Trololo, an assassin getting assassinated xD
Even though (Mr. Hat House) was fully enjoying his free time, he still hadn’t forgotten about his mission.
“…It seems like he’s obediently staying in that warehouse for the time being.”
He stood on the streets as the night was gradually falling, while concentrating to make sure that there were no signs of any other (Mushi) around him.
“I really hope he can stay hidden like this forever. That way I can continue this fun new life of mine as well.”
Yesterday night, he suddenly felt a (Mushi)’s response. After tracking it down and arriving at the scene, he noticed that his target Hibino Kazufusa had released his centipede in front of a woman.
---“N-No, don’t come closer…!”
---“What a disgusting creature. Rest assured I don’t have the slightest interest in Mushitsuki.”
After the woman finished that line with a cold tone, she told him about a warehouse that was far from the city center. Judging from the content of their conversation, it seemed like the woman noticed the running Kazufusa and decided to help him out --- If that was the case, shouldn’t that woman’s tone be more caring and enthusiastic?
The woman left very quickly after that, while on the other hand Kazufusa went for the warehouse half in doubt. After buying food and daily supplies, he hid in there and hasn’t come out since then.
“That woman who helped the centipede boy… I guess I can leave her alone. It was within my expectations for someone unrelated to show kindness to him. In fact, I actually want to thank her for doing that.”
After all, no one usually goes to that warehouse; it was a very safe place to hide. Kazufusa probably would stay in there as much as he can.
He didn’t need to kill off this target, but he won’t let him go as well. He just needed to know his whereabouts and movements.
If this were to continue, the Special Environmental Preservation Bureau would not give him a new mission. He would then be able to stay and have fun in this city as long as he wanted while pretending to be tracking the target.
“With this, I should be able to stay in this city and play a little longer now, wonderful.”
As long as he could play freely, he was satisfied. There was obviously no sign of any loyalty from him to the Special Environmental Preservation Bureau.
Even during the time when a monster-level Mushitsuki called (Fuyuhotaru) first appeared, he was doing the exact same thing just like now, dragging a pointless mission on and on. It was because he knew that if he didn’t do so, he would definitely get summoned back to the unified squad that was set to eliminate (Fuyuhotaru) --- and get wiped out along with the rest of them. Even he thoroughly understood the fact that someone like him could never be able to take on an Ishi level one ranked monster who could destroy a part of a city with just a swing of its hand in an instant.
As a result of the incident regarding (Fuyuhotaru), the Special Environmental Preservation Bureau had suffered a great loss of ranked combatants and as such, began to have difficulties controlling and capturing the newborn Mushitsuki. From what he had expected --- there should be a period where a large amount of Mushitsuki would be birthed.
And judging from the current lack of personnel situation, a weak Mushitsuki like Hibino Kazufusa shouldn’t be noticed by SEPB’s combatants other than him.
“And the other matter which worries me seems to be stationary at the moment.”
The only “enemy” he was aware of, was silent as usual. He would occasionally go and check out the situation, but it seemed like the other party didn’t have the intention of creating a fuss as well. He just hoped that the Central Headquarters could notice this faster and get rid of it once and for all.
“Ahhh, if only the SEPB could forget about my existence~~”
Of course, that would be impossible. After (Mr. Hat House) heaved a long sigh, he noticed a girl was running towards his direction.
The gorgeous little girl stopped her steps in front of him.
“Good evening to you too, young lady. Please immediately turn around, and head straight home.”
Seeing the girl didn’t have the slightest intention of leaving, he continued to try to persuade her with his polite tone.
"It's very dangerous to stroll around at night, let alone talking to strangers. You should hurry home before you're swallowed whole by the monster pretending to be a puppet. If you're lost, then I shall take your hand and walk you home."
"I have to go somewhere right now, that’s why I can't go home yet."
"Is that so? If that's the case, then head straight there, don’t wander off to elsewhere."
"Who are you? Are you also lost?"
He twitched his brow for a moment from surprise.
"What makes you think I'm lost?"
"Aren't you walking back and forth on the streets since a few days ago?"
One of his abilities that he kept secret from the SEPB, was to erase his existence from people’s consciousness, while the other one was being able to detect (Mushi)’s presence. If the SEPB were to find out he had such abilities, no doubt they would appoint him as a higher rank and give him much harder and troublesome missions.
In order to make people forget his presence, he frequently used this ability.
But never did he expect that it would not work. The girl in front of him had almost completely recognized him.
“And also --- your expression looked like you needed help.”
In that instant, (Mr. Hat House) widened his eyes from shock.
It was much more shocking than the time when he was first recognized, he could even feel his heart jumping out from his chest.
The reason why he was so shocked, was probably because --- what she said was right.
I’m happy ---
He had always been lying to himself with that.
“Is that so, do I really have that kind of expression eh?”
He felt like he was about to tear up from the sudden confession.
Why was he this easy to see through?
Until now, no one had ever been able to notice his pain, even in the SEPB, no one could hear the moan of his heart.
The two of them stood there and chatted for a while.
“How could you tell?”
“It just came naturally --- By the way, I’m Tachibana Rina.”
“You can call me, (Mr. Hat House).”
“That’s a cute name, so why are you showing such a sorrowful expression?”
“Because my wish can’t be fulfilled…”
“Yeah, I wish to be alone.”
“But wouldn’t you feel lonely if you were alone?”
“To me, solitude means freedom, and other people are nothing but restraints.”
“And those restraints are so strong that I couldn’t escape even if I wanted to … I wish to travel freely to every part of this world without any restraints or bindings. But right now I’m currently collared by an organization, acting like a silly watch dog that was let loose despite being chained unknowingly.”
“Is there really no way to do it?”
“This problem is difficult to solve. Although it sounded a bit contradictory, it’s impossible for one to do it alone…”
“Then I’ll help you!”
“Ah, but I got to do something else first, after I finished with that then I will help you!”
Rina smiled, causing (Mr. Hat House) to smile right after her.
We most likely won’t meet again. He said that line in his heart.
Of course, he wouldn’t think a small girl like her would be able to do anything for him, but even so he still felt as if he was saved.
Even if it was just some comforting words, but the moment when the girl said she would help him it made him really happy.
“Goodnight, Mr. Hat House.”
“Mhm, Good bye.”
After bidding farewell to the girl, (Mr. Hat House) remained where he stood for a while.
It might be because of the fact that the other party was just a small girl, a passerby who has no connection what so ever to the world he was in, that he was able to frankly reveal everything stuffed inside of him. Never did he expect that it would have such an effect on him, his chest became lighter and it became easier for him to breath all of sudden.
“What an incredible little girl she is! This is so unlike me to actually vent it all out to a stranger I just met!”
After immersing himself in the laughter for a while, right when (Mr. Hat House) turned around and was about to go back, he suddenly jerked his head up.
“This…”Distortion” I’m feeling right now… it must be that centipede boy’s, what happened to him?”
Feeling the sudden presence of a (Mushi), He hurriedly rushed to the outskirt of the city, and observed the warehouse from a building across from it.
“---What’s going on?”
Hibino Kazufusa was in the warehouse just like yesterday, that didn’t change, but there was a new figure in there along with him.
It was the little girl that he just met back at the streets, Rina.
“Why is she together with Hibino Kazufusa…?”
However, there was no time for him to calmly analyze the situation.
Despite putting up a hesitated expression, Kazufusa put away his centipede and walked out of the warehouse after the smiling Rina.
“What? What just happened? What the hell is this?!”
He, who couldn’t understand the situation, began to vent in a low voice.
The only thing he understood right away --- was the fact that he, (Mr. Hat House), could no longer stay in this city anymore.
On the same day, Hibino Kazufusa and Tachibana Rina escaped Akamaki City together.
Why did they meet up and run away together? ---
The (Mr. Hat House), who couldn’t figure out the reason to their escape, could only follow them from behind.
No matter how hard and fast they walked, there was only so much distance two elementary school students could pull off in a day, hence it was easy to monitor them. The only thing that was bothering him quite a bit was the fact that he couldn’t solve the question of his mind.
And most importantly, about the city he was very fond of. He was quite disappointed that he had to leave so fast.
The only consolation he had was the fact that he no longer needed to be afraid of the “frightful enemy” hidden in Akamaki City. However --- the target’s sudden action really puzzled him.
“It seemed like they do not intend on using transportation. That girl also seems to be avoiding something…”
The two of them followed the river and slowly walked forward.
Due to their slow pace, (Mr. Hat House) who was following behind them had to slow down as well, just so that he doesn’t get ahead of them. To accommodate the Kazufusa who was already shaky from fatigue, their speed was more like that of ants.
(Mr. Hat House) maintained a certain distance, and continued following.
And then, the third day’s dawn arrived.
He noticed a tiny figure sneaked out of the hut quietly, it was Rina.
Rina followed along the misty river side and then walked down from the riverbank. It seemed like she left Kazufusa alone in the hut.
Where is she going? --- That question was very soon solved.
Rina’s destination was the residential area built near the riverside. In addition, she was walking straight towards his direction.
“The guy from the Special Environmental Preservation Bureau, you should be around here right?”
Great, what should I do now…?
The (Mr. Hat House) who was taking a nap in the shadows of a residential building began to ponder his next action.
And he found the answer immediately.
“We call our organization SEPB for short; it is really wordy to call it as it is.”
When Rina saw him walked out from the shadows, she immediately widened her eyes, but very soon she put up a smile instead.
“So it was (Mr. Hat House)-san huh.”
“Were you shocked? It doesn’t seem that surprised to you though.”
“Well, I came across both Kazufusa and you around the same time, so it was pretty understandable.”
“Did you notice my following?”
“Hehe, my sixth sense is pretty sharp.”
“It does seem that way. Putting that aside, I’m rather surprised.”
The fact that he was noticed by an elementary school kid didn’t really put him into much shame.
After all, he could feel the atmosphere of wisdom coming from this girl in front, she probably had a high level of education.
The reason why he showed himself was also because of this.
Despite being such a young age, he could tell that Rina was very smart. That was why he felt he should just show himself and give her a warning, making her leave on her own, rather than hiding in the shadows and continue monitoring.
(Mr. Hat House) and Rina each stood on the one end of the foggy residential street, gazing at each other.
“I’m from the Special Environmental Preservation Bureau, it’s my mission to eliminate the unstable (Mushi) infested on Hibino Kazufusa.”
“I heard that once a (Mushi) is killed, its host would turn into an emotionless corpse, Fallen, and would lose all their memories?”
“You’re right --- So why are you together with Hibino Kazufusa mm?”
“Because it seemed like he was really in trouble, that’s why I decided to help him.”
“… How should I put it, I thought there was a really complicated reason behind it; never did I expect it could be explained in just one line, to be honest I’m really shocked.”
“Eh? You’re shocked? Really?”
“Although I might look like this, I’m really shocked within. --- It seems like I’ve misjudged you, I thought you’d be a smarter girl. To think that you went out of your way and helped a cornered Mushitsuki just because you felt like it, you must really have a death wish.”
“Hehe, Kazufusa also said I’m an idiot sometime --- But I was thinking, since the guy after him hasn’t attacked yet, there should still be room for negotiation.”
Facing the Rina who held her head high as she said that, (Mr. Hat House) could not help but feel a shudder.
It seemed like the girl in front of him was even intending on bargaining with the enemy. If one were to ask how he had misjudged her, he could only reply that she was much more shrewd than he thought she would be.
“This is my last warning to you, hurry up and go home at once, or else ---“
“You’ve been using Kazufusa to maintain your “freedom”, haven’t you?”
(Mr. Hat house) was instantly stunned dumbfounded.
He was originally intending on attacking with words first, never did he expect a sharp counter, not to mention it was a powerful and straight right punch that knocked his jaw open. She had taken complete advantage of the “weakness” that he had told her in heat of the moment before.
“I was feeling strange about it right from the start. Because Kazufusa said that the enemy was very powerful, yet he continued to escape from this powerful enemy again and again. Doesn’t that sound contradictory to you?”
“The “Collar” you’ve mentioned, it was the SEPB right? You wanted to escape from the SEPB, and to be free.”
Facing Rina, who had already realized the truth, for the first time ever, (Mr. Hat House) felt fear.
He slowly raised his right hand as he called out his (Mushi), a black-colored nematode appeared underneath his skin, wriggling for its chance as he approached the girl.
This girl is way too dangerous.
In regards to how she’s being dangerous, he couldn’t answer right away --- But from the experiences that he had earned so far by fighting with his life on the line, he could feel it instantly, not to mention he was very sensitive to danger.
Even though right now, she’s just an ordinary human, a weak child.
But after she grows up into an adult --- she would definitely become unstoppable.
That’s right, if she doesn’t self-destruct; no one would be able to stop her ---
Rina showed a bright smile, and froze (Mr. Hat House) right on the spot, not moving.
He, who hoped to live alone by himself, disliked being interfered with by others, was mysteriously --- fascinated by that beautiful smile.
“If that’s the case, then I can help you!”
And then, Rina told him the “plan” that she came up with.
Unable to move, (Mr. Hat House) who was rooted to the ground could only listen until she finished ----
“So? What do you think? You think it will work?”
What a naïve idea.
What a superficial plan.
But it was this childish play-like “plan” which saved him.
His throat was making hoarse laughter.
“C-Can…I…really obtain true freedom with this…?”
(Mr. Hat House) gazed at Rina with his wet eyes ---
“Of course, with us together we should be able to do it!”
Rina proudly lifted her V-shaped hand gesture.
And so, the “plan” that Rina came up with was put into action.
(Mr. Hat House) was pushed down from the sluice by the girl, falling straight downwards.
Rina, who was then saved by the centipede in a nick of time, secretly made a V-shaped gesture at him.
--- “Goodbye, (Mr. Hat House)-san.”
Her lips silently whispered that line.
The instant right before he fell straight into the river, he also secretly showed a smile at Rina.
He then immediately used his ability to completely absorb the impact of the fall as he bounced on the cement bed. His ability really comes in handy at times like this.
He pretended to be knocked out, rolling along the shallow shore of the river and then floated downstream.
He sneakily opened his eyes to look above the sluice, only to see Rina and Kazufusa high-fiving each other, celebrating.
The “plan” that Rina came up with was so simple that it was surprising.
First, (Mr. Hat House) needs to attack Kazufusa, and then pretend that he was defeated --- it was as simple as that.
(Mr. Hat House) was carrying out his mission to capture a rogue Mishitsuki, but was defeated and killed from the counter-attack --- he just had to make the SEPB think that way.
And even if the SEPB were suspicious of this report and sent out assassins after him, he might easily be found out if it was during the time when he’d just become a Mushitsuki, but right now after he had already gained so much experience and skills, it should not be a problem to get away from them.
In the meanwhile, if the SEPB were to capture Kazufusa, it would make it so much easier for him. Kazufusa thought that he had already defeated him, that’s why his testimony would make his “death” even more solid to the SEPB.
Originally Rina was betting on the chance that he won’t get caught. Her purpose of doing this was probably to give that weak Mushitsuki a bit more confidence and courage.
Even if (Mr. Hat House) were to make this suggestion to Kazufusa right from the start, it wouldn’t have worked out then.
The weak Kazufusa would definitely get caught by members other than him, and after interrogation he would definitely confess the fact that he was playing dead. That way he would have to live in the fear of being targeted by the SEPB for the rest of his life.
After being washed away by the river far away, He finally couldn’t hold back the laughter that was about to burst from within.
He propped himself up on the river bank, before standing up.
It was as if the world that he saw through his wet eyes was completely different compared to the world that he saw yesterday.
“Free… I’m free…I-I’m finally…!”
Never in his wildest dreams had he thought that such a childish plan could open up the door to the freedom he had been endlessly searching for. In fact, during the fight against Kazufusa, he was so nervous and excited that he had messed up his acting quite a bit.
“T-Thank you… Thank you…”
Towards the girl known as Tachibana Rina, he felt grateful and thankful to her from the bottom of his heart.
“At last, I-I finally… obtained freedom…!”
On the face of (Mr. Hat House) that was shining in the warming sunset, tears began to pour down. But suddenly, a weak melody rang against his ears.
A relaxing and calm melody which came from a music box.
(Mr. Hat House) instantly widened his eyes, and turned his head around.
Only to find a shadow was walking closer in his direction with its back facing the great sunset.
Awkward and unnatural movements --- but the speed at which it was approaching was insanely fast.
Due to him was just immersing himself in the joy of freedom; his mind hadn’t completely adjusted to this new turn of events.
Through the reflection of (Mr. Hat House)’s stunned eyes, a petite figure wrapped in a cloak could be seen.
From the stick-like object that was floating above it --- from the slender (Mushi), numerous string of silk that were released from it were hanging a pale-faced puppet.
He knew that the children called this disgusting puppet “Rokko”.
In addition, he had also been carefully surveying this “frightful enemy”; there’s no way he would have mistaken her as someone else.
“Was she following me all along--?!”
As the melody of the music box suddenly increased, the string-puppet suddenly pulled in closer.
He immediately called out his (Mushi), black-colored nematodes, from both hands, but he was slower by a beat. Rokko, who leaped at him from above, knocked away both of his arms and then ---
The hand of the listless puppet pierced through the chest of (Mr. Hat House), who had just been rejoicing a moment ago from his joy of being free.
Thank you for reading~
Feel free to leave comments for any questions or feedback~