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Interlude – Those Behind the Scenes (Part 1)

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Author: Hidsuki Shihou Original Source: Syosetu Word Count: 3017 characters
Translator: PunishedLyly English Source: Re:Library Word Count: 1477 words
Editor(s): Fire

Side: Akira

Receiving the game start signal from Kotone, the realization that even a kidnapping incident is just a game for the twelve families sent shivers down my spine. Personally, I was in a complete panic when I first heard the report.

“Still, if we’re up against fellow security personnel, it should be manageable.”
“It’s pretty much an intercompany war at this point.”

We’ve become so desensitized to absurdities like this happening that fighting over a client between rivaling companies seems almost natural. This incident will determine the superior company, so it’s a battle we can’t afford to lose.

“And these should be the photos in question.”
“That’s weird, these clearly look like average civilians.”

Checking the images sent to us, they’re clearly not ID photos owned by the rival company. Why do these all look like pictures taken in private? Their outfits aren’t uniform either. And after seeing a certain individual, our faces tensed up.

“This is her, right?”
“Yeah, it’s the writer named Ruru who helped Kotone during the escape incident.”

And with that, I’m getting a bad feeling about this, but it can’t be, right? That the people in these photos are all acquainted with her, and are all as abnormal and eccentric?

“Nonono, there’s no way there’s this many people at the same level as her.”
“I know, right? She’s just special, right?”

Yeah, let’s keep it that way for my own mental health. For the two of us, the Kotone escape incident is a memory we’d rather not remember. I don’t even want to think about an incident like that happening again when it just happened relatively recently.

“Hm? There’s a message written along with the final photo.”
“You’re right.”
‘Additional information: They’re all as troublesome as Ruru, so underestimating them will be the end of you.’
“”F̲u̲c̲k̲i̲n̲g hell!””

I’m sure we’re not the only ones who yelled after seeing that message. Everyone else who experienced the escape incident with us definitely reacted the same way. And they must be sharing information to the first-timers at this very moment. I would’ve done exactly that.

“Catching several monsters like her, that’s borderline impossible!”
“Like hell a special remuneration is enough to motivate me for this!”

It is motivating in a different sense, though. A revenge match for last time’s humiliation. That time, they completely toyed with us, it was an utter defeat. Moreover, we have Kotone on our side this time around. That should make a very significant difference.

“Let’s do this, Kyousuke. Let’s have our revenge match!”
“I have your back, but I’m not going to be as motivated as you, alright?”

The people on our side are probably divided like we are, too. Some are itching for revenge, while some are in a mourning mood. Still, Kotone continues mercilessly giving instructions regardless. I guess we don’t have the right to refuse. There’s no way but forward!


Side: ???

Reaching the target location, I found the one I was looking for. I had a hunch that he would be here for certain. It’s a cafe with a great view of the outside scenery. A warm place unexposed to the cold winter air where Kotone’s final destination can be visible from.

“I’ve finished sending the data to Koto-chan. Next is to observe how the situation develops.”
“Unfortunately for you, your role ends here.”

Hearing my voice behind him, Satoru slowly turned his head like a creaky tin doll. Seeing this already made this trip worthwhile. However, I still have my objective to complete. Obstructing him is my role.

“Ran. Why are you…”
“Did you think I wouldn’t notice after you got Ayaka involved?”

We spent our time separately for the New Year holidays. However, when I contacted her to confirm our schedule after the holidays, Ayaka was acting a bit suspiciously. She did well disguising it, but with our long years together, she’s not deceiving me.

“I had my suspicions, so I went to the engineer and discovered someone ordered a multitude of tools from him.”
“So that’s how you traced back to me.”

I was just checking to be sure then. If they’re doing something big, then procuring certain tools and items will be necessary. The engineer always takes a neutral position, so as long as there’s a reward, it’s possible to have him on your side. I simply won him over with money.

“After that, we requested her to gather information and learned of everything.”
“Ruru should have been on our side, though.”
“She may not be as good as Ruru, but we have reliable data gatherers on our side as well.”

While Ruru took a career path that doesn’t make much use of her ability, she became a journalist and made full use of her talents. She has a quirky personality like the others, but she can be negotiated with.

“Don’t tell me you guys organized a suppression team?”
“I took the initiative to organize it, obviously.”
“I didn’t consider that possibility.”

It’s normal, we rarely take action after all. We only organize like this when the idiots do something big in order to quell the situation. And to that end, we won’t show any mercy. We’ll thoroughly crush the idiots until every last one of them surrenders.

“In that case, there’s no problem if I make major moves.”
“My role here is to restrain you.”
“You think I didn’t have an escape route prepared?”
“And you think you can win against me in strength?”

Satoru should never be underestimated. There’s no knowing what he has prepared, after all. For that reason, it’s necessary to utilize various methods to restrain his actions. If he joins the fray, we’ll be forced into a difficult battle. That’s why I even prepared our ultimate weapon.

“I have Hatsune and Sayoko’s cooperation.”
“That’s unfair!”
“By the way, they’re just sipping tea nearby.”
“No more escape for me, huh.”

It’s a lie, by the way. Satoru checked the surroundings and confirmed people who looked like them. I know he can be deceived as long as there’s enough distance. So I prepared people disguised as them in advance. Satoru doesn’t have the discerning eye to see through this bluff.

“It can’t be helped. I surrender.”
“Now behave yourself.”

As long as we have the commander under control, all that’s left are disorganized idiots acting on their own. In that case, it’ll be easy to anticipate their actions. This also applies to Koto-chan as well. Since she’ll be making full use of her capabilities, we who know her true identity can use this to our advantage.

“I’ve captured their commander. Everyone, move out!”

I’m sorry Koto-chan, but I’m going to take advantage of this opportunity. Today is the day I’ll have those fools pay for all the stress and trouble they’ve been giving us!

Side: Engineer

I’m waiting here for an idiot to fall for my trap, but it’s honestly plain. I’m just hiding here in the shadows until he comes by. I’m physically no match for him, so this is the best I can do.

“He’s finally here.”

The acrobat. Whether it’s a fence or a wall, he makes use of his physicality to jump over any obstacle in his path. I knew he would come here while being chased down by multiple people. I wonder if she orchestrated this to happen. I have a nagging feeling that she’s making use of us as well, but it’s just my imagination, right?

“You think a wall of this height can stop me!”

He’s probably confident that he can jump over this wall, but since I know that it’s a trap, I’m having a tough time holding back my laughter. As expected, he ran full speed towards the wall and tried to kick it to propel himself upwards.

“Gu-gah!?”

But his feet went through the wall, ruining his timing and causing him to slam himself at the real wall. The reason this happened is simple. I just placed a fake plywood wall in front of the true wall. It’s possible that he sprained his ankle. Timing is very important when trying to jump up a vertical surface. And he also slammed his face.

“This is the engineer. Confirmed the acrobat’s self-destruction. Now moving to the next location.”

I’m the one who prepared the plywood, but the one who completed its disguise is the guy we call the painter. Like so, us creatives work together and use methods like these to quell the idiots. Those who forget that will be easy to trick.

“Don’t underestimate the creatives squad.”

We’re not the type to stay behind the curtains all our life. We’re going to remind them that we go to the frontlines every now and then.



 

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