Chapter 2:

The First Mission

The Raven and the Dove

As the first rays of dawn painted the sky in hues of pink and gold, Sato woke up, still hazy from sleep. He rubbed his eyes and stretched his arms above his head, feeling the stiffness of a night spent tossing and turning. He hadn't even expected to sleep last night, consumed by overthinking.

Despite the haze of sleep still clouding his mind, Sato pushed himself out of bed and shuffled to the kitchen to prepare a morning coffee. As he went through the motions of measuring out the coffee grounds and filling the kettle with water, he couldn't help but notice the absence of the usual chaos that had filled the dorm the night before, courtesy of Akari's and Ryota's antics.

With a furrowed brow, Sato glanced around the quiet kitchen, the only sound the soft hum of the refrigerator. Perhaps the others were still asleep; after all, it was only 5 in the morning, and their supposed call time wasn't until 8 am.

With the room enveloped in serene quietude, Sato took a moment to relax and unwind, allowing his mind to wander. He leaned against the kitchen counter, the smooth surface cool against his fingertips. His gaze drifted lazily towards the window, where the soft hues of dawn painted the sky in a delicate palette of pink and gold.

As he pondered the possibilities of this new life he was embarking on, Sato's fingers idly tapped against the countertop, a rhythmic pattern echoing the cadence of his thoughts. Would he finally be able to change and be accepted by the others? Or would he fumble and fail once again?

Lost in his contemplation, Sato barely noticed the subtle shift in the room as the creak of a door opening broke the silence. His attention snapped back to the present, curiosity piqued as he turned towards the source of the sound. Someone else must be awake now, aside from him.

"Oh," a soft and angelic voice spoke, interrupting the stillness of the morning.

Sato turned to see Minami standing in the doorway, her silhouette bathed in the gentle light filtering through the window. With a graceful movement, she stepped into the room, her hair catching the golden rays of dawn like strands of spun silk.

"Good morning, Sato," she greeted him with a warm smile.

"Good morning," replied Sato, offering a small smile in return.

"You're up early," Minami observed, her eyes glancing around the kitchen with a hint of curiosity.

Sato shrugged, a slight tilt of his head indicating his nonchalant demeanor. "Well, I have to prepare myself for whatever is gonna come," he explained, his movements fluid as he poured himself a cup of coffee.

"I see," Minami mused, her gaze drifting towards the window for a moment before returning to Sato. She shifted her weight slightly, crossing her arms loosely over her chest.

"Well, I guess we don't really know what will happen, not until the meeting starts anyway," Minami continued, a thoughtful expression gracing her features as she spoke.

Meanwhile, Sato busied himself with preparing another cup of coffee, his movements deliberate and unhurried. As he poured the steaming liquid into a mug, he glanced over at Minami, offering her the freshly brewed beverage.

"Would you like a coffee?" he asked, still with his normal nonchalant expression but this time with a hint of courtesy.

"Yeah, sure. I'm still a bit drowsy anyway," Minami replied with a grateful nod, her fingers curling around the handle of the mug as she accepted it from Sato.

The atmosphere in the room was gentle and quiet, as if they were the only people in the whole world. Minami and Sato drank their coffees in comfortable silence, the occasional sound of a spoon clinking against a mug breaking the tranquility.

After a while, the silence was broken by the soft creaking of multiple doors opening one by one. Haruki entered first, offering a cheery "Morning everyone," as he greeted the room. His movements were relaxed, a casual sway to his step as he made his way over to the kitchen.

"Morning.." Akari's voice followed shortly after, her tone carrying a hint of drowsiness as she shuffled into the room. She rubbed her eyes sleepily, her movements sluggish as she joined the group.

"Yo," Ryota chimed in, his entrance marked by a nonchalant wave as he strolled in. He yawned loudly, stretching his arms above his head in a lazy stretch before heading towards the kitchen to join the others.

Sato and Minami exchanged greetings with the other squads assembled, their nods fostering a sense of unity among the diverse groups. With the room abuzz with activity and the clock ticking relentlessly toward 7:30, they all busied themselves with last-minute preparations for the impending meeting. However, there lingered a collective hope that Ryota and Akari wouldn't incite chaos amid the organized chaos.


As the minutes slipped away in the meeting room, tension mounted palpably, each squad member absorbed in their respective tasks. Sato meticulously checked his gear, ensuring everything was in order, while Minami conferred quietly with her teammates, their voices a hushed murmur amidst the anticipation.

Finally, the appointed hour arrived, and Madam Sharun's authoritative voice cut through the room. "Is everyone present?" she queried, her gaze sweeping across the assembled squads.

In unison, the room affirmed their attendance, a chorus of affirmative murmurs rippling through the ranks. With the clock striking 8, the squads convened in the meeting room, their collective focus now directed toward Madam Sharun as she began to address them.

"Alright, listen up everyone!" Madam Sharun's voice echoed through the room, commanding attention.

Sato shifted slightly in his seat, adjusting his posture to lean forward, his eyes fixed intently on Madam Sharun.

"If you are here, then that means you are the select few who are entrusted with this mission that will take place," Madam Sharun continued, her words punctuated by the rustle of papers as she shuffled through her notes.

Madam Sharun's words hung heavy in the air, each syllable laden with the weight of the nation's turmoil. Across the room, heads nodded solemnly in acknowledgment of the ongoing conflict. The gravity of their mission was underscored by the knowledge that they were part of a select few entrusted with the task at hand.

Concern rippled through the room as Madam Sharun continued, detailing the recent breach of security that had exposed the plans for a clandestine weapon project. The implications of this breach were clear—the enemy now had access to critical intelligence that could shift the balance of power in the ongoing war.

"What's even more is that this was not done by multiple people, rather it was done by only one." Madam Sharun added.

Madam Sharun's revelation sent a ripple of unease through the room. The realization that a single individual had managed to penetrate their defenses and abscond with such critical information was alarming. All eyes turned to the screen as Madam Sharun pointed out the scant details they had managed to gather about the elusive intruder.

On the screen, the name "Kurogane Asaka" stood out starkly against the backdrop of sparse information. Yet, despite the lack of a face or known combat capabilities, the mere mention of the name carried an air of danger. As an assassin hailing from the enemy country, Kurogane Asaka represented a formidable adversary whose skills and motives remained shrouded in mystery.

The tension in the room palpably increased as Madam Sharun outlined their mission—to track down and apprehend this elusive assassin before they could exploit the stolen intelligence to devastating effect.

After explaining their mission, Madam Sharun assigned the squads in the room, consisting of a total of 5 squads amounting to 45 people, various tasks and roles in the operation..

"I will explain the plan briefly. All we know for now about our target is vague, but we have tracked him down to the Vargas Complex, where we suspect he would meet with an Aurelian official of some sort," Madam Sharun explained.

Although Kurogane was still in the Territory of Veridia, he was close enough to make contact with Aurelian authorities and plan a meeting with one of its officials regarding the document. Given that Aurelia typically employs vessels for transporting officials that are almost undetectable, it was imperative that they need to act swiftly to intercept him before he could rendezvous with them.

"Now that the location is clear, we will assign you your roles and tasks in this operation," Madam Sharun said.

"Squadron Bastion, Fortress, Citadel, and Sentinel, your mission in this operation is to cut off any escape routes, surrounding the complex on all four sides. Do not allow anyone to escape," Madam Sharun's voice echoed with authority, emphasizing the importance of their defensive positions.

"But be prepared, Kurogane isn't the only one in there; he's backed up by dozens of other Aurelian assassins in that complex," Madam Sharun warned, her tone grave, highlighting the heightened danger of the situation.

"Yes, ma'am!" The squadrons responded in unison, displaying their readiness for the task ahead, their determination unwavering despite the increased threat.

The squad designations in the academy were divided into four main categories: Infiltration, Assault, Defense, and Support and Logistics. The four squadrons mentioned earlier were Defense squadrons, comprising members selected for their defensive capabilities or specific training in defensive tactics and strategy. Their mission was to ensure that no one escaped the Vargas Complex once the operation commenced. Each of these squads consisted of 10 members.

In contrast, Sato's squad was an Infiltration squad, tasked with directly invading enemy territories with stealth and subtlety. Members of an Infiltration squad needed to excel in stealth and close combat. As a result, this squad comprised only 5 members, selected for their expertise in covert operations and close-quarter combat.

"Squadron Eclipse, your task is crucial," Madam Sharun continued, her gaze sweeping across the room.

"Yes, ma'am," Sato responded, his voice steady and determined.

"Your team will first sabotage or stop the vessel from landing on the complex, infiltrate the complex, locate the target, and retrieve the stolen blueprints. This mission requires stealth and precision. Failure is not an option." She gazed around the room, her expression stern, emphasizing the gravity of the situation.

"Understood," replied the squad, their resolve evident as they prepared to embark on their mission.

As she spoke, the members of Squadron Eclipse exchanged determined glances, With the fate of their nation hanging in the balance, the squad braced themselves for the perilous task ahead.


_location: Vargas Complex_

_time: 21:45_

_weather: cloudy_

The night sky shimmered with the soft glow of the moon, casting an ethereal light over the landscape below, creating an illusion of peace and tranquility. However, this serenity was swiftly shattered.

A faint hum reverberated through the air, growing louder with each passing moment. It was the sound of a helicopter, but not just any helicopter. This was one of Aurelia's most advanced aircraft, equipped with state-of-the-art stealth technology and formidable defenses against both ground-to-air and air-to-air threats.

"Stealthhawk Unit-7 requesting permission to land," the pilot's voice crackled over the radio.

"Stealthhawk Unit-7, area secured, clearance granted for landing," came the crisp response from the ground control.

"Copy that, preparing to touchdown," the pilot affirmed, the hum of the helicopter's rotor blades intensifying as it descended towards the designated landing zone."

As the helicopter descended, the faint chatter of voices from the Aurelian official and his assistant permeated the air.

Inside the cockpit, the pilot adjusted the controls with precision, maneuvering the helicopter smoothly towards the landing zone. The faint glow of the instrument panel illuminated their focused expressions.

"I hope what this Kurogane lad is saying is true," the Aurelian official's voice echoed through the cabin, tinged with a hint of uncertainty.

His assistant, seated beside him, reassured him with a calm demeanor, "No worries, Mr. Johnson. Kurogane is a skilled individual, and I doubt he'd use falsehoods to deceive you."

Mr. Johnson nodded, though his brow remained furrowed with concern. "Well, let's hope you're right," he murmured.

Meanwhile, atop a rooftop aligned with the moon's glow, crouches a silent predator, poised to strike.

"Shadow Serpent to HQ, requesting permission to engage target," Akari's voice crackles over the radio.

Her sniper rifle, a modified Wa2000 equipped with suppressors to muffle the sound of her shots, gleams in the moonlight as she peers through its magnified scope.

"HQ to Shadow Serpent, you are clear to engage," a voice crackles through Akari's headset.

"Affirmative," Akari responds, her voice calm and steady.

Akari shifts slightly on the rooftop, adjusting her position to ensure maximum stability. The night air brushes against her face, carrying the faint scent of rain. She feels the weight of her sniper rifle in her hands, its familiar presence reassuring her.

With precision honed through countless hours of training, Akari peers through the magnified scope of her Wa2000 rifle. Her eyes scan the descending helicopter, searching for the perfect opportunity to strike. As she waits patiently, her muscles tense with anticipation.

Finally, she spots her opening. With steady hands and unwavering focus, Akari takes a deep breath to steady her aim.

Akari's heart races with adrenaline as she lines up her shot. The distant hum of the helicopter's rotors fades into the background, her focus narrowing solely on her target. She feels a surge of determination coursing through her veins, driving her forward with unwavering resolve.

"Gotcha," she whispers under her breath, a silent affirmation of her intent.

With practiced precision, Akari adjusts her aim ever so slightly, ensuring that her shot will find its mark. The tension in her muscles is palpable, every fiber of her being poised for action.

As she exhales slowly, time seems to stand still. In that fleeting moment, Akari is at one with her weapon, her mind clear and her aim true.

Then, with a gentle squeeze of the trigger, she releases her shot. The rifle recoils against her shoulder as the bullet streaks through the air, hurtling toward its target with deadly accuracy.

As the shot connects with the helicopter, chaos erupts inside. The impact sends shockwaves through the aircraft, knocking out vital communication systems and sending the passengers into a panic.

"Damn it! Are we under attack?" Mr. Johnson, the Aurelian official, demands, his voice tinged with urgency.

"Yes sir! It seems to be a sniper shot!" the pilot responds, his tone strained with the effort of maintaining control amidst the chaos. A trickle of blood stains his uniform, evidence of the sniper's deadly accuracy.

"Where did it come from!?" Mr. Johnson demands, his eyes scanning the darkened skyline for any sign of their unseen assailant.

"Unclear sir!" the pilot replies, his voice tense with uncertainty as he struggles to regain control of the stricken aircraft.

It came as no surprise that they were unable to determine the origin of the shot. After all, this was the unparalleled ability of Akari, known as The Shadow Serpent. Her mastery of stealth magic allowed her to cloak herself, evading enemy radar and visual detection with ease—a deadly weapon in the arsenal of any sniper.

As the helicopter dwindles into the distance, Akari murmurs into the microphone secured to her earpiece.

"Enemy aircraft diverted, Epsilon Squadron clear to infiltrate. Shadow Serpent, over," Akari reports, her voice steady and controlled.

"Copy that. Proceeding to infiltrate. Raven, over," Sato responds, his tone firm and decisive.

The sudden sniper shot from Akari sends shockwaves through the Aurelian assassins stationed in the complex. With their senses heightened and adrenaline pumping, they scramble to assess the situation and prepare for potential threats. However, their attempts to organize an escape route are swiftly thwarted by the four defense squadrons strategically positioned in nearby buildings.

From their concealed vantage points, Squadron Bastion, Fortress, Citadel, and Sentinel spring into action, moving with practiced precision to cut off any potential escape routes. With a combination of stealth and swift action, they effectively pin down the Aurelian assassins, trapping them within the confines of the complex.

Meanwhile, in the heart of the complex, Epsilon Squadron moves with calculated precision, silently infiltrating the building most likely to house the stolen documents. Sato and Minami lead the way, their movements fluid and deliberate as they navigate past lurking Aurelian assassins.

Behind them, Ryota and Haruki follow closely, their senses on high alert as they serve as the guards for the perimeter. As Sato and Minami enter the building, Minami turns to Ryota and Haruki, issuing a commanding order.

"Ryota, Haruki, maintain watch for potential outside threats," Minami instructs, her voice firm and authoritative.

Ryota and Haruki nod in acknowledgment, their expressions focused and determined as they assume their positions outside the building. With a shared sense of duty, they stand guard, ready to respond to any sign of danger with swift action.

As they progress deeper into the building, they encounter occasional Aurelian assassins, whom they dispatch with efficiency and precision. Each encounter is swiftly dealt with, leaving no room for error as they inch closer to their objective.

Meanwhile, Ryota and Haruki remain vigilant outside, their eyes scanning the perimeter for any signs of trouble. With their keen senses and unwavering focus, they stand ready to defend their comrades and ensure the success of the mission.

As Sato and Minami meticulously search the building, their efforts yield no sign of the coveted document. The absence of Kurogane, the supposed guardian of the document, adds to their unease, leaving them questioning the situation's gravity.

"We need to intensify our search," Sato suggests, his voice tinged with urgency as he scans the room for any clues.

Minami nods in agreement, her brow furrowed in concentration. "Agreed. Keep an eye out for anything that might lead us to the location of the blueprints."

After a thorough search, they stumble upon a seemingly empty but dark room only filled with subtle rays of moonlight. However, upon closer inspection, they discover the document positioned conspicuously in the center, raising suspicions about its placement.

Minami ventures into the room first, with Sato dutifully guarding her rear. As they approach the document, Minami scrutinizes it closely to confirm its authenticity.

"Sato, this appears to be the legitimate one," Minami confirms.

"Strange... and still no sign of Kurogane anywhere," Sato remarks, his brow furrowing with concern.

"Regardless, we must leave now," Minami asserts, her tone decisive as she prepares to retrieve the document.

Sato touches the microphone strapped to his ear and speaks, "Wildfire, Mender, we have retrieved the document. Standby for extraction. Raven over."

"Copy that Raven, Mender over," Haruki responds through the communication device.

As they prepare to leave, Sato senses a slight disturbance, as if someone is watching them, waiting for the opportune moment to strike. He feels the aim of multiple guns, yet there are no visible weapons. Sato scans the room more carefully, and upon closer inspection, he spots glints on the opposite side, shining like the barrels of guns in the moonlight. And maybe it was in fact, guns.

Suddenly, a barrage of bullets seemingly materializes from the glistening wall, aimed directly at them.

Sato's eyes widen in panic, and he acts quickly, pushing Minami to dodge the hail of bullets and taking cover on the floor. In the chaos, their positions shift, and Sato ends up on top of Minami, shielding her from the onslaught.

The rain of bullets continues for a while, missing Sato and Minami as they fly overhead. The gunfire seems to be directed at a fixed position, aimed only at waist level. Then, as suddenly as it began, the barrage stops.

Minami, seemingly flustered by their position despite the danger, manages to blurt out some words. "S-sato? I don't think now's the time for this," she stammers, her cheeks flushed with a mixture of adrenaline and embarrassment. Though a skilled assassin, she is still somewhat sheltered, causing her to overreact.

Sato, seemingly confused by her reaction, raises an eyebrow. "Not the time for what?" he asks, his voice calm and collected, as if they hadn't just narrowly avoided a lethal attack.

And then, as if materializing from the shadows themselves, a man appears, his presence imposing and mysterious.

"What a shame," he begins, his voice carrying a hint of disappointment. "The gift I prepared for you people ended up failing," he adds, his tone laced with a touch of amusement. "And it seems I interrupted something," he observes, his eyes glinting with intrigue.

Sato swiftly regains his footing, his pistol drawn and aimed at the mysterious figure, ready to fire at the first sign of aggression. Meanwhile, Minami, still flustered from the previous situation, gathers herself and stands up, her cheeks flushed with embarrassment.

"W-we're not doing anything!" Minami blurts out defensively, her cheeks turning even redder.

"I never said anything about you doing something" the man replies, confused at her sudden defensive words.

"Yeah, Minami, he didn't say anything," Sato interjects nonchalantly, his tone relaxed despite the tension in the air.

"Why are you agreeing with him!? Are you two dense!?"

"Enough jokes, there are more important matters at hand, that is... the document you are holding," he declares, his voice carrying a note of urgency.

"Give it, if you want to live, and if you don't... well, I guess you already know," he adds, his tone ominously calm.

"Before we decide that, I must assume you are Kurogane Asaka?" Sato inquires, his gaze unwavering.

"Oh? I'm surprised you know who I am. I guess Veridian's information gathering is quite impressive, I must say," he responds, a hint of amusement in his voice. As he speaks, he gestures casually with his hand, his movements fluid and controlled.

"But I wonder how their combatants compare," he muses with a sinister smile spreading across his face.

In the blink of an eye, he vanishes from sight, reappearing directly in front of Sato with a blade in his hand, like a shadow materializing and dissipating in the absence of light. The blade isn't metallic like a normal one; instead, it's fluid and formless, resembling an unknown substance taking shape.

With no time to dodge, Sato's heart races as he instinctively reaches for his butterfly knife, the adrenaline coursing through his veins heightening his senses. He quickly unfolds it to block the incoming slash aimed at his face. The clash forces them into a tense standoff, their gazes locked in a deadly dance of determination.

"Sato!" Minami calls out, her voice laced with concern.

Minami, recognizing the imminent danger her comrade is in, swiftly draws her dual Beretta 93r pistols. With practiced precision, she fires three burst rounds at their assailant. The shots ring out in the confined space, disrupting the standoff and forcing the mysterious man to evade, buying Sato and Minami a moment to regroup.

Kurogane, who pulled back, was surprised at Sato's quick reaction time. However, he wasn't annoyed at his failed strike; rather, he was ecstatic that he gets to play with his food longer.

"I'm surprised you blocked that," Kurogane remarks, a twisted grin playing on his lips.

"I won't be taken out easily with cheap surprises like that," Sato retorts, his voice steady despite the adrenaline coursing through his veins.

Indeed, Sato wouldn't be easily defeated, not due to luck or other factors, but thanks to an ability known as "Perfect Vision." It wasn't so much an ability as it was an instinct honed over years of training and experience. An unparalleled asset in close quarters combat, it gave Sato the ability to assess his opponents and anticipate their moves. Truly, it was a devastating instinct, refined through years of dedication and discipline.

Kurogane laughs in response to Sato's defiance, his voice dripping with anticipation. "I guess this will be fun after all," he remarks, a sinister smile forming as he tightens his grip on his blade, ready for another strike.

As Kurogane prepares to attack again, a voice crackles through Sato's and Minami's earpieces. "Raven, Dove, what's taking you so long? Wildfire here," Ryota asks, his voice urgent.

Sato exchanges a quick glance with Minami, and she nods in silent agreement, their unspoken communication flowing seamlessly.

"Wildfire, Raven and Dove have identified the threat and are engaging the target. Standby until we neutralize it. Raven out," Sato responds calmly, a soft smile forming on his lips. There's a hint of bloodlust in his expression, matched by Minami's determined gaze as they prepare to face their opponent head-on.

Sato tightened his grip on his pistol and butterfly knife, his muscles tense with anticipation. Beside him, Minami mirrored his movements, her dual pistols poised and ready for action. Despite the tension in the air, the moments stretched on without any movement from their opponent.

Suddenly, Kurogane made his move, disappearing into thin air in the blink of an eye. He reappeared right in front of Minami, catching her off guard. Unlike Sato, whose reaction time was quick, Minami found herself reacting a fraction slower. However, her training kicked in, and she swiftly activated the magic marks on her skin.

These marks, created through a contract with a weapon, allowed magic users like Minami to switch out their weapons with ease. By tapping the mark, a specific weapon could be summoned instantaneously, enabling them to adapt swiftly to any situation. In this instance, Minami summoned a katana, a blade she was proficient with, to intercept Kurogane's attack.

With a swift motion, Minami raised the katana, intercepting Kurogane's blade with expert precision. The clash of metal echoed in the confined space, each strike filled with deadly intent. Kurogane pulled back rapidly, but before the two could catch their breath, he launched another attack and capitalized on them being caught off guard.

This time, Kurogane clashed with Minami's katana once again, but with a new twist—he formed another blade on his left hand, exploiting an opening in Minami's defensive stance. However, before he could capitalize on this advantage, Sato's bullets came raining down, forcing Kurogane to redirect his focus and deflect the incoming projectiles.

As Kurogane was busy deflecting, Minami seized the opportunity to counterattack. With a determined swing, she aimed her katana at him, but before her strike could land, Kurogane vanished into thin air once again, only to reappear behind her, attacking from the shadows.

Reacting swiftly, Minami tapped the mark on her arm, summoning another katana into her left hand, ready to defend against Kurogane's surprise attack.

Minami blocked Kurogane's blades with her own, the clash of metal reverberating through the room as they came to a standstill. Despite the intensity of the moment, Minami remained calm and focused, her determination unwavering in the face of danger.

Not long after, Kurogane felt a surge of electricity enveloping his blades. It wasn't random static; rather, it was the result of Minami's lightning magic, infused into her katana and connecting with Kurogane's blade. The shock jolted through his body, forcing him to back away, retreating into the shadows once more. This time, he took a more reserved approach, appearing at a safe distance from his adversaries.

"I see," Kurogane remarked, his voice tinged with both admiration and caution. "It seems like you are talented in controlling your magic, young girl."

Minami remained resolute, her gaze steady as she replied, "Thanks, but I don't want any compliments from you."

Kurogane chuckled softly, his amusement evident even in the midst of battle. "Oh, how rude," he remarked, his tone dripping with sarcasm.

Sato, who had remained silent throughout their sudden conversation, finally chimed in. His voice, calm and composed, cut through the tension in the air.

"I see now," Sato began, his gaze fixed on Kurogane.

"Hm?" Kurogane responded, his curiosity piqued by Sato's sudden interjection.

Sato's lips curved into a small smile, as if he had just unraveled a mystery. "I already figured out your ability, Kurogane," he declared confidently.

"Entertain me then," Kurogane challenged, his voice carrying a hint of amusement as he awaited Sato's response.

Sato paused for a moment, gathering his thoughts before delivering his revelation. "Your ability is... Shadow Manipulation," he declared with a confident tone, his gaze unwavering as he met Kurogane's eyes.

Kurogane's eyes widened slightly in surprise, a flicker of astonishment crossing his features before a grin spread across his face. "Well, well... I didn't expect you to actually find out," he chuckled, his amusement evident in his tone.

Minami couldn't help but feel a sense of unease at Kurogane's demeanor. His casual response to Sato's revelation sent a chill down her spine, and she instinctively tightened her grip on her katana.

Sato remained composed, his expression unreadable as he observed Kurogane's reaction. Despite the tension in the air, he maintained his calm demeanor, his mind already calculating their next moves.

"But... I guess that you will be the first to have found out," Kurogane continued, his smile taking on a devilish edge. "And the last," he added ominously, his gaze locking with Sato's, a silent challenge in his eyes.

As the moonlight seeps through the windows, casting ethereal shadows across the room, the tension between Kurogane and the others reaches a palpable climax. Sato and Minami exchange wary glances, sensing that Kurogane is plotting something nefarious, something they may not expect.

"Then, prepare to witness the darkness that will seal your damned lives," Kurogane declares with a sinister smile, his eyes gleaming with malicious intent.

-chapter end-