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Chapter 146 – The Rogue Den’s Power

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Author: Hidsuki Shihou Original Source: Syosetu Word Count: 3593 characters
Translator: PunishedLyly English Source: Re:Library Word Count: 1824 words
Editor(s): Fire

The rogue den is taking action. Hearing that through the phone, Isami’s old man breathed a heavy sigh. I feel the same way. Hadzuki is staring at me as if asking what’s going on, but I ignore him for now.

‘I see. So they finally made their move.’
“Statistically, there should have been only a 20% chance of this happening. I mean, would people normally do this?”
‘Well, it’s them we’re talking about.’
“True, that’s just how they are.”

For better or for worse, not having common sense can cause trouble for others. Their enemy is an organized company which offers exceptional security services. Which idiot would even try to pick a fight with them?

‘From your estimates, how many of them are involved?’
“Half of them, if not less. Since it should mainly consist of the fun seekers who came back home for the new year.”
‘That’s an outstanding force right there.’

It’s weird, isn’t it? Even though only less than half of the den are participating, he still describes them as outstanding. Well, it’s the fun-seekers who are taking initiative, after all. If the others joined as well, the old man wouldn’t crack jokes like this.

‘If the group’s strategist joins the fray, I don’t think we can stop them.’
“That won’t be a problem anymore. I’ve already recruited Satoru to our side.”
‘When did you even do that?’
“A considerable time ago.”

I contacted Satoru to ask for advice for this time’s plan. During that, we also simulated ways of dealing with the rogues den if they ever join in. How I would handle it, and how he would handle it. Though, since it’s all a simulation, if we do it in the way we imagined, it’d result in a lot of damage.

‘In other words, they currently don’t have a proper command structure, correct?’
“That should be the case. Still, I suspect Satoru devised their plan of attack.”
‘Oi, you’re contradicting yourself.’
“He’s a double agent, after all.”
‘What the hell is going on with you all?’

Just because he’s on our side doesn’t mean I can let my guard down. That guy would easily betray you if he thinks that could be more fun. It’s common to get backstabbed right after having him watch your back. The possibility for this disappears when you have a common enemy with him, though.

“Incidentally, I suspect he’s also the one who leaked my runaway. Also, Ruru likely did some prior investigative work, too.”
‘You all really are unhinged.’
“You say it like it’s something new.”

Having messy fights where enemies and allies are all mixed up is right up our alley. However, you seriously can’t tell who could be your enemy, which does cause trust issues. That makes the ability to discern and read people’s thoughts necessary as a strategist, which is evidently an unnecessary ability in the modern era.

“It’s rare for the strategist to betray, though.”
‘I mean, he’s already doing that.’
“It’s a special case this time.”

I recruited Satoru to our side as an insurance, to limit his actions the day it happens. If they gain the ability to adapt and plan around my moves, then it’d either make things tough for me, or just plainly result in my defeat. In this regard, he’s the best among us.

“Old man, a word of warning. They’re probably aiming to completely crush the enemy this time around.”
‘Well, I already suspected that from the moment they took action.’
“It’s just my hunch, but I think you’re underestimating the severity of this. It’ll be really dangerous if they’re not holding back.”

The people of the rogue den are no longer students. They’re now working adults, meaning they now have more resources they can tap into. If they’re serious about this, then they’ll utilize everything at their disposal. Satoru and I already thought of countermeasures under this assumption.

‘Dangerous in what way?’
“In the use of news media connections.”

The old man’s shock is understandable and Hadzuki is watching me with delight right in front of me, as if making sure that he doesn’t miss a single word I say. It’ll be a fun event alright, for an onlooker that is.

“Can you see any media helicopters flying in the sky?”
‘There should be one in the sky filming the city’s New Year scenery. It can’t be?!’
“There’s at least two of them on board, a pilot and a cameraman.”
‘Wait a minute!? I know they’re going all in on this, but that’s still too extreme!’
“Don’t worry about it. While the helicopter can’t be stopped, their broadcasting studio can be.”
‘Think the scale, you fool!’

If they can’t be caught, then I just have to make sure they can’t achieve their objective. If they’re filming it, then if I lock down on the place they’re sending it to, they’ll fail their objective. The old man’s screaming hurts my ears.

“We have someone working in the news industry, so I just had a police officer watch over that one.”
‘Just what is going on with your group’s connections?’
“To avoid rousing the fool, I just had the officer warn against covering this situation.”

The police officer sent to the studio is one of the den’s sensible caretakers. There’s no way a fun-seeker would be a police, after all. I’m sure that they aren’t live streaming this incident, not that I have any solid evidence. But that should solve this issue.

‘I’m just thinking, aren’t you too prepared for this?’
“I made sure to prepare for everything. I did hope that they wouldn’t act up in the first place.”

With the strategist Satoru and I teaming up, the rogue den fools no longer have any way of winning. The only path left for them is the one leading straight to their punishment. I can easily imagine Satoru deliciously enjoying sake while watching things unfold.

“The one who was kidnapped was most likely Ayaka. Her acting skills should be able to fool them.”
‘You had someone talented with make-up, right? Still, how did they manage to find where their enemy force is?’
“That’s within Ruru’s speciality. They just had to position Ayaka somewhere she’d be seen, and act in a way that’ll make them bite.”

If, instead of walking in broad daylight, Ayaka acts like she’s avoiding people, they’ll definitely find it suspicious. They’d check her face, mistake her for me, and she just has to act like she’s panickedly running away.

“There should be a few pursuing them in case anything dangerous ever happens to Ayaka.”
‘There haven’t been any reports of a vehicle following behind them, though.’
“Having one car constantly following behind would be suspicious, so they likely have several vehicles to switch places after traveling a certain distance.”

That’s why I’m sure that they have several people pursuing them. For the vehicle switch, they definitely got the cooperation of that guy managing a car repair shop. Satoru and I already predicted that they’d do this much. Rather, Satoru thought of the plan in the first place, so he’s just leaking information.

“Still, I suspect their goal is practically already achieved at this point.”
‘You imply getting kidnapped was the goal?’
“This should be enough to damage the security firm. After all, which security firm mistakes someone else for their protectee and even kidnaps them?”
‘It’ll undoubtedly damage the trust placed on them. But if that’s the case, then why are they still on their act right now?’
“For fun, I guess?”

The old man’s definitely face-palming right now. I’ll say it again, but the fact that they got a different person is big enough of a mistake. Now, adding the fact that they kidnapped an actress, it’s going to be the gossip of the town. I’m sure Ayaka was chosen as bait for this very reason.

‘Do you understand the situation, Kotone? This could very well sully the reputation of the Kisaragi family.’
“It’s a scandal of a security firm contracted with us, after all. While they did make a fool of themselves on their own, there is a chance this would affect the Kisaragi name.”

It’ll be an interesting topic for high society parties. I don’t participate in those, but it’ll cause trouble for mom and the twins and that’d hurt my conscience. That’s why I’ll have to put my foot forward.

‘If you understand that much, then why didn’t you prevent this in advance? I know you can do that much, at least.’
“I just thought that this much is negligible. Still, we have to stop them from reaching the Kisaragi residence. It’ll be a big problem for the family, after all.”
‘You have a plan, don’t you?’
“Naturally. I simply need to capture the culprits myself.”

I should make my move soon. Assuming that the kidnapping happened at the neighboring town, they should be heading here right now. I’m acting wholly on predictions, but I’m probably not wrong. After all, if anything unexpected occurs, the caretakers should have contacted me by now.

“Learning about the kidnapping, the protectee captures the culprits, de-escalating the situation. That should be the best conclusion.”
‘No, the best conclusion would be for this to have not happened at all.’
“A scandal caused by a contracted security firm is resolved by the contractor. With this, the damage to the Kisaragi name should be kept minimal.”
‘Don’t make it minimal, make it none.’
“And so, old man. Lend me a ride~.”
‘And now you’re immediately relying on others!’

I’m still not of legal driving age, after all. Sure, I’m capable of driving, but that’d be a crime. That’ll cause trouble for the family and I can’t afford to do that.

“I can provide transportation. But naturally, under the condition that I’ll be coming along.”
“Old man, Hadzuki is joining the fray.”
‘Stop, him, now!’
“I don’t think I can.”

No need to emphasize every word, though. Besides, it’s useless even if you beg me for it. After all, I currently have a debt to Hadzuki. If he brings that up, I can’t refuse. I personally appreciate the additional help, so I don’t mind it.

“It looks like it’s going to be interesting. This is exactly why I can’t stop getting involved with you.”
“I can’t promise that it’ll be interesting. Well, old man. I’m ending the call.”
‘Oi, Kotone! Kotone-!’

I mercilessly cut the call. I should probably block his calls, too. After all, he’ll definitely try to call me again and again. All I need are on-site reports from Akira and others.

“Well then, shall we go now? I’ll guide the way.”
“I don’t mind. I’m simply acting as a helper.”

I unexpectedly gained an ally. The enemy is sure to die now. A social death, that is.


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