ABM – Chapter 48

Translator(s): DC, ShimizuA    Editor(s): Merp    Proofreader(s): DC    TLC(s): Lox

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We’re sorry that we skipped chapter 47. Please click Previous if you haven’t read it yet.


The Passion of Life is Equal

Opening up the hinged floor plate[1], a bullet was loaded into the chamber. A light metallic *Cachink* reverberated. Ludmilla prepared her rifle and laid in a shooting position.

“Fuuu……”

In the dead of night, she let out a deep, yet silent, sigh. She let out excess energy from her stiff body, and like that, Ludmilla finished her own preparation like her rifle’s.

The location that she was staring at was the eastern section’s main street. There was a fairly large number of people coming and going, it was a spacious road illuminated by streetlights. Ludmilla, positioning herself about 300 meters away, obviously couldn’t hear all the hustling and bustling with her ears, but she could tell how lively it was through her scope.

“…… Haa”

*Sigh*――This time, Ludmilla let out an authentic sigh.

Frankly, she felt depressed, and immediately after this, she was going to fire a bullet into her leader. She wasn’t fond of sniping through congested crowds.

Nonetheless, Ludmilla was on standby on top of a tall building’s rooftop. As she confirmed earlier, there was no human presence in the nearby vicinity, and what’s more, there was no wind tonight. The distance was fairly far away, but considering her shooting skills, the likelihood of an erroneous shot was nearly impossible.

“Like I said, why can’t you pick a better place……?”

Ludmilla murmured her complaints towards Shizuru, that wasn’t there, who had picked the sniping spot. She was told that the target this time would pass through there and that she should kill him at that moment, but was it really okay that the location is so crowded with people?

With the gun’s performance and Ludmilla’s own skill, the sniping was not, by any means, difficult. Shizuru had said that as well. She had no issues with having her skills praised but she felt like the words were being said lightly.

“……’Why don’t you gather all the information on a target yourself, and then put together a plan’ huh……”

Ludmilla was quite aware that she wasn’t in a position to make small complaints about her orders. At any rate, Shizuru basically did all of the intelligence gatherings in Black Maria’s third squad. From the eastern section and flowing gossip, to the influence/strength of other organizations like theirs, to target behavior, etc.

Certainly diverse and versatile. Even Ludmilla wouldn’t be able to mimic the extensive intelligence network that he had identically.

Even more.

“Talk about it, the basic design of my gun was also Shizuru’s doing…… Really, there’s nothing he can’t do.”

In this world, bolt lock styled rifles, namely, bolt action rifles were common. Structurally, they were close to a Dreyse rifle[2] on Earth. Although, the bullets that she was using were in a cartridge.

However, Ludmilla’s rifle structure was completely different from those. The hinge was attached to the barrel, a break-barrel[3] so to speak. It was sturdy, and it was easy to maintain because the structure was simple. It was lightweight, easy to handle, and ideal to exchange the barrel for adjusting its range. It was an idea that had not existed in this world before.

Although the bolt action excels unconditionally, whether it’s good or bad cannot be said, Ludmilla and the gun had a history together. Just thinking about how it was the only one in this world, an original piece, made her feel more affection for it. …She had only recently found out that Shizuru made the basic plans for it.

“Why did that guy decided to become an assassin. If you can do that much stuff, you don’t need such a job.”

Ludmilla, who didn’t know of Shizuru’s past, had only been apart of Black Maria for a short period of time, she had mumbled a question commonly held by almost all of the members and his friends. But now was not the time to think about it.

She placed her pocket watch down nearby, which indicated when to begin the mission.

“…… He came”

A single confused man was reflected in the scope, as he disappeared into the crowd.

He had the same appearance as in the photo. There was no way to mistake it.

According to Shizuru’s story, the target had said that he had made a reservation at this time today in a shop on the main street. As usual, he had the ability to accurately gather intelligence. She didn’t even feel surprised anymore.

“Fuuu……”

Just like before, Ludmilla exhaled deeply, yet quietly.

To make sure it was him, she used the gaze of her purple magic eye to read his temperature. Even if it was some miscreant requesting for someone to be killed, their temperature would still change from other peoples.

――I will pick it up now.

“Suuu…….”

Then, she inhaled deeply, and quietly. She holds her breath’s rhythm at the same time when air filled her lungs. She put her slender finger on the cold trigger.

“――――”

She followed the man who passed through the crowds with the scope and aimed closely. Before long, the man stopped in front of a certain store. At that moment, a clear gap was formed in the crowds that had blocked the man as if they had arranged it beforehand.

“…!”

Ludmilla didn’t miss that(opportunity) and pulled the trigger. Flashes came out along with the sound of a gunshot. The stock transmitted the recoil to her shoulder.

The time for the bullet to be fired from the muzzle, and hit the target was all in about one second. Even if the gunshot was loud to a certain degree, the sound wouldn’t reach the crowd from several hundred meters away.

Ludmilla, with an excellent ability as a sniper, at that moment, could tell whether or not a bullet was going to hit something. And in the time that flowed slowly, with a cold mindset when she was in attack mode, she confirmed it.

――Ah, this one was a hit.

Before long, the time return to their normal flow. At the end of the scope a tragic, and vivid, crimson flower bloomed.

“……”

The man collapsed as if he was blown over. In an instant, people’s gazes gathered.

Although it couldn’t reach Ludmilla’s ears, there were a few screams here and there.

“ …… Target‘s death confirmed.”

The bullet was modified so that it shattered into pieces simultaneously upon impact, having a frighteningly high amount of killing power. However, the bullet’s ability to penetrate was nonexistent. With this thing Shizuru gave me, saying it was to make sure there were no collateral casualties, his head practically blew off. It was absolutely not necessary to go and completely confirm.

“…….urg”

Ludmilla stood up quickly, enduring the sudden wave of nausea. Even though it didn’t reach the main street, the gunshot resounded to the surrounding area. Although it seemed that it was out of the time period when the guards were on their patrol routes, there are irregulars. If she didn’t leave from there soon, it would become troublesome.

“I feel sick……:”

Ludmilla began to run along several building rooftops, before jumping to the ground below. She couldn’t shake off the scene that was stuck in her mind, and pressed her hand to her mouth and bitterly muttered.

She had a hallucination of the body of the guy she had just killed, his body was all dirty, and the blood on his body was all sticky.

“ …… I want to take a bath…… I want to drink ice cocoa……”

Let’s get back to the hideout soon. Let’s return and get rid of this small, yet bad feeling.

Hastening, she hurried all the way to the slums.

This is the first time I’ve had tears come out of my eyes, Ludmilla thought to herself.

――There was no such thing as getting used to the knowledge of how many people you’ve killed.

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Footnotes:

1. TL: So for all you non-gun experts(like me), a hinged floorplate is basically an area on older(as well as some modern) models in front of the trigger which opens up to load the bullets. In the case that my shitty explanation didn’t help, here’s a video which explains it better, it’s best to skip to 0:35.
2. TL: So, for some more gun stuff, the “Dreyse Needle Gun” was a rifle developed in the 19th century in the Kingdom of Prussia. It was a supposedly efficient gun which was extremely helpful during its 22 years of use. It was apart of several Prussian unification wars, and played a key role in several, but it got replaced right after the Franco-Prussian Unification war as the French had developed a new rifle, causing the Dreyse to become obsolete.
3. TL: Christ, this was a simple term, yet so hard to look up and confirm, which is why I got help from my friendly neighborhood spanish gun enthusiast. Basically, it’s a pretty old mechanism for rifles, with exceptions of course. Mostly, when you think of break barrel, you think of the stereotypical double-barrel hunting shotgun that folds.

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7 thoughts on “ABM – Chapter 48”

  1. Thank you for the chapter ~!

    Small correction:
    To make sure it was him, “She” used the gaze of her purple magic eye to read his temperature.

    Like

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