ABM – Chapter 19

Translator: larvyde    Editor: Sauv    Proofreader(s): Merp-Merp, Scales

Note: Enjoy a better translated(and edited) chapter.

And without further ado, enjoy Chapter 19!

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Those who meshed like grinding gears

 

“Ludmila-chan, Ludmila-chan, what are you reading?”

 

Inside the aged, or to be frank, run down building.

Eliza’s voice resounded within the Third Squad headquarters.

 

“… a fashion magazine. Got a problem?”

 

The one who languidly answered was Ludmila, who was rarely seen inside the hideout.

She was laying down on a clean sofa Shizuru brought in, spreading a magazine open. Eliza said to her, “Not really,” and peeked at the pages from behind.

 

“Ah, this skirt is cute! Ludmila-chan, let’s go out and buy it next time!”

“Not a chance … Why do I have to go out and buy a frilly skirt like that with you? What is this, a punishment game?”

“But even if you say that, you made a fold mark on the page, didn’t you~? Come on come on, it’s much easier if you just honestly say you want it you know?”

“… I-I don’t want it.”

 

As she said that, Ludmila’s eyes subtly wandered.

Though not as much as Beth, the girl had a strong front she put up to the world, but she was still a teenage maiden.

It wouldn’t be strange for her to want a set of cute clothes or two.

 

“And I thought I told you this before, stop calling me ‘-chan’. I’m older than you, you know!”

“Eeh!? But I’m the senpai here!”

 

— Watching the two girls clamoring noisily, Shizuru smiled.

 

Today was a Yellow day, where White magic lost its power.

The clinic was closed during these days.

 

“Guh … Fussing over clothes this and accessories that, What are you, girls?”

“Um Cassie, they are girls you know. I’m sure of it.”

“Oh? Ooooh—, I see, they’re girls”

“Playing the fool are you, Cassie? Are you alright in the head?”

“Hey! Hold it right there! Whose head are you calling booze-pickled!”

 

Without giving Lady, who was having her fur groomed by Shizuru a chance to say, “I didn’t say that much,” Casca ran after her

The fight began, but somehow an air of peace flowed. Then again, only Shizuru thought so.

 

“Ahaha … I wonder if I can call this a good development …”

 

“— Huh!? What’s with these clothes, it’s got awful sense”

“— What are you saying! Ludmila-chan and I both give it full marks!”

“L, like I said, I didn’t give full marks … a, and it’s not like I wanted it”

 

“Damn you stupid dog … how dare you disobey your human betters, Imma give you some thorough spanking today …!”

“Bring it on! … I’ll make sure you can’t ever drink alcohol again, you sorry excuse for a human being!”

 

… It might be a misunderstanding after all.

Giving the starting fights a sidelong glance, Shizuru wryly smiled.

 

After the Assassin company Black Maria style Welcoming Party,

or rather, an entrance test, as the great massacre ought to have been called, Ludmila’s attitude changed greatly.

 

But that said, not everything about her changed.

Her hypotension and the evil look in her eye didn’t change, and her constantly tired attitude was the same

 

Her body heat didn’t increase, she had a low blood pressure after all, so her fatigue didn’t heal so easily.

It was a side effect of her purple eyes containing ice magic.

That matter was, well, something that couldn’t be helped.

 

And to say if anything changed, it was that she no longer looked down on Shizuru.

She had come to think of him as her better at mastering the art of assassination, someone she had come to respect more than for just being her senior.

Frankly speaking, she had turned docile.

 

And so she came to frequent the hideout she had always avoided like the plague

Whereas before, during strategy meetings she would look else where while maintaining her gun when she had to listen to Shizuru talk, she now listened while facing directly at him.

She had also began calling him “Shizuru … san”, skipping one beat before attaching a honorific

But she seemed to have a hard time doing so, that after three days Shizuru told her it was fine to just call him by name, so she went back to doing so.

 

Incidentally, during that time Casca said to her, “Call me Casca-sama will you?” to which she did call her “Casca-samaaa~” from time to time.

Of course, it should go without saying she was making fun of her.

 

So in the end, the only thing that changed was her nonchalant attitude.

But once one thing changed, it would just be a matter of time before it led to other changes.

 

Ludmila’s change showed how much the gap between her and Black Maria third squad had narrowed.

For Ludmila who had trouble separating public and private affairs, it was a big thing.

 

Whenever they had a job together, considering the difference in experience and ability between herself and others, she would devote herself to following up as the rear guard.

By choosing to limit her duties in that manner, she made the best use of her abilities.

To begin with, Ludmila was highly rated by Richelieu in her capacity as a sniper.

She would soon show how she stood out from the pack.

 

— But that said, with regards to the rapprochement Richelieu ordered, the one where Shizuru had to choose between leveraging her skills or killing her in order to reduce the friction within the squad, he was able to accomplish the former.

Though, he considered Ludmila as the one who chose her own path, and that he didn’t do anything in particular.

 

Biggest of all, it ended without having to kill any team members.

Shizuru would often think to avoid killing people outside of a job.

 

If he had to kill anyone, then it had better be a job.

That was Shizuru’s stance, so to speak, his final act of self-respect.

He had decided so along the way in order to maintain a shred of uprightness for himself.

 

However, things don’t always go the way one wants.

Whenever one settles a problem or make it head in an agreeable direction, another would spring up elsewhere. That is the way of the world.

 

Black Maria, Third Squad.

The squad in charge of the worst managed East Ward of the capital, Rosario. The most belligerent among the seven squads. The squad that consisted of people with the worst personalities.

 

Another obstacle lay in store for these people.


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