OmaeGotoki: Volume 2 004 - What Goes Around Comes Around
The lethal game of tag refuses to end.
If she tries to run through the back alleys she quickly finds herself surrounded by soldiers; if she tries to run down the streets passersby point her out to her pursuers; if she tries to run through the slums countless thugs attack her for the bounty on her head.
The realization that enemies surround her utterly and completely proves far more damaging to her psyche than the posters covering her house or the words of that boy. The physical toll is also quite intense, as it’s been almost two hours since the ‘game’ started and she’s spent most of it running.
“Haahh… I’ll never… hahh… let them… catch me…!”
She’s lost all feeling in her legs and she’s running a lot more slowly than when she started, but she hasn’t given up. She’s already decided that there’s no way she’ll let that coward beat her. She’ll crush him and his plan and go back home. As long as she keeps that in mind she feels as though she could run forever.
She walks along an abandoned street to catch her breath.
A voice rings out from above her. She frantically looks up to find a small group of soldiers there, bows at the ready.
“This is it!”
“Like I’ll let you just hit me!”
She rolls out of the way to avoid them at the last moment. Standing up, she draws the Zweihander, spins around for a moment to gather momentum and releases it at the rooftop.
The soldiers panic and scatter at the sight of the massive blade flying at them, but one of them slips and isn’t able to avoid it. He takes the blade in the back of the head, sending the top half of his skull and everything in it flying.
Having finished its duty, the Epic-rank sword fades into motes of light and returns to the crest on the back of Flum’s hand.
“Another murder… How much do you have to kill before you’re satisfied, monster!?”
She’s honestly lost count of how many people it’s been.
After her first kill it stopped mattering whether she kills two, ten, or a hundred.
Trying to take a life means being ready to lose your own; she’s been so desperate to stay alive that she’s long since stopped worrying about trivial details like whose fault it is.
It’s not like their deaths are meaningless, though. Every time one of their comrades dies the survivors are forced to consider things more carefully and hopefully grow increasingly uncertain as they try to decide whether their orders --- more specifically, whether that despicable commander of theirs --- is worth the sacrifice.
In reality, the number of soldiers pursuing her seems to be shrinking all the time… she thinks. Maybe she’s just hoping it to be the truth, but it nonetheless makes her feel better about herself.
Leaving the soldiers with their dead comrade, she starts running again.
I’m getting closer to the Central Quarter, I can feel it!
Even as she loses herself in running, even as her mind seems to cloud over she never stops thinking, never stops searching for even the tiniest gaps in her enemy’s guard as she keeps moving forward.
When she finally arrives at the border between the West and Central Quarters, she spots a large group of people gathered there. She stops and ducks into the shadow to observe them for a while.
Some of the men appear to be members of Dane’s group, but the other one is a middle-aged man dressed like a merchant. Seeing him Flum can’t help but remember the slave merchant who bought her. Behind him are a number of children with expressionless faces and slave marks. Some are missing arms, some walk with a strange limp, some of them have their faces burned, but all of them are missing some part of their bodies.
“Ahh, I really can’t thank Dane-san enough for all this. Not only is he going to avenge our fallen comrade, but to think he’ll buy all this defective merchandise, too…! Make sure that you tell him how grateful I am for all he’s done for us.”
The merchant rubs his hands together as he talks.
‘Avenge our fallen comrade’... does that mean he’s connected to the merchant who bought me?
Dane truly is a shrewd man for not only making the Royal Army into his pawns but for using their grudge against Flum to even turn the slave traders in the Central Quarter into his allies.
“I’m sure these little pieces of trash will be simply overjoyed to hear their deaths will have meaning.”
“Those brats’ve got the devices all set up an’ everythin’, right?”
“Yes, of course. They’re ready to explode anywhere and at any time.”
Now that the merchant mentions it, she notices that tied around the children’s waists are small pouches embedded with little crystals.
Are those full of black powder? Even if they are slaves, turning those kids into living bombs… Just how despicable are these assholes!?
She’s filled with such anger she almost jumps down and cuts the men down then and there, but if she does that the children will probably just activate the bombs right there and she’ll be unable to save any of them.
At any rate, that exit has enough people guarding it that she won’t be able to break through. Giving up, she leaves to try a different route.
No matter where Flum runs all she finds are more soldiers, more of Dane’s henchmen, and more slave children with explosives. No matter what route leading out of the West District she tries, all of them are blocked off completely.
It’s as though Dane is moving every pawn he has in a full display of his power.
“There she is! Kill her!!”
Again they find her, and again she starts running. Exhaustion starts to creep its way onto her face.
The desire to give in and give up sprouts up in her rebellious heart. She tries to dispel it with a shake of her head, but she’s too tired for that.
I don’t want to suffer anymore. I should just stop here.
Those thoughts start to drift through her head. As if responding to her flagging spirit, a dead end appears before her.
Dammit, I must’ve taken a wrong turn…!
She’s out of concentration. The walls around her are tall enough that even if she kicks off them she won’t be able to reach the rooftops. Worse, there are enough people right behind her that she probably can’t fight her way out, either.
“I daresay this is checkmate.”
With a cocky look on his face, the man behind it all emerges from the crowd of pursuers.
His timing is too perfect; it’s almost like he knew she was going to make a mistake here.
“I didn’t expect to run into you here, Dane.”
“I was quite certain that you’d be a corpse the next time I saw you, but you’re a lot more stubborn than I gave you credit for.”
“Are you sure you should just stroll out here like that? I’m pretty sure I could kill you from here if I felt like it.”
“Oh, how scary. Unfortunately for you, I’m an A-Rank adventurer. I don’t think I could lose to you.”
“Then why the hell did you bother with all this?”
“Well, I wanted to ensure that the Royal Army were effective pawns and I wanted to create a connection or two with the Central Quarter slave traders, but the main reason would be that I’ve been looking forward to watching you get cornered like this for quite some time now.”
Dane’s henchmen laugh and applaud his words, but the joke is somehow lost on Flum.
“I’ll bet you’re at your limit about now, aren’t you? A few of my men are already sick of this show, to be honest, and if you kill any more guards cleanup will be a real bother. How about we end this?”
“Fine by me.”
She draws the Zweihander and points it at Dane. Her final enemy right before her eyes, she squeezes out the last of her strength, her eyes burning with vigour.
“Ah, naivete is truly the worst part of youth.”
He runs a hand through his hair, casting Flum a dramatic look out of the corner of his eye.
“You make me want to crush you, warp you, and teach you all about reality.”
“I guess there really are some pitiful adults out there who’re convinced that ‘reality’ is only what’s most convenient for them.”
“What a childish reply. Are you going through a rebellious phase, maybe?”
“I think you’re the only child here. Most kids stop playing mafia at ten, y’know.”
“You really are an irritating little bitch, aren’t you? If you keep this up I won’t just let you die an easy death.”
“Good. I never planned on dying easily!”
Flum slashes at Dane, but stops short before her blade reaches him.
A young slave puts herself between Flum and Dane as if covering for him. She’s not a brave warrior but a little girl without a right arm who probably couldn’t be sold. A small bag of explosives is tied around her waist.
“You can’t help but want to save poor little girls like this, don’t you, Flum-chan?”
“I know, I know, you’re at that tender age where you get all obsessed with ‘justice’ and ‘punishing evil’ but never carry through and end up being a burden on everyone around you. You won’t even be able to protect that wench you’ve been flirting with such tepid resolve, you know.”
“What did you do to Milkit!?”
“Ah, yes, that was her name. The hideous little bandage monster. That thing’s already been raped and lynched and is lying in a ditch somewhere by now, I’m sure. It must’ve been so hard for her after you so thoughtlessly gave her hope. She was crying ‘why didn’t you protect me, Master!?’ the whole time, I hear.”
“Oh, scary, so scary. You’re all terrified too, aren’t you?”
The thugs behind him start sniggering and giving mocking calls of “Oh yeah, we’re tremblin’!” Ease and relaxation is thick in their voices. They’re probably thinking of all the ways to deal with her now that they’ve clearly won.
“Well then, if I play with my prey any longer you might find some way to escape, so I suppose I’ll have you killed now… by this brat here, that is.”
“What’re you planning?”
“I think I’ll call it ‘Back Alley Lovers’ Suicide,’ a heart-wrenching drama about two of society’s losers being drawn together, only to tragically kill themselves in the end!”
The girl walks towards Flum with uneasy steps. Her face is expressionless, just like Milkit’s was when they first met --- but that means that if only someone were to show her kindness she’d recover just like Milkit has. Instead of a helping hand, though, all the girl’s received is a bomb at her belt and a lead role in a morbid comedy for a group of despicable men.
“Ah, you’re trying to think of some way to save her aren’t you?”
“I’ll take that as a yes. In that case, I’ll give you a chance to do just that since I’m so nice. If you take the bomb off her belt I’ll allow you to blow only yourself to pieces. I’m afraid I don’t know what’ll happen after that, though. There are an awful lot of healthy young bucks here, but there are probably only a select few who’d be willing to screw such a filthy slave… one, two, three, four… only five, I suppose? Ahh, this is a bother, she can’t entertain them all once!”
“Dane-san, I always say if there ain’t enough holes then ya just make a few more.”
“With that knife there, you mean? You’re quite the maniac, aren’t you! Ahahahaha!”
The men all laugh along with Dane.
Why do all the villains give their victims a choice in how they die?
Why are they so pleased with themselves at offering such awful choices?
Flum doesn’t falter for an instant. She kneels in front of the girl and takes off her bomb.
Even after being freed from death, the girl’s expression doesn’t change. She looks at Flum with empty eyes and cocks her head to the side slightly. She’s probably at a loss for what to do since she just had her job taken from her. She turns back to Dane.
“Aren’t you glad? That nice oneesan just saved you from the big, scary bomb. She instead decided to offer you up to these nice oniisans behind me and their lustful love sticks. It’ll be painful, oh so painful, far worse than death by explosion! Make sure you thank her, now.”
Flum honestly doesn’t want to believe that they’re even human. His words are nothing but endless noise, incomprehensible no matter how hard she tries. Her brain shuts him out.
“There’s a crystal attached to that bomb, see? Channel a little magic energy into it and it’ll go boom. There’s not enough black powder for a powerful blast, granted, but it’s enough to kill a person or two.”
The slave, Dane, and his men all step back.
Just as he said, there’s a crystal embedded on the bomb. If she activates it it’ll ignite, searing, scattering, gouging through her flesh and reducing her to a singed pulp. It’ll be more painful than getting hit with a hundred arrows.
Even if she does it, the girl won’t be saved. Dane probably isn’t joking; just as he claims his men will defile and kill her, not because of some grudge but simply because she means nothing to them. Even if she stayed with the slave merchant, the only fate awaiting her would be death in a cell after being turned into a plaything, just like what almost happened to Flum and Milkit.
How pointless, how worthless.
Neither option will leave them alive at the end --- if Flum was a normal person, that is.
Flum holds the bomb in her right hand, stretching it out as far away from her heart as she can manage. Dane doesn’t say anything, knowing that there’s no point to her actions. The thugs grin crudely as they watch her, waiting impatiently for her death.
She feels the crystal with her fingertips.
She closes her eyes and focuses.
As soon as she channels magic energy into the crystal she can feel her arm jerk.
Dane’s lips curl into a grin, the girl’s eyes widen --- BANG, the black powder ignites.
Brilliant white light fills Flum’s vision. The sheer force demolishes her arm up to the shoulder, reducing it to smithereens. The explosive flames gouge at her head and neck as her flesh starts melting from the sheer heat. The powerful wind created sends her body soaring limply through the air, even reaching Dane and his men and causing their hair to violently blow back.
Dane can’t help but let out a pleased snigger at the pleasant gust and the distinct smell of burning human flesh. The thugs let out a rousing cheer as her body finally hits the ground.
The horrible criminal who had killed their allies has finally received her just deserts.
Their joy overcomes them as some begin dancing, some stripping, some fighting over the slave girl.
“What an unruly bunch of hooligans.”
“You say that, Dane-san, but there’s a big ol’ smile on yer face.”
“I don’t mind such merriment every once in a while. If only I had a bit of wine to go along with the sight of Flum’s pitiful corpse it’d be perfect.”
“Got it. Be right back.”
Dane had meant that as a joke, but his subordinate runs off to the nearest tavern before he can stop him.
“Some people, I swear… Ah, well. A good drink does sound like the perfect way to celebrate, after all.”
A few of the celebrating thugs start to slowly approach Flum’s smouldering corpse. Kicking, punching, stabbing, slicing, taking pieces home --- there’s all sorts of fun to be had with a dead body, after all. Everyone with the nerve to stand against them has become their toy in just the same way. They start chatting about the best way to go about their fun this time.
As Dane watches over them, a man runs up to Dane.
“You… What’re you doing here, of all places? You were stationed elsewhere, I thought.”
Dane raises an eyebrow at him. The man there was a member of the squad set to attack Flum’s house.
“Finished early and came to join in the festivities? You’re just in time, then. Flum just---”
The man is pale and trembling.
“You look horrible. What happened to you?”
“The operation… I-It failed.”
Dane’s jubilant expression changes in a heartbeat.
“What!? You’re telling me you couldn’t deal with even a lonely, helpless little girl!?”
His angry voice reverberates loudly throughout the square, causing everyone to stop and look at him.
“I-It wasn’t our fault! All this water suddenly came outta nowhere, and before I realized it everyone else was gone an’ I didn’t even know where I was…”
“Do you really think that such non---”
Their conversation is suddenly cut short.
A man suddenly bursts out screaming.
Everyone there turns to face the voice’s owner to find a deep gash in his neck, blood vigorously spurting out.
None of the men understand what’s happening. In the midst of the chaos a blade flashes and a second man’s head is sent flying.
The one controlling the blade is Flum, regenerated and on her feet.
“That really hurt.”
Determined to claim as many of her foes’ lives as possible, her movements are perfectly efficient. Her swings are short, close, and always aim for the neck.
“You look at someone suffering like that and you have the nerve to laugh…?”
Plain and simple, taking heads.
“---Trash like you should just die.”
Head, head, head --- one swing decapitates three men at once. Flum pours all the frustration, pain, suffering, anger, and hatred into her blade as she releases it on the men in a frenzy.
“You bitch… You died, so how are you still…!?”
“Did you really think something that pitiful could kill me!?”
What would clearly be a fatal wound to a normal person is nothing more than ‘pitiful’ to Flum.
“This isn’t normal…It’s not supposed to be like this…!”
Up until then Dane’s face has been filled with laughter, but now his eyes are filled with fear.
Now it’s Flum’s turn to laugh. Her face twists into a mockery of a grin as hatred and murder fill her eyes and she devotes herself to slaughter.
“You monstrosity… No, could this be an enchantment!?”
All the thugs panic as they rush to put distance between them and her, but Dane instead casts Scan on her sword. The full column of curses and penalties fills his vision.
“What!? No normal human could possibly…!”
Every time she was at the guild they simply laughed at her and underestimated her as a slave. They never once bothered to Scan her equipment.
Their failure is entirely their own fault.
Dane knows that so well it hurts, but he’s not so stupid as to just sit there cursing his own negligence.
“Tch, everyone pull back! That thing’s too much of an unknown!”
He stays calm and gives them their orders, but his men are just common thugs, too absorbed with the concept of advantage of numbers to listen to him.
“We still outnumber ‘er, Dane-san! If we can kill ‘er here then our comrades’ deaths won't be --- GUAAARGH!?”
Flum doesn’t stop, keeping up her relentless assault while all her enemies are conveniently gathered in one place.
“Like I’ll stop now! Dieeee!!”
No matter how they beg or try to flee, she kills every man she lays eyes on. The scent of blood grows thick in the air as the Zweihander’s black gleam turns crimson. As the death toll starts to climb into the double digits, the men finally grasp their own powerlessness and start to scatter and flee.
“I’m not done with you yeeeeeet!!”
Flum still doesn’t stop, laying into the fleeing men’s backs without hesitation.
What terrifying power… at this rate we’ll be overpowered completely, myself included! How in blazes does that cursed sword allow her to regenerate like that!? What with that talk of being washed away, nothing around here’s making sense anymore! Everything was going according to plan up until now… Damn, damn, damn it all!!
Dane’s side had such an overwhelming advantage it’s hard to believe they’ve been driven to flee so quickly and easily.
Judging by stats alone Dane should be able to kill her still, but his gut tells him to avoid fighting her at all costs. Clenching his teeth to repress his frustration, he focuses on escaping.
“It’s the army… The Royal Army’s sent reinforcements, Dane-san!!”
The thug beside Dane points at the alley’s entrance and cries out.
A squad of about ten soldiers approaches. With their help a comeback against Flum should be possible.
Something about them strikes Dane as off, however.
Their faces are pale, and it looks less like they’ve arrived to give aid and more like they’ve fled there seeking help.
“F-Forgive us, w-we were just following the commander’s--- gh, aaagghh!!”
“Eeee…!? Not like this, not like this…!”
“...The hell’s that?”
Things resembling snakes made of blood fly among the soldiers, punching right through their armour and into their flesh.
Flum is slowly but surely growing closer, but Dane and his men have no choice but to stop there.
From beyond the scattering soldiers a woman in a white military uniform comes into view.
“Who the hell are you, that bitch’s ally!? Don’t think you can get away with killing soldiers like that!”
The man at Dane’s side tries to intimidate her to no effect.
She chuckles before leveling her saber at them.
“Who am I? On the contrary, I wonder who you think you are, villain-san.”
Dane knows her --- anyone and everyone living in the Capital probably knows her.
“I am Lieutenant General Otilier. In the name of Oneesama, I‘ve arrived to help Flum ensure that the West Quarter’s villains receive the punishment they deserve.”
She is a master of the Genocide Arts sword style, number two in the Royal Army --- Lieutenant General Otilier Forcelpi.
About half an hour earlier, Otilier visited Flum’s house and was very disappointed to hear from Milkit that she wasn’t there, though she nonetheless stopped in for tea.
“It would appear as though we’ve missed each other. Do you know when Flum should return?”
“I’m afraid I don’t, though most times she heads to the guild she doesn’t return until evening. Speaking of which, how did you know this is Master’s house?”
“Who do you think I am? Looking up something that trivial was child’s play.”
On the flipside, unless they’re specifically looking for her nobody would know that she lives there.
Otilier had come all that way specifically to meet Flum. It was only the day before that she’d told Flum to come see her in the Palace anytime, but when she stopped to think about it she realized that she doesn’t spend a lot of time there after all. On top of that, Flum’s difficult circumstances would make it difficult to show her face around there, so she decided to go meet Flum instead.
Eterna mumbled to herself from the stairs as she looked at Otilier’s hair.
“Y-You’re… Eterna Rinebow, are you not!?”
“Not ‘and?’, whatever happened to the Journey!?”
“It was a pain, so I left.”
“Just like that!?”
Receiving an even more casual response than she did from Flum, Otilier looked about ready to collapse.
“For not only Flum but you to leave, too… the Hero’s Party must be in tatters by now…”
“Gadio’ll probably leave soon, too.”
“You all are really far too disinterested in this whole affair, aren’t you?”
“We don’t owe the kingdom anything. Anyone would leave if they felt like it.”
Eterna took the seat opposite Otilier, and after Milkit poured her cup of tea she set it in front of her.
“Thanks, Milkit. So why are you here, Otilier?”
“I came to have a word with Flum. I must admit, though, I am rather relieved.”
“Living alone in the West Quarter sounded absolutely abominable, but if she has two housemates, and if one of them is you, then… W-Well, I’m still a little worried for her well-being to be certain, but it’s certainly better than her being completely alone.”
“You paused after mentioning me.”
Otilier wasn’t sure she would trust Eterna to be on her own, let alone to look after others. In truth, her bad habits and sloppiness keep Flum and Milkit plenty busy.
“By the way, what relation does this strange bandaged girl have with Flum, precisely?”
“I don’t know. All I heard is that they met as slaves.”
“I wouldn’t say that we’re fellow slaves but rather that I became Master’s slave. That’s why Master’s my master.”
A slight redness was visible on Milkit’s cheeks from beyond her bandages. The expression clearly isn’t the kind that a slave would normally make towards their master.
“...I’m afraid I still don’t understand.”
“I’m glad I’m not the only one.”
“I suppose I’ll just have to ask for all the details from...”
Otilier’s voice trailed off and the look in her eyes suddenly changed.
“Eterna, what do you make of this situation?”
Eterna’s expression was also a little stiffer than usual.
“I came down because I was curious.”
“I had supposed that to be the case. I’m not nearly as adept at sensing the presence of others as you are, after all.”
“There are quite a few of them, aren’t there?”
Only Milkit was left with no idea as to what they’re talking about.
“I shall help you take them on.”
“No. Flum left protecting the house to me. I can handle this many on my own.”
“What do you propose I do, then?”
“I think they’re with a man named Dane. He’s after Flum. I can’t imagine he’d just attack here, so she’s probably in trouble. I want you to go help her.”
“I see. If that’s the case, then I shall find her post-haste.”
Otilier stood up as Milkit spoke up in a nervous voice.
“Um… Is something happening to Master right now?”
“She’ll be fine. She can’t just die with a body like that.”
“I’ll seek her out with all due haste, so please rest easy and wait for her return here.”
Milkit didn’t believe her words completely, but nonetheless bowed and thanked Otilier.
A few minutes later, all the thugs were gathered in front of the house, molotov cocktails in hand. Their leader made eye contact with the others, who nod, set the fuses alight, and threw them at the house. The mass of burning embers arced through the air towards the house.
As soon as the bottles hit they should quickly engulf the wooden structure in flames. If she burns to death that’s fine, but they were told that if she escaped they could have their way with her before killing her. Hoping for the latter the men waited, but they waited in vain.
Still sitting at the dining room table, she extended her hand out toward the window and cast her spell. A wall of water sprung up higher than the walls of the house itself and caused the cocktails to bounce off harmlessly, setting alight the ground at their feet.
A few of them fled then and there.
A few of them tried to kick the bottles away but only hurt themselves.
“W-Water, I need water!!”
A foolish few tried to seek refuge in the wall of water, only to be spat out.
Eterna watched the scene unfolding out the window with only mild interest, teacup still in hand. Milkit, on the other hand, clutched her hand to her chest and looked out at the men restlessly.
“Is this magic!? Dammit, nobody said there was such a powerful mage here!”
Watching the thugs’ leader panic and complain, Eterna kept up her attack. Not even Milkit believed that the men deserved to be treated mercifully after they tried to attack a ‘helpless’ target.
Eterna turned her palm so that it faced the ceiling before curling her index finger, as if intimidating the men. The wall of water reshaped itself into a massive sphere and started rolling toward the crowd of thugs.
The sphere then burst like a balloon, releasing all its water at the men and enveloping them completely before washing them away.
“Y-You’ve gotta be kiddin’ me… S-Stop--- gabo, gabobobobobo!!”
The water carried them down the street and to who-knows-where. As soon as they passed out of sight peace returned to the house once more.
“Where will those men end up?”
“I don’t know. Maybe the sewers, maybe they’ll be carried out of the Capital. If they’re unlucky they’ll die. Worried?”
“No… They did try to harm Master, after all.”
“Nn. Can I have more tea?”
“Of course, I’ll put on another pot now.”
Milkit returned to the kitchen, pot in hand.
With that, the house’s residents returned to their usual everyday life.
“Ha… Haha… You’ve got to be joking! Lieutenant General Otilier, you say? Why would someone like her ever side with a mere slave!? Something’s clearly wrong here!!”
Dane is utterly mystified by the sudden appearance of such an important figure.
“I daresay that the only thing wrong here is with your head. I can’t begin to fathom how you decided you needed all this just for the sake of one girl. This all comes to an end here and now, however. Since I’m here I shan’t be letting you have your way!”
Flum finally notices her, eyes sparkling. Help finally appeared, and very reliable help at that. Now that she’s here there’s no way the soldiers will listen to a word Dane says.
“You seem to have caught the attention of a most strange man.”
“It’s seriously been the worst.”
“You think you’ve won just because there are two of you now!? I’m not giving up, damn it!”
“I suppose I shall have to force you to give up, then. Genocide Arts: Anguish!”
Otilier swings her saber and the blood oozing from the blade flies off in the form of a snake, lunging at Dane.
Her sword is of special make, modified to house a small vial known as a Blood Cartridge in the hilt that allows her to make use of her sword style. While similar to the Cavalier Arts that Gadio and Flum use, Genocide Arts makes use of the energy contained within her blood instead of prana.
The man beside Dane jumps forward to take the blow, becoming Anguish’s prey in his place. As soon as Otilier’s blood enters his body it quickly spreads through his veins and takes complete control of him.
That is the true power of Genocide Arts.
Unable to even voice his suffering, the man collapses, spasming faintly.
“You covered for me…? Shit, now I have to make a clean getaway!”
Dane raises the buckler on his arm towards the rooftops above, tugging on a wire by his hand with his index finger. The shield’s internal mechanism instantly kicks into action, firing a metal ball on a cable flying upwards. Hitting the rooftops the clump of metal blooms into a hook with a loud CLACK, lodging itself there. Pulling a second wire with his middle finger, a second mechanism starts swiftly reeling in the cable, pulling him into the air.
“What a truly impertinent man!”
“I won’t let you escape so easily!!”
Flum spins around and throws the Zweihander, and Otilier unleashes a second Anguish at him. Both their attacks graze him, but neither is enough to stop him completely.
Face twisted in pain, he continues soaring upwards before finally disappearing over the edge of the roof.
“Kh, he’s quite the slippery little fiend, isn’t he?”
“All he has in that head of his is evil plots and underhanded schemes, so I’m not surprised…”
Even if they defeated his men, Dane himself isn’t just clever but can evidently fend for himself.
“Anyway, thanks for coming to help me. How’d you know where I was?”
“I ran into a few soldiers on the way here that were kind enough to fill me in on your situation.”
Even the most rotten of soldiers would no doubt listen to a direct order from the Lieutenant General. After causing such a mess, though, they’ll likely be punished regardless.
“I really am so dreadfully sorry my men caused such a problem.”
Otilier bows deeply in apology. Normally Flum would laugh it off, but…
“I don’t really mind… is what I’d like to say, but that was a bit too much.”
She was put into such danger it wasn’t even funny. Unless something is done to prevent issues like this from happening again she’ll lose all faith in the Royal Army.
“Yes, I shall have to think of some way to make it up to you. At the very least, I promise I shall harshly punish the commander and his men. Is there anything else you’d like?”
“I’m sure there’s a thing or two I could ask, but for now…”
The only thing that comes to her mind is the smiling face of the one still waiting for her to come back.
“At the moment I just want to see Milkit as soon as possible.”
“...I see. That’s truly important, yes.”
At Flum’s words, Otilier gets a better idea of the relationship that Flum and Milkit have. It’s probably not unlike how she herself feels about her Oneesama.
“But before that, please accept this.”
She takes off her white military jacket and drapes it around Flum’s shoulders.
“Your clothes are in a simply terrible state.”
Flum looks down at herself for the first time. Although all her important parts are still covered it’s hard to say that her clothes are still functioning as such. Countless arrows have left countless holes, and especially the area around her right shoulder and chest were left in a terrible state by the bomb.
“Ah… ahahaha, thanks.”
Letting out some slightly strained laughter, Flum quickly passes her arms through its sleeves and buttons it up.
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- The ‘shinjuu’(心中) or lovers’ suicide play is a plot archetype in classic kabuki(Japanese theater) and bunraku(Japanese puppet theater) plays. It’s no secret to anyone that in the end of the play the protagonists, unable to reconcile their societal roles and their emotions for each other, always kill themselves tragically.