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Chapter 324. Friend, why?

Chapter 324. Friend, why?

Now then, we get back to our formation.
At the front is Reika with Seki-san as her support, Michi, Nei-san, Yukino and I are in the middle, and Margo-san’s at the rear.
It’s the same as before.
And behind Margo-san…is sister Edie chasing after us ten meters behind.
(As the person herself asked to be affectionately called『Sister Edie』)

For the time being, the area around the VIP shelter is at the rear corridor for hotel employees, so there are hardly any hidden cameras and microphones, almost none.
Michi destroyed all of them on the 21st floor, and it seems that the monitoring system of the rear corridor on the 22nd floor has been destroyed by Margo-san.
Therefore, neither chief Tanizawa nor miss Cordelia should know that sister Edie has joined us.
However, all of the routes from the rear corridor to the lower floors are blocked off.
We have no choice but to head to the public hallway again to go downstairs.
The monitoring systems in the hallways are a lot more thourough when compared to here…and they’re cleverly hidden.
It’s hard to break all the monitoring equipment one by one.
In that case…sister Edie has to keep a distance.

「『Come with us, pretending that you’re following』」

I think that’s what Margo-san told sister Edie in English…
That way, it looks like sister Edie has been pursuing us since we ran away from the theatre.
That’s how it should look like to miss Cordelia, who’s looking at the cameras.
That’s a very sister Edie-like way of moving…
At the very least, they won’t think that she’s our ally

「『Be careful of only Kozuki security service guards』」
「『I’m fine…』」

Sister Edie has the skills of an assassin.
She seems to be good at erasing her presence.
With that said…we, the original seven, and sister Edie, who’s a bit further away, depart.

「…We’ll be moving to the hallway from now」

What’s there is a commercial elevator hall that collects and carries the sheets to be washed.
Seki-san opens the large metal door on the side of the elevator.
That’s the border between the public area and the backside?

…Gacha, gii

The door’s thicker than I thought.
I see, even a bomb couldn’t open this up.
First…
Michi searches for『Qi』outside.

「It’s okay, there’s no presence around」

But still, Reika first jumps out and explores the area.
Seki-san holds her gun and prepares for an unexpected attack.
Earlier, we were attacked by miss Cordelia because Michi wasn’t able to capture their『Qi』
Therefore, we’re just making sure.

「…There’s no abnormalities in front, including the ceiling」

Reika said

「There’s no abnormality to the rear」

Seki-san confirms.
Having recieved the report from the two…Michi, Nei-san, Yukino, and I, who are in the middle group, move through the thick metal door.
That’s when Margo-san says…

「I can’t see the enemy right now, but they might be hiding around here.
If the enemy attacks from ahead, then we’ll escape through this door to the back corridor.
Therefore, we’ll leave the door as is…」

Margo-san informs the hidden microphone as if she’s talking to us.
It’s actually to not lock the door again for sister Edie.
That’s why we’re leaving the door open.

「Fujimiya-san, head right…there’s a staircase down on the second corner」

Seki-san’s memory is perfect.

「…Roger」

We walk with Reika ahead.
We then follow Seki-san’s instructions going forward.
Michi keeps looking for『qi』
In addition to that, Reika and the others concentrate so they can cope with sudden attacks at any time.
I’m worried whether sister Edie is following us from behind properly.
Of course, we’re not allowed to turn around to confirm.
We should assume that all of our actions in this corridor are monitored.
I can’t do any martial arts, but it’d be strange for me to feel the presence of the assassin, sister Edie.

「It’s okay…she’s following us」

Michi whispered to me.
Michi’s『Qi』sensor is tracking sister Edie properly

「It’s not good for us to be nervous…Yo-chan」

Nei-san smiles

「Calm down…let’s go naturally! Breathe」

Even if you tell me that…

「True, it’s just a waste to go worrying.
Either way, you can’t do anything」

Yukino makes a fool out of me.

「Please be dignified.
I will definitely protect Master.
Please believe in me…!」

I’m very grateful that Michi said that.


   ◇ ◇ ◇


Then…we reach the 21st floor.
Seki-san’s already been told that miss Cordelia had been waiting for us in the small theater『between the stars』
Therefore, Seki-san selected the route to go down a floor furthest from『between the stars』
Reversing the route, we reached the business elevator hall on the 22nd floor from before.
After all, this hotel is a maze and is divided here and there.
We pass through the floor while being wary…to the stairs to the lower floor.
For the time being, there’s no ambush here.
From here, we go down the 20th floor.

「Did miss Cordelia stay on the 21st floor?」

I ask Margo-san in the back.

「Perhaps…there’s various changes in the situation」

We safely arrived at the security service on the 20th floor.
…Then

「…Yes, this is the Nanamagari Shosou Saichi Gakari!!」1

Kudou papa’s talking on the extension phone?
Neko-san’s here too.

「Idiot! Do something about that yourself.
I left the enemies on the 6th floor G4 to you.
If you find it troublesome then hide yourself in a room if you want.
The Russian thugs don’t know anything worthwhile.
It’s useless to interrogate them」

Kudou-papa cuts off the call.

「Oh, what’s up?」

He noticed and called out to us.
Then, we look inside the entrance of the room…
Sister Edie seems to be hiding her figure in the back

「What are you doing here?」

I ask on behalf of everyone

「It’s as you can see.
I’m taking command.
It’s about time to go after all」

Kudou-papa points at the numerous monitors in the room.
The video feeds of the hotel’s surveillance cameras are displayed one after another.

「It’s possible that the radio is being intercepted.
I’m using the hotel’s extension phone to contact my allies」

Eh…how?
Neko-san shows Kudou-papa a monitor.

「The red falcon team has entered zone B6 on the 8th floor」

Looking at the monitor, it’s a team of free guards.
There are five people dressed in flashy clothes walking down the corridor.

「What’s the closest extension to them?」
「08603」

Neko-san looks at the extension list on each floor and responds immediately
Kudou-papa uses the extension phone right away.
Looking at the screen…The extension phone installed in the hotel aisle rings.
The man in green picks up the phone.

「It’s me…is this Green Saika?
Give the phone to red」

Answering the phone, the person in red is the team leader.

「You guys have 20 russians in front of you in area B7.
Kick their asses.
Beat them up and tie them down, that’ll do」
『…Okay』

The red guy replies, then hangs up the extension phone.

『Let’s go!』
『Oh!』

The five super beast warriors raise a cry.

「It’s originally a team of three, but we added two of our deceased ally’s brothers to the team.
Well, they’re reliable on their own」

Kudou-papa says while looking at the monitor.

「All of the Russian forces, aside from Viola’s main force, have been driven down.
This will come to end soon」

He checks their positions with the surveillance cameras and sends instructions to the nearest extension phone on the direction to travel.

「I see. You’ve thought of a good move…extensions are wired so it’s a bit of hassle, but there’s no need to worry about being bugged outside」

Margo-san tells Kudou-papa

「Right? It was my idea」

Kudou-papa said happily

「Besides…if the conversations on the extension line, then chief Tanizawa can check everything in the『headquarters』right? That saves me the trouble of reporting」

…What?

「Oh, unlike the half-hearted security guard stuff here, Tanizawa pops’ room is the center of the surveillance system.
If we talk to each other on the extension line, Norma-kun can gather and make a situation report together」

Margo-san is gauging the relationship between chief Tanizawa and Kudou-papa…
Kudou-papa seems not to have thought of the possibility of chief Tanizawa’s betrayal at all

「Tanizawa pops can also contact the room’s extension phone if he needs to tell me something」
「Did Tanizawa-san tell you anything?」
「Nothing…he just left this to me.
What about you?」
「The executives are evacuated on the upper floors.
The origin of the information leak has been found as well」

Seki-san expresses that there’s a『traitor』among the executives.

「I see, well, that’s out of my jurisdiction.
I’ll leave it to『Kakka』or Tanizawa pops」

Kudou-papa doesn’t know that Jii-chan is missing.
Chief Tanizawa hasn’t conveyed any important information to Kudou-papa.

「By the way, Kudou-san…are you able to monitor『between the stars』on the 21st floor?」

Margo-san asks

「『Between the stars』?…Can you, Neko?」
「It’s impossible…it’s a confidential area, so it’s impossible to do from this room」

…Confidential area?
That’s just a small theater though?

「What about it?」
「For example…I thought of the four missing people from the first invaders」

Margo-san lies.
Miss Cordelia’s attack wasn’t on the 21st floor.

「I wonder? I haven’t noticed such a thing since I’ve been here…hey, Neko」
「Yes」

I now understand…
Chief Tanizawa didn’t allow Kudou-papa to see us being attacked by miss Cordelia or shot at by the top elites of Kouzuki security service.

「Since it’s only a moment…perhaps, you may have overlooked them.
Anyway, it seems that those four enemies have run away to『between the stars』…」
「Sure…Neko, tell Tanizawa pops」
「Okay…」

Neko-san makes an extension call.

「Well, Tanizawa pops should be monitoring all the confidential areas, so they’ll deal with it soon」

Kudou-papa’s trust in chief Tanizawa is big…

「Ah, hello, Tony-kun? Is Tanizawa-san there?…What, away?」

Chief Tnaizawa’s not in the『headquarters』?

「Is that so?
Then tell him this.
Margo-chan and the others have encountered an enemy in the confidential area on the 21st floor…『between the stars』
Ah, can Tanizawa-san’s men send out a search force? That would help, we’re almost at the climax.
Then, please.
Call us if something happens.
Kudou-chan and I will be staying here for a while longer」

Neko-san ends the call

「What about Tanizawa pops」
「Hm…it seems he went to the toilet」

…That’s a lie
Something else is happening at the same time.
…I’m sure of that.

「Well fine.
We’re about to take over all the units aside from Viola’s main force.
This will be settled soon.
Well, they’re all just a bunch of Russian thugs…」

Kudou-papa speaks as he changes the video on the surveillance cameras again.

「What about Viola’s main group?」

Seki-san asks.
Old man Dai Grepher shaved the 30 man troop down to 20.
Afterwards, they’re supposed to join up with the Russian troops ahead, trying to replenish their numbers…

「it’s gotten bad in several ways」

…What?

「Though we’ve succeeded in reducing the number of people…more than 20 people were absorbed by Viola’s troops.
They’re around 50 people now」

That’s quite a number protecting Cesario Viola

「Then…the executives of the troops removed their armbands」

…That’s.
The army of Viola’s which invaded the hotel all have the same black combat clothes, goggles, and black masks.
You can hardly see the difference in their appearances.
Cesario Viola’s executives, Lorenzaccio Bandini, Giuliano Jenka, and Romeo Motague, are the only ones with colored armbands…so we were able to somehow identify the person.
Once they remove their armbands, they’ll be confused with the other combatants.

「Furthermore…they split up」

…Split up?

「One group is invading the upper floors, and two groups are heading to the lower floors…three groups acting independently.
The number of each is around 20 people」

They’re going up and down at the same time?

「…Margo-san, what do you think?」

Seki-san asks for Margo-san’s opinion.

「Cesario Viola’s the one who originally brought them here…Lorenzaccio Bandini decided to withdraw after judging the situation to be disadvantageous」
「Then, the men going up are Viola’s, and the other groups are going down?」

I asked, and Margo-san smiles wryly

「It’s not that simple.
Remember that there are only 30 people who were brought by Viola from America」

Yeah…there were 150 enemies who entered this hotel.
Only those 30 people are the original subordinates of Viola.
The remaining 120 are just Russian thugs from a crumbling mafia.

「If you cut those 30 people to 20…there’s no choice but to join up with the Russians who are ahead.
But…would these Russians really move according to Viola’s directions?」
「…I think it’s impossible.
There’s no one among the Russians who understand English, and not many of them have military experience either.
They’re just a criminal reserve military of young men…I don’t think they’d follow orders from an American who they don’t know that well」

Michi answered.

「I think so too.
Therefore, Viola has no choice but to split the combatants he gathered together.

The 20 Americans will unify and start withdrawing to the lower floors.
The 30 Russians will go both up and down?

「The troops heading to the upper floor are decoys.
They’re a throwaway unit to prevent the withdrawing group from being pursued」

I see…

「I think Viola himself is also in the retreating group.
From the point when Lorenzaccio Bandini decided to withdraw, Viola has no choice but to ignore his will.
He doesn’t have the courage to head on the upper floor with the Russians alone」

Margo-san smiles.

「I think that only the Russians are leading the two groups heading down.
This is also being used as Viola’s shield.
But, I think that some of the Russians are mixed up with Americans.
If it’s only Russian thugs, then they’ll be broken immediately」

Viola’s organized combatants are built as reinforcements…

「If you think about it rationally, that’s how it will be」

Kudou-papa supports Margo-san’s opinion

「But…I have a question」
「What is it, Kudou-san?」

Seki-san asks.

「No…somehow, it feels a bit too fragile」

…Fragile?

「Those guys haven’t done their homework at all, you see? They look like they just plunged in, not knowing anything about this hotel, Kouzuki security service, our guys, etc.
On the contrary, it feels like they just thought『it’s an easy victory if we just rush in with 150 combat men』…」

Kudou-papa thinks deeply.

「Is it possible that Cesario Viola’s organization didn’t investigate anything? As『Kakka』made this hotel the decisive battleground, there was enough time to investigate…I would definitely have investigated it」

No…Viola was supposed to have done a preliminary survey.
Therefore, miss Cordelia was able to invade the hotel easily…
In the first place, miss Cordelia and chief Tanizawa are connected, and were part of the preliminary activities of the operation
…Hmm
…Wait
…Could it be that.
Chief Tanizawa might have not betrayed Jii-chan…
And miss Cordelia is betraying Viola…

「…Margo-san」
「…Yeah」

Margo-san has noticed the possibility as well.
Miss Cordelia should have information on the hotel and Kouzuki’s security service.
That’s absolute.
And yet…for her to give false information to Cesario Viola…

The hotel is an ordinary building.
The security isn’t a big deal.
Kouzuki Security service has no good people, so don’t mind them.
If she made a report like that…and Viola executed the assault tonight…

「I can’t understand this」

Kudou-papa seems to be uneasy.
I’m also uneasy.

「Haven’t I been telling you since earlier?」

Neko-san tells Kudou-papa

「The four people who disappeared first were the real assassination unit, and the 150 people who came later are all decoys」
「But…would Cesario Viola make himself a decoy? Furthermore, this is a terrible predicament…」
「I don’t know about that but…while we’re at a mess, the four assassin unit can do whatever they want」

Neko-san’s intuition is sharp.
Miss Corderlia might be the key to the enemy

「I don’t know…that’s under Tanizawa pops’ jurisdiction.
Besides,『Kakka』has two monster guards, Ootoku and Choumoto.
I’ve got no choice but to leave him to them」

Those two aren’t on Jii-chan’s side.

「Let’s concentrate on the work given to us」

Kudou-papa said.
But…I
I know that Jii-chan and Minaho-neesan are missing.
Chief Tanizawa’s also suspicious.
…Dammit
In the end, as long as I don’t know what’s the deal between chief Tanizawa and miss Cordelia…
The truth doesn’t come…

「Father…Mama-uesama was fired from Kouzuki security service」

Michi changes the topic

「Etsuko…what happened?」

Kudou-papa’s surprised.

「Tanizawa-san fired her due to violating orders and abandoning her duties…」

Seki-san supplements.

「Abandoning duties and violating orders?…She’s not that kind of woman though?」
「Mama-uesama…prioritized a man over her work」

Michi said…Kudou-papa’s speechless

「…I see」

Then, he took a deep breath…

「Let’s stop that talk for now…Neko, bring together the allied teams.
Defeat the three divisions of Viola’s troops…!」
「Right…let’s concentrate on what’s in front of us」

Neko-san checks the location of each team…

「The earlier group who went down…I think most of them are Russians, but they’ll soon catch up with the Banbarubie 3」
「Perfect…let’s have Barbie and the other two scout ahead」

Kudou-papa takes the extension phone.

1. https://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/七曲署捜査一係 ↩
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