Chapter 24:

Betrayal & friendship ( 1/2 )

Chaos' Game

The one who is no longer your friend never was.” ~ Aristote

Face to Ling Zhen, the inspector was filled with resentment and wrath. He had in front of him a dangerous criminal. Nowadays a member of a gang posing a threat on his city, by the past a renown hitwoman whose infallible trigger deserved her the name of Silver Bullet. Albeit, this wasn't at all this fact he was focusing on.

     He had in front of him the woman who played with his heart for her sole satisfaction while by the past he granted her with his friendship.

“Was it all a joke for you? How did you dare to do this to me? In spite of that I was the only one who didn't reject you when we were kids.”

     Pretending to think about it, the golden-eyed woman slowly passed her fingers down her face. Folding all of her fingers except her index, she pressed her chin against it.

“Did I … ask you for anything? I just let you behave the way you wished towards me, no more no less. That aside, you only have yourself to blame. If you recognized me, maybe you wouldn't be that naive.”

     Though it was mere provocation, she didn't expect him at all to recognize her while the last time he saw her was as a young girl.

     While they were talking, a tiny silhouette appeared behind Ling. Half hiding in her back, Marnie made a step aside. Her expression was neutral, though she looked at Kiseki with an ounce of curiosity.

     The inspector was about to reply when he noticed the lassie. Hence his gaze completely changed. His heart skipped a beat. Widening his eyes he was like petrified. If Ling decided to shoot him at this exact moment, he would probably be dead by now. It's been about eight years. The last time he saw that child, she was a mere nursling. Now he found her standing by the side of his enemy. This couldn't last anymore!


     Albeit as soon as he formulated a sole word she made a step back, hiding again behind her superior, before melting into darkness…

“Here's where it's happening Kiseki! Stop daydreaming.”

     Setting of the trigger of Yin, she raised the hand holding it so that she pointed it on Kiseki. Her smile widening.

     As the apparition vanished the inspector came to his senses, and prepared himself as well to shoot at her.

     The second after Silver Bullet began firing repetitively at the inspector. Focused on her moves, he ran to her left, in diagonal. Adjusting constantly the trajectory of his pistolet, he soon fired back though he couldn't follow Ling's cadenza.

She's rapid…

     In almost a few seconds, she drew out her second gun, Yang, from its scabbard. Throwing it a dozen of centimeters higher, spinning furiously on itself, she caught it back and immediately pointed it ahead of Kiseki. Meanwhile aiming and shooting with Yin, she shot with Yang so that the inspector would be inevitably caught in the middle. Though his gunshots were mostly accurate, Ling didn't experience any difficulty in avoiding them. It appeared rather as a natural move.


     Kiseki barely avoided the bullet shot in front of him. Sinking in the ground instead of his left foot, though it missed its target, Kiseki's balance was compromised. The bullets on his heels would reach him in no time as he was about to fall backward…

     In a quick move, he stretched his hand holding his gun behind him and fired. The shot scarcely gave him enough impulsion to help him reverse his move and, though he was unable to regain his balance, he toppled onward. Rolling in dust, he collided into an ancient stall of cotton candy which broke dawn in shatters of wood and metallic pieces.


     Ceasing fire for an instant, Ling gazed at this huge mess looking for her prey.

     The latter, on his side, lifted up on his elbows. A trickle of blood flooded down his face.

I have to disarm her… There's no other way.

     He was reflecting on a manner to achieve his project while Ling was losing patience.

“Step on it!! What you're waiting for…” Ling grunted before her expression filled with a vitiated amusement. “Unless you want me to come and scoop you up. I have a personal technique to make you wake up promptly. Should I try it on you?”

     But still, no sign from Idonosoko.


     Losing her smile from impatience, she waited a second more, the dust settling on the ground. Then she began to approach the place Kiseki should be.

     Complete silence followed, Ling founding nothing in between the debris. She frowned to this ascertainment.

     In the blink of an eye, the inspector appeared back next to her side, aiming to seize her by her neck. His expression was filled with determination as he squeezed his teeth. Meanwhile, feathers appeared from either side, of the same colour as if tinted with blood.

    Making a step aside to face him, Ling seemed not surprised, her gaze glowing with interest. She fell backward dragged down by inspector's weight, though she wasn't even touched by the feathers, rather randomly throwned.

     Upon Ling, Kiseki tightened his grip round the neck of the golden-eyed sharpshooter. Though the latter chortled, as she had placed Yin against Kiseki's chest.

“Well, well, Kiseki… I thought you were a bit more intelligent. What will you do now?”

     To her surprise, Kiseki displayed a satisfied grin. Not understanding his reaction, she frowned.

“So fire instead of talking.”

     Annoyed, she pulled the trigger.

     However… No bullet came out.

     She pulled it again.

     Nothing happened.

“What did you do?”

“Too bad… You were so focused on me that you didn't realize that I triggered your guns with my feathers.”

     Indeed, both Yin and Yang were stoppered with fluffy crimson tuft.

     Ling Zhen widened her eyes to this report.

“You bastard… My precious guns! Your other clumsy shots were… mere distraction…”

     Not letting her the opportunity to make another move, he tightened his grip enough to make Silver Bullet pass out.

     Standing up, he extended a hand holding his gun in her direction. It would be better to get rid of her once and for all, wouldn't it?

     Albeit, before he could decide himself, he felt a glare on him. Turning his head, he then beheld Marnie, a few meters away. She observed him as if waiting to see what choice he would do.

     Lowering his weapon, he abandoned the idea to eliminate Ling. He couldn't do that while his daughter was watching him. He thought for a while of the words he should address her, but nothing brilliant came to his mind.

“I've came for you, Marnie.”

“…For me?”

     While the sweet lassie didn't make a single move, the inspector came closer. Step after step, without abruptness.

“Yes… I am the husband of Lucy Merlish, hence your father. So please, dissociate from the Players and come with me. You will have a house and I will protect you. From …the mayor and anyone else.”

     Leaning forward, he stretched a hand towards the lassie.

     The little girl first had a rearward movement. Then she gazed at the outstretched hand.

     To the relief of the inspector, Marnie made a step forward, and in a careful gesture she extended her own hand. Slowly, a finger after another, she touched and laid her tiny hand in his.

“A home? Is this… really possible?” she asked her pupils wavering as the flame of a candle.


“I would be so happy to live with you, daddy!”

     Her words overflowed him with so much joy that he bowed forward, hugging her with tenderness.

     Kiseki could not see it any longer, but Marnie's face seemed troubled, her pale rose lips trembling for a while. Though, promptly, she came back to her mind.

“That's what you hoped I would say, right?”

    Marnie's voice radically changed. It was of an absolute neutrality, rather cold.

     All of a sudden, Kiseki could feel a pressure, a thin localized one in his arm. A syringue was jabbed into it.

     Releasing the embrace, Kiseki's daughter drew back letting the latter knelt on the floor, silently turning his head to catch sight of the syringue. Taken aback, his glance filled with horror.

“I won't be that silly to trust a perfect stranger who gives without asking anything in exchange. Father? Family? What is that… I won't trust you while your spouse – my 'mother' – tried killing me.” she argued, void inhabiting her look.