'Good thing no one pressed heavy charges…' Anya was let off with pay deductions for theft and property damage. The shop owner seemed to keep his silence about what happened in particular.
Apparently, he even deleted the CCTV footage…
She couldn't have been more thankful to the old shopkeeper. He did her a favour by doing this.
Still, her attention was taken by her new students.
'Time to say Hi~' She skipped, going through the hallways she was told would lead to her students.
She was so excited~
She wondered if they liked cookies. Should she bake some? Did they read books? Engineering?
The possibilities were endless!
But just as she was getting there, someone familiar stepped into her path. The woman blocked her.
She was a tall redhead with the looks of a war goddess. A shield and 'folded' spear on her back.
It even seemed to have a gun on its hilt.
This kind of model belonged to only one person.
"You came here too?" Anya's eyes widened for a moment, before she lunged to give her a big hug.
"Oh~ Get over here. You…!" The sudden intimacy threw the redhead off her game, and she coughed:
"This isn't the time for-l
"This is DEFINITELY the time! Do you know how much I've missed everyone? How's work?"
The woman's icy heart melted at her words.
She hadn't felt so 'warm' in a long time. Especially after Hope Academy had fallen and her team died.
Even the man she loved was no exception.
That incident had haunted even a renowned Executioner like her, Irene Redcroft, like a trauma.
Which is why she'd stopped here beforehand.
"I heard you were coming, and also the kids you were assigned to. Are you sure about tutoring?"
"It's fine~ What could possibly go wrong?"
"Everything. Anyway, here are their forms. You were supposed to read this before meeting them."
"Can't we just talk? I don't wanna be sneaky."
"It's not being sneaky. A proper teacher doesn't just get friendly. You're supposed to guide them."
"Wait… Does that mean you have a team too?"
"…I'm in charge of training."
"Does it work out?"
"…" Seeing how she wasn't answering, Anya could only shake her head in pity for her upperclassman.
Compared to other Executioners, Irene had always been… just a tiny bit extreme in her methods.
The only good point was that they actually helped and improved people, rather than just being hard.
Anya's own ability was a testament to that.
"Students steer clear from me." The valkyrie of a woman sighed. It wasn't something she'd change.
Whether the appreciated her guidance or not, that didn't change what her role was in this Academy.
"Cheer up! I heard everyone is gathering at this school. Maybe be lucky enough to find a friend."
"I've already found one."
"See~?" Anya beamed, and Irene couldn't help her mouth from forming a smile. Her junior was cute...
"Almost forgot. Your sister should be here as well. I think you'll find her if you look around the markets in a few hours." Seeing how giddy the little red hood became after mentioning her, she warned:
"And make sure you get her out of any trouble."
"No worries. My sister is well-behaved." Anya gave a salute and walked off, making the girl stagger.
The redhead blinked a few times in confusion.
"We're talking about the same person, right?" Even though Irene really wanted to ask, she let it be.
Merely mumbling those words before going back to do her own things. They were currently too busy.
Crimes sprees didn't used to be so frequent, but thanks to 'Divine Points' being distributed to the populace… things changed. Sometimes it was for the good, and other times it was for the worse.
What's most tragic is… maybe they wouldn't have known some applications of Qi without criminals.
Like how 'Divine Points' could be turned into medicine that could boost physical capabilities.
Or that poisons could also target Internal Qi…
If the Steelware Military only found how to mix Divine Points with weaponry, then others would've found different methods of using this miraculous resource. It had caused quite the commotion.
Irene was tasked with quelling the ensuing chaos…
She couldn't quite understand why her previous Headmaster did such a thing, but it was so like him.
On top of that, this decision to spread out such a valuable resource was once supported by her too.
There was no way of going back on changing things. Moving forward was the only option here.
That said, she wondered if her other junior had finally moved past the goal she had in her youth.
That blondie… who seemed too free-spirited to become someone 'executing' the risen dead.
The day passed by with her nostalgic thoughts…
…and the dark clouds cleared to show its beauty.
Under the radiance of the stars and moonlight, a woman as dazzling as the sun walked the streets.
She didn't seem bothered the darkness.
In fact, she even seemed to exude a soft glow that illuminated her existence. It made her seem bold.
No dark shadow could hide the brilliance of her messy, yet unrestrained hair of this lioness.
Her mane dropped down a wood brown jacked that contrasted, and made her treasure stand out more.
If Anya seemed to have a red and black colour scheme going on with that dark combat dress of hers, then this bombshell was killing guys with her cowgirl outfit. Ahem… Though missing a hat.
In fact, she seemed more messier the longer you looked at her. The initial lustre faded with time.
What was left behind was a big boobed beauty. A real 'dumb blonde' that couldn't pull her socks up.
The streets at night would be dangerous for this kind of girl, but she didn't seem to mind at all.
In fact, her feet were leading her to a very shady-looking night club at the end of a market street.
There didn't seem to be any particular security for the place. Not even a bouncer keeping trouble out.
Maybe that's why 'trouble' happily walked in.
Just like the cigarette bud carpet at the entrance, it didn't look like the inside was any less filthy.
Smokers, heavy drinkers, loud remixed beats that were muffling the voices of the loud people talking at their tables, and an open dance floor. Despite being a club, the business seemed too biased.
The woman instantly felt stares when she came in.
Her leather jacket that exposed her midriff was a distinct design you didn't see often. The way her low cut yellow top was unable to hide her cup size drew eyes… There were many degenerate gazes.
The clacking of those tan knee high boots was a sound unfamiliar enough to cause chats to quieten.
With even girls here wearing a mix of punk-style shirts and pants, one woman wearing some black spandex compression shorts was an odd sight to see. Especially with gold sleeves ending just before her forearm. She looked like an alien in this place.
The music started to die down, and animosity started to build with the clearer sound of boots.
*Clack* *Clack* *Clack*
Just like a martian, they saw her as an 'outsider'.
Arms were being readied. Tiny cube-like Enchanted Items unfolded to become pistols.
Some marbles even becoming war axes…
'…I wonder what those are used for.' She tried to be optimistic by thinking of the lack of odour in the air.
Places where killings took place usually had the smell of blood or cleaning products, which wasn't that strong in here. In fact, there was more a smell of alcohol and cigarettes than anything else.
The amount of people here was also unusual.
Either business was blooming, or this was a hideout for someone with influence 'underground'.
'Now… where is that guy?' She looked around a minute, but couldn't find the guy she remembered.
A short man named 'Tiny' that was an Info Broker.
Some of the thugs in the club were about to approach her, but then… someone raised a hand.
The clicking of weapons finally stopped.
Those stares had become less searing now. Only the eyes trying to undress her were the ones left.
She wasn't too bothered by the rest.
They could look all they wanted so long as they didn't approach. Pervs like that deserved pain.
There was a limit to staring at someone, after all.
It's not like she dressed particularly skimpily or scandalously. This reaction was going overboard.
She walked up to the bartender to give her order:
"Strawberry Sunrise… No ice- Oh! And one of those little umbrellas." She asked like a regular customer and shooed the servicer along. It wasn't everyday that she'd have to get such a drink.
Her eyes glanced at a certain man nearby…
A large, yet somehow familiar man that didn't seem to have existed in her memories before now.
He was talking to two girls that stood out in this den of crooks. Twin 'dolls' with thick makeup.
She remembered their styles from the past…
These sisters had a reputation even back then…
'Huin' was a crimson dressed girl with dark feather ornaments in her hair. Someone who used claws.
'Zuin' was a white dressed girl with a snowflake hair ornament. A Savate user with bladed boots.
If they were here, then the one they were talking to must've been… 'Tiny', right? Then why was he…?
"It's been a long time." Jonna 'Tiny' Long spoke before downing down a shot to numb his feelings.
Bad blood could only be washed with fresh blood…
At least, this was his personal motto.
The only reason he was holding back now was because he didn't want to spill blood in his den.
A house needed to be clean of that kind of filth.
"..Did you hit puberty again?"
"I was already in my twenties the first time we met."
"You're not holding what happened against me last time over my head, right? Aren't we close buds~?"
"The last time you came here, you made a mess of the place. I know what you want, but go away now."
"It's taking a lot of my willpower to stop my hands from chocking you to death." His voice was low.
The humiliation from a 'student' coming into his den and making a mess wasn't easy to forget.
"Ummm… Ahem… Hey, Tiny… Have you been buckling up?" The girl clicked her tongue softly.
She outwardly showed amazement.
"Xian Xiao Wu, there are other places besides this place that can provide the information you need."
"But I want it from you specifically."
"Because we're still friends?"
"Even now, you can't be certain about that."
"Don't be such a baby. You're such a jacked up dude now. Are those muscles just for show?"
"Get out." These two words were emphasised to the point Xian Xiao Wu before him couldn't retort.
Jonna wasn't playing around…
The prepping of firearms could be heard behind her. Many thugs were confident in their aim.
"Let me at least have my sunrise." The bombshell quipped before taking a look at what she ordered.
It looked like the bartender really loved his job.
He even added the little umbrella like she asked.
After taking a sip, she tried again to persuade the information broker about telling her some details:
"My family calls me Xia. You can call me that."
"Oh don't be shy~"
"No, that's not it. Wait…"
"Don't be so flustered, Tiny… or should I try calling you 'Tiger' now?" Xia gave him a seductive smile.
In fact, any smile from her was seductive enough.
She was clearly hitting on him.
On top of that, their prior history made it hard for him to ignore her sudden advances like this.
"W-wait… You're just trying to get me to talk."
"Come on~ Have some faith in those big muscles."
"Even if they were built using steroids?" It was then the bombshell had remembered those medicines.
She looked up and down his body…
"You won't live past 50, you know…"
"If I got weaker, then I'd die before that."
"Was it worth the cost?"
"You tell me that. Are these abs rotten?"
"What are you saying?! I'm giving those abs a perfect score! I mean, who cares about methods."
"You're still killing that suit!"
Seeing that their boss acting like this made Huin and Zuin feel depressed. Was he really that easy?
This guy… Why did he think they wore dresses?
A hint of jealousy appeared in their eyes.
"Ahem… you don't want the data?" Though they all underestimated how sly this big bear really was.
How would a honey trap work on him so easily?
"…I do. Tiny, you know it's important." The blonde finally got serious and spoke with a colder tone.
The mood started getting heavier…
The two of them stared at each other for a long moment… before Jonna gave her some advice:
"The law of the jungle in the underground is more sinister than you imagine. You've probably already figured out why only this place has what you're looking for, right? Even if you're an Executioner-"
"You think I'm weak?" When she spoke those words, he stopped. The air around them froze.
"I didn't say that."
"It's written on your face."
Tiny knocked over her drink and let it flow out onto the table. An aggressiveness appeared within him.
"Xian Xiao Wu, you are strong for an Executioner of the past, but the world has already changed.
The law of the jungle doesn't mean only the strong survive. Only survivors who climb the food-chain."
Without hesitation, he slammed her face into the table without warning. His strength was superb.
Even initiators wouldn't feel the pain now…
But all Jonna could hear was the sound of giggles.
"I'm weak…? You think I'm weak~?" Xia had zero injuries while pulling her head out the broken table.
She continued: "You'll eat those words."