In other words, Harukiyo just called Kakkou a dumbass. lol
--- Damn it…! Am I the only survivor in the entire team?!..
(Kanata) --- A level three-ranked member of the Special Environmental Preservation Bureau, Central Headquarters’ special task force ‘Annihilator’, was groaning alone in the pitch darkness.
Last night, in order to retreat from the Urban, he had used up all of his energy and was forced to spend a night in the corner of an alley. It seemed like it would take some time for him to recover to a state where he could walk normally. Although he didn’t need immediate medical attention or a decent hideout, he still needed to find a concealed place to treat his wounds for time being.
Fortunately, he found a bankrupt pharmacy in Nishito City’s shopping district. After using brute force to destroy the lock on the backdoor, he broke into the pharmacy. He then scattered all the kits that he found in the store onto the floor, before finding some painkillers and bandages which he then used to crudely treat his wounds.
Using the medicine kits as a mattress, (Kanata) laid himself down. While he was wiping sweat from his face, a rough grating came from rubbing his beard. With such an untidy appearance like his messy hair and unkempt beard, he didn’t look like a nineteen year old teenager, which he was, in anyone else’s perspective.
Staring down at the hand stained with sweat, he noticed there was a red colored stain akin to blood on it --- Due to the fact that he couldn’t feel half of his face anymore, he had already forgotten there was a deep scar from his cheek up to his ear.
In addition to the injury on his face, every time he breathed he could feel the wound to his abdomen aching faintly. Although on the surface it looked just like a normal cut, he could tell it was not an ordinary wound due to the reason that he was feeling both his energy and blood slipping out of him rapidly.
The special task force to which (Kanata) belonged to, the Annihilator, was a confidential elite squad that only mobilized under Vice-Director Miguruma Yaeko’s direct orders. And only during the event of rebellion or treachery occurring within SEPB would MIguruma issue orders to them. Just as their squad title suggested, their goal was not to recapture the targets, but rather complete annihilation; elimination.
Miguruma had issued an order.
Its content was to eliminate Horizaki Azusa who had escaped from the isolation facility. To annihilate the named teenage girl, a special team of six, all of whom ranked beyond level six, was established. He had already expected the opposite party to be quite a strong foe since the start. However, he still strongly believed that this team would very soon complete the task and return --- that was what he had thought at first.
He had never though the outcome would turn out like this.
Come to think of it, he was already suspicious of this mission before he departed. Before Annihilators was established, he was working as an assassin in the dark taking care of suspicious personnel within the bureau. His instinct had been telling him that something was not right.
Recalling it now made his anxiety burst out even more.
--- Hey (Kanata), did you know that your team’s mission was the same as (Kasou)’s team? The annihilation of failed subjects from a certain experiment!
Appearing before (Kanata), who was prepared and almost about to leave the Central Headquarters, was a teenage boy with a bizarre smile (maybe a girl). He remembered that the boy was that suspicious level one ranked --- Harukiyo’s comrade, Harukiyo called him Ume.
--- From a… certain experiment?
--- She’s one of the survivors that was revived from the Fallen state! It looks like Centi was already taken care of by (Kasou).
--- How’s that possible, (Fuyuhotaru) should’ve been the only one who recovered from the Fallen state.
--- Yeah you’re right, but “how” were they revived then? Ah, that’s not right, it should be “why” were they revived?
(Kanata) then laughed it off with two words “So stupid”. As expected from a weirdo, he didn’t make any sense. Why were they in the Annihilators in the first place anyway? And why is Miguruma letting them do things as they wish?
After that, (Kanata) sarcastically mocked Ume:
--- If you’re so concerned about it, why don’t you tell that Harukiyo guy to join this team as well then?
--- I’m not a single-cell organism like (Kakkou) that gets cocky after defeating a mere “fragment” --- that’s what Harukiyo said.
Those guys are really weird after all, it’s as if they’re organism living in a different dimension than ordinary people; I can’t understand a thing they said.
In the blink of an eye, his team grasped the whereabouts of Horizaki Azusa.
In his team, there was someone who was capable of tracking a specific individual from their smell. Azusa first headed towards Ouka City, and then moved from there to Nishito City. Her sudden change of direction from East to West had no coherence at all. Everyone in the team, including (Kanata), believed that she was following someone. After catching up to Azusa at Nishito City, (Kanata) and rest of the team executed their assassination without any hesitation.
And then ---
He subconsciously cursed out loud, which caused his wounds to ache in great pain.
By the time (Kanata) came to his senses during the assassination, he was the only one left standing out of entire his team ---
He was probably also the only one who had witnessed the whole event from start to end.
And it all happened when Azusa turned her head around to look at them, who began their ambush, with an evil grin.
When he noticed that the teenage girl’s pupils were filled with pitch darkness, an uncomfortable sound suddenly echoed next to his ears.
It was a heavy and loud sound, akin to bell. Immediately after, the surrounding air became sticky and cloudy.
---“The other “vessel” whom seeketh the “King” hast already lost its purpose, which is bad enough… This “vessel” hast yet to fulfill its purpose, if thou desirest to standeth before me, do not blame me for being merciless…
Coming out of the teenage girl with dark eyes, was a hoarse voice close to that of an elderly person. As the teenage girl raised one of her hands, numerous caterpillars could be seen crawling onto her shoulders.
Dark mist that came out of nowhere shrouded their surroundings, followed by a string of screams. His team members’ (Mushi), as if they were dissolved by the mist, slowly began to lose their original shape.
After “devouring” the (Mushi) herd, the mist then gathered onto the teenage girl before disappearing. (Kanata) was probably the only left who even heard the teenage girl making a “swallow” sound. His (Mushi) was also the only one who managed to keep its form, while on the other hand everyone else had instantly became Fallen and collapsed lifelessly.
(Kanata) then shouted uncontrollably, and ordered his twin-head house centipede to attack the teenage girl. The house centipede’s jaws packed a force that was enough to raise an entire truck and chew it to pieces, but half of its power was absorbed halfway by the clouding mist, causing its speed to greatly decrease, allowing the teenage girl to easily evade the attack.
The dark mist then wrapped around the teenage girl’s hand, inflicting a severe wound upon (Kanata)’s body.
--- It will still taketh some time before I can reacheth the “King”. Myn child, whom standeth by the “King’s” side, will surely standeth before me because of his dream… but before that happens; myn child, who’s destined to protect his “King” cannot be lost from myn hands…
It seemed like those words were not for him. Leaving the collapsed (Kanata) behind, Azusa left without even taking a glimpse at him.
Although (Kanata) didn’t know who Horizaki Azusa really was, the biggest mystery was what happened after that.
Despite being wounded, he still tried to catch up to Azusa, but “something” blocked his way when he arrived at Urban.
And that --- was a white cat.
(Kanata), who was burned blind from rage, couldn’t stop himself from wanting to kick this little creature aside and continue his pursuit. Not just the cat, but any existence that stood in his way would be eliminated.
However, (Kanata) received an unexpected counter attack. The white cat dodged his attack and scratched his cheek with its claws, and as if it was luring him, it headed into the inner part of the tower and even intended to sacrifice itself to burn him with gasoline on the roof.
And then ---
The cat laughed.
The emotion he had numbed from being immersed in battles --- Fear, finally took over him, and he thought that he finally become insane.
“Just what the hell is up with this mission anyway…?! And what possibly exists in this city?!”
(Kanata) let out a shaking roar from anger.
The target of assassination --- Horizaki Azusa; if what Ume said was right; she was one of the survivors who recovered from Fallen.
Without doubt, she was looking for someone in this city, because she had mentioned a keyword “King”.
The strange white cat that he encountered after Azusa, was that creature related to her by any chance? Or was he just getting involved in something completely unrelated?
All in all, (Kanata) survived. Despite being almost delirious, he still lived.
In addition, he had already figured out Azusa’s ability. As long as he doesn’t get close to the mist, he would be able to minimize the damage he took to a minimum. And after pulling a good distance between her, he would then attack with all his might and finish her in one hit --- that should guarantee his victory. Judging from the fact that she dodged his attack, the mist was not capable of blocking a physical attack.
I definitely won’t let her escape next time.
It’s my duty to carry out the mission given by Miguruma.
That’s right, battle itself had become (Kanata)’s duty.
Ever since childhood, he had been fighting almost every day in the alleys. Due to him defeating all kinds of opponents in different situations, he had been hired by the local gang as a bodyguard when he became a teenager. His merciless and unique fighting style was feared by his enemies.
But then, due to the local police’s interference, the gang disbanded. When he realized that he had nothing left if he were to lose his place to fight, he was at loss of what to do.
--- Can someone … give me a place to fight… or else I’ll…
That dependence desire had become his dream.
After becoming a Mushitsuki, he never lacked battles. The Central Headquarters ordered him to obliterate all the rebels, and he was then promoted to the Annihilator formed by Vice-Director Miguruma.
--- From now on, I will give you my love. That’s why; you have to love me back as well.
Miguruma Yaeko, whom had given him battle, was like a goddess come to life.
As long as (Kanata) continued to fight, Miguruma Yaeko would acknowledge his existence, and continue to fulfill his dream.
That’s why he never had any doubt towards his duty and missions.
He seemed to have heard that cat’s laughter echoing next to his ears.
That white cat – might have possibly been created by his illusion (hallucinations?), yet its laughter lingered in his ears as if they were imprinted onto his eardrums.
The figure of it laughing proudly despite being fatally injured --- it looked just like a hero who had fulfilled its purpose and duty.
A hearty expression without any trace of regret.
That cat seemed to have a reason to fight.
But for what? Or for who?
If it was fighting for someone’s sake --- if that was the duty entrusted to it by someone, would that cat feel satisfied then?
On the other hand, how about (Kanata) himself?
Fighting… getting hurt… before moving to the next battlefield, will there be an end to his dream?
“What the hell is up with that cat… I don’t get it…”
(Kanata) muttered to himself as if he was sleep talking.
He tried to kill off this weak emotion rising from within him, and reminded himself to forget about the cat and just focus on completing the mission.
His wound was pretty deep even though he had already stopped the bleeding; he was incapable of moving like normal. It seemed like he had to find a way of contacting the members situated in this city for assistance when he could move more freely.
Next time, I will definitely kill Horizaki Azusa.
But, there might be a chance where he gets killed instead.
When it’s his time to meet his end, and accept his death, would (Kanata) be able to laugh out loud with honesty just like that cat?
“Forget about it… That cat… has nothing to do with me.”
Murmurs kept on coming out of his mouth.
He touched his cheek, and recalled Miguruma Yaeko’s smile.
“As long as I continue to fight, that person will give me a new battlefield… and then the next one… and the one after that…”
(Kanata)’s mutters continued on, until his wounds caused his body to heat up and he passed out.
--- Right now, Horizaki Azusa had used up a lot of her power.
That’s most likely the reason why she didn’t finish him off. The darkness which enveloped her as she moved to Urban seemed as if it was ready to disappear.
Azusa would most likely rest her body in this city. And judging from the words she said before she left, there seemed to be something standing in her way to her goal. Most likely, she would rest for the time being and move accordingly, looking for an opening. On the other hand, (Kanata)’s body was fairly weak as well, but he had confidence in his recovery ability. He concluded that he would be able to regain his combat strength within a few days.
By the time (Kanata) fully recovered, it would be time for his showdown. He must finish her off before she could fully recover. In addition, taking into consideration that she might escape, he must prepare something like bait as well… There’s still plenty of time to solidify his plans.
After a few days, he will definitely defeat Horizaki Azusa --- That’s what he swore within himself.
“I’ll definitely fulfill my duty… That’s why; please give me another battlefield to fight… Vice-Director Miguruma…”
Amidst the darkness, next to the assassin’s ear, as he muffled his breathing, there was the echo of a cat’s laughter.
Thank you for reading~
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