will leave this place and get into the car, then drive straight to the headquarters.
This was the normal flow of the current mission.
It was a very easy mission, so much so that it made you yawn, but still, we could not show negligence.
“The food here isn’t that good.”
“It’s cheap, so it’s inevitable.”
This restaurant had cheap prices but offered a great view, therefore it was a popular family restaurant among common people.
Many people come this restaurant, together with their families or their loved ones, and almost all the seats are occupied most of the times.
Roll would have preferred to go to the high-class restaurant at the 48th floor, but, as one would expect, there was no way for the two of us, this young and dressed like we were, to go there.
During missions we are supposed to hide ourselves and strictly observe, so we can’t do anything that stands out too much.
“Hey Roll, this mission’s degree of difficulty is D, right?”
“Right. Frankly, it’s like doing an errand.
There’s no info indicating the SDF’s presence either.”
“What? Did you want a harder mission?”
“No, it’s not that.”
“I see. Well, anyway, we mustn’t be careless.
It has no meaning if we can’t complete it flawlessly.”
“I already know this.
Anyway, Roll, do you know what’s in the package we have to transport?”
“I’ve been told a little about it. It seems that this missions occurs at fixed intervals. This is the first time I took it though. Still, they said something about being careful while carrying the package since it’s ‘fragile’ or something.”
“Fragile? Like tableware or the sort?”
You’ll figure it out anyway, once you see it, right?
It appears that this package is rather big, so you can listen to the sounds inside it, can’t you?”
“Is it all right to listen to it?”
“If it wasn’t, they wouldn’t have accepted you for this mission, Shion.”
“………It does make sense.”
At any rate, fragile items?
Well, it’s safe as long as we don’t drop it, but even so, it still bothers me.
We chatted for a while longer and finished our meals, when we saw a car parking next to the Sadinta.
Two men dressed in black got off the car and opened the Sadinta’s trunk.
“Is that it?”
“Yeah, that’s it.
We paid our bill at the cash register, then used the elevator to descend on ground level.
Once we arrived at the parking lot, a huge package was already placed on the back seat of the Sadinta.
The two men vanished by the time we got here.
The package had the form of a cube.
Its size was rather big, but perfect for occupying the entire surface of the back seat.
At any rate, this cube was made of somewhat sturdy materials so I couldn’t hear any sound coming from it at this distance.
The cube had a pretty tough appearance as well.
It seems that it is made of some very strong materials, so much that if you throw a punch at it you will break your fist.
Anyway, I stuck my ear to this black cubic box and listened to the sounds coming from its inside.
I swallowed my saliva and closed my eyes.
And then, I could capture that sound.
“Did you hear anything?”
Roll asked and I moved my eyes on her.
“…….I heard the sound of breathing and a heartbeat…….
I also heard groans.”
“I see now.
Well, let’s go.”
To put it simply, Roll started the engine.
I caught hold of Roll’s shoulders.
“Wait. How can you consent to this so easily?
It’s obvious that there’s a human inside this box…….”
There was a human being inside this solid box, which had no visible openings.
It was a hermetically sealed box that didn’t even have air holes.
I felt strangely frightened by this fact.
Therefore, I couldn’t believe Roll who easily consented to it.
“Well, I more or less understood what it was about.
This is a broken ‘thing’ 1, right?”
“A broken thing……. What does it even mean?…….”
“It’s better you don’t know about this for now.”
“No. Please tell me.”
“Hmmm. I’ll tell you if you promise you won’t peep too much.”
I said and Roll approached her face to mine, double checking on me.
“I’ll tell you then. What’s inside this box is most likely human ‘scraps’.
Since someone does this mission at fixed intervals, it means that a request is made whenever there’re scraps to dispose of.”
As one would expect, I was lost for words.
Is there even such a thing for humans?
“Human scraps?…….. How can you even make that happen?”
“Ain’t this because they do ability experiments on living humans at our branch offices?
And most of the times the headquarters is responsible for cleaning up.”
Is something like this allowed…….. No, it’s not like that.
What am I even talking about at this point……
I am part of an evil organization that easily kills SDF soldiers and civilians alike.
It isn’t strange at all that they also do something like human experiments.
This was the image I had about Anonymous in the first place anyway.
Did I already forget the mission I’ve done with Kuroinu-san and Hakunetsu-san?
Did I get mentally slow because of the recent peaceful days?
I almost got killed by the SDF.
I also killed SDF’s soldiers and ordinary people myself.
I have no right to say anything about this, since I decided I will continue to live even if I have to kill other people.
Anyway, this was an ordinary event.
It was normal.
“I thought you’d say something more about this, but it seems you won’t.”
I forced myself to calm down, and, after I thought about it, I consented as well. I put on the seatbelt and looked in the front.
“Well, you don’t have to worry about this, Shion.
I believe that they don’t use ordinary people for human experiments after all.”
“Yeah, I figured.”
“Anyhow, let’s hurry and go back.”
The car took off as soon as I returned my answer.
After that, we drove for a while inside the megalopolis townscape, as we faced towards the town’s gates.
However, that’s when a problem arose.
The SDF sealed the gates.
The white uniforms were visible from far away, and we realized that the SDF soldiers took positions in front of the town’s gates.
If we were to continue on our way, we would definitely make contact with them, so we stopped the Sadinta somewhere near the main road.
“What’s this all about?”
“I don’t know. Maybe something happened.
Let me check.”
Roll said and stretched her arm to get the phone that was attached to the car.
But the phone started to ring before Roll could touch it.
Roll then pressed the answering button.
‘Headquarters to mission number 567.
A mechanical voice came out from the car’s speakers, and Roll replied to it.
“You got it right.”
Together with Roll’s confirmation, the call linked to the headquarters.
‘Roll, can you hear me?’
This time, the boss’s voice came out of the speakers.
“Yeah, I hear you. What?”
‘Most likely the SDF locked down Dealbell.’
“I was about to call and inquire about this.
Did something happen?”
‘Yeah. A comrade from that branch office from over there was captured by one SDF guy. Because of this, information about your mission’s contents leaked out.’
“What? The branch offices are full of useless people.”
With these words, Roll gripped the steering wheel and made a U-turn.
Behind us, the gates that looked far away were getting even further away.
‘Don’t say that.
Precisely for times like this, I made the branch offices’ configuration superficial.
The one who got caught this time was nothing but a bottom chain person. There’s no problem with it.’
“But there is a problem after all! What do we do with the package!?”
‘About that. Will you dispose of it in my place?’
“Dispose of it? What are you talking about?”
‘Inside that box is a human being, exhausted and broken from all the ability exploitation and ability strengthening experiments.
And, as a matter of course, he can’t be controlled.’
I see. That’s why he’s locked up inside such a sturdy box.
‘Therefore, anytime the branch office collects experiments’ scraps, they send them to the headquarters, so that me or Tameiki 2 could personally get rid of them inside the training room.
But this time we can’t do that, now can we?
However, in case you can break through the SDF’s siege together with the package, that’s a different story.’
That’s obviously impossible.
We didn’t know how much the SDF’s net expanded, but judging from the boss’s voice, it spread far enough for us not to be able to escape by car.
“In short, the two of us must dispose of the contents of this package, then returns to the base, right?”
‘Well, since you’re already there, you can take the opportunity to finish off some SDFs as well.
Anyway, there shouldn’t be higher ranks than colonels around. You can do it without problems.’
“What about additional payment?”
‘You’ll get an A remuneration.’
“That’s too few!”
‘What are you talking about? It’s more than enough.
Then, I pray for your safety.’
“I’ll come later to get my additional payment!”
I almost forgot. That Sadinta was already modified, so you have to be careful.
You should also change your clothes quickly so that your faces aren’t exposed.’
The call already ended by the time Roll said that.
Did this just become an extermination mission?”
“Indeed. As always, this is just too crazy.
I assume this mission has an A+ difficulty degree now.
Besides, the package behind us is more troublesome than the annihilation order.”
“Is that so?”
I thought that getting rid of this box was an easy victory for someone like Roll.
I made a dubious expression, at which point Roll said.
“They’re going to great lengths to send this package to the headquarters so that the boss or Tameiki-san could dispose of it, you know?
Whatever the circumstances, this is not something to be transported with a D rank mission.”
As the rumors say, this person is Anonymous’ no. 2.
I heard that they have more or less the same power level as the boss.
They seem like a dangerous person in various ways.
“For now, we must call for reinforcements.
What the hell was that boss thinking when he decided that the two of us could handle this situation……?”
“Call for reinforcements?”
“When you conclude that a mission is too difficult to complete, you can call the headquarters for reinforcements.
But in this case, you must pay for the expenses yourself.”
However, there are not many people present there at this time.
Because everyone seemed to be busy, we ended up accepting this mission.
Besides, for the reinforcements to get from the headquarters to Dealbell would take at least 1 hour, and that’s only if they hurry.
Before my doubts could surface, Roll already picked up the phone, as she continued to drive.
The call connected rather quickly and Roll started to talk.
“Mission number 567 to Missions Office.”
‘Confirming. Mission number 567 to Missions Office.
The same mechanical voice from before resounded inside the car.
The surrounding scenery was flowing.
Roll handled the steering wheel with vivid gestures, smoothly driving the car around the tall buildings.
We probably had no destination whatsoever.
A short time later, the mechanical voice could be heard again.
‘The call can be linked to the Missions Office in 5 seconds.’
‘This is the head manager of the Missions Office. Code name <Shugyou 3>’
Instead of the mechanical voice, this time, the clear voice of a woman came out of the speakers.
“This is Roll.”
‘Roll? You’re calling again because you have too much free time during a mission?
That’s good. I have some free time now too so I can keep you company!
Ah, by the way, you’re with your partner now, aren’t you? Shion-kun, was it?
Are you there?’
“Sorry Shugyou. I didn’t call you for this. Now, do your job properly.
We have 40 minutes to kill.
The difficulty degree changed from D to A+”
‘Understood. I more or less heard about your circumstances. The boss is pretty much crazy.
There are only three people within a 20km radius from point H-33.
Two of them are during a mission, so it’s impossible for them to reach you.
The other one is on vacation.’
“The one that’s on vacation is Tameiki-san, right?……”
‘It might get quite expensive, but I could dispatch a helicopter for you.
There are now about five people inside the headquarters who are free. You’ve got 50 minutes to kill though.’
“Do it then. Put the helicopter’s charge on the boss’s name.”
After Roll said that, the call with the headquarters ended.
Roll stopped the car in the shadow of a building, let the driver’s seat down and stretched her hand towards the back seat.
She then took out two attache cases.
She handed one over to me.
“Change your clothes.”
Our first extermination mission just started.
Other stuff: Mockii
- A word play on ‘kowaremono’. The first time it was used meant ‘fragile item’ (kowaremono/lit. things that break); the second time, Roll uses this as two words (koware + mono) which refers to a broken thing (mono)/ human being in this case. ↩
- 溜息/tameiki. A name which translate as ‘sigh’. ↩
- 執行/shugyou. Now this name could be translated in many ways. It could mean ‘enforcement’ ‘performance’ ‘execution’ ‘service’ ‘pursuit of knowledge’ ‘learning’ ‘discipline’ xD Choose whichever you want. I think I’ll go with ‘pursue of knowledge’… ↩