Chapter 5:

Killjoy

Forbidden Words


PART 17Bookmark here

"1... 2... 3..."
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Leto started counting down as I ordered him to. Beside the weakened Yoona who was sitting and leaning on a wall, Leto was just standing as he watched us go and run.Bookmark here

"Mahika you start, we'll go to his side."Bookmark here

"Okay!"Bookmark here

As intended, Mahika was the first to reach the Red Sting. He started with a tornado kick but our enemy only blocked it with just one arm then proceeded with a slash from below.Bookmark here

"Ugh!" As extreme as the heat was, only a few drops of blood dropped, while most were burned. Still, Mahika continued his strings of punches and kicks which did not really faze the hero. Every two of his attacks, the hero countered with the sword that wrecked Mahika's body even though it was continuously healing too.Bookmark here

"I'm entering!" I joined Mahika by sliding, to trip the Red Sting. But he dodged by doing a flip jump, and while he was on it, he kicked Mahika's face.Bookmark here

I quickly stood up and followed him as he landed. He noticed it and swung his sword horizontally. I dodged by bending backward, and when my hands touched the floor, I used them to support myself and kicked his chin.Bookmark here

Maybe that made him dizzy for a second as he slowly stepped backward. Mahika did not waste that moment and thrust his arms under his armpit as his start for a hold to both of his arms. "Domino!"Bookmark here

Domino quickly showed up and gave the hero rapid kicks and ended it with a lash of her right foot.Bookmark here

The Red Sting grunted before Mahika let him out of his hold. "Hah! How's that? Domino is one scary girl, but with a boost, you can call her a monster!"Bookmark here

For a girl to be described like that, I'm expecting Domino to make Mahika her next punching bag, but as stoic as she was, she just placed her glare at the hero on the floor.Bookmark here

He soon got up on his four limbs. "A hero never gives up." He said like he was talking to himself.Bookmark here

"That persistence, acting like there's a bigger cause for you to stand up..." Domino held his head. "But there's no one worth protecting here other than yourself." She used her knee to strike his face, but still not letting him go.Bookmark here

The earlier hard-to-take-down Red Sting is now on his knees in front of Domino, the one who taught me how to fight. I guess this is the best choice. Yoona can only handle three people to lend some of her strength. As she adds more people, the reduction in her strength and addition to her target lowers. So I picked Domino as her next beneficiary, then lastly me.Bookmark here

As she continued hitting the hero guy, the employees that were only watching it all started having their conscience hit them. Their faces showed despair, scared or deep in thoughts.Bookmark here

"20 seconds past!" Leto notified us of the time.Bookmark here

"That's right, let's end this now," I said and went near them. Domino passed him to me, giving her hold on him to me. I got him through his collar and lifted him. I raised my left arm that had my broken knife. "Don't worry, this will be quick."Bookmark here

I was about to stab him when someone spoke up so loud it caught my attention.Bookmark here

"Let's help him! Those kids are already worn out and with our numbers, it should be possible."Bookmark here

When I looked from the direction where the voice came from, I saw the earlier cowards who were just waiting for a chance to leave the place. But now they were looking at each other to convince themselves to be strong and gain some courage.Bookmark here

"That's right! Let's go!" It started slow, then little by little, they gained momentum until all of them ran to us. "Wait for us hero!"Bookmark here

"I'll take them all." Mahika volunteered while cracking some of his bones.Bookmark here

"Thanks." I was planning to go back to my business with the so-called hero but it looked like I should have done that earlier. Giving him the time to recover was wrong given his persistence and sturdiness.Bookmark here

"Shu!"Bookmark here

As Domino's warning, the Red Sting waved his sword that was still burning. It happened fast that I could barely dodge it. He got my skin above my right eye. "Aack!"Bookmark here

"How dare you!" Domino quickly assaulted him with another kick but the Red Sting was fast to counter by just guarding it with his right elbow. Domino felt weak at contact.Bookmark here

But the hero did not stop there and went to his next target. Mahika was so focus on the people that he noticed late that the one who was kneeling earlier was about to stab him on his back.Bookmark here

"Red Sting!!" The hero stabbed him on his heart and the fire lit up more. He did not end it easily as he twisted it before taking it out.Bookmark here

Mahika could only grunt. He surely can heal fast and extraordinary at it, but if it's large damage, then he would require more time while struggling with the pain.Bookmark here

The Red Sting then turned his back from us and ran. He ran in the direction where the key of our plan rested.Bookmark here

"Stop there!"Bookmark here

Mahika was surrounded by the employees but we did not have a choice but to leave him there and catch the costumed guy. As we ran, we could hear the people support him.Bookmark here

"Go for it Red Sting!"
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"Finish them All!"
"Justice is with you!"Bookmark here

Even before the boost, Domino was already stronger than me, but with the boost, it wasn't questionable that she was the first to reach the hero. She tried to take him down with a flying kick but the hero was agile enough to evade it. But by then, they were facing each other.Bookmark here

"I won't let you do your justice crap."Bookmark here

"Justice? Of course, justice is with me and always prevails!"Bookmark here

The Red Sting swung down his sword that was cleanly evaded by Domino, who then hopped to give him another knee kick. The execution was well done and it hit him clean. But despite it all, I knew it would be nothing. Cause I saw the item faintly lit up on the back of his neck.Bookmark here

The hero did not act as it did hurt him. After all, it's true that he did not felt any of it, because as I saw, his power was already activated.Bookmark here

Damn it, Domino is now nothing on him too... So it must be justice.Bookmark here

While she was still midair, the hero grabbed her on her collar and took her down to the floor. But thanks to that, I was able to reach them before he could move again.Bookmark here

"Damn you!" Domino saw me approaching them so even though she was surely feeling the pain, she grabbed his hands that were holding her and put him in a triangle lock to keep him busy even a second. I used that opportunity to kick him on his side multiple times.Bookmark here

He's sturdy but because of the dragging battle, he must be feeling tired by now, and at last, I saw him writhing from my kicks as he knelt from the pain.Bookmark here

Not far from us anymore, Leto informed us of the remaining time. "Shu, 30 seconds!" He was hesitant at first, but he gradually stepped forward to our location with Yoona on his shoulder. Maybe to be ready to deactivate Yoona's power on us.Bookmark here

"This time it's not a warning anymore. This is the end." I grabbed his sword from him but his hands unexpectedly struggled for some time like it has its own life that was tasked to just hold the sword. And when I manage to steal it, the fire instantly went off, surely because of the user identification feature. I did not pay it any heed and stabbed him from his back, but also making sure Domino did not get hurt in the process.Bookmark here

"Here!" Domino telling Leto about the hand she was holding.Bookmark here

Leto supported Yoona as their hands touched. "Payment." As soon as she uttered those words, the costumed guy went limp quick, and when she felt it, Domino removed him from her.Bookmark here

"You too." Yoona offered her hands to both me and Domino.Bookmark here

I first looked at the costumed guy that was being supported only by the sword stabbed on him. He was still wheezing which was surprising given that his body should barely function because of Yoona's drawback effect on her power. But I was sure he'll die eventually so I placed my hands on Yoona's. Domino followed after.Bookmark here

"Payment."Bookmark here

It wasn't yet a full minute and we barely gained from her power, but I felt like half of my strength was sapped from me. Though of course, Yoona already told us about it.Bookmark here

"I'll help Mahika there." As I nod, Yoona went to Mahika who was lonely struggling against the people that was inspired by the former hero.Bookmark here

"You're no longer hero now. You'll just die pathetically with your own sword stabbed on you." I forced myself to stood up and reached for his mask. While Leto supported Domino and quietly watched my actions. "This mask will be nothing but a cover of your exploits. I'll let you have your end as only yourself."Bookmark here

I removed his mask.Bookmark here

What came out from it was a bloodied face. Maybe a mixture of his blood and sweat. But not only that but his face was also covered by burn marks and stitches which we're sure did not come from us. It sure was disgusting but at the same time, pitiful.Bookmark here

"Wait." That remark came from Leto. He drew a spare cloth in his pocket and gave it to me. "Can you wipe his face?"Bookmark here

It confused me that Leto wanted me to clean this guy's face given that he was just actively trying to kill us earlier but I did it anyway after a second. He could barely let out a voice so he only gave a weak grunt as I wiped his wounded face. As I slowly cleaned the blood on my eyes, nose, and mouth, I also learned why Leto made me do it.Bookmark here

"No. 9?! Is that you?! No. 9?!"Bookmark here

"I'm right, No. 9!"
"He's familiar."Bookmark here

Hearing that name made him shook. Like he just woke up under hypnotism. He could barely move but he still raised his head to look at us and whisper. "...26...?"Bookmark here

Hearing that made his identity clear. We were right.Bookmark here

"...Is he one of us on the lab? But wait, No. 9 was shot in the middle of our escape."Bookmark here

"H-how did this happen? What happened to you? How did you survive?" I was so affected by this news that I could barely think of what to do in the current situation.Bookmark here

But before I could think straightly, the hero, or No. 9 rather, only said one thing to me. "...Please... Kill me..." His voice was weak, but the words meant loud to me, with his tears starting to drip.Bookmark here

I saw my memories showing to my eyes. The kids just like me that was treated nothing like humans at all. And when I was finally able to lead them to escape, their experience and memories hunted them that they asked for my help to do just one thing for them. And that was to kill them. To end their sufferings.Bookmark here

And at the end of those flashbacks, I saw a kid with the number 9 on his nametag. The most cheerful kid of all of us. Despite the harsh treatment, after he manage to be able to watch just one episode of the show about heroes, he was so energetic and was always saying that a hero will always persevere on any hardships. Saying that after the research on our finish, that he'll be a hero outside the world to defeat big bad villains. Because he believed in the words that the show taught him, that justice will always prevail.Bookmark here

Tears unknowingly came out of my eyes. I was speechless.Bookmark here

But I heard Leto and Domino still being able to spoke some words or more like names.Bookmark here

I could hear Leto's sob. "...9..."Bookmark here

While Domino was obviously tearing by her sound but not to the point of crying. "Shu..."Bookmark here

He let out another word, but it was the same words I hate hearing from others. "...Kill me..."Bookmark here

I was lost in thought until some faces showed up in my memory... including the man named Tokuichi.Bookmark here

It should be because of them... I'll definitely give them the death they're worth!Bookmark here

"Don't worry, I'll take over your anger towards them and make sure they would have a taste of your revenge." I placed my broken knife near his neck. "But for now, I'll have you experience the thing I'm best at, killing."Bookmark here

I was about to end his suffering as quickly as I could but then someone snatched him from me.Bookmark here

"Come on, don't let him die quickly. Let him suffer more, he'll surely die eventually any seconds now after all." Even with their height difference, Plash was still able to lift him up. "Okay, let him die alone, okay?"Bookmark here

Plash brought him to his shoulder like a fireman carry, but instead of facing down, he was held face-up, surely because Plash was keeping the sword from wounding him too.Bookmark here

"What are you doing?" We could only ask. I and Domino were powerless, while Leto was supporting Domino, and to begin with, he's not athletic enough to catch up to the now running Plash.Bookmark here

I tried to run only for my body to fail me.Bookmark here

He took him outside of the building and without any visuals, I only relied on Mahika if he was still healing. At that point, I saw Mahika and Yoona finally being able to subdue the frail employees, but it was still visible that he haven't recovered fully yet.Bookmark here

More seconds passed until Plash came back. "That should be enough." He took some dust from his hands then looked at the blood on his polo with disgust.Bookmark here

"Plash." I could finally feel that I'm regaining my strength little by little so I slowly stood up.Bookmark here

"Hahahahahaha! Now I'm fully healed!" Mahika announced his recovery. But not long after that, the building shook off but compared to last time, it's definitely bigger this time.Bookmark here

BOOOOM!!Bookmark here

"There, I saved you." With a true smile, Plash looked at us with his happy demeanor.Bookmark here


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PART 18Bookmark here

When Plash told us that he'll let us go in exchange for letting him join us, I could only say yes as their leader. It was my last choice. He led us to a secret way for us to escape their building, but in my mind, I was only thinking of ditching him in the middle of the battles or killing him when he's off guard.Bookmark here

I just can't trust him at that point. But as time goes, I lose my chance as he proves his usefulness to us. He prove that he could be trusted as he gave us any of the military knowledge he had. In the middle of our adventure, I just thought he was just that person who just loves the fun of our adventure compared to his old job.Bookmark here

So in the end, I gave him my trust, believing he really cut his connections with his old comrades. But now, I just can't stop thinking of it again. How did he learn that No. 9 had a bomb installed on him? Was it from his old comrade? Did actually knew where we came from and just chose to watch us? Or, did he actually had information about No. 9 and just never told us?Bookmark here

"Plash, who are you?"Bookmark here

"Don't worry, I might be hiding something from you, but you were never my target." He took some steps towards me.Bookmark here

"What was that explosion? Hmm? Why are you guys tensed?" As oblivious he was, Mahika kept on asking things that truly had no idea on while holding one of the employees. Just the same Yoona beside him was as clueless as he was. Beside them were trembling workers of this facility.Bookmark here

I also took a step forward towards him. "I'm asking you, who are you?"Bookmark here

"Hey, drop the tense. I'm not your enemy. Maybe to Mahika then I can proudly say that, but to any of you, right now I'm not."Bookmark here

Right now?Bookmark here

"I'm asking you!!"Bookmark here

Silence enveloped the whole floor. I looked at him with scorn. While he looked back still with a bright aura.Bookmark here

"I'm using the code name Grim Reaper. But I doubt you know that name." He then showed us an item we were familiar with on his left hand. The new weapon we recently acquired. He was the one who named it first by calling it Forbidden Word. "Hey, let's talk this out." After those words, he forcefully removed the buttons of his polo showing his bare skin. And as anyone would expect, he stuck it to his body.Bookmark here

Earlier, when we all did it at the same time, he was one in the group that the weapon did not recognize. But this time, when he stuck it just above his chest, he showed the reaction whenever someone successfully been recognized by the Forbidden Word.Bookmark here

"That small insect."
"Plash..."Bookmark here

"Plash, you..."Bookmark here

"So this is how it feels... But anyway, should we talk?"Bookmark here

"Don't go in between of us," I warned Mahika, Yoona, Leto, and Domino from interfering with us. "Acting as a spy, is it fun?" I stepped forward further.Bookmark here

"Are you angry? Then try and kill me." Just the same, he stepped forward further.Bookmark here

And now we're standing face to face.Bookmark here

"Don't worry, I will. After all, killing you will be my greatest gift for you."Bookmark here

"Oh really? I hope I can enjoy that because you know, nothing beats the fun of enjoying life."Bookmark here

Like we rehearsed it, we both tried to slash each other. With my broken knife and with his magic knife. But instead, our blades only clashed with each other.Bookmark here

Maybe just the difference in physique but it was clear that I'm winning the battle of pushing of our blades. But Plash chose not to continue it by making my knife slide down on his knife. Then he kicked my chest making me fall back some steps.Bookmark here

He followed it with punches and kicks that were acrobatically done. I could guard some but not all of it. Until I got a chance to parry one of his kicks while he was still midair then I punched him hard that he fell backward for some distance.Bookmark here

"You're not going anywhere with this, let's just talk, okay?" Yoona was a little teary-eyed when she tried to calm us down.Bookmark here

"He clearly has some connections we don't know. How should we trust him that he's not with us as a tracker?" Domino was angry.Bookmark here

As they watched us, the people around Mahika started to run from the scene. He looked to us like asking what he should do with them but no one ordered him to do anything at all.Bookmark here

"Shu..." Leto looked at us worriedly.Bookmark here

"Hey, can't I just have Yoona sis with me? Then we'll stay out from you."Bookmark here

"If you want to say something, then tell me what do you know."Bookmark here

I dashed forward and did a low weep but he only dodged it by easily hoping then waved his knife, this time, smoking from coldness. I shielded myself with my own knife and forced him backward but he only used his legs to spring the damage on the ground.Bookmark here

"I don't know anything about him. I only know his title, his skills in sword and his costume, other than that, none. This is my first time meeting him too."Bookmark here

"But that doesn't change that you're a lurking somebody on us."Bookmark here

He hopped backward but I caught his foot by stepping on it. I stabbed him on his chest but he only laughed. "Ahahaha!" Rather than laughing at his imminent death, it was more like the activation of his power. At the same time he laughed, I staggered a little, and when I came to my senses, I learned that I only stabbed the air. But I was still stepping on him.Bookmark here

Before I could aim correctly this time, he slashed me with the knife. He got me below my chest. It wasn't deep but the ice made it hard to deal with the pain. That made me stepped backward, letting him out from my grasp.Bookmark here

This time, it was he who initiated the attacks using his magic knife. He let out a string of attacks like slashing, stabbing, and some kicks he could freely do with his light weight.Bookmark here

"Plash, stop it! Can't you just tell us what you know?" Yoona had her hands clasped between her chest like wishing for something.Bookmark here

"Sorry Yoona sis, it's a secret I hid all my life. So even to any of you here, my code name is the only thing I can share with you." Bookmark here

"Then die!" I parried his magic weapon then grabbed his clothes and used them to lift him up and slam him to the floor on my back. I proceeded to pin him down by using my right knee so I would be able to freely stab him however I want.Bookmark here

And Just as I planned, I stabbed him on his neck... or so I believed. And again, my blade did not touch his skin but only the floor beside his neck.Bookmark here

"Calm down, can't you?" Even though he's the one who's on the floor, he smiled at me confidently.Bookmark here

"It's not the laugh?"Bookmark here

"No, it's whenever I enjoy the moment where my life can almost fade away." He was confident enough to even tell me the truth behind his power.Bookmark here

"You damn psycho."Bookmark here

"But not as crazy as you, you killjoy!" Before I could even move my knife again, he kept it in its position by guarding it with his free arm while his other hand that was holding the knife stabbed my waist.Bookmark here

I grimaced from the pain. But instead of backing off, I used my free hand to punch him in the face for about two hits until my body finally reacted to the pain in my waist.Bookmark here

He pushed me to his side, letting himself out of my pin. He did it given that he's actually weak on pin downs and grapples if he didn't have any weapon.Bookmark here

"You are fighting with a broken weapon so you should know that you're fighting a losing battle. Just give up and let me talk. Cool?" He walked back still facing me as he offered an easier way for this.Bookmark here

I stood a bit shaky, still enduring the pain from my waist, but my words did not falter. "But we're not just fighting with our knives here. Just like me, you're also using that." I pointed the weapon just above his chest.Bookmark here

He sighed. "You're nuts. Or are you actually close with that hero guy earlier? You just heard it right? He had a bomb implanted on him. It went kaboom earlier."Bookmark here

"Now you've said it!" My attacks went fiercer than before. From flying roundhouse kicks to quick jabs increasing my chance of wounding him even once. But his acrobatic talents helped him evade every one of my strikes.Bookmark here

Between those combos, he still managed to saw a spot of me that was very welcoming of his blade attacks. But as he tried to stab me, I caught the arm he used and slammed him to the ground using his own momentum. He groaned. "Damn it, that hurts."Bookmark here

Again, a chance while he's still on the floor. This time I mounted him and followed by holding his free left hand to reduce his chance of countering. And while he's still out of his sense, I stabbed him just for me to miss again.Bookmark here

He tried to stab me with his knife but I just accepted it with my shoulder that was already wounded earlier. It was painful for sure but doing so would then kept him from using his knife to threaten me.Bookmark here

"Now we're in a deadlock here. You try and hit me all you want but with power active, you'll just miss. And of course, as of now, I can't move. So what do we do from here?"Bookmark here

"But I can."Bookmark here

He did not answer but his face had a hint of question.Bookmark here

"Yoona, you're the closest with him. So aren't you actually his accomplice here."Bookmark here

"Huh?"Bookmark here

"Shu, Yoona sis has nothing to do with me."Bookmark here

I wheezed for some more air then started asking again. "But even if you're not, you actually have a reason to ditch us or let us die. So maybe after Plash, maybe we should deal with you."Bookmark here

"No, I'm not..."Bookmark here

"Shu! Just stop this!" At last, I saw his eyes finally flared.Bookmark here

I grinned while still looking down on him. "Mahika, grab her now."Bookmark here

"Oh, should I?" Since they were just beside each other, Mahika was able to hold her in the back of her easily. "Hmm? You don't have the hero guy's strength?" Maybe she tried but she wasn't able to free herself from the big guy's clutch.Bookmark here

"Mahika you dimwit! Harm her in any way and I'll do you first!" But hearing about it, Mahika only grinned.Bookmark here

"Shu, let's calm down. You're breaking the team in this way."Bookmark here

"Leto, Shu said that we shouldn't butt with their fight. Let's just watch him."Bookmark here

"Domino?" Leto could only stare at Domino's face.Bookmark here

"Now this is no longer fun right?" As I said it, Plash finally understood what I was doing and glared at me like saying he did not expect me to be like this. But my smile just wider in reply. And finally, I stabbed him on his shoulder successfully. "That's just it Plash. Now I can kill you quickly. You can stop worrying now."Bookmark here

He did not utter any word but only glared at me looking truly mad. "Die."Bookmark here

It was quick. His right hand that was holding his knife fell down. His left arm that was struggling to escape lose all its energy. His knees that kept pushing my back limped down. In other words, he's finally dead.Bookmark here

But as soon as I confirmed it, my smile went gone. I stood up quietly and looked back. I looked at Mahika who then let Yoona out of his clutch. Yoona runs to the lying body of Plash. And finally, Domino and Leto went to me.Bookmark here

"Shu..." Bookmark here

"We can still do this Shu. Just like the old times right, just the three of us."Bookmark here

I did not reply to any of them. I don't know what to say. I don't even know what I was feeling. I only stood there in front of them. Not saying anything.Bookmark here

"Plash..." I could hear Yoona's cry but it stopped at some point. "Kill? Is that your only answer to everything?"Bookmark here

When I turned back, I saw Yoona standing in front of me.Bookmark here

"Then just kill me too!" Tears were gushing out from her eyes and if you look closely, she trembling. I'm guessing was that it was from her anger. She took out something from her pocket, a picture, and something like an eyeglass container. "You see this picture? I bet you've killed him already. But didn't you imagine the people he might have left? You could have just apprehended him and teach him some lessons. Look at his child, now what do you think would happen to that child?!" She did not stop there. She brought the next item to my face. "And this. I've helped you look for this to prove myself on the group but then you accused me of being a possible enemy to you... Then I should just stop here."Bookmark here

She threw the item that she was holding forcefully that it cracked open.Bookmark here

"You've already said it earlier, now kill me too. If you couldn't trust Plash who was just trying to save us, then I should just stop here."Bookmark here

I did not react with my face. I only picked the item she threw and the picture that she let go of at some point as she questioned my way of living.Bookmark here

I finally looked at her to her eyes that were dropping some tears. I struggled to say it but I was finally able to voice it out. "...I'm... sorry."Bookmark here

After that, we only listened to Yoona as she cried more.Bookmark here

We were all in deep thought until someone broke it.Bookmark here

"So have you all calmed down now?"Bookmark here

That voice sounded familiar but know that shouldn't be able to hear it. But when we looked at each other we confirmed that we all heard it. Even Yoona who was just crying finally stopped and looked at the supposed source of the voice.Bookmark here

"Yo! I'm actually still alive."Bookmark here


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PART 19Bookmark here

"I just came back from breathing Yoona sis."Bookmark here

"Plaaash!!"Bookmark here

Yoona hugged Plash tightly making it hard for Plash to breathe properly. But even with his protest, she did not let him go from his arms.Bookmark here

Mahika finally went over near us but not in a hurry. "Huh? You're still alive? But Shu's power should have killed you already." He was talking to the supposed dead where some drama happened around, but Mahika only walked towards us and asked as nothing serious occurred.Bookmark here

Yoona finally let him go but still kneeling in front of him. "Hah! Bad for you, but a grim reaper doesn't die. You'll still need to deal with me for a longer time."Bookmark here

"But how? I've already tried it several times, and all my victims definitely died." I might have sounded like a villain who had his plan failed, but I definitely wanted to know the reason why he's still alive even after I used my power on him.Bookmark here

"I guess I really need to tell you some things. But I'll start with myself. Just between just you and me, okay?" Plash placed his left hand near his mouth like he was whispering to someone, but his voice was enough for all of us to hear what he said. "I'm actually genetically modified."Bookmark here

We all exclaimed at his revelation.Bookmark here

"I'm built to withstand any known poisonous chemicals to humans. But I have to say that your poison is really strong, cause I'm still somewhat dizzy." He put both of his hands to his head.Bookmark here

"Tch, and I thought I'm finally freed from this world without you."Bookmark here

"How about I just free your soul from your body?!"Bookmark here

"Then let's see if you can!"Bookmark here

I guess he's really fine now given that he could verbally fight with Mahika. They were finally back to their everyday bantering, but this time, someone joined them quietly. It was Yoona who stopped them by just glaring at Mahika. It made the big guy intimidated, while the small one tried to stop his laughter.Bookmark here

"Then what should we do with him now?" Domino finally joined our conversation, but her words were against the happy aura we were in. Still, Plash only looked at us like waiting for me to pass his judgment.Bookmark here

"...I've already finished him. This person wasn't the same as earlier." From the side of my eye, I saw Leto smiling.Bookmark here

"I'm a different person? Hmmm... Okay, then can I join your gang? I'm Plash, also known as The Grim Reaper."Bookmark here

"I'll let you in if you spill the things that you know. I'll need to trust you to be able to let you join us after all. That's fine with you, right? Domino?"Bookmark here

She did not answer soon until some seconds. "Shu is our leader, so it's his job to trust his people. But he's still a human who can make mistakes. So I'll take the position of someone who's gonna oppose his misplaced trust. I'll continuedly to place my doubts on you."Bookmark here

"Fine by me. But I hope you don't bother me if I said that some information would still be kept from you. Cause, after all, it's mostly for your safety."Bookmark here

Leto was the one who replied to him. "Then can't you at least tell us anything you know from No. 9, or I mean the Red Sting?"Bookmark here

"As I said before I know nothing about him more than his title." The atmosphere became heavy again as he told us his ignorance on No. 9  again, but he quickly followed it back with a piece of information we did not know. "But there's something I know. He is a byproduct of an organization that makes weapons. And adding to that, we suspect that the people you're after are the same people who made him like that."Bookmark here

Hearing it made me furious again, but this time, not directed to Plash. "So are you saying we have our goals crossing to each other?"Bookmark here

"At last, you understand it now." Plash heaved a sigh. "Yeah, that's my point. I'm working alone but I joined your gang since we have our goals crossing each other. I still have my targets roaming free on the former military I was in, but I wasn't making any progress inside them so I chose to join you, people who work freely but were under their radar, but not just that, as I said before, it looks enjoyable on which I was correct."Bookmark here

"But you joining us made us appear on their radar though." Leto forced a smile on the irony.Bookmark here

"Don't worry, they don't really saw me as a threat so they shouldn't put a search team for me. I mean, they never even had an expectation of me. They still saw me as a kid so I bet they  just thought that I've already died in the middle of our adventure."Bookmark here

"Then do you know the location of our other targets?"Bookmark here

"Well, I just learned their connection with each other after joining you, more so that we have evidence now." Plash pointed to the thing that I was holding. "That thing is a container for their special communication device that has the same user identification feature like the other magic weapons." Plash then looked at Yoona who was just supporting him besides. "And by the way Yoona sis, maybe you're right to take pity on them, but not for the reason that Dr. Tokuichi has changed and unfortunately left his family, but as for the reason that they were used by him as his cover. That child is not even his. I'm sure he just searched for a woman who just gave birth but with no man to take care of. Giving them money for the cover, but on which doing so, was actually placing them in danger."Bookmark here

"Is it?" Yoona innocently asked for his confirmation.Bookmark here

"Yeah. So stop crying anymore. We were just not calm earlier. Okay?" Despite the height difference even sitting, Plash still reached for the top of her head and patted her. "But about the hero guy, or No. 9? I'm really sorry about that."Bookmark here

"I will still doubt your every move, but as long as you don't mean direct harm on Shu, then I won't make a move against you," Domino warned him but was more like reassuring him of lowering his threat.Bookmark here

"How about you Leto?"Bookmark here

"We lack manpower, and even if he doesn't give us the big picture, his information will be important for us. So I really hope we take him again."Bookmark here

"Well, there you have it. Both of my most trusted comrades gave a go signal, and as for me, I haven't fully forgiven you, but I'll forget about that for now." I went near Plash and lent my hand to support him to stand. "Then again, welcome to the group. I'm looking forward to using each other."Bookmark here

"That's a little twisted relationship, but you know what, I'm really good with that." With Yoona's support too, Plash stood up and we finally both looked at each other comfortably again.Bookmark here

"Oi, am I the minority here?"Bookmark here

"Now everything's back again, let's start going out of this building before a backup team comes." Leto took the items I was holding to his bag and zipped them.Bookmark here

"Yeah, Let's go."Bookmark here

I lead the walk then everyone followed me. We walk out of the building leaving the remnants of our doings and without caring about Mahika's opinion.Bookmark here

A.A.Androun
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