Chapter 67:

066 – In the Name of Deduction

Rainbow of the Horizon—Illuminating Our Darkened Path | Our World

"Uuuuggggghhhhhh…"Bookmark here

"What? Got in a fight with your girlfriend again?"Bookmark here

"Like I've told you, Marcel-san… It's not a fight; she always gets mad at me for good reasons…"Bookmark here

"To think that that energetic and cheerful girl can get angry. What in the world did you do to make her mad anyway?"Bookmark here

"I can't deny that it's my fault for always being late."Bookmark here

"Yo, better stop cheating on her."Bookmark here

"And better stop making assumptions like that."Bookmark here

Wait… shouldn't it be Marcel-san's fault that I always get scolded for coming home from dangerous places so late at night? That should be the case, right?Bookmark here

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One thing I have learned about myself is that being with the subject slowly takes away my work ethics. I started to wonder if Yugare-san… or the shorter-tempered Kaminari-san was also affected by me when I was being a real pain in the backside. Anyways, how did Ichika-san even put up with my rudeness?Bookmark here

That aside, I know that things have already changed in just the span of ten years. I know to myself that the high school I attended in the North isn't how it is supposed to be now, at least looks-wise. But attending Blue Ink High is a true experience. I don't know how the principal's mind goes, but this school is simply a nostalgia trip for a 27 year-old who graduated high school above this country. The experience, how it feels, the vending machines, and the rooftops… am I losing my sense of home?Bookmark here

"Say, you really like the red bean soup, don't you, Marcel-san?"Bookmark here

More like, the vending machines actually have them here in the South which per se is surprising already.Bookmark here

"Well, yeah. It's getting cold and all."Bookmark here

And to add, we are going to change to our blazers in the next few days. Winter is indeed approaching here in the next month.Bookmark here

"Oh, right, Marcel-san. Do you usually step out at night?"Bookmark here

"Hmm? Not really. I sometimes make my family's dinner so I don't really go out in the dark."Bookmark here

"I guess that's fine and well. Have you heard about the recent gang fights that happen at night? I wouldn't be surprised if small mafias will get involved, honestly."Bookmark here

"Yeah, yeah. Of course I've heard of those. Just when Cotona finally got peaceful after Teardrop's case, those thugs showed up since no one targets them anymore."Bookmark here

"Oh, you're quite knowledgeable."Bookmark here

"You probably don't know since you're from Japan, but the Capital and Cotona is actually a hotspot of certain substances."Bookmark here

"I heard that nearly two hundred thousand were already imprisoned in President Aquos's term and counting. Is it really that bad?"Bookmark here

"Yeah.Bookmark here

Bookmark here

You said that you sometimes come home late, right?"Bookmark here

"I did."Bookmark here

"What an idiot. So that's why Mitsumi-san is always mad at you."Bookmark here

"I have a part time job, so it can't be helped…"Bookmark here

▪ ▪ ▪Bookmark here

And about that "part time job", I am once again watching Marcel-san's actions from afar. But while I was monitoring him on my walk, I heard someone.Bookmark here

"Psst."Bookmark here

"Is someone there…?"Bookmark here

"Heeey. I'm here on the electric post above you. Look up, look up."Bookmark here

I wasn't able to distinguish who it was, as he is above the streetlights from my perspective. Not even did I see a silhouette of him because of how much the light is obscuring my vision.Bookmark here

"Wha-?!"Bookmark here

Out of the blue, he effortlessly leaped down from the very top of the post and landed silently in front of me. Finally being illuminated, the man is wearing black from top to bottom. His hair is unkempt yet an invisible hair parting separates most of his hair to sway to his right. And to top everything… he has no face.Bookmark here

"No surprise that there's an Exile again tonight…"Bookmark here

(!)Bookmark here

"I feel like I've seen you somewhere… Were you also guarding at one point?"Bookmark here

"Nope. This is my first time. You know, it will be unnecessary to tell your name if I don't have a name."Bookmark here

"Quite fair. But what's with that getup? You blend in quite well in the dark, though. Are you Batm*n?"Bookmark here

"I'd say that you're also camouflaged well. Anyway, let's hurry back on the tailing. We might lose that guy."Bookmark here

"Oh… right. Are you going to move in stealth like the others?"Bookmark here

"Nah. I'm still not cut out to be a ninja. Oh, do you know that shinobi still exist in this modern day in your country?"Bookmark here

"I don't know if that's a fact, but surely no one would know since we're talking about ninjas. They are pretty much incognito. If this was Edo, I might believe that."Bookmark here

"I guess… We only have thugs holding knives instead of samurais wielding finely crafted swords here in Orio. I'm seriously tired of knife-holding crybabies, to be honest…"Bookmark here

"Please keep quiet, Exile-san. It seems that Marcel-san has stopped."Bookmark here

So for tonight's "excursion…" Marcel-san's destination is an abandoned mansion in Sector Xav. Based from the field research and inquiry from Cotona PD, it seems that this sector is very notorious for petty crimes up to large bank heists at worst. Apparently, most of the organizations that are not affiliated with the underworld dwell here, and some of them actually have formed an alliance.Bookmark here

This abandoned mansion seems to be pretty classic for this kind of things. And lately, in addition to what Marcel-san mentioned as to cover up for himself in our conversation, it does seem that he is very much against the usage and transactions of illegal substances, like any person straight in the head will be. I first saw it when he let a several thousand Laxes worth of a bag mix in dust and rubble until homogeneous. Following to that, it looked like it was the regular thing that he does in his encounters, if not every single time. He looks like a vigilante, if those things are considered. But his ways are truly not to be swallowed. It is like forcing a meat of fish with its bones to your throat, so to speak. However, it doesn't seem apparent that he has any intention to dirty his hands; but only to make them silent at most.Bookmark here

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The mansion of course has a very large area. But the two of us decided to pick a smaller veranda to observe. From this point of view, we can see down until the first floor because of the open ceiling.Bookmark here

"Put your hood on."Bookmark here

"Alrig-" I was sure that I heard his voice, but I didn't see him when I turned around.Bookmark here

Nonetheless, I saw that Marcel-san was walking around the mansion until he was lost in sight. My legs and hands are once again trembling. Not being in sight means that he can be everywhere—maybe even behind me. But then I immediately noticed a flash of light from down below. There is actually still electricity in the lines of the place, but some of the lights are blinking, if not sparking. I saw him come back in the main room, and every step he makes, it was as though droplets of water rhythmically follow his sound as it loudly echoed to the whole room.Bookmark here

I sensed from my back that the Exile has returned.Bookmark here

"There is a blind spot in the back of the mansion. I didn't see immediately when we first got here, but there are fresh tracks. There are also two black cars from the same place."Bookmark here

"I'm pretty sure that the Exiles were just to guard me, but here you are scouting the vicinity."Bookmark here

"Sorry to scare you, but Marcel is actually surrounded from every direction."Bookmark here

"My word… Am I still really an Anew employee…?"Bookmark here

"And just so you know, since you're breaking to cold sweat, having irregular heart beating and ringing ears from extreme nervousness, you didn't noticed that an armed man is about to tranquilize you from your back."Bookmark here

"…!" I immediately turned around just to find an unconscious man with… flattened ammunition?Bookmark here

"How did you… I didn't even hear a single thing…!"Bookmark here

"I just used his tranquilizer on him."Bookmark here

"Exile-san. If things get bad, we might need to run."Bookmark here

"I'm a coward, that's why I wear this mask. I'm a coward, and that's why I run fast."Bookmark here

Suddenly, a foreign voice echoed inside while Marcel-san is once again standing in one place, not knowing that he is surrounded.Bookmark here

"You are a man that is very hard to locate."Bookmark here

"Who are you… You are not the person I'm dealing with."Bookmark here

"It doesn't matter since you won't tell your name. But you sure took care of my men at some point. I didn't think you would be so capable while unarmed."Bookmark here

"What are you talking about…"Bookmark here

"You are naive, child. Did you really think that you silence people by breaking a bone or two? What a small, petty child you are. Yet you still dare to challenge my Circle Wreath Group."Bookmark here

"What, so mafia family like yours pick on little people? What a joke."Bookmark here

"You started it first. And you might as well end everything, and quickly at that.Bookmark here

So be it, then. Begone."Bookmark here

Not even a moment's pause, many a nozzle of guns pointed at him. Unfazed, he stood still without moving an inch.Bookmark here

"Even the faintest sound produces a vibration, and it just so happens that this place is extremely sensitive to sound."Bookmark here

With the reverberation of his voice, the droplets I heard earlier became faster.Bookmark here

"LIGHTS ON!!!!!!!"Bookmark here

And so a part of the ceiling fell down, and a waterfall of inundation directed down to the chandelier.Bookmark here

For a moment, everything turned white. There were no stun grenades that were let out. The blindness happened in a blinding speed. They were only talking a few moments ago, and before we knew it, there is already an electrical explosion. And suddenly, a nauseating gas was released throughout the mansion.Bookmark here

I don't know if it is already dark, or I am still partially blind. But the Exile placed me on his shoulder and jumped down while my sight recovers. Things were nearly invisible with the smoke, but I felt that the Exile exerted force, and threw something away from the building.Bookmark here

After that, all I can see is that we are away from the site, fleeing safely.Bookmark here

"Did you manage to find Marcel-san?"Bookmark here

"I sent him away from the mansion, far enough for him to escape. Seems like his leg got grounded with the electricity. He should be able to run after a while. It looks like every one apart from him was unconscious."Bookmark here

"Thank goodness… I hope he gets away fast…"Bookmark here

▪ ▪ ▪Bookmark here

As for the next day…Bookmark here

"Marcel-san?! Why are you limping?!" However, I really didn't expect that his injury from last night will still persist the next morning.Bookmark here

"…Bookmark here

I… I guess it really is a bad idea to go out at night… I got myself injured."Bookmark here

"…!"Bookmark here

I was not caught by surprise because he considered my warning, but instead, it was because he opened up and reflected which he has never done.Bookmark here

"W-What happened… Did you get caught in a fight?"Bookmark here

"It's not just a fight… it was way bigger than that. I really thought that I was going to die… I was terrified…"Bookmark here

He was trembling, and his expression was still struck by fear. It was to the point that he nearly fell down to his knees.Bookmark here

"You really shouldn't have come to school in this condition, Marcel-san. You still need to rest."Bookmark here

"And what if they followed me and got my family hurt?! Among all the places… this is the only place I know that is safe…Bookmark here

I don't want to experience anything like that again. I should have realized earlier how dangerous it was. I swear… I'll never do that again…"Bookmark here

"…"Bookmark here

I see now. Change indeed comes in many ways, and it varies from person to person. But one thing that I feel is similar—is that a push is what makes even a slight change to come to someone. It was the principal that gave me a push to start moving forward, while on Marcel-san's side, it was something physical that is driving him to stop what he is doing.Bookmark here

Then again, a change really can't be forced to someone.Bookmark here

But with Marcel-san's claim, I don't think I can get to thank that Exile any time soon.Bookmark here

▪ ▪ ▪Bookmark here

A few days later.Bookmark here

"Uh, Ryuuya-san! Can I talk to you for a second?" at some point in a vacant time, Ando-san suddenly called out to me.Bookmark here

"What is it about, Ando-san?"Bookmark here

"Ah… Sorry, but I have to borrow Ryuuya-san for a while, Marcel. I have to talk to him alone."Bookmark here

"Just go. Guess I'll go somewhere."Bookmark here

~ ~ ~Bookmark here

Ando-san suddenly brought me to their clubroom, and turned on the soundproofing for the entire room.Bookmark here

"Ryuuya-san, I just want to make this clear—is Marcel really your observation subject?"Bookmark here

"That is… right, Ando-san. Why do you ask, though?"Bookmark here

"You know that he is Marcus's twin brother, right? And I'm pretty sure that you now know that Marcus is behind Akaji's case.Bookmark here

I'm not jumping to conclusions, but… is Marcel doing something similar from Marcus's past actions?"Bookmark here

"…Bookmark here

He did. He's actually the one behind the attacks across the sectors here in Cotona. It seems that he is preventing transactions unbeknownst to the police."Bookmark here

"Is this… information transparent?" somehow, Ando-san did not look so surprised.Bookmark here

"Only Principal Juushiro and the company, through my regular reports, know about this. I was actually going to tell Gin about this soon."Bookmark here

"I was actually following that news for a while now. From what I have observed, it pops out in the news with an interval of a day or two. But there hasn't been any news regarding that for quite some time.Bookmark here

Did you manage to stop him?"Bookmark here

"Not at all, Ando-san. It was all according to his own decisions, thus he stopped it himself. I didn't do anything special to make him reconsider. All I did was observe him, as it is my sole job."Bookmark here

"I see… I hope that things will go well with your work."Bookmark here

~ ~ ~Bookmark here

Meanwhile, on the new building's school rooftop, a quick incident happened.Bookmark here

There was no one on the rooftop aside from Marcel. A stick of cigarette was then lit with the head of a matchstick which made contact with Marcel's lips.Bookmark here

"Phoooo…"Bookmark here

"Huh… Why does it smell like smoke here…?" a faint voice from inside sounded.Bookmark here

"…!"Bookmark here

Immediately, he put out the heat by twisting the stick to the ground and threw it far on an open field. The rooftop door then opened, and Marcel hastily charged on the student silently.Bookmark here

~ ~ ~Bookmark here

"But as what you're saying, Ryuuya-san… Does that mean that you haven't made your move in terms of your intention to introduce him to make changes?"Bookmark here

"I haven't done anything like that, at least for now. But being an observer does not mean that I should be tied with objectivity. Part of my job is to also bring up my emotions in necessary times, and use my own convictions to support the subject.Bookmark here

With that being said, I really consider Marcel-san as my friend."Bookmark here

"That is very reassuring… Especially for Gin."Bookmark here

"What about him…?"Bookmark here

"You see… Gin was extremely upset that Marcus murdered Akaji unreasonably. He didn't show it, but he was angered that at such an age, people already brood over heinous thoughts, especially with making a grave crime.Bookmark here

I really am counting on you for this Ryuuya-san."Bookmark here

Suddenly, Ando-san's words trembled in his lips, as if he was afraid.Bookmark here

"But why, Ando-san?"Bookmark here

"Gin has extremely unstable emotions. If something like that happens again… I don't know how he will respond to it. I know to myself… that Gin is someone we can't stop if he can't control himself anymore. I have never seen him get seriously angered when one's life is unreasonably endangered."Bookmark here

"Th-That's…Bookmark here

I'm very thankful that you told me that, Ando-san. With that, I will make sure to support Marcel-san thoroughly."Bookmark here

"I'm also grateful…"Bookmark here

BANGBookmark here

And suddenly, a faint sound of a gunshot managed to pierce through the soundproofed walls.Bookmark here

"That was gunfire just now…!"Bookmark here

"What should we do, Ando-san?!"Bookmark here

BANGBookmark here

"Stay put for a while, Ryuuya-san," he said while turning off the soundproofing.Bookmark here

BANGBookmark here

"It came from the school grounds. We should be quite far from the gunshots. I think it's safe to step out. But I hope someone will take care of it, whatever it is."Bookmark here

"Maybe we can see what's going on from afar?"Bookmark here

"I think we can."Bookmark here

We immediately ran to a window located on the far side of the hallway, nearest to where the sound was coming from. We saw five people wearing a purple cloth on their right arm, and at that, they are all holding a handgun.Bookmark here

"That armband…!"Bookmark here

Indeed, it was from a gang that Marcel-san confronted awhile back. Thankfully, they are not related to the mafia organization that he encountered.Bookmark here

But things are looking grave downstairs. It is unlikely that the security guard can hold them off. The risk is simply too high. And even if they are right beside the administrative office, I am not sure if anyone can put a stop to them.Bookmark here

"Oi, oi…! I know you're hiding somewhere, wannabe hero! Show yourself or we'll blast off this school of yours!" from the window, the loud voice of the man reached us.Bookmark here

"How did they find this out…?!"Bookmark here

"What, Ryuuya-san?! Do you know something?"Bookmark here

"They are members of a gang that Marcel-san took care of. They saw his face… but how did they know that he is a student here?!"Bookmark here

"Wait, you're telling me that Marcel is their target?!"Bookmark here

"Most likely…"Bookmark here

I heard footsteps coming from the stairs going up. Hurriedly going down the stairs, I saw Marcel-san dashing.Bookmark here

"Marcel-san! Stop…!"Bookmark here

Barely managing to catch up on him, I managed to grab him on his arm until we both fell down on the hallway.Bookmark here

"Don't stop me…! Ryuuya-san…!" he resisted my grip.Bookmark here

"Please calm down, Marcel…!" Ando-san quickly stopped him with me. He then whispered, "You don't need to come to them. Someone will definitely stop those men. Trust me, Marcel… No one will get hurt and you don't have to show yourself outside…"Bookmark here

And just like that, Ando-san managed to calm him down. Lending his shoulder, he stood up together with Marcel-san and trod slowly towards the window.Bookmark here

"For now… just watch what's going to happen."Bookmark here

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"Oi, what's this…? You don't match the description we got. Get out of here before we rain you."Bookmark here

There was a person on a black hood that stood in front of them. It was hard to notice if one does not look closely, but it seems that the person is a student from this school, seeing that he is wearing a black pants and black leather shoes. But the black hood was rather long, enough to cover his face. However, he does not seem like he has anything with him.Bookmark here

But then a white cloth suddenly floated down towards him which he caught without fail.Bookmark here

"Don't make a mess in this school," said the person.Bookmark here

"Haaaah?! You mocking us brat?! Do you even know who you're talking to?"Bookmark here

"I don't know anyone of you."Bookmark here

"You bastard… So you're picking a fight, hah?!"Bookmark here

Without even a signal to fire, the five pointed and shot at the hooded person almost at the same time. But there weren’t any signs of him trying to evade the bullets, but brought up the white cloth towards them instead. He was… fast enough to see the bullets' trajectory and pull up the cloth towards every bullet, until they just bounced off from the cloth.Bookmark here

There was no way that it could be Marcel-san, as he is being held by Ando-san while his legs still has no strength.Bookmark here

(!)Bookmark here

I had a fleeting thought, however. There was no way that Marcel-san can get a hold of a technology of intricate disguise, as it does not seem like an advance technology like that is already existing. But there was something different from him that my senses tell me, nonetheless.Bookmark here

"Hahahaha… I see now…" out of nowhere, Ando-san let out a weak laugh and muttered.Bookmark here

"So that's you, Ryota…"Bookmark here

I was only lost in thought for a moment, but the five is already down upon looking at the window again.Bookmark here

"What just happened… Ando-san?"Bookmark here

"That hooded guy just immobilized them. It happened so fast…"Bookmark here

We shortly came down and looked out to near the school gate, which everything happened. There was no one in the scene apart from the person on a hood. But Gin abruptly walked towards him and surprisingly, he gave the person a high-five.Bookmark here

"Hey (Ryota), what should I do with these guns?"Bookmark here

"Please destroy them."Bookmark here

With those words spoken, Gin effortlessly stomped on each of the five guns until they were all deformed until unusable.Bookmark here

"G-Gin Sakato…" in a very weak voice, Marcel-san uttered.Bookmark here

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Not long after everything that happened, the prompt sound telling that there will be a school-wide broadcast echoed in the entirety of the school.Bookmark here

"Attention, students. As per the principal's instruction, classes will hereby be suspended for today due to the sudden and unexpected events that threatened the school. In ten minutes' time, please vacate the school and leave to your respective homes."Bookmark here

"Can you properly stand now, Marcel?"Bookmark here

"Yes… I'll go back in the classroom on my own."Bookmark here

"Isn't it great, Kaizo? The problem thankfully was taken care of quickly. The police are on their way to pick them up," Gin explained while making our way towards Ando-san and I.Bookmark here

"After all of this, I'll arrange for you and Marcel to have a talk. Is that alright with you?"Bookmark here

"Yes, please. I can't let this time to go to waste. I really have to talk to him immediately and seriously."Bookmark here

"It's time to use what you have learned from your job. I have to say, though, you observers are diverse."Bookmark here

~ ~ ~Bookmark here

As what Gin had promised, the school let me use the rooftop of the new building while waiting for Marcel-san to come up. But while I was waiting, I noticed a black ash on the floor, concentrated in one place.Bookmark here

The door opened, and Marcel-san immediately went out.Bookmark here

"Should we have a seat?"Bookmark here

There was a shaded long bench that randomly has a stack of papers underneath the seat. Disregarding that, we sat with a little bit of distance. I realized that this was my first time going up on the rooftop, and that it actually looks like a garden here. I am quite sure that there is no gardening club here. It is amazing that someone is tending to the plants and flowers here.Bookmark here

※ Art Club takes care of them.Bookmark here

Finally sorting out my thoughts, I began to speak while taking out something from my bag.Bookmark here

"Marcel Rodriguez-san, as you may have known, my name is Kaizo Ryuuya."Bookmark here

"…Bookmark here

Y… You're not making any sense."Bookmark here

"Once again, I am Kaizo Ryuuya, a human relations supervisor in Anew Company," I then gave him my contact card. "Our company aims to provide support for people that are having instability in life, whether physically and mentally. In addition to that, our vision is to see results that are satisfactory to one's beneficial change to him or her. Generally, our objective is to help and assist people to achieve a stable life in accordance to how they view the world and reality."Bookmark here

"What kind of joke is this…"Bookmark here

"If you think that this is all a joke, please call the number below my personal contact information, and wait for a response."Bookmark here

Marcel-san did as he was told and placed his phone before his ear as the sound of ringing was heard.Bookmark here

"Hello, this is Anew Support. How may I help you?"Bookmark here

"It is fine to state your name," I whispered to him.Bookmark here

"I am Marcel Rodriguez…"Bookmark here

"Oh, Mr. Rodriguez from the supervision of Mr. Kaizo Ryuuya. Is there anything that we can help you with?"Bookmark here

"Just tell them the truth," I whispered again.Bookmark here

"I was told by Ryuuya-san to call this number as a proof…"Bookmark here

"I understand, Mr. Rodriguez. If you need anything, you can freely contact the human relations supervisor or this number. We wish you a good day, and we hope that we are of help to you."Bookmark here

*beep*Bookmark here

"What is this about… I don't know anything about this…"Bookmark here

"This is only the second year that we are accepting people in your age range, as most of our subjects are adults that are in need of guidance with regards to degrading from the society.Bookmark here

Before this school year began, our company scouted around the town of Ginga to find potential subjects that are in need of assistance and guidance. Unanimously, the human relations department chose you as our observation subject."Bookmark here

"Then all of those… Those times…"Bookmark here

"Marcel-san, those times are not fake. I was being genuine to all of my actions, as in considering you as a real friend here in school. But as being your supervisor, I needed to observe what you are doing outside of school… especially with the actions that you undertake so as to stop the circulation of illegal substances around Cotona."Bookmark here

"So you knew about everything…?"Bookmark here

"Frankly, yes. Also included in that is your last confrontation which you faced a mafia boss in an abandoned mansion. You barely got out of from the peril by using an electrical malfunction as an exploit while releasing nauseating gas."Bookmark here

"Th-Then… do you also know what happened after that…?"Bookmark here

"Our company is also working together with Blue Ink's administration. Thus, the principal knows about this too. But furthermore, the Exiles decided to cooperate and acted as a guard from when I watch over.Bookmark here

And yes, you were apparently thrown away by an Exile from the vicinity of the mansion to make your escape."Bookmark here

"But why… this doesn't make any sense… Why was I chosen… I don't think there's something wrong with how I live. I'm only doing something that follows my beliefs…Bookmark here

What could be wrong with that?!"Bookmark here

"Marcel-san, our department was not the only one that agreed with it.Bookmark here

Even your twin brother, Marcus Rodriguez, had agreed."Bookmark here

"…! Why do you know my brother…"Bookmark here

"Marcus Rodriguez-san was a student of this very school until his fourth year in junior high school. But he was expelled due to a murder case following Akaji Mashido-san's death.Bookmark here

Later then, he was sent to juvenile rehabilitation while Jack Rodriguez-san, your father, was sent to jail because Marcus-san cannot be imprisoned. All of this information is from a primary source, which was your twin brother.Bookmark here

Ever since childhood, you thought of him as an older brother. You admired him for everything he does. Especially, when you learned martial arts. You were amazed by his talents and decided to follow behind him. Marcus-san admitted that his ideas and ideals were twisted—in which it led him to blindly end someone's life while he is fueled by his clouded beliefs and rage."Bookmark here

"I never knew about that…"Bookmark here

"That is because you have never once visited him in juvenile. But when you discovered that he turned to a new leaf, you were disappointed. It was not your ideal brother anymore because he had given up all of his strong conviction towards his twisted sense of justice.Bookmark here

Marcel-san, the main foundation of choosing you as our subject is that you are instilling the old beliefs of your brother to your head. Thus, it resulted to your almost uncontrollable violent drive.Bookmark here

Bookmark here

Marcel-san… you were smoking earlier, didn't you?"Bookmark here

"…!" all that he responded with was an extremely shocked expression.Bookmark here

"Figured as much. You are not fond of using cologne, and yet I smelled a fragrant scent from your uniform earlier after you tried to go down in haste. There are also remains of a cigarette ashes on the floor here, and now, you are once again reeking of smoke.Bookmark here

From that, I can speculate that someone found out that you are using cigarettes and instinctively took down a student. Since this building is only for senior high school students, you changed your uniform that the student was wearing, and changed back again before the abrupt dismissal. But what you did not take into consideration earlier is that the other uniform has its accent on its left hem."Bookmark here

"…"Bookmark here

"Your brother told me that he felt that you are starting become like him—a murderer, bluntly. He agreed because he doesn't want you to dirty your own hands. He was afraid that your violent drive is now developing, which is. In that desperate destination earlier… I felt that you were going to try and kill those men… so as to maintain the peace of school.Bookmark here

That was what you were thinking, am I correct?"Bookmark here

He silently nodded.Bookmark here

"You sound like you know my brother even before this…"Bookmark here

"Did you forget, Marcel-san? I was studying here two years ago, as a fourth year student. That is… when I was still an Anew subject."Bookmark here

"…! You were…?!"Bookmark here

"Kaizo Ryuuya, a 27 year-old that was once made to work as a slave-like in a certain company in Japan. Because of Anew, I managed to restart my life and changed my despaired and dejected self.Bookmark here

My class was beyond help with their behavior but they all changed… because of a loss. They realized that they can turn to what happened to Marcus-san if they continued with their selfish ways. And your brother also realized the mistake that he made. The principal… together with Anew had the ability to give people a new opportunity; I thought in that time while listening to the encouraging words even when we just lost our respected classmate.Bookmark here

I was so ready to give up my life; now I'm thankful that I was once again guided on track."Bookmark here

"27 years… old…? How…?"Bookmark here

"As you are not adult, we will not be disclosing information regarding that.Bookmark here

We don't have all the time here in school… so, can you please flip the card I gave you?"Bookmark here

Flipping the card to the back, it revealed another contact number.Bookmark here

"Please also dial the number and I would appreciate it if you put it in loudspeaker."Bookmark here

The line began ringing, and before the call is answered, I said: "This very contact card is just for you, Marcel-san."Bookmark here

The call was then answered.Bookmark here

"Hello?"Bookmark here

"Yes, who is this?"Bookmark here

I stood with confidence and began walking towards the door.Bookmark here

"You can say whatever you like," I said as my parting words.Bookmark here

"…Bookmark here

H-Hello…? Are you still on the line?"Bookmark here

"Wait, this voice… Marcel? Marcel, is this you?"Bookmark here

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I have never seen and heard this school with this silence. The only things that I can hear are the sound of my footsteps while going down on the stairs… and the loud cry from above after hearing the voice of Marcus Rodriguez-san.Bookmark here

▪ ▪ ▪Bookmark here

September 20.Bookmark here

It has been so long, and things still aren't looking well for me… No, not about Marcel-san. This is another matter.Bookmark here

But speaking of him, there were no apparent development with regards to Marcel-san. But he does not go out at night to pick fights anymore. Because of the data I presented to the company, it was then passed on to the police, and they are now taking care of Marcel-san's past business. But in school, I can still feel his instinctual drive of baseless and brute actions. But I later discovered that knocking out the student that found him with cigarettes was the first time he harmed a fellow.Bookmark here

And because of bringing cigars in school, he nearly got himself suspended. But at least, he does not reek anymore.Bookmark here

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But the place where I am at reeks of fragrance. Yes, I am in a flower shop now that school is over for the week. I however coincidentally saw Gin in the same place, in front of the counter. It's somehow weird seeing him in his uniform outside of the school. I don't know why I was trying to hide, but he spotted me nevertheless.Bookmark here

"So you also come to these kinds of shops, Gin…? That's so uncharacteristic…"Bookmark here

"What about you? Also going to buy flowers?"Bookmark here

"That's why I'm here. I don't really see you buying flowers. Is there a something?"Bookmark here

"Well… this day marks my second year with Rin. So yeah… I'm here to find flowers for her as a small gift."Bookmark here

"He is a regular here, actually," the woman behind the counter said.Bookmark here

"Now why do you look embarrassed, Gin?"Bookmark here

"I'm assuming you're here for Mitsumi-san?"Bookmark here

"Uuuuugggggghhhhh…"Bookmark here

"Don't tell me… you two are still not okay?"Bookmark here

"Yeah… That's why I'll go ask her out for dinner later and give her flowers."Bookmark here

"Ohh… Miss, she needs flowers for forgiveness, huh?" Gin unnecessarily asked.Bookmark here

"Yep!"Bookmark here

"But I seriously thought that she would also be easy-going with this kind of things. That was really surprising."Bookmark here

"How about you? Surely you've gotten in a fight with Akanami-san."Bookmark here

"Well, of course! But our quarrel mostly last like three or so days. The worst thought was when we broke up for a week."Bookmark here

"You're the easy-going one here!Bookmark here

But hey, that's because you two are still young. It might get a little hard a few years later."Bookmark here

"What, is work making it hard for you to propose to Mitsumi-san?"Bookmark here

Unbeknownst to these two, the shopkeeper is getting so confused with the conversation which a high school student is thinking of proposing to her girlfriend. They didn't notice in the end.Bookmark here

"Kind of. But I'm still not setting a date for that. I haven't even looked for a ring.Bookmark here

I guess Yugare-san and Kamichi-san will go first."Bookmark here

"Yeah… Yuzuri-san is quite laid back right now.Bookmark here

Well, I have my flowers so I'll have to get going."Bookmark here

"Oh, sure. **Congratulations on your two years of relationship."Bookmark here

"Thank you, really!"

Chapter Message:Bookmark here

That ends 066!Bookmark here

pop pop pop pop pop popBookmark here

...Bookmark here

head empty no thoughtsBookmark here

Thank you for reading!Bookmark here

NextBookmark here

067: Are we really going to have that program?!Bookmark here

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