『Absurd. That is a voice that an emperor ought prostate himself before to. Were you not enthused with such joy upon hearing her voice that you trembled? Are you really saying that you’ve remain ignorant of her greatness despite hearing this divine voice repeatedly? If so, then I pity you. To think that you would fail to recognize heaven even when it is dangling right before you.』
The Mask spoke in a tone that gently advised, yet the eyes behind his mask were indifferent, as if the people before him were no different from the pebbles by the wayside. As someone who knew him, Myuhi could tell that this quiet manner of talking was not an attempt to deescalate but a genuine expression of his own beliefs.
『A heavenly voice such as this is a treasure like no other. To rid of it simply for a reason such as that… Have some shame! 』
As if completely oblivious to her anguish, the mask effortlessly cut through their arguments, and in an almost celebratory tone, he uttered those words.
『This is a song that could reach even my life, you know! How could it not be wonderful!』
──So his standards in that regard are weird too!
Myuhi had been silent this whole time despite the Mask’s gleeful declaration, but she has actually been doing her best to ignore his outrageous remarks for they were currently in the middle of a battle.
Really, she wanted nothing more right now than to look up to the sky or give the Mask a good knocking. It was just so frustrating how little he cared about himself. In fact, were she someone who didn’t know him well, her reaction might have been even worse.
“W-What is wrong with you? Hey, Six! What’s he going on about!?”
The Mask’s purpose, his threat to the world, his power, and even his own life. He put all of that on one end of the scale and the song on the other, and somehow, the song won out. It was a hard pill to swallow for these two who have suffered greatly in his hands. They didn’t want to believe it.
Myuhi understood how they felt all too well, and fortunately, they didn’t know that, for if they did, they would surely find that to be humiliating.
“Sigh… This won’t work. Looks like he’s one of those people that don’t care about profit and losses, the sort that shoves their own sense of value onto others.”
Unlike Venom, who struggled to accept reality, Six just wryly smiled. That was the difference of someone who didn’t believe that such people could exist and someone who did believe. Though Six still made a bitter face because the degree to which the Mask displayed such traits was just too much.
『Hah! Don’t praise me too much. Your compliments might not make me happy, but they can still make me blush. 』
The Mask snorted, leaving Venom speechless and Six clicking his tongue, while Myuhi was just astonished.
“You really are a clown, aren’t you? So you’re going to protect that Songstress until the very end?”
He made an exhausted sigh to confirm that one last time. He had a tired expression on him – much unlike his rough appearance – that resembled that of a salaryman who has pulled several all-nighters.
『Hmph, stop asking such obvious questions. Your head seems to be working unlike the dummy behind you, but you’re too obvious. 』
“…What do you mean?”
Six asked, and the Mask readily answered.
『You’re obviously trying to make me listen to the song as much as possibly to weaken me. 』
The moment the Mask said that, Six stopped looking haggard and deployed his exoskeleton. Unlike the gigantic armor he wore earlier, this one was of the normal size, though it was still dull gray. The head gear laid bare his expressionless face, while adding a menacing touch to his overall demeanor. The armor was devoid of unnecessary embellishments, a slender unit clearly meant for fighting indoors.
“I managed to gather some information, but you’re a tougher nut to crack that I anticipated. Why would you even talk when you knew what I was doing?”
『That way would be more humiliating for you, right?』
“Hah, what a lovely person. You supposed to be an expert at harassing people or something/”
『Something like that… And you’re greatly mistaken about something. 』
『I’m currently at the peak of my excitement thanks to that wonderful singing. I would love to hear more of it, so I’m going to have to get rid myself of you two. 』
“…Oh? Well, sorry we’re getting in your way.”
『That’s why─────you shouldn’t think for a moment that you’ll be able to stop me.』
In the end, were they able to see that crescent moon smile? Regardless, Masquerade rushed straight for Six at a speed that a normal warrior wouldn’t be able to react to.
“Don’t look down on me!”
Six twisted his body to dodge the descending right arm by a hair’s breadth and send a kick toward the stomach of that black mist.
But the Mask was able to block it with his hands, and Six found his whole body lifted. His posture had been broken, but he didn’t resist and just allowed the momentum to carry him and flip over, landing perfectly back on the ground.
“Do you think it’s strange that I was able to respond to you despite you being clad in that weird mist? You don’t seem to know about it, but we’ve already figured out how to see through that. Our development team has even managed to come up with a system to instantly figure out your position!”
Six tapped his goggles with his finger, as though to say that he could see the Mask clearly. However, neither Masquerade nor Myuhi was agitated by that revelation. Myuhi just kept a watchful eye out for Venom and others while pitying them.
『You completed it earlier than I expected. Amazing. 』
『The one who leaked that information was me. 』
──I know the feeling. I know it all too well.
Myuhi muttered upon seeing Six’s shocked face. As someone who was in the know, Myuhi could only wryly smile.
It was a method that a certain girl accidentally discovered while killing time, a method that was leaked out of Kutoria. The method was already well known to organizations and individuals aware of Masquerade’s existence.
Nameless was also in the process of building a similar system. Once complete, the system will surely be put up for sale in the black market. But only a few people know that it was the Mask himself who threatened the school and the student council to leak the information.
『Fu fu, that’s a good expression.』
Shinichi suddenly rushed out. The black mist about him made his movements difficult to understand as usual, and Myuhi couldn’t make heads or tails of it, but what about Six?
Seeing was one thing, defending was another. As someone who has fought with the Mask just recently in the chapel, Myuhi could only feel bad for Six.
Such unpredictable moves would surely be difficult to deal with, after all. Especially, the first time. She still admired him for sending out a punch of his own.
“What’s wrong with you!?”
『Ha ha, there’s simply no helping it! 』
However, that punch was easily deflected, and the Mask’s left fist went for Six’s face, which he somehow narrowly avoided by turning his head.
He tried to grab that arm and throw the Mask over, only for the Mask to send a knee strike into his stomach. A resonant impact could be felt.
『People tend to become excessively fearful once they realize that something can’t be defeated, right?』
Six couldn’t afford to be stopped here, so he threw a headbutt, only to hit nothing but air, for the Mask had suddenly jumped back. Whatever his purpose for that was, Six didn’t miss that opportunity to activate the weapon in his gauntlet as he started firing recklessly.
『It would be very annoying if by chance the two worlds were to completely unify and send out a massive punitive force, after all. That’s why I need to make it clear that the person they are dealing with is not invincible!』
A barrage of light bullets shot out for the Mask, yet the Mask’s hands and legs merely deflected them. He’d clearly meant for those to hit Six’s subordinates, who were starting to recover, but Six had to prioritize adjusting his own posture. Otherwise, he might not be able to handle the Mask when he suddenly appears in front of him again.
“What the hell!?”