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Chapter 313. Across the wall…

…Zudadadadada!!
…Doudadadadada!

The number of machine guns from the back is increasing!
Three…no, it might be more.

…Dougagagagagaga!!
…Toudadadadadadada!!

Different types of machine guns? The gunshot that comes to my ears are different.
A heavy rain of bullets.
Seki-san can’t even shoot back…
Margo-san and Reika can’t move either.
Meanwhile…the fire door comes down at high speed.
Should we go back to where Margo-san is?
But, If I raise my head…I’ll surely be shot!

「W-What the hell」

The frightened Yukino clings to me from behind

「Hey, Yukino…let go!」

I can’t act fast if Yukino’s clinging to me.

「No way!」

Yukino shouts half-panickingly!
…Oh
The firedoor’s closing!

…Wiiiiin…don!

It’s completely closed.
We’re separated from Margo-san.

「…Master!」

Michi shows up from behind.

「This fire door prevents the machine gun bullets. It’s okay now」

Michi did come to this side?

「Ahaha…they got us now」

Nei-san’s here too?
Then, Yukino and me…

「Dear me…this is a troubling situation」

Kouzuki Kenshi…you’re here too?!
Margo-san, Seki-san and Reika are separated by the fire door.
We’re completely done.

「The other side was waiting for our formation to collapse with the surveillance cameras. They’ve always ben able to manipulate our progress route with firedoors?」

The people who can do that…
Are only the people in the headquarters controlling all the systems in the hotel.
In short…chief Tanizawa?

「Could it be that they were eavesdropping our conversation? Then they immediately took action as soon as they doubted Chief Tanizawa? As expected of Tanizawa-san, an immediate judgement of his is amazing」

While we were speaking about our doubts on Tanizawa-san, I thought『Is that really so?』somewhere in my mind.
Tanizawa-san himself knew it…
We’re still skeptical whether he’s an enemy or not.
Well…Margo-san, Seki-san, and Reika are the same.
Therefore, our carelessness…though there’s a surveillance network on this hotel, we talked about our suspicion about Tanizawa-san.
Who would have thought that the enemy would be making a move this face…

…Dogaaaa!!!

The sound of something hitting comes from the other side of the fire door.
…Reika?
But…the fire door doesn’t even move an inch.
It’s really a wall made of bulletproof and anti-bomb specifications

「…Yo-chan!」

Nei-san puts the communication device to her hear.
That’s right…we have to use the communication device when in trouble, right.
Michi and I did the same thing as Nei-san…attaching the communication device.

『…Can you hear me? Nei, Over?』
「I can hear you, Maru-chan…Over」

To prevent interference while communicating in the vicinity, they put『Over』at the end of the words.
Then…we have to clearly tell who we’re talking to and who you want to answer.

「Is that side okay? Maru-chan…Over」
『Yeah. When the fire doors went down, the machine gun people immediately retreated…over
『They were shooting from quite the distance…to the extent that Michi-imouto’s『Qi』sensor didn’t reach. Over』

Reika said

「I’m very sorry…Over」
『It’s not that we’re blaming Michi-chan. The enemy just had it better. Besides…it seems that the other side’s purpose is to divide us so they didn’t seriously shoot us. Over』
「What do you mean, Margo-san? Over」

I asked…

『Their exact aim isn’t us. If they really intend to kill us then they should’ve closed their distance…then, we could’ve dealt with them but. If they shoot at a distance random, it won’t do anything…over』

「There was five people shooting from behind? Over」

Michi said
Michi properly counter the numbers.
If it’s 5 then it’s not Miss Cordelia.
Then, as suspected…

『Yeah, I confirmed it as well. There’s three of the same type of machine guns…the remaining two were different types. The gunshots were completely different. Over』
『Yes…all of them are used by the top elites of Kouzuki security service. The two are personal and the three were supplied』

Seki-san said.

『I don’t know who exactly shot specifically. There’s a habit of rhythm when shooting, so. The five of them are top elites under chief Tanizawa…over』

…Was it under Tanizawa-san’s instructions?

『Yes, I also discovered it…Over』

Reika says.
There’s no doubt.

『In that case…it’s better not to say that much over this communication device. This is the machine borrowed from Kouzuki-san in the basement, right?』

Margo-san sighs.

『Since there are repeaters in the walls of each floor, it’s a system that would enables you to talk underground you see? It means that it’s easy to eavesdrop from the repeaters…Over』

If you’re someone controlling the system…
No, this is a hotel of surprises.
This mechanism was built to be eavesdropped from since the start.

「Got it, Maru-chan…it’s better to talk while thinking that we’re being heard…Over」
『That’s how it is, Nei…Over』

We’re separated by a wall so this communication device is necessary.
Phones can only make one-on-one calls…
Or rather…if we make a call in this hotel, it would be eavesdropped whatever we do.
Therefore, we have to keep talking prepared that we’re being listened to.

『Anyway…it seems that the layout inside this floor hasn’t changed except for the walls that were closed now. If we go around the wall from here…it’ll take at least ten minutes. But, it’s not that we can go there, be at ease…』

Seki-san remembers the map for each of the maze floors.
Even if one place is blocked…it seems that she knows where to go to reach our place.

『Don’t leave that place okay?…Over』
『Right. If you move poorly then you’ll lose track of the current location…we won’t be able to catch up. Over』

Seki-san and Margo-san said, but…

「But, I don’t think that the enemy would allow us to join up…Over」

Margo-san and others might be attacked multiple times while we detour…
We should start preparing for that.
The enemy is listening to our calls.

『It’s fine… We’re professionals…whatever happens, we’ll absolutely pick you up so wait there…Over』

…Margo-san

「…Hey hey, what are they saying?」

Yukino who doesn’t have a communication device looks at my face.

「They’re going to take a detour and pick us up here…so we’re waiting」
「Really, here?」
「No, there’s no other choice., We can’t walk around the hotel freely」

Kouzuki Kenshi who doesn’t have the communication device speaks as such
…poke poke
Hm?…Michi’s poking my shoulder

「…What’s up?」

Michi shows her phone to me.
She’s hiding the screen with her hand. She’s afraid that the screen’s reflected on the surveillance camera…
She moves her hand carefully so she can make it visible to only me.
I see…using the compose mail mode…
…We can communicate by writing.
Instead of sending mails…we can just show the sentences as we write directly, we can tell our messages without being eavesdropped.
Michi’s screen writes this;

【I remember the maps of the hotel】

…Michi?
Michi quickly writes the next sentence.

【When Seki-san was memorizing earlier, I’ve been observing from the side】

Earlier in the room 2505…she was memorizing the map together with Seki-san who’s looking at the terminal?
…As expected of Michi
With Michi on our side, we can freely walk around the hotel.

【Please don’t tell others about this】

Yeah…it’ll only be bugged if I talk it here.
I’ll keep it in my mind for now.

「What are you two doing?」

Yukino asks me.

「Nothing. It’s a private subject」

Oh right.

「From now on…if you come up with something, write it on your phone. Just show what you want to say on screen to the other party. Be careful that it doesn’t appear on cameras」
「I see, that’s a nice idea…!」

Kouzuki Kenshi nods.

「But, I don’t have a phone with me」

I see, Yukino…
She’s kidnapped by us…

「It’s fine…you can just continue talking what you think as usual」

Michi said

「What’s with that?! Are you making fun of me?!」
「That’s not what I mean. I just thought that it’s better for you. Your power to say anything you think without feeling the atmosphere around you, it’s been working effectively as an alarm. You don’t have any bias」

…Bias?

「Then those three people first attached…Margo-oneesama, Seki-san, and Reika-oneesama had their confidence in my ability to sense the『Qi』 I also had confidence in my ability. Therefore, I didn’t notice the enemy approaching who erased their『Qi』 You’re the only one who noticed the enemy sticking on the ceiling」

That’d right…Yukino’s the only one who didn’t believe in Michi’s ability so she noticed the enemy.

「At that time…if your warning was delayed for a few seconds, I think the enemy have already defeated us. Thank you very much」

Michi bows her head to Yukino

「Eh…that’s, what…」

Yukino’s puzzled1
Yeah, it is as Michi said.
At that time, Margo-san threw her shuriken at the very limit so the enemy dodged it somehow, but…
If Yukino didn’t notice the『enemy』…Nei-san would’ve been caught.
Nei-san falling into the hands of the enemy means our defeat.

「Therefore, please say what you think from now on…without any bias., Please」

Michi said, Yukino…

「I-I get it…I just have to say what I think right? What? I can do that much…」

Why are you being embarrassed?

「Right. Then, should I try to speak out my opinions too?」

Kouzuki Kenshi smiles.

「Your opinions are unneeded…!」

Michi said clearly

「You’re a mass of bias after all…!」

…True

「Right…you’re making wrong impressions on our relationships…of course you may say that’s what we’re making you think but anyway, you’re dominated with bias…!」

…Nei-san

「Yukino-chan doesn’t have any bias so yeah…it helps!」

Nei-san smiles

「…Master, please stay by her side」

Michi whispers to my ears as she look at Nei-san.

「She’s quite nervous…」

I see…she’s separated from Margo-san.
Nei-san’s heart is in panic.
But still…she’s trying to encourage us as the senior, the『elder sister』

「Nei-san …!」

I hold Nei-san’s hand
…Cold.
As expected, she’s under excessive tension.

「What’s wrong, Yo-chan?」
「Nothing…I just want to be by Nei-san’s side」

I cuddle with Nei-san

「Geez…you’re a spoiled child! Yo-chan!」

Nei-san leans her body to me.

「Do you hate spoiled boys?」
「Not at all…get spoiled a lot」

I hug Nei-san

『…We’re moving while looking at the situation. There’s no attacks so far. We might come there faster than we thought…Over』

Seki-san’s voice comes from the device.

『No, there’s no way there’s nothing…concentrate. Over』

Margo-san said.

「Speaking of which…even though the information is restricted, can’t we see the image on this floor from the emergency evacuation room in the basement? At least we can check if there’s enemies or not…Over」

Nei-san said

『Right. Should we ask them?…Hello, Katsuko-san? It might be Misuzu-chan but, can anyone in the basement hear us…?』

Margo-san tries to contact the underground…

『…Unfortunately, The communication with the underground is now disconnected…Over』

…Who?
This voice is…

『…Miss Cordelia?』

Margo-san mutters

『…Correct』

At that moment…Michi shouted

「They’re coming from the front!!」

There’s three silhouette coming from the other side of the corridor.
There’s two in black combat clothes…and one in gray combat clothes.
They’re not erasing their『Qi』this time.
They’re walking towards here calmly

「Margo-san…they’re coming this way. The three from earlier…Over」

I reported.

『Shit!…the attack earlier was a diversion?…!』
「That’s right, Margo Starkweather…!」

It’s not a voice form the device anymore…
Miss Cordelia’s real voice is heard clearly

「Najima Yasuko and Shirasaka Yukino…the two targets and three extra」

The three’s eyes look at us.

「Then…we’ll be taking you all…!」

Those three pulls out guns from the holster…

1. The original text indicates Nei-san, but I don’t think Nei-san should be puzzled in this situation ↩
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