Shinichi was speechless, but he wasn’t as surprised as Crimson thought he would be at this revelation.
After all, this was already one of the possibilities he suspected.
Shinichi was more surprised at how there was no one inside the building or anyone approaching them from outside.
Something might’ve happened, so maybe he should take a look. Or no one is coming precisely because something did happen, so maybe he should take a look.
There were many decisions to be made, but there were just too little information, and so the conversation continued.
“There are those who want to thoroughly exhaust Earth’s resources and workforce. What’s more is that these plans are even being planned against our fellow Garestonians.”
Shinichi was trying to decide what to do, but he just couldn’t make up his mind.
He knew that he should be thinking about the future, but some faces just kept pestering him.
The dark face of his friend who lost his dream. The fear of a girl who received the violence of another with just her body. The hate and sadness of people who have lost something from the interaction of the two worlds.
‘So in the end, that’s how it is, huh?’ he told himself in his mind as he laughed in self-derision and clenched his fist.
But Crimson had no way of knowing that since Shinichi’s actions were hidden by Masquerade. Crimson continued to speak.
“The current president doesn’t know about it either, but it was because his excellency was made privy to it that he decided to abandon a glorious road and walk a thorny road instead. We were picked up along his way through that path.”
“…So you want me to accompany you through that road?”
The floating faces that appeared and disappeared spared no effort to pester him, but Shinichi continued to act nonetheless.
They had already reached the time limit, so Shinichi decided to get rid of any reason to continue talking.
Crimson was already done preparing, and Shinichi had already confirmed that there were no more movements being made outside.
Crimson’s next explanation would probably be the last.
Was it because he was aware of that or because he was not aware of that that his next words became so harsh?
“We won’t ask that much. We just want to strike a deal with you. To have your help when we fight a decisive battle in order to gain the power we need.
At this rate, the Earthlings and the Garestonians will be expended by them as if they were mere consumables!
We just want to avoid that! We can’t let things go as they please!”
The way Crimson spoke was not at all reminiscent of someone who was so hurt he couldn’t stand up.
He spoke earnestly with strength and with zeal.
“…If you’re done, then get up already.”
But that was all.
Unfortunately, talking well wasn’t enough to curb Shinichi’s anger.
Crimson did foresee that Shinichi might refuse him, but the way he spoke left him confused.
“I believe you when you said that you were serious about your proposal.
At the same time, it was strategically sound of you to prepare a counterattack.
But to be honest, the only response I can give you is, ‘so what?’”
“What… Did you say?”
In the end, which of the things Shinichi said was it that that troubled voice was meant for?
Already, the only semblance left of Shinichi’s style as the mask was his use of the word ‘watashi’.
Shinichi deliberately spoke in a way to widen the fissure between them.
“Garesto’s government is scheming something? Well, a government that can’t come up with at least one scheme is worthless.
There are people who want to exhaust Earth of it’s workforce and resources? Your fellow people are going to be involved? Well, such things are commonplace regardless of the time period or the world.
You’ve stained your hands so you can become strong enough to win? But in the end, the blood being spilled doesn’t belong to you, does it?
So allow me to ask you in return, ‘Are you stupid?’”
Insulted, Crimson’s hostility and killing intent rose to a peak.
Just as it did with one’s appearance, the Recognition Interference ability had a strange defect to it that left the emotions behind voices unmasked.
Shinichi had insulted Crimson, the organization he was affiliated with, and his superior who was his benefactor.
A part of Shinichi understood that it was only natural for Crimson to become hostile, but he was too angry to care.
“Deliberately staining yourselves with evil in order to defeat a great evil?
Oh, yes. How very admirable of you. But you should keep such delusions of grandeur to yourself during bedtime.”
As Shinichi snorted, an explosive sound resounded and Crimson’s armor flew.
The charred surface of the armor was sent flying, but Shinichi deflected it with one hand.
Crimson had abandoned the unnecessary parts of his armor, leaving a more slender figure on him.
This new Crimson laid bare his emotions.
A killing intent full of emotion and an angry voice spoken through the machine resounded.
The reason Crimson had spoken without the machine until now was because he wanted to gain Shinichi’s trust and because he needed to reboot his suit.
He abandoned the outer armor that could no longer be used, and charged at Shinichi with only his body frame.
Shinichi calmly looked at him and remarked how similar Crimson looked to a red bullet.
The weapon Crimson drew was a spear. This short spear had an extendable handle and was stored by his waist. It was his last weapon.
This was a spear with nothing more than a beam for its spearhead, but Crimson kicked off against the ground all the same.
The way Crimson made his way straight for Shinichi like that could be said to be foolish, but with a speed almost surpassing even that of bullets, this attack of his was fairly terrifying.
All the more so considering Shinichi’s eyes which have been strengthened by the Magic Raiment Battle Law could barely just keep up.
Such ‘speed’ was rare even in a fantasy world.
And it was precisely this speed that was this newly developed exoskeleton’s last trump card.
A card prepared to turn the tables when driven to a corner.
But of course, no one actually thought that it would be used in a trial run.
Alas, realizing this manga-like idea of increasing one’s speed upon removing one’s heavy armor with technology could at most only impress Shinichi.
In other words— He was not in the slightest bit perturbed.