Chapter 66:

For the Winners, the Spoils - Part 1


“I’ll be honest ‘ere… Never expected any of ya would keep mah’ toys safe, y’know?” A smiling Annabeth said with a bag full of her gun’s pieces. They were in a terrible state, but both the anti-material rifle and the revolver were antiques she would hate to lose. “Thank you, shorty. Very sincerely even.”

Returning to Karim’s house was very easy with the teleporting door, so there was where the four girls went after their discussion. It wasn’t as if they had many other places to go considering that Minako’s mansion was on an isolated island, so there was that.

Anna fleeing around after that discussion hurried the process a little too.

The only person that wasn't exactly happy with the situation was the owner of the house with no proper bedrooms anymore. The sincerity she was being thanked somewhat broke her closed expression, though.

“You’re welcome?”

“She’s a gun freak, remember?” Coll explained to the confused cop while the gun freak by her side went to her room with a kitsune by her shadow. “It’s especially bad when it’s about one of the rare ones even. And by the way, what are these?”

More than the bag of pieces, Karim had also collected the other two weapons Anna was carrying back then. She had no idea what they were, though, since both who knew were hidden until a while ago.

“The other cops got them together with the broken ones when I asked to search the area, but I’m not sure from where they came...” Karim answered with her eyes focused on the old musket and the dagger attached to it like a bayonet. “But they feel ominous, so I was thinking of throwing them instead...”

“I wouldn’t recommend it.” The five-tailed girl trying to spy on Anna’s room interjected without even looking at the other two girls. “They’re quite the dangerous pieces, and something Anna did made them even worse. I’m not even sure of what’s the curse on them anymore…”

“Curse?!” Both Colette and Karim exclaimed while also taking as much distance as they could from the weapons.

“You don’t have t worry ‘bout it.” The theoretical owner of the cursed items answered before leaving her closed room with a weird pistol, a new shoulder bag, and a spare cloth strap. “I’m kinda already cursed by ‘em, so it ain’t doin’ a thing to any of ya.”

“Wait! You’re cursed?!”

“A curse or two won’t do a thing to me. It ain’t as if yer able to tarnish a soul that’s barely there...” The pistol-wearing inquisitor answered her partner while the other two stared at her with a complex expression. “It may’ve some side effects, but it won’t kill me.”

She then holstered her secondary gun. An experimental automatic pistol that she didn’t like much due to its double-action first shot, meaning it would fire a little slower at first.

By the way, most newer Federation guns had this system, which was one of the reasons why she didn't use them much. The first shot being faster was very important to Anna due to her style.

Either way, Karim didn’t seem convinced by the explanation, but it wasn’t the time to lose on it. Instead, she went to the table where the cursed musket was waiting and took it with her, strapping the gun on her back with her strap.

“You’re taking this thing with you?!” It was now Col’s time to be surprised, which may or may not be connected with how little resistance to curses someone with little magic like Colette had. “I know it’s somewhat safe for you, but it’s still a cursed item, right?”

“It’s fine, it’s fine… Don’t try to use it and you’ll be fine.” The cursed girl shook off the worries of her friend as she rushed ahead to the apartment’s exit. “We goin’ now, ‘kay?”

The best way to solve a time-slogging problem was by brute-forcing through it. That was Annabeth’s doctrine and was how she would act right now. It wasn't as if anyone could properly deal with her here.

Colette lacked the reason, Karim lacked the strength and Minako was simply too naïve to act against her. It was a very convenient situation for Annabeth if you were to ask her. And as expected, the left-behind trio was forced to follow behind their, by sheer forcefulness, nominal leader.

“Are we going to the police department right away?” The kitsune was the first to speak as everyone went downstairs to the parking lot of the condominium. “I would like to ask you to not go on foot if possible. Going by car would be safer even.”

“Ya don’t wanna walk, ‘aight?”

“Yes, but I thought you would prefer to have an excuse to use.”

“Can you drive, fox?”

“Not really.”

“Then we walk. Unsafe as it can be, havin’ shorty drive would be worse…”

“Hey!” Karim complained right away as she heard the same complaints after their first drive around. “My driving is assured to be good enough to have a license and it isn’t as if YOU could drive.”

“I CAN drive, yer the one not lettin’ me!”

“You’re not old enough to even get a driving license. How could I trust that?”

“And this maiden ain’t old enough to’ve five tails, ay?! Lemme drive already!" Annabeth kept her blind arguing as she never had a chance to deal with the car style of the Federation. "Ya’se such a nice old car ‘ere, dammit…”

“O-o-old?! B-but my car…” Having her brand new vehicle be called old didn't sit well with its owner, though. Enough that someone else had to calm her down.

“This blocky style of making cars is very rare on the continent nowadays, you see? Very rare to find one there even if most of them are so around here.” Col explained in a nonchalant way with Annabeth nodding along in agreement. “Everyone but Anna likes the round and slim typed better, and I guess there should be something like a more practical reason too...”

“Uses less fuel, is kinda cheaper to make and some say’s safer too. Still mostly ‘bout style, but their style sense is wrong.” The nodding redhead added to the explanation as she approached the place she remembered to be where Karim’s car was from the day she hid inside it. “Can’t ya agree that these’re much cooler?”

“I have no idea. Never saw one of these, so how would I know?” Karim answered with a weirded-out expression that was still tinted with a little bit of anger. “And don’t call my car old, I’m still paying it.”

“I don’t care if the car is old or new, I only want a ride.”

Both Karim and Annabeth answered the unbothered kitsune with a harsh stare, but as usual, she didn’t react to it much. Not having to walk was much more of a priority to her than whatever these two could do anyway.

“Can I drive it?”

“Of course not.”

“Borin’ gal…”

“You two have… No. You three have no sense of urgency.” Col finally commented as even she was bothered by the random back-and-forth even before they could head out. “You know I’m still behind my routines today, right?”

The remark brought silence to the open parking lot. Enough to bring the focus back to everyone’s minds and to somehow make the chaotic-minded Annabeth decide that it was enough playing around. Col’s abnormal line of priorities was just that effective.

“You kinda’ve a point ‘ere, Col… It’s a terrible one if ya think ‘bout it, but it’s kinda a point still.” Anna broke the silence, instead going towards the closest dark-tinted car to their position. “Point yer car, shorty. We goin’ fer real this time.”

“I can believe we’re using a car to go this close...” The only legal driver of the group complained as she couldn’t see the point of going by car to what was a half an hour's walk at most. “You’re paying the fuel, got it?”

“Heard her, fox?”

“Of course. Paying for fuel won’t even bother my funds.”

“Just like a princess, ay?” The smirking gunslinger went on while going inside the car Karim had opened. “Less go, gals! I’ll be prayin’ with y’all.”