ABM – Chapter 31

Translator(s): ShimizuA    Editor(s): Yuzuha    Proofreader(s): Merp-Merp, Pirate11

Note: An early chapter! Yay! Finally ahead of the schedule! Let’s hope that we can keep it. Also, say hi to our new proofreader, Pirate11! (clap-clap)

Enjoy the chap~~


 

White Night Bell

 

Ring

The bell sounds echoed in the back alleys late at night.

8th day of Chopper Search, White Day. The bell on his bag chimed as Shizuru went walking at the night, illuminated by the moon that was tainted in white.

Once a week ―― in the eight days where the light attribute was amplified, the night was still bright. Shizuru slowly stepped forward as if he was used to walking down this street for a very long time.

There wasn’t any other shadow, sound or presence around. Even the wind was not blowing, it was a silent night.

“ …… Baiting the beast by myself…… Somehow, just like I thought it was way too simple……” Shizuru murmured while gazing at the moon that was floating in the sky.

 

Last night he proposed to set up a trap. In layman’s terms, it was a [Decoy operation].

They weren’t avoiding the public eye while searching for the murderous presence, as opposed to the tactic before . They tried to expose themselves, even adding a bell chime as if to say ‘I’m here’. All in hopes that the culprit would find and attack them.

Honestly, Shizuru thought that this was not something that could be called a plan. Because this was only at the level that even children could think of.

But it can’t be helped. They have too few clues and little information, so they no longer had any options. Therefore, if you couldn’t find him, let him find you. At this point, he couldn’t change their approach anymore. His inner-self was laughing when he thought  about how bad the plan was. Shizuru let out a little sigh while casually continuing to walk down the alley.

 

 

―― While continuing his steps he thought about something.

The Chopper, like a phantom killer, managed to accomplish committing crimes every 2 to 3 days without getting caught by the guards or the Imperial Knights. Shizuru shook it off; there was no point thinking about the reason. Because, It would probably be a reason that couldn’t be understood by other people.

Therefore Shizuru tried to consider Chopper’s thought routine. In short his personality, nature and so on. It was only an estimate formed by circumstantial evidence and rumours; that being said it was still better than nothing.

Killing where nobody else could see. Well it’s entirely possible that the witnesses were also killed. In other words, he didn’t want his identity to be known. On top of that, he frequently killed without discrimination.

“Careful, cowardly …… or a very distinctive appearance? If it was like that, he can’t just go killing without reason…… But he was indiscriminate and left the victim’s belongings……”

His purpose wasn’t robbery. He didn’t choose his victims, nor did he take their belongings, and although he was careful enough to keep his identity well hidden, his killing frequency was still high.

“ …… Is the goal itself to kill?”

As an example, Ludmilla was the type who held revenge for the nobles in her heart, and killing was her means to do that. Although it was completely possible, the probability was low.

If he was the type who kills to fulfill his desire like Elizabeth, it was somewhat plausible. Kill because he simply wanted to, or kill to obtain something else. For the latter, was it a physical object, or something spiritual? As expected, his motive was still unclear. It was no use thinking about it seriously, since all of this was only an estimation.

 

“But, if that was true, it will be hard to negotiate……”

Either way, both types were hard to talk to. At Elizabeth’s first encounter with Richelieu, he heard that she went for the kill without letting her say anything.

And Shizuru was only a half step behind Elizabeth as combatants, even if he had mastery as a hitman. Needless to say, he had bad compatibility against attacker types.

“ …… Please give me a break…….I’ll easily die.”

“Ahaha.” Shizuru laughed dryly for a while.

The plan was to use Shizuru as bait while Lady and Ludmilla hid nearby as the follow up. Or rather, Lady insisted it.

However, that wasn’t a good idea. Because Chopper didn’t seem to care about the guards that chased him everyday while he went killing. It was reasonable to think that he had dreadfully high perceptive senses or stealth ability.

Those were the most elite Imperial Knights which belonged to the national unit (TN:国家単位). It was hard to imagine that Lady, who’s at a comparable level, goes unnoticed when she was nearby. (Merp: It’s explained next sentence if you’re confused.) Perhaps that’s why Lady, who had a superior detection ability, still couldn’t find the Chopper’s presence this whole past week, since he was probably avoiding her.

―― Therefore, right now Shizuru was alone.

First, there wasn’t any murderous intent or thirst for blood that could be felt…… his steps and breathing made one unable to feel any professional aura from him, so he could only seen as normal person. A mere random murderer couldn’t see through his trick which has even fooled Rosa.

Of course he has also hung a dog whistle on his neck. Lady had agreed to come when he blew it.

White day weakened black attribute magic, but Lady’s battle potential was still superior than Beth’s. The problem was, how long would he be able to hold up until Lady arrived after he blew the whistle?

“ …… Well, there’s no end if you start mentioning every other concern.”

Basically, all of those were only assumptions and maybe the other side would answer to the negotiations, as Shizuru hoped. At any rate, the intel was not enough, so there was no use overthinking what was the right or wrong approach.

Besides, there was no guarantee that Chopper would successfully find Shizuru tonight. No matter how bright the moon in the sky was, it was still dark, and they had no proof that he was in this neighborhood. But in these past few days the crime scenes were all found at the vicinity of the 3rd squad’s base and clinic, so from that observation they hoped that he would be there.

“If possible I want to find him soon…… the guards will soon notice if I keep walking with this bell, and I’ll be suspected since I was loitering around while the curfew is in effect.”

If questioned he would say he was making home visits, to make sure if the disease he treated the previous days at the slum had already stopped spreading, but that reason was not all that convincing. Shizuru’s nerves were wearing thin in many ways, and as the bell kept chiming, he kept walking with a sigh.

◇ ◇ ◇

Around an hour and a half passed since he started walking. During that time he encountered the guards twice and stated his excuse, which had made some of them worked up meaninglessly.

Until now, there was no sight of Chopper. Shizuru himself was not expecting it to work right off the bat, as he said to Ludmilla and the others when they first wanted to try this unreliable plan.

The city was already asleep except for the sex industry. Thinking that he should wrap it up soon for the day, although he half expected this development, Shizuru sighed and stopped walking.

 

―― At that moment.

 

“ ……!”

Behind. Around 10 meters, he heard a faint sound. The sound of shoes stepping on the gravel. Shizuru wasn’t an idiot that needed to hear that once again.

Furthermore, they were gazing at him with killing intent. After noticing it, he was sure that someone was there.

However, while not showing any change in his mental or physical state, he kept on walking. Shizuru just accepted it quietly in his heart.

 

――He bit the bait.

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