“Repeat after me! I will treasure myself!”
“Listen to me!”
『──Did you girls notice the commotion in the church?』
Despite how emotional Myuhi was right now, she couldn’t help but freeze upon hearing that question. How did she fail to notice it? She looked at her subordinates in shock.
They had made a move just upon seeing her in his embrace, yet they didn’t do anything when the building shook that much?
“You didn’t notice anything?”
Myuhi asked, but her subordinates didn’t seem to have a clue what she was talking about. They just looked at each other, then one after another, said that nothing had seemed off from outside. Myuhi turned to Shinichi in her surprise, who in turned emanated a dangerous glint in his eyes as he surveyed all of their surroundings.
『As I thought…』
“I won’t ask what’s going on, but how much longer are you going to relax like this? It’s not like you. If I were the culprit, I’d run away immediately after a failed snipe.”
『I don’t know if they’d realized they’d failed or not, but I do know that they haven’t fled. They probably think they’ll stick out if they were to run as soon as something happened. There’s that matter concerning the loan too. 』
Myuhi muttered that word to herself as she turned her gaze toward a house adjacent to the facility. It couldn’t be, right? However, she was suddenly made to look at the neighboring house in the exact opposite direction.
『Wrong. Over here.』
When Myuhi realized that he’d moved her by the chin, her cheeks flushed again at being touched, but she decided to just hold it in for now.
“…W-Wait, the bullet should have come from that direction, though.”
『It might look like that, but I can see the traces. Someone’s playing with power beyond their means.』
“…An attack that traveled an absurd trajectory and broke through a building without damaging the structure. Don’t tell me?”
Shinichi appeared exasperated, while Myuhi appeared shock. Shinichi revealed the details while looking at the problematic house.
『A detached house that was purchased 5 years ago. Details concerning its owners are shrouded in lies. No doubt, the owners are a scary bunch. But of course, that’s adorable in comparison to the domain they’ve so casually encroached.』
The Mask snorted then started toward it.
“…Are you going?”
『They need to be punished. Also, this weapon is too much for humans to handle right now.』
“There’s something bothering me too. Can I come?”
『If you don’t mind being carried by the waist again.』
“Not like you’d care even if I said not to───Armor active.”
Myuhi stood beside the Mask in Crimson Armor. That was not the prototype she’d worn when fighting the Mask but the original armor of the Red Spear of Nameless. It covered her whole body and could disguise even her height. It was humanoid, but it had an aerodynamic design to it that was reminiscent of a fighter. It was like a spear that knew no retreat.
『You couldn’t have picked a worse outfit for a lady… Does it have a name?』
『All of Nameless’ spears have no name. Do you not like it?』
It wasn’t quite like the Mask’s, but Myuhi’s voice had also been altered by the machine. Despite that, there was no hiding the amusement in her voice, as though to say he could embrace her all he wanted if it was in this form.
『It’s fine… Now then, let’s crash their party as a faceless and nameless, shall we?』
Shinichi extended his right arm and put a firm grip on her slender waist. Myuhi’s expression was inscrutable through her armor, but she nonetheless played along and clung to him.
『We’ll leave this place to you… Don’t let a single bug escape.』
Then as though those words were a signal of sort, Shinichi leaped away with Myuhi in his embrace; quietly, without so much as an eek. The two of them seemed to blend into the landscape of the neighboring house as they vanished into it.
A heavy breath escaped someone’s lips. At last, they’d finally remembered to breathe, and they became aware of the cold sweat running down them that had been concealed by their armor.
All they had done was to point a weapon at him, yet once again, they were reminded firsthand of the terrifying nature of Masquerade and how cheap that ceasefire that was reliant entirely on his mood was.
Fortunately, their beloved captain shared a close bond with the Masquerade and was present. If not for that, they might have lost sight of themselves. Moreover, they had known their commander for a long time, but the way she interacted so playfully with him was a rare sight indeed.
“It’s my first time seeing the commander and Masquerade talk, but it sure is reassuring.”
“I thought even the commander would be afraid of him, but apparently, that was needless worry on my part.”
Their commander had successfully built a good relationship with the man, who threatened the whole world. That was reason enough to breathe a sigh of relief. After all, it would be unthinkable for them to live normally with someone who was capable of so much destruction all on his own.
As they realized that, they found a new sense of respect for their commander, but then – perhaps because she’d let her guard down, or perhaps because she’d been by Myuhi’s side since that incident – a certain team member, Ruby, made all of them freeze with a few words.
“Don’t you think our commander treats Masquerade like she does that guy?”
“That’s true,” her comrades nodded. As people who have lived in the darker parts of society, it took them only a moment to connect the dots after that nod, and they all looked at each other in disbelief.
“Come to think of it, they came from the facility together, didn’t they?”
“I’ve searched the place, and… I can’t find him there anymore.”
“E-Eh? So, does that mean!?”
All of the girls were shocked at the revelation, and cold sweat poured down them for a different reason than before. This was information way above their pay grade, and they didn’t have a clue what to do about it.
Myuhi knew who Masquerade really was, but she didn’t inform the organization. It didn’t seem like she was being threatened too. She has been given plenty of leeway on how to act, and everything related to Masquerade has been entrusted to her too, but this was clearly a breach of trust.
Even more concerning was that they haven’t gained Masquerade’s trust. If he were to realize that he’s been found out, won’t they all be disposed of?
Masquerade might not have killed anyone so far, but he certainly has left many people as good as crippled.
Silence lingered for a long time between them, then someone moved.
A man cried out in pain and collapsed after being hit by a
He appeared like an ordinary person on Earth, but the weapon he dropped was undoubtedly a Garestonian weapon.
Following his fall, similar screams echoed from the vicinity of the church. However, there was no response from inside, and the joyful voices of the children continued.
Evidently, the Mask or their commander had erected something to shield them from the disturbing sounds. Their conversation earlier had alluded to some form of attack inside. So, unless it was just one enemy acting on his own, more enemies were bound to come for cleanup.
Since this place was entrusted to them, their mission was clear. They were to deal with the situation and eliminate all enemies.
“L-Let’s forget about it for now and prioritize the commander’s orders. Defend this place and eliminate all enemies! Go!”
The girls rid themselves of all unrest and silenced all the enemies that surrounded the church.
──I wonder if we can earn the Commander and Masquerade’s approval if we complete our mission properly.
All the while thinking that in a corner of their head.