New chapter of Ototsukai, brought to you from a beach somewhere on the Black Sea ^^… I wrote this chapter as I drank my coffee and watched a refreshing sunrise, hehe. As you can see, I am traveling for a while now (enjoying life xD), so updates might be coming slower, but they ARE coming ;D
With this, the training arc and the second book are finished. Roll arc begins next.
Also, don’t forget to SUBSCRIBE for free imaginary candy and the newest chapter updates! (^. -)
Chapter 27: Sorrowful Pressure
A mountain 4,600 m high.
The spiraling mountain road which started at the base of Mt. Jesa pierced through the mountain and reached the city of Sentoseria.
Sentoseria is a metropolis where the SDF have their headquarters.
Almost no one uses this road to reach Sentoseria though.
That’s because a beautiful highway across the valley was built.
This road crossing the mountain was long since it became abandoned, so its current condition was not too great.
That’s why most of the people now use the beautiful road across the valley, but using this road to transport our goods was a little bit problematic.
It led to Sentoseria too. Therefore, many SDF vans passed this road on a regular basis.
So it’ll be problematic to transport Anonymous’ goods using this road.
We could use smugglers or transportation services provided by other underground organisations, but precisely because we operate in the shadows in the first place, no one wants to use that royal road.
If they found us there, we would be dead in an instant.
Currently, Tameiki-san and I found a car, actually stole it, and were driving it on the mountain road.
We advanced for a while and saw that the SDF were blocking the road somewhere in the distance.
Tameiki-san stopped the car in front of the SDF patrol car, then the SDF soldier knocked on the driver side’s window.
Will this be all right, I wondered, since we both wore our tuxedos.
“Shion, let’s get off.”
Tameiki-san resolutely ignored the SDF guy as she opened the door. Then she got off the car.
I hurried to get off as well and followed after Tameiki-san.
“A brutal magical beast showed up in this area so this road is currently closed.”
The SDF guy stood in front of sand said this, but Tameiki-san ignored him again and walked passed him.
The SDF man grabbed Tameiki-san shoulder after she purposely disregarded him and walked ahead.
He unfortunately grabbed her shoulder.
The SDF guy became one with the earth’s surface.
His blood splashed at her feet and it even reached mine.
The other SDF personnel who saw this happen, prepared for battle right away, but they, one by one, were smashed to the ground.
In a mere instant their bodies become nothing but lumps of meat, but I averted my eyes and followed after Tameiki-san.
She doesn’t show any mercy……
“Shion, it’s about time you put on your mask.
I’m not worried if my face is seen, but this doesn’t apply to you.”
Tameiki-san waited for me to put my mask on, then she put on those cool black groves of hers and got on the SDF’s patrol car.
I also got on the passenger’s seat.
The car started running.
“Do you understand the situation?”
Tameiki-san asked me, as she displayed a skilful driving technique, continuously rotating the steering wheel.
She drove the car with an insanely high speed, despite the rough road.
“……It is a bit strange. I can’t hear any battle sounds nor running cars sounds.
I can hear voices of people, but at this distance I can’t make up the contents……”
“Then, they might already be suppressed.”
“……Maybe you’re right.”
Am I the one responsible for doing something about this……?
But it’s impossible for me.
Thinking about this, I looked through the window half in despair.
Because the speed was too great, the scenery passed quickly as well.
However, my eyes stopped on one particular scenery.
I pointed outside the window and said this, and Tameiki-san urgently pressed the brake and stopped the SDF’s patrol car.
Her eyes already followed the direction of my pointed finger.
“Is that a…..corpse?”
Yes. An SDF man wearing camouflaged clothes was impaled on a long, standing tree branch.
Looking around, we caught sight of other corpses here and there.
“Aside from SDFs, there are corpses of our people as well.”
On the road, trees and guardrail, marks of a recent battle still remained.
“It was quite the flashy battle.”
Look carefully at the corpses.”
I did what I was told and looked at the dead bodies.
Apart from being utterly grotesque, I thought they looked like normal corpses; was there something else about them?
“Our people and the SDF guys alike died of the same kind of wounds.
Magical beasts?……No. There’s a high probability that a third party intervened here.”
“……Eh, for real?”
“Yeah. It’s quite the trouble, so I should probably take care of this mission by myself after all.
This is too big a responsibility for you.”
Tameiki-san only said this, then she got on the car again and took off.
If Tameiki-san takes care of things here, there’s nothing to worry about.
I don’t know who did this, but I felt gratitude towards the third party which intervened.
Perhaps I should show more concern or nervousness for this mission.
It’s not too good to rely on Tameiki-san.
We advanced for a while, and the Anonymous’ cars column transporting the goods came in sight.
The cars were lined up in front of the tunnel, engines not running.
There was no one inside them.
However, the luggage was still piled up on the cars’ roof racks.
“What is this?”
I asked and Tameiki-san silently covered her ears.
A bit slowly, but I understood Tameiki-san’s intention and I released a huge roaring sound.
The sound echoed inside the forest.
I concentrated my mind.
Two people on a tree and one above in the sky.
The sudden explosive sound disturbed their breathing and heartbeats.
They were so honed that without concentrating my senses I couldn’t hear them at all.
Tameiki-san paid attention to my eyes.
Up, left, left.
I conveyed to her the location of the enemy with my eyes, then a sound reverberated with a ‘thud’.
I watched as the trees to my left side got crushed to the ground and the birds flying up in the sky got smashed dead on the ground as well.
“Ah. Quite the troublesome ones intervened this time.”
Tameiki-san said and sighed deeply.
However, I understood from the pressure she gave of now that she sharpened her senses.
She couldn’t bring down the three enemies with her first attack.
Right, they evaded it just now.
They sensed that their location was discovered, and had the discernment and reflexes to immediately avoid Tameiki-san’s attack.
Then, three voices showed up above our heads and their possessors landed in order, surrounding us.
“Waaaaao! An amazing big-shot in such a place! And here I thought that some more SDF weak reinforcements arrived, but isn’t this Taaameiki-san!”
“Eh!? It’s a lie, right!? ‘Gravity’ 1!?”
“It’s true! Amazing, it’s the real deal! I’m a big fan of yours!”
A trio with quite the showy appearances showed up.
Their faces were hidden behind Venetian masks, and counting from the right, they were a man, a woman and another man.
Since I couldn’t see their faces, I didn’t know their ages.
What’s with these guys……
Thinking about this, I took a vigilant attitude.
From the moment they avoided Tameiki-san’s attack I knew that these enemies were stronger than me.
I immediately got closer to Tameiki-san.
Tameiki-san moved faster than anyone.
The terrain under the trio’s feet changed.
The three sensed the upcoming attack beforehand, so they evaded it, and were now fluttering about in the sky.
Tameiki-san then launched a knife attack.
They evaded knife after knife after knife; their battle was a defensive one.
Still, their voices sounded rather cheerful.
“This! Isn’t it that the likes of us can’t actually win this!?”
“Ahaha! That’s true!”
“Gyahaha! How do we run away! Do something!”
“Let just the two of us get away with your ability!”
“I’ll die then, won’t I!?”
“It’s all right! Die for me!”
“You’re horrible!? Wait, a knife stuck my arm! Wait! Help!”
“Yup, you’ve been hit!”
“That knife came from you! Because you’re extremely clumsy at this!”
“ “Roger!” “
The trio moved around carefreely, evading the knives with cheery voices, then they suddenly stopped.
They stopped, but when it looked like Tameiki-san was about to catch the whole herd with one last throw, contrary to expectations, the trio disappeared.
What was left behind was Tameiki-san’s pressing and the thrown knives.
Those guys disappeared in a mere instant.
“They ran away.”
“…….I can’t believe you couldn’t finish them off.”
“My normal self would’ve killed them with the first strike.
Maybe because I repeatedly inhaled the Poisoned Butterfly’s scales, my physical strength is not completely restored.
I couldn’t use my full power.”
You reap what you sow, sister.
“Besides, who the heck were those guys?”
“They were members of the Nursery Rhymes.
They’re not as big as Anonymous, but they’re also an organisation opposing the SDF. We’re in the same business, so to speak.
They have few members, but most of them are powerful. Their trademark is the Venetian mask and the showy clothes.”
“I see……There are such things too.”
The underground world sure is vast.
When it came to evil organisations, I only knew about Anonymous, but when I asked the others, I found out that there were various other ones too.
Ours is so popular, probably because we sometimes act in the open as well.
“Anyway, I’ll report to Heid.”
Tameiki-san took out her work phone from a pocket and called the Boss.
The Boss’ voice resounded through the phone.
Due to my ability, I could clearly hear phone conversations too.
“Yeah. We completed the mission, but the transportation unit was wiped out.
It was the Nursery Rhymes.”
‘Those guys again? How many did you kill?’
“Zero. I felt a little sick.”
That’s an awful pretext.
Recently, those guys have started to fool around way too much.
It might be the time to strike them.’
‘I’ll send some reinforcements from the branch office to escort the goods.
Please stay there for a little bit.’
She hung up.
Tameiki-san placed her work phone in the pocket again, she unfastened two buttons from her shirt and got in the patrol car.
She then let her seat down, linked her hands at her back and closed her eyes.
“Shion, I leave the lookout to you. I’m tired, so I’ll sleep.
Wake me up if anything happens.”
I couldn’t answer her something like I’ll attack her if she intended to sleep so defencelessly, so I said ‘Yes’ instead.
It appears that my master was a bit irritated by the fact that she couldn’t finish those guys off.
Maybe I should’ve attacked too.
My reactions were fast enough, but I couldn’t move for I would’ve gotten in Tameiki-san’s way.
Anyway, we more or less completed the mission.
I didn’t do anything though.
Thus, my training finished with an incomplete feeling.
“This, is this for real?”
We rested our bodies for two days in that branch office, and were now on the road leading to the city of Slayseid where the branch office was located, when Tameiki-san made a very serious announcement.
I did think it was strange.
Even though all my wounds healed during the time we stayed here, the sluggishness didn’t go away.
It was a suffocating feeling.
I thought it was because of muscle pain or fatigue due to the training, but it wasn’t anything like that.
“Didn’t you realise it?
You’re a fool.”
“No, no. You normally don’t realise these things!”
“Normally you do realise. When your own body becomes heavier.”
Right. It appears that Tameiki-san increased the gravity affecting me during the whole period of my training.
She slowly increased the load without me realising it, until the burden on my body finally reached 1.5 times the normal amount.
Without me noticing it, she restricted me.
“Well, anyway, I’ll withdraw it now.”
Tameiki-san said and my body instantly became lighter.
“Uoo!? Amazing! My body feels incredibly light!”
“Somehow, I feel like I’ve become much, much stronger!”
“You did become fairly stronger.”
Anyway, with this, your training has ended for the time being.”
My ears moved with a twitch.
For the time being?
What did she mean, for the time being?
“Well, I shall refrain. I don’t want to go through a second similar training ever again.”
“We won’t do that kind of training again.
What you’re lacking now is actual fighting experience.
Send me your schedule. I’ll shade you when you’re free.”
I would warmly welcome a date though……”
“……That’s not such a bad idea either.”
Dumbfounded by her reply, I turned around to face her.
“Eh!? Is that all right!?”
“Shut up. It was a joke.”
- Tameiki-san’s nickname I guess. ↩