Chapter 149

   I chase after the insects flying ahead of me while trying to kill any presence.
 I'm doing my best to kill any presence, but the sound of my clothes and footsteps echoes in the dark hallway. All those sounds are coming from me.
 Rikka, on the other hand, is completely quiet.
 I'm dragging Rikka down, aren't I?
 Rikka reacted with a twitch, and glanced at me.
 
 ――There is a noise coming from ahead. The distance is about thirty meters. Since you can't hear anything from behind, Master, please walk slightly behind.
 
 Rikka speaks to me in her mind.
 I nodded my head, slowed my pace, and walked behind Rikka.
 About thirty meters away.
 If I focus all my abilities on one point, it's just barely within range. However, if I concentrate my ability on one point, I will not be able to keep an eye on my surroundings.
 Since Rikka is nearby, it would be wise to approach the enemy while maintaining my "eye" in all directions.
 That being said, Marina, leave those two idiots alone and help me out here.
 Even with my ability, I can "see" minds to a certain extent, but when I try to see it, I get distracted of it.
 If my mind is distracted, it will create an opening and delay my initial response in case of emergency.
 Even if it's just that, I'm dragging Rikka down. That's why I want to concentrate on my "eye".
 Besides, my ability is one-way, unlike Marina's "Denshin". I can see into Rikka's mind, but she can't read my mind.
 
 I walked down the corridor for a while and I saw people within the range of my ability.
 There were three of them. All of them are men.
 After a few more meters, the person I was looking for was caught within the range of my ability.
 It was Yukina. It seems that she is safe.
 But the uniform she's wearing is torn in places, and her exposed skin is bruised.
 It looks like she was beaten up a bit, but as far as I can tell, her injuries are not life-threatening.
 And――
 Yukina is confronting the three men. Behind Yukina, a girl is lying on the ground.
 A girl with gray hair. It's the beastman.
 
"......"
 
 The beastman heart is not beating.
 It seems that it was too late for the beastman.
 But it's strange. The beastman is lying on the ground, but there are no obvious external injuries. I checked her body and found no abnormalities.
 Could it be that she was startled by the attack and had a heart attack?
 Or does one of the three men have that kind of ability?
 If that's the case, it's dangerous to approach them carelessly.
 But then, why is Yukina able to fight?
 What is this strange feeling?
 
".......N?"
 
 The chill in the air struck my whole body, and I no longer cared about the beastmen.
 The three men and Yukina are in the gymnasium. I found a girl's figure near the ceiling.
 With a short stick in her mouth, she was caught in the steel frame, shaking and trembling.
 It was Loli Hina.
 
"Oh, that idiot."
 
 I don't know how she climbed up to the ceiling of the gymnasium, but since she has a short stick in her mouth, she must be trying to fight the enemy.
 Moreover, there is a high probability that she "saw" the enemy using their extraordinary power to attack Yukina.
 That's why she acted so stupidly, thinking that she could compete with them with a straightforward attack.
 That idiot is going to jump off the ceiling and attack the enemy.
 It was reckless. There was no way she could succeed in such a plan. She would die in vain. I can only think of her as an idiot.
 She clung to the steel frame near the ceiling of the gymnasium, crying her eyes out, shaking and pissing her pants.
 She was so scared, but that idiot was going to jump.
 
"Ah, Asahina's younger sister, that idiot......."
 
 I smirked as I muttered to myself, letting out a sigh as I looked at her.
 Loli Hina is weak-minded and timid, but she is still Asahina's sister.
 I can't help but think she's an idiot, but she's pretty funny.
 
"Rikka!"
 
 I called out to Rikka and tried to run tobarriers the gym.
 But――
 
"......So that's what happened."
 I thought that Marina was being pushed around by two idiots, but it seems that I was wrong.
 The three men were looking up in surprise. Above their heads is a rotating golden circle.
 That's the circle that appears when Yuka invokes her Mantra. The fact that it appeared there means that.......
 
 ――Since the enemy was within the range of Suzuhara's ability, I connected the "Denshin" to the enemy through Suzuhara's eyes and asked Yuka to use the mantra. It seemed to work.
 
 Marina's voice echoed in my brain.
 I don't know, if you can do it, just tell me first.
 I complained inwardly with a sigh and checked on the men.
 The men were standing there dumbfounded.
 They must have used the mantra on Loli Hina. She grabbed onto the steel frame tightly and seemed to have stopped trying to "jump".
 This is the first time we've used a limited mantra attack, combining the abilities of Marina, Yuka and myself.
 Marina's "Denshin" has the disadvantage that it can only be used once she has "seen" her opponent. My eyes can make up for that shortcoming. However, I am weak. But I have to get close until the target is within the effective range of my ability. Rikka's existence solves that risk.
 But it's not so easy.
 
 ――It doesn't matter if it's quick. If we can win without fighting, that's the best.
 
 You're absolutely right.
 That being said, what happened to Asahina and Hizuki?
 
 ――.......
 
 When I asked Marina in my mind, I felt as if she had pulled away.
 Don't ask it.
 That's what she seemed to be saying silently.
 Well, what the heck. I'll take your word for it.
 
 Arriving at the gym, I went to Yukina's side and asked Rikka to capture Loli Hina.
 In an instant, Rikka climbed up to the ceiling, grabbed Loli Hina clinging to the steel frame with one hand, and came down in an instant.
 For a "normal person", it would be extremely difficult to climb up and down. And if they fall, there is a high possibility that they will die.
 Compared to Rikka, I know how vulnerable a "mere human" being is.
 And I'm one of those "mere human".
 
"She seems to be conscious, but she doesn't seem to be aware of her surroundings."
 
 Rikka, who came up to me with Loli Hina by her side, looked up at me and spoke up.
 
 ――It's the influence of the mantra. I'll leave her to you until she joins us, because she might go berserk if she comes back to her senses.
 
 Marina's voice seemed to have been heard by Rikka, who nodded.
 
"Did you use the mantra on Yukina too?"
 
 She raised her voice as I looked at Yukina lying on the floor.
 
 ――Yes.
 
 Marina answered my question.
 She doesn't seem to have been fatally wounded, but she must have fought very hard. Her uniform is tattered and her skin is covered with bruises and abrasions.
 
 ――I tried to read the minds of the three men, but it's a little strange.
 
 Strange?
 
 ――Yes. They seem to think that Alice is dead.
 
 What? What do you mean?
 
 ――It seems that the enemy already knows about the last incident. It seems that the man who has been killed by Nanafushi has already killed Alice and Tamamushi. And the man and the three beastmen are also supposed to have died on the spot. In other words, they're supposed to have fought each other.
 
 Mutual strike? What the heck.
 If that incident is already known, how can they come to the conclusion that Alice and Tamamushi died together when there are no dead bodies at the scene?
 In the first place, if I look at the corpses of the man and the beastman, I can easily see that they were killed unilaterally due to the overwhelming difference in strength.
 No, there are many strange things when I think about it.
 The last time this happened, there was a very sophisticated barrier system in place. On the other hand, the forces that were deployed were garbage.
 I thought it was because they had absolute confidence in their barriers, but what if that wasn't the case?
 What's more, even though the enemy already knew about the previous incident, the information circulating was a hoax. And the forces deployed this time are just as garbage as last time.
 
 ――I have a bad feeling about this. Please withdraw immediately.
 
 I agree. Something's wrong. Besides, we've done our job. I'm retreating immediately.
"Rikka, retreat immediately――"
 In the middle of asking Rikka, I "see" an unbelievable scene and turned around with great vigor.
 
"That's ridiculous......."
 
 The girl with gray hair stood up slowly.
 The "dead" beastman girl stood up, as she should have.
 No, it's not "supposed" to be dead. I'm sure she's still dead.
 
 ――Suzuhara-san!
 
 Marina's scream-like voice echoed in my brain.
 What do you mean? Why is the body moving?
 Marina, are you sure that the three men are incapacitated?
 
 ――I'm sure of it! They've been incapacitated by Yuka-san's mantra!
 
 If that's the case, why is the body moving? Is there someone else with the ability?
 If it's not trapped by my ability, then it's a remote control type of ability.
 I focused my attention on the gray-haired girl and examined every part of her body.
 
"There it is."
 
 I "see" a very small blue dot near the girl's heart.
 It was similar to Tamamushi's emerald insect energy. But other than the small dot, I couldn't find anything else.
 I'm pretty sure it's a remote-control ability, but there's too little information.
 
"I'll eliminate it."
 
 Rikka quietly shouted with her right hand behind her back, pulled out a huge knife and prepared herself.
 
"Wait, don't move."
 
 I stopped Rikka from eliminating the girl who was supposed to be dead.
 Alarm bells are ringing inside me.
 Run.
 Run now!
 That's what I'm screaming.
 We should run away from here.
 
 ――Suzuhara-san! It's Nanafushi-chan! I'm not sure I can explain it well! Please talk to me directly!
 
 Marina's screaming voice echoed in my brain, and then...
 
 ――Anyway, please retreat! There are people with the ability to use corpses! It's called a necromancer!
 
 Nanafushi's voice echoed in my brain on behalf of Marina.
 
 ――It's not a very threatening ability, but there is one Necromancer in the world. If it's that Necromancer, you're in trouble! Anyway, please retreat!
 
 Oh, come on, how scared can a Nanafushi be?
 Or, if it is the worst opponent, is it possible to escape?
 
"Nanafushi. It's been a while."
 
 A strange voice echoed in the gym. It's not that I don't like it, but I do.
 And the source of that voice was――
 
"My name is Zeon, and I am a humble necromancer."
 
 The girl who was supposed to be dead looked at me with lifeless eyes and smirked.
 
"I am an old friend of Kudan and Makiri."
 
 The girl's voice didn't sound like a girl's, and there was a strange sound that echoed through the air.
 A wriggling black creature covered the floor and walls of the gym.
 It's an insects. It's a tremendous number of insects.
 What's more――
 
"All of them are dead insects......"
 
 How many of them are there? Carcasses of dead insects that cover the floor, walls and even the ceiling.
 A large number of insects that should have ceased their life activities are moving as if they were alive.
 This was definitely a bad idea.
 Tamamushi had said that its limit was to control three insects at the same time. But now that her power has been boosted, she should be able to control more insects than before. However, I'm not sure if she can control ten insects at the same time.
 In contrast, the number of dead insects that the necromancer can control is too different.
 ――Suzuhara-san! Tamamushi-chan and Nanafushi-chan are heading your way! If retreating is impossible, please somehow survive until they arrive!
 
 What!? What do you mean, "Tamamushi and Nanafushi are heading this way"!?
 You idiot! Tell them to turn around now! The enemy has remote control abilities! They're remote-controlled, and their abilities are too powerful!
 
"You're right. It's a bad idea to split up your forces."
 
 The gray-haired girl then smirked.
 
 ――Oh no! Insects! So many insects!
 
 Marina!
 There was no reply when I called out to her.
 She must have been attacked by dead insects.
 That sucks. I don't know where the main body of the enemy is. And if the enemy is a corpse, neither the mantra nor the spirit will make any sense.
 I didn't think he could attack this place and Tamamushi's house at the same time.
 Moreover, Tamamushi and Nanafushi, the only two things that could stand against the necromancer, had left Marina and Yuka's side.
 Rikka is standing in front of me, holding a huge knife, sweat running down her cheeks.
 This is not an opponent that can be dealt with by physical strength. It's an overwhelming violence of numbers. And all the enemies are dead.
 
"Why didn't you attack us right away?"
 
 I put my hand on Rikka's shoulder to deter her from taking a reckless gamble, and asked the gray-haired girl.
 
"Kudan's idiot told me that there was an interesting guy. She said that there was an interesting guy. So I had to take a look."
 
 The gray-haired girl replied with a smirk on her face.
 So, this is the one who set up the last incident. And this time, too.
 It means that we were being played.
 But it's not over yet.
 I'm sure Kazehana is still out there. Even if she can't fight the mass of dead insects, she should at least be able to escape with Marina and Yuka.
 I lost communication with Marina, but I can only hope that she is still alive.
 
"I said Suzuhara. I have something to say to you."
 
 A gray-haired girl with a thin smile on her bloodless face. With that voice, the three men who were standing there dumbfounded were covered in insects. And in an instant, they collapsed.
 The girl smirked.
 She was probably threatening is that if we turned on her, we would end up like those men in an instant.
 
"Suzuhara, I want you to die here. I'll help your "friends" if you die here."
 
 The necromancer smirked and offered a condition.
 If I die here, you'll help my friends?
 I'll be damned. The situation is completely deadlocked. But there is no guarantee that Marina and the others will be saved even if I accept the conditions that the necromancer offers.
 If there's a guarantee, I'll die for them, but if there's no guarantee, I can't die.
 I have to find a way to get out of this predicament somehow.
 But as expected, this situation is......
 
 No, she's here. There is someone who has the potential to break through this situation. And she's on her way here.
 
 I don't know when she's going to get here, but we have to buy her time somehow until she gets here.
 
"I don't trust your word. That's why I can't die here and now."
 
 With that, I stepped forward in front of Rikka.
 
"Master!"
 
 Rikka raised her voice. I pointed my right hand at her to restrain her.
 It is not an opponent that can be won with the current strength. And the other party offered a condition. In other words, they are trying to play with us. Then I might be able to buy some time.
 
"If you don't want to die, I'll just kill you and everyone else, is that okay with you?"
 
 The necromancer raises his voice and tilts his head while chuckling happily.
 Looking at the Necromancer, I grinned and opened my hands.
 
"I'll give you both my hands and feet right here and now. I'll have Rikka here cut off my hands and feet. In exchange, you will get rid of the dead insects. And once my friends are safe, I'll give you my life. How's that sound?"
 
 Hearing my words, Rikka shivered and clenched her teeth tightly.
 Rikka, please bear with me. Even if you fight now, you will only die in vain.
 
"Hmm."
 
 Hearing my conditions, the necromancer raised his voice with his hand on his chin and laughed uncontrollably.
 I beg you. Get in. It's time. We have to buy time.
 
"Rejected. Die now."
 
 That was the answer the necromancer gave.
 You son of a bitch. It's a dead end.
 Then I'll have to accept your terms.
 
"All right. I'll die right now."
 
 When I answered that, the necromancer smiled.
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Edited by Kanaa-senpai
Thanks for reading..

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