Chapter 296: Shirou’s Objective
The camping vehicle was moving as fast as the transport vehicle. Inside it, Akira and Shirou immediately started working on opening the cases.
“I’ll tell you this beforehand, they won’t open right away. They are cases used to secure frontline equipment after all. It’s obvious that they’re locked extremely securely to protect the dangerous objects inside them.”
Akira nodded. He knew that Shirou wanted to chase after Hikaru as soon as possible. Therefore, he had no reason to suspect Shirou would spare any effort in opening these cases.
Shirou put his hand on one of the cases.
“You might think that I’m not doing anything here, but I’m properly working hard to open these cases. So don’t complain, okay?”
Akira nodded again.
They both went silent for a few seconds. Shirou still had one of his hands on top of the case as he was staring at it. Although he seemed to be doing nothing from the outside, it was obvious from his expression that he was doing whatever he could to open the case as fast as he could.
“…I’ll give you a light explanation while I have the chance. Everything that I’m going to say from here on out is all just my guess. There’s no guarantee that they are correct. But my thoughts are based on my own investigation. So, I believe it is accurate… That girl is Haruka, ‘Rebecca’ is just a fake name. Well, ‘Haruka’ might also be a fake name, but, basically, my objective is to rescue her.”
Shirou then stopped. Akira waited for him to continue. Seeing that, Shirou slowly knitted his eyebrows.
“…Akira, is that not enough?”
Akira’s face turned stern.
“That doesn’t explain anything to me. So, you want to save Rebecca… Well, it’s Haruka, right? But it doesn’t seem like she wants to be saved though? Didn’t she kick you down back there?”
Shirou’s face also turned stern.
“I don’t understand why she did that. She might not believe me. But I am absolutely serious. I just want to rescue her, and I have prepared myself to be able to negotiate even against the big five. Even if that doesn’t work, I can at least take her with me and go on the run. Though, looks like she still does not trust me.”
“I see, so then, what should I do after I get back inside Atlas? Should I take her here by force?”
“No, I want to try to convince Haruka through your information terminal. That’s why I want you to get close enough to her.”
“Ahhh, I see.”
“Is that good enough?”
Akira thought for a bit before shaking his head.
“No, as I thought, you should explain to me more. What exactly do you mean by rescuing her? And you did say something about going on the run from the big five companies, so who exactly is she? And you want to save her from what exactly?”
“…I’ll be honest, it’s better if you don’t know. Once you know, you won’t be able to claim you were acting unaware of the situation.”
“Let me ask you this question instead, is it going to be a situation where people would accept it if I said, ‘I don’t know’?”
“At least, it’s easier for you to say ‘you don’t know’ when you really don’t. At the very least, you would be able to claim that you got tricked by me. I know that I’m roping you into my own issues when I hired you, but if you don’t know, you can at least make an excuse. You can even claim that you did it because I am an agent from Sakashita Heavy Industry. But once I tell you this, you won’t be able to use that excuse anymore. Are you sure you’re fine with that?”
As expected, Akira hesitated. But he immediately made his decision and said with a serious tone.
“Just tell me already.”
Akira did not feel like he owed Shirou that much, At least, not enough to warrant him to do anything Shirou asked without knowing anything. Likewise, to engage in a fight while ignoring the doubts festering in him which came from that lack of information. Alpha was the only one that Akira would go that far for. So, with that resolve, he told Shirou to just tell him.
With that, Shirou finally gave up.
“…Alright, but promise me two things. First, don’t tell Tsukisada about what I’m going to tell you, and second, you will still help me no matter what you’re going to hear from here on out.”
“I won’t tell Tsukisada, I can promise you that. But I can’t promise you that I will still help you no matter what. I don’t know what exactly you want me to do, and I don’t have the obligation to do whatever you ask me to. After all, I will not kill myself even if you ask me to.”
Shirou hesitated. There was no guarantee that Akira would still help him after he revealed everything to Akira.
However, Shirou knew that Akira would not help him unless he explained. Likewise, even if he told Akira, the worst that would happen was for Akira to not help him. He did not believe Akira would turn hostile against him.
Even though they had not worked together for long, from the time Shirou had spent with him, he knew him well enough to know Akira would not cross that line. Thus, he finally made his decision.
“Alright, that’s good enough. Akira, I won’t take responsibility even if you say that it’s better for you not to know afterwards, okay? I did warn you, after all.”
As the mood suddenly turned heavy, Akira thought that Shirou would say something very important and inadvertently nodded. And so, Shirou went to the main subject.
“This is just my guess, but there’s a good chance that Haruka is a part of the rebuild research laboratory. Although I don’t know for sure if she’s one of the test subjects or the researchers, my bet is that she is the former.”
Shirou first met her inside the virtual space within the old-world domain. He was in the middle of strict training at that time, to polish his skills as an old-world connector. When he was training there day in and day out, he found Haruka inside one of the old-world domain’s virtual spaces that he was connected to by pure coincidence.
At first, Haruka would not tell Shirou anything, not even her name. During their exchanges, they looked at each other with suspicion. Still, for Shirou who was in the middle of such gruelling training, being able to talk with someone from outside Sakashita Heavy Industry’s facility was like an oasis in the middle of a desert.
Haruka’s common sense was slightly abnormal as was Shirou’s. He had spent all his life inside a strictly secured facility that was isolated from the outside world. Thus, it was normal for his common sense to be abnormal compared to someone from the eastern district. Both of them were old-world connectors, so Shirou thought that Haruka was also in a similar situation as he was. In the middle of their jam-packed schedule, they made sure that they would have the time to meet up in that virtual space. There, they discussed about their skills as old-world connectors, taught each other, and praised each other. As time flew by, their relationship deepened.
The closer they got, the more they wanted to know about each other. But it was not like they could simply confess their personal information to each other. Thus, what they did was use their skills as old-world connectors to investigate each other. It could also be interpreted as them wanting to know the other person’s real identity before they considered whether to continue their relationship or not.
The desire to know Haruka more greatly fuelled Shirou’s motivation. He put more effort into his training and became so skilled that it even surprised the staff of Sakashita Heavy Industry. This eventually led to the preferential treatment that he had been receiving.
Even so, Shirou was the first one to crack as he was the first to open up about his personal information to Haruka.
“…The first one who suggested trying to investigate each other was Haruka. Now that I think about it, I bet she thought that there was no way I would be able to gather any information about her. Well, it was indeed not easy. The reason why I was able to get her personal information was mostly because of luck… Haruka was connecting to that virtual space from a rebuild research laboratory. I bet it was from a renovated facility in the middle of some ruin.”
Shirou then heaved a big sigh.
“I thought that she was inside a facility owned by one of the big five corporations, just like me. I never thought that it was from the rebuild research laboratory. It was a huge shock for me at that time. I immediately completely erased that information from Sakashita Heavy Industry’s log, if they found out about her, her life would be in danger.”
Shirou’s expression then turned serious as he turned to Akira.
“My original request was to ask you to help me sneak into the rebuild research laboratory and rescue Haruka from that place. I have the confidence if it is for hacking or something similar, but that alone won’t be enough. I need someone who can fight against those guarding that place. That is also why I stocked up on Chrome. I thought Hunters, who are strong enough and can be trusted with such information, cannot be paid only by Aurum.”
Shirou let out a small sigh.
“But well, in the end… I had no other choice but to use all my Chrome to get away from Hammerz. After that, when I was looking for someone that I might be able to hire to accomplish my goal with my emergency Aurum, I found you, Akira.”
After he finished his story, Shirou then stated to Akira in a serious tone.
“There, I’ve told you everything. Now that you know everything, I will have you help me.”
Although Akira gave his affirmation, he said it too nonchalantly. Shirou, who did not expect such a response, was caught by surprise.
“…Wait, what?! What is with that reaction!? Were you even listening to my story!?”
Akira winced back from Shirou’s sudden outburst, but it was not from fear. He was simply weirded out by that outburst.
“I-It’s fine, I did properly listen to your story. Basically, you want to save your friend who is trapped inside a dangerous place, right?”
“Well, if you put it that way, that’s true. But your reaction is just wrong, you know!? Do you have a heart made of steel or something…!? No wonder you have no problem picking a fight with the Lion Steel company…”
Shirou exasperatedly sighed. Nonetheless, Akira’s bold response did help him to calm down. That was just as he managed to open the first case, inside it was an augmented suit. Shirou shot a serious gaze at Akira, who just saw what he did.
“I opened the first case. Akira, I’m sorry, but as expected it will take some time for me to open all the cases. Haruka will get away in that Atlas if you wait for me to finish opening all the cases. So please.”
Shirou lowered his head to Akira, who gave a light smile and casually said.
“Alright, make sure to open the rest before I’m back, okay?”
“Of course! Akira, thank you, I’m counting on you!”
Shirou firmly thanked Akira. He was completely shocked and was thrown into disarray when Haruka rejected him, but he was fine now.
Although Atlast D2771 could not quickly gain speed due to its size, its maximum speed was still above the camping vehicle. Due to their conversation, they were a bit late in starting their pursuit. Currently, the camping vehicle was already running parallel to the very last section of the transport vehicle.
Akira leapt from the camping vehicle’s rooftop and landed on the side of the transport vehicle. He then started walking up the wall to the rooftop of the transport vehicle.
“Alpha, I know that we’re in a hurry, but isn’t it better if I put on that augmented suit?”
Although he finally got his frontline equipment, he was still not using them.
“It’s better like this. After all, we don’t have the time for me to modify that augmented suit. Moreover, our objective is to get close enough to that girl so that Shirou can talk to her. Coming here with powerful equipment would only needlessly make her feel uneasy.”
“You have a point.”
Akira eventually reached the rooftop, he then looked around for a door to get inside the transport vehicle. But for some reason, he could not find it anywhere.
“Shirou, I’m fine with searching for Haruka inside the transport vehicle, but I don’t see any gates to get in. Can you find me a way in?”
“Sure, wait for a sec. That gate would be… No luck, the control pattern has been changed, I’ll look for another way in…”
“Wait, didn’t you open a similar door before?”
“It’s not that simple. I’m in a hurry right now, so I don’t have the time to explain it to you.”
“Ah, now that I think about it, Haruka is also an old-world connector, right? Can’t you contact her through telepathy too?”
“No, it’s not that simple. If I can do that, I would have done that by now.”
“…There’s a hatch about 300 metres away from you. Try that hatch first, if that doesn’t work, I will look for another door.”
Akira followed Shirou’s instructions as he walked on top of Atlas. Although he still had some questions, he thought that it would be bad to sour Shirou’s mood even more. Thus, he threw his questions to Alpha instead.
“Alpha, what do you think I should do to find Haruka?“
“I’m sure that without trying to find her, once she notices that you’re around, she’ll come to you. After all, from her point of view, a dangerous person that she had just expelled from the transport vehicle had returned.”
“Expelled? What do you mean? Was I expelled from the transport vehicle by Haruka?”
“Yes. My guess is that back then, she had done something to that door so that someone from the outside could easily open it.”
“Why would she do that…?”
“She doesn’t want you to get in her way of stealing the cube.”
Akira raised his eyebrows.
“Wait for a sec, so she is the one that attacked the transport vehicle?”
“Yep, although, it’s just my guess. She is not just one of the attackers, I am willing to bet she’s actually the leader of the attackers.”
“…Why didn’t you tell me?”
“You won’t be able to hide it. You couldn’t even pretend that you didn’t know something, right? If she noticed that you know about her real identity, she might stop pretending to be someone from the team trying to secure Atlas. To avoid unnecessary hostility from her, I was not able to tell you. It’s not like she’s your enemy, so there’s no need to fight her when there’s no real reason to.”
Although Akira completely understood Alpha’s point, he still could not help but to make a complicated expression.
“But still, she’s one of the attackers, right?”
“Yes. But she is not your enemy. You are only here to pick up your equipment. You never accepted any request that needed you to fight the attackers. So, there is no reason for you to pick a fight with her. Though it’s true that she is the one who sent those multi-legged drones to attack you, it would be strange if you don’t get attacked there instead, right? Furthermore, she did help you fight too, afterwards. I thought that it was better to let her know that you’re not worth the problem so she would let you finish your business there and get out of the transport vehicle as soon as possible. I believe you can at least understand that much, right?”
“…Yeah, I guess you’re right.”
Although Akira was still displeased with what had happened, at the moment, he was working for Shirou. Thus, he decided to focus on the task at hand for now.
Inside the transport vehicle which had suddenly started moving, Zelos’ team was faced with an intense battle as they were slowly pulling back. Zelos, who was standing right at the front, spearheading the team, shouted to his com.
“Don’t chase them too deep! Focus on pulling back! We’re retreating to sector A7!”
Their enemies were small girls with weapons. These girls had the same faces and they looked exactly the same as the ones Zelos had killed before he called for a retreat. Everything from their fighting capability, equipment, and green blood, were all the same. At that time, Zelos was fighting them while they were running away from him. However, this time, they were the ones pressing an assault on his team. All of them had flat emotionless eyes. Even when their friends got killed or blasted to pieces, they did not show any reaction.
Their emotionless faces were ominous and creepy. All of these girls had this exact look, and all of them looked like Haruka.
The hallway was filled with the laser beams released from the girls’ laser cannons. Zelos’ team used the portable walls that they had installed, to secure each sector. to block the lasers as they were slowly pulling back. Whenever Zelos’ team found even the smallest opening, with Zelos as the main firepower, they would quickly attack and decimate those that were open.
However, they were still feeling the heat from the assault. No matter how many they took out, the enemies kept coming without an end in sight. Their numbers were not reducing at all.
After Zelos took out a nearby enemy, he knitted his eyebrows and turned toward his men.
“How’s the situation?”
“We have three badly injured, but everyone is still alive. We also have secured a route to retreat back to cargo sector A7. The badly injured are prioritized to retreat first.”
Zelos’ stern expression relaxed after he heard that report.
“Alright then, just continue retreating. No need to worry about your ammo. Make sure to stay in the hallway until we can regroup at cargo sector A7. Never try to set up a barricade inside a room even if the fight gets tough. Make sure that everyone understands it.”
“Of course! After all, we’ve investigated where exactly these girls came from. It turns out that they were coming out from the rooms that we had secured beforehand. Just how exactly did they get in there…”
Suddenly, another man spoke with a stern look.
“I bet they were hiding.”
“But we made sure to sweep the sectors when we had secured, you know?”
“I bet we just checked if there’s someone inside, right? I witnessed it myself, you know? The moment when they formed from a locker. I’m not saying that they came out from inside the locker, but the whole locker itself turned into one of these things.”
Hearing that fantasy-like statement from his friend, the other guy knitted his eyebrows and exclaimed.
“The heck are you even talking about…?”
But Zelos looked convinced.
“I see, so that’s why. They were disguised as a part of the transport vehicle!”
“…You gotta be joking with me!?”
“It would be great if it is really just a joke though, let’s go!”
Zelos and his men were slowly pulling back from the front. But the number of enemies did not go down at all. They were shot down and sliced to pieces, drowning the floor in a puddle of green liquid. However, the enemies behind just ignored the puddle and kept charging forward.
In the middle of battle, Zelos noticed the connection between the girls.
[Wait… I see now, so that’s it!]
The reason why Zelos called for a retreat was because he was worried that there were secret routes inside the transport vehicle.
When Zelos was attacked by that large monster, he was worried whether his men had the route to retreat secured. After all, that monster attacked him from somewhere supposed to be secured.
But his men were safe. Which could only mean that the monster suddenly appeared in between the small opening between where his men were posted and him. Out of all the possibilities that he had thought of, he concluded that there must have been a secret route leading to where it had appeared.
If there were indeed secret routes inside the transport vehicle, then it was too naive to think that the sectors that they had secured were really safe. Fearful of getting ambushed through such secret routes, he decided to redo everything with the assumption that there were secret routes. Thus, he called all his men back to cargo sector A7.
However, if the enemies were disguising themselves as part of the transport vehicle, then even if there were no secret routes, it would not be strange for them to suddenly appear out of nowhere. Moreover, Zelos knew that no human could do this. This meant that the opponents he was fighting against were monsters taking human form.
His thoughts then reached the next conclusion. The opponents were biological monsters taking the form of a little girl. That they were pumped full of powerful medicine. The reason why they were so tenacious and powerful was because of the medicine. It was also the reason why they kept coming back up even after he had already killed several of them.
That was also the reason why they could not find corpses or any leftovers from the team that stormed the transport vehicle beforehand. It was because these monsters ate them. Although it was nothing but just a hunch, Zelos was convinced that he was right.
[Now that I take a good look at the hallway, I don’t find any leftovers from the multi-legged drones that we had destroyed. Those drones were also equipped with laser cannons, just like these girls, is it just a coincidence? Or did these girls get their laser cannons from eating those drones? If it is the latter, it would mean that these girls are of a monster type that would devour and assimilate anything they can consume. In that case, they can increase their numbers by consuming materials. No wonder they just keep coming. They’re eating their dead friends to produce copies!]
Fortunately, Zelos knew how to deal with these kinds of monsters. He simply had to completely obliterate them until they had no energy or material left to reconstruct themselves.
“…This is an order to everyone! Start the counterattack! The green liquid is probably an extremely powerful medicine! There’s a good chance that they’ll be able to heal themselves unless you completely destroy them!”
With that signal from Zelos, his team started to ramp up their counterattack. Faced with an intense assault that completely destroyed every single part of the monster’s body, the girls’ attacks started to weaken.
Zelos used that chance to quicken the retreat of his team back to cargo sector A7.
Haruka, who was commanding the biological weapons, seemed solemn as she saw the changes in Zelos’ team.
“That was fast… Is it normal for them to be able to adapt this quickly? Well, it is basically the same thing that had happened in Kugamayama city, so I guess that’s why they know how to deal with it.”
Haruka shook off her worries for now and decided to focus on controlling the biological weapons. But something else caught her attention that made her knit her eyebrows.
“…Your business here is already done, right? So why are you coming back?”
In her enhanced vision, Haruka could see Akira walking on the rooftop of the transport vehicle.
Akira was in the middle of looking at a door on the rooftop when he suddenly stopped. Not too far ahead of him, a certain part of the rooftop was slowly opening.
“Shirou, is that it?”
“No, that’s not me.”
Suddenly Haruka jumped out of that opening. The moment she landed on the rooftop, she stood face to face with Akira. The smile that had adorned her face when he was with her while they were inside the transport vehicle was nowhere to be seen.
“What are you doing here? You have no business anymore here, right?”
“True, but it seems that’s not the case for Shirou.”
Shirou’s voice immediately came out from Akira’s information terminal.
“Haruka! Just listen to what I have to say! Why can’t you come with me? If you’re worried about what will happen after you run away, it’ll be fine! I have a hideout that even Sakashita Heavy Industry cannot find. I’ve also prepared negotiation materials so that the Corporate Government won’t arrest you even if you’re someone from the rebuild research laboratory. So please…”
But Haruka ignored Shirou’s plea. She bit her lips, eyes full of pain as she looked straight at Akira.
“…Leave. I have no wish to fight you, but if you get in my way, then I will have no other choice.”
“Well, I can say the same for me as well. So, can we at least talk?”
“No, Leave! I don’t want to hurt Shirou’s friend. But if you give me no choice, I will use force.”
Haruka’s presence started to show readiness to fight, she was no longer trying to pretend to be weak.
“Just to let you know, I’m pretty strong.”
Although it was nothing but a bluff, her words sounded as if she had enough power to force even Akira to get serious.
“…Shirou, what’s next? Should I just leave? Or fight? If it’s the latter, I have no guarantee that she will come out alive, you know?”
Shirou could not help to raise his voice after hearing that depending on the situation, Akira would go ahead and kill Haruka.
“Shirou. The opponent is someone who came here to steal the cube, just so you know, I’m not that strong to be worried about not killing her. I will try, but I give you no promises. I know that I’m working for you right now, but I have no obligation to go that far for you. So, which one is it?”
Shirou could not find any words to rebuke Akira. That was when Haruka intervened.
“Then just leave. I don’t know how much Shirou is paying you, but if it’s money, you can just give it back. I can guarantee you, fighting me is not worth the trouble.”
“Unfortunately, I can’t just do that. A job is a job. It won’t erase my responsibility just because I return the sum. Well, that might erase my obligation to Shirou tied to the reward but that doesn’t help resolve my other debts to him. Debts that are not tied to money. I’m planning to properly repay all my debts to Shirou.”
Haruka was taught that under the Corporate Government, everything that was done through money could be undone also through money. So, she was surprised to hear Akira respond in such a manner.
“You’re a rather righteous person…”
“I’m just doing my best. Shirou, what’s your answer? Just to warn you, if the transport vehicle gets too far away from the camping vehicle, I will head back, my stuff is over there after all.”
The transport vehicle was going too fast for the camping vehicle to keep up. It was already speeding away from where Shirou was. Even so, Shirou could not decide to tell Akira whether he should fight or leave.
The one who broke the stalemate was Haruka.
“Shirou, can you hear me?”
“Let me tell you one thing. You might think that I’ve escaped that place, but that is not correct. I still have not escaped that place.”
“…What do you mean?”
“I can’t tell you more. But, as long as you don’t know why, you won’t be able to rescue me. So please, just leave.”
Haruka seemed honestly happy and sad at the same time as she threw a smile at Shirou through Akira’s information terminal.
“I’m really happy that you have gone this far for me. It’s already good enough. So please, just leave.”
A sad silence pervaded. It was Shirou who finally broke that silence.
“…Akira, return back.”
Akira walked to one end of the rooftop. He then turned around and looked at Haruka. She was only standing there as if struck by helplessness.
Akira let out a sigh and jumped off the transport vehicle.
Haruka then headed back inside the transport vehicle. All the emotions she felt were left here. It was taken by the wind created by the speeding transport vehicle and carried away.
After Akira landed on the ground, he waited for Shirou to pick him up. Even before Shirou came, he could no longer see the transport vehicle. Akira jumped onboard the camping vehicle and went to check up on Shirou, but contrary to his expectation, Shirou was doing okay.
“Akira, I’ve opened all the cases.”
“O-okay, thanks. So then, what’s your plan after this?”
“Just as I planned, we will still go and rescue Haruka. Our target is the rebuild research laboratory. This is where things get serious, so let’s get ready.”
The camping vehicle accelerated even faster under Shirou’s remote control.
“…Say, Shirou. Didn’t Haruka say something along the lines of it being impossible for you?”
“She didn’t say anything like that. What she said is that she still has not escaped from the rebuild research laboratory. Well, I still have not fully understood the meaning of her words there. Akira, what do you think she meant by that?”
“Hmmm. Something like that body of hers being a remote terminal that she’s controlling from the laboratory?”
“No, that one is not a remote terminal. That is the real Haruka. There is no doubt about that. I can guarantee you that. It’s normal practice to prepare a body double when an important person goes on-site. So, I’m experienced in both faking myself and seeing through fake bodies. That’s why I can tell. That was the real Haruka.”
“Then what did she mean by that?”
“…I don’t know. But, if she’s still under the control of the laboratory for any reason, then I will go and rescue her. We might be able to find the reason if we go to the laboratory, it’s worth checking.”
“Hmm, it still sounds like we’re just going with the flow.”
Shirou heard that and made a rather smug smile before speaking.
“At least not as bad as you thought.”
“You have a point.”
Akira could not do anything but chuckle in reaction to that.
“So then, how long will it take before we reach that laboratory?”
“It’s about 5 hours from here.”
“Alpha, is that enough time for you to familiarize yourself with the new equipment?”
“I see. Although this rebuild laboratory sounds like some super facility, I have my frontline equipment with me this time, so I guess it should be fine.”
“I’m really counting on you for this. It is a secret laboratory, so it might look like it’s undefended from outside, but it should at least be as secure as a Sakashita Heavy Industry facility.”
“A secret lab, huh?”
“Yeah. It wasn’t easy to find it, you know? I’ve been trying to find it even using the information that I got from Viola, but that turned out to be useless, so it was really not easy.”
The camping vehicle continued running through the wasteland and into the rebuild research laboratory that even Shirou had a hard time finding.
Back in Sheryl’s base, Sheryl was fearfully receiving a visitor.
“U-Uhmmm, I heard that you have some business with Viola… U-uh, m-may I ask what it might be?”
“It’s nothing serious, I just have a few questions for Viola-san regarding some of her past dealings. It would be great if you would cooperate.”
The guest was Maruo. Inabe, as an officer from Kugamayama city, already told Sheryl beforehand that Maruo was someone from the Corporate Government and warned her not to do anything rude to him. That was why she was so nervous.
“So then, where is Viola-san?”
“S-she’ll be here in a minute. S-so please wait for a bit.”
Although she had Akira’s support and her gang had become a rather untouchable organization in Kugamayama city, they were still nothing compared to the Corporate Government. Thus, it was not strange for everyone in the gang to be nervous with the current guest around.
A moment later, Sheryl’s men came in with Viola. Viola sat in front of Maruo as she was trying her best to keep her usual smile.
“I heard that you have some questions for me, so, what might it be?”
“I want to know in detail about your deal with someone by the name of Gorou in Mihazono ruin. We have investigated and it seems like you gave him a certain piece of information, what did you give him?”
“I see, so you want to buy that information? In that case…”
In order to get into her usual rhythm, Viola tried to start negotiations in her usual fashion. But Maruo stopped her.
“I will give you the gratitude amount, but let’s negotiate a later date. I want to know that answer first and foremost. I know you like to complicate the discussion. So, let me state this. I can actually just ask your brain directly, but that will require certain preparations first. So, to not have to go through such a troublesome thing, it would be of great help if you can just tell me honestly. Would that work for you?”
In front of Maruo, who said that with nonchalance and a peaceful smile, Viola got overwhelmed by the pressure and told Maruo everything.
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