Nice one Touko~ xD
The gunshot’s echo rang throughout the entire Ouka coast park.
Miguruma Yaeko showed a weak smile.
Next to Yaeko’s feet, Ubuki was lying on the ground. Behind Ubuki there was a long trail of blood, which resulted from her trying desperately to crawl away.
The bloodstained Ubuki was not moving the slightest; her face that was dirtied from blood and dirt was as pale as snow, which suggested that she had already stopped breathing.
“……That was very dangerous, you know? What if you missed? …(Kakkou).”
Yaeko turned around. The handgun that she held in her hand was sent flying by the bullet that Daisuke shot.
“I meant to miss it right from the start.”
Daisuke faced Yaeko. Behind him stood a dozen of the East Central Division members, as well as the injured Akatsuki and the East Central Division’s deputy branch director Goromaru Touko who met up with them. Touko was grabbing Daisuke’s long-coat, hiding behind him.
The Central Headquarters’ members next to Yaeko immediately entered their combat stance.
“Oho, is that so? Where were you aiming at then?”
Facing Yaeko’s question that was asked with a smile, Daisuke didn’t say a word, just merely lifted his finger and tapped his temple.
Yaeko immediately changed to a different smile. Touko cried a “Hii—“sound before hiding her face behind Daisuke. Upon seeing this famous “chain of smile”, every member was suppressed to a point where they would even have trouble breathing.
“It seems like your joking skill has improved eh? Did you learn it from branch director Haji? (Kakkou).”
“(Kakkou)… you! Deputy branch director Goromaru! What’s the meaning of this?! How dare you open fire at vice director?!”
From behind Daisuke came Touko’s high-decibel falsetto.
“W-Well… about that --- Ah, before I explain…(Nene), could you please treat (Karasu)?”
“Deputy branch director Goromaru! Our Central Headquarters’ members are not something that you can order around as you wish!”
“S-Sorry! B-But I just want to treat her injuries as soon as possible!”
In front of Touko, who was hiding behind Daisuke, a white-coated figure ran to their side. The other party immediately rushed next to the lying Ubuki, and pressed her hand on Ubuki’s neck to confirm her pulse.
And then, (Nene) opened her mouth.
Very soon, a singing sound slowly flowed into the surroundings, vibrating against the air like a ringing bell sound. At the same time, a slight glowing outline of a long-horned grasshopper appeared next to (Nene) and Ubuki. Amidst the ringing bell sound, she began to give CPR to Ubuki.
“Can you save her?”
After Daisuke asked that, (Nene) lifted her thumb up to signal no problem.
On the side, Yaeko was gazing at Touko.
“Even though it is an emergency… it indeed is our fault for entering East Central Division’s jurisdiction. But even so, I’m still surprised! Deputy branch director Goromaru, was it you that gave permission to your members to open fire at me?”
Touko poked her head out from behind Daisuke’s shoulder.
“Ah… No… That was...”
“W-Well… I clearly remembered that it’s against the rule to lynch a member… T-That’s why… Erghhh…”
“And according to the emergency order issued by the head director, there’s a change in the command system…”
“What did you say?”
It was Inose who asked that.
Yaeko stayed unmoved, keeping the smile on her face to urge Touko.
“What do you mean?”
“W-Well, I do know that I’m a bit over my head when I did this…but when I couldn’t contact vice director… I went directly to the head director for consultation.”
“Couldn’t contact? I don’t remember receiving any call from you though.”
“Eh? W-Well… But… I tried many times using the hotline. Because I didn’t get any response, I had to regard it as unable to contact…”
“…… You mean the one that called so many times, but always hanged up after one ring, and did not display Caller ID? How do you expect me call back if I don’t know the other party’s number?”
“N-Not displayed?... Eh Ah…? Ah, really?!”
“That’s just no different from a prank call! Deputy branch director Goromaru, You’re seriously…!”
While taking Inose’s scolding, Touko hurriedly put away her cell phone into her suit’s inner pocket --- Although Daisuke had heard that she was unable to contact the vice director, he never knew the truth was actually like this. Only till now did Daisuke start to feel a weird sense of uneasiness arising within.
“You said there’s a change in the command system, what do you mean by that?”
“Ah, Y-Yes! About that… it’s just the importance of the (Original Three), and the change in priority order when encountering the designated targets. I have a few ideas… In the past, we always continued with our missions even when we chance upon the (Original Three), in addition, the order issued by the Central Headquarter was processed as the highest in priority even during those times. But, at the incident before --- (Himiko)’s transportation mission, I’ve noticed this might possibly cause confusion among the members should this continue. These are … what I’ve been thinking about…”
The smile never once left Yaeko’s face as Touko continued, but it seemed like Inose couldn’t hold on listening anymore. However, Yaeko stopped Inose from interrupting with her hand.
"That's why... I went to the Central Headquarters to acquire the head director's opinion on this... the head director adopted my idea, and just then issued the order to change the command system when encountering emergency situations. Which means --- in the event of encountering the (Original Three), the decisions made by the local division surpass the Headquarters' orders, and will executed as first in priority."
The change in command system ---
The meaning behind these words that Touko said posed great importance; It meant that, from now on, each division is free to pursue the (Original Three) within their jurisdictions. This halved the absolute power that the Central Headquarters had been upholding till now.
Inose immediately began to panic.
"How's that possible! Why would head director accept...?!"
"About that, the head director didn't actually agree with the idea at first... but after I said that it was Haji-senpai --- I mean branch director Haji's proposal, he then reconsidered."
"Did Haji-kun wake up?!"
Inose could not hide the stunned expression on his face, and even Yaeko had also put away her smile.
"Ah...No...After he woke up, he immediately lost consciousness right after."
Touko said that with a wry smile.
It was obviously a lie no matter how one looked at it.
Haji Keigo --- the man who was originally the branch director of East Central Division. Ever since he was severely injured in the battle two months ago, he had been unconscious since then. Daisuke knew that his younger sister --- Senri would always go to the hospital to see him every day.
"Ah, by the way, did you see that thing before? The giant swallowtail that covered the whole sky?! It seemed like it was summoned by (Oogui)! And it also seemed like it can manipulate a human's consciousness. That's why when I saw the vice director pointing her gun at her subordinate, I thought to myself "Ah, could it be that she was controlled by (Oogui)?!" hence I gave the order to (Kakkou)."
The truth, however, was different from what she was saying. The shooting from before was actually done on Daisuke's own free will. The reason that Touko just came up with now was actually nothing but an excuse that came to her mind.
"As you can see, I'm very normal."
"Y-Yes! It does seem that way! I'm sorry!"
"Sorry?? You're seriously..."
Because of overwhelming anger and her abnormal behavior, Inose's face became little flushed.
While on the side, Yaeko remained unmoved, just merely narrowing her eyes a bit.
"But, I'd have to say… it's..."
Putting her hands onto Daisuke's shoulders, Touko suddenly poked her head out to survey the surroundings.
"'It's'? What's it? Deputy branch director Goromaru?"
"Uhm, about that... there's something that I think I should say.”
"I-It'd be best if I don't say it!"
"Say it. I give you permission, no matter what you say, I will not be going after it."
Touko then showed her usual smile.
"It's your loss this time, vice director! You have lost completely!"
Yaeko's expression twitched slightly.
Including Inose, the surrounding people were all dumbfounded. Even Daisuke was so surprised that he turned around to look at Touko. At the scene drowning in a heavy atmosphere, everyone was looking at Yaeko with horrified expressions.
Only Touko was unaware of the atmosphere that would explode at any second, and continued talking with her frivolous smile.
"Ahahah! I can't believe you got screwed up this badly by a no-rank! If only you can stop acting so high and mighty, and mobilize the "Annihilators" that you are so proud of right from the start. You thought that you can easily win this just like how it has always been in the past, but that thought actually gives you the worst outcome ever, there's nothing more deplorable than this---"
"Touko-san...I think it'll be best if you stop right now..."
Daisuke suddenly said that line. But Touko tilted her head, and gave a weak "Eh?" while looking at him with a silly expression.
With Yaeko as its center, a nerve-racking atmosphere began to spread. The pale-faced Inose slowly and quietly distanced himself away from Yaeko.
However, different from the terrifying atmosphere surrounding them, Yaeko's expression was rather calm. It seemed as if she was emphasizing that such a little thing would not move her.
"I have things to do next, please excuse me."
Showing her usual smile, Yaeko turned around. Touko hurriedly lowered her head.
"Ah... Yes, good work... Oh, another thing, (Karasu) seemed like she's still in a dangerous condition, hence we will take her under our care temporarily."
Yaeko suddenly turned around, yet her gaze was not directed at Touko.
"Have you seen the CD, (Kakkou)?"
Daisuke replied without hesitation:
"Only I have seen it."
"That thing was created by the (Mushibane) to intentionally create confusion within the SEPB, you know that right?"
After glancing at the silent Daisuke, Yaeko gradually walked away.
Inose and the other white-coated figures had also left; only (Nene)'s singing could be heard echoing throughout the coast park.
Daisuke walked closer to the teenage girl that was lying on the ground, and moved his face closer to her.
"Hehe... I won!... it’s a piece of cake~…"
Ubuki's dream talk rode along the wind before disappearing into the evening sky.
Thank you for reading~
Feel free to leave comments for any questions or feedback~
^ ~ ^ Happiness~! enough said