「...So? What can I do for you?」
Chihiro and Riko decided to meet Maria and talk to her first.
They had some idea of the relationship between Maria and Hana, but no proof. So they decided to find out the truth directly and ask for her cooperation.
And he asked Riko to contact her.
After all, in this situation, it is more reliable than Chihiro’s phone call. Maria’s attitude toward Chihiro was cold, but she showed compassion for Riko as a friend. Then, why not take advantage of that?
As a result, Maria accepted the offer to see Riko immediately.
She asked her to meet her at a park nearby.
The reason why she didn’t go to the apartment was that she expected Chihiro to accompany her.
Thus, the girl arrived exactly at the designated time.
Unexpectedly, she wore her school summer uniform. The jet-black girl, protected by the darkness of the night and the moonlight, showed a mysterious beauty.
In the silence of the park, she stopped more than a meter away from Chihiro and Riko. As if to insist that they are no longer compatible.
She just stood there, waiting for Chihiro and Riko to say something.
Riko glanced at Chihiro.
Chihiro nodded to the girl beside him and told Maria.
「You and Mishuku-san have known each other for a long time, right?」
There is no answer.
However, Chihiro noticed a faint shift in Maria’s expression.
As expected, there is at least something between them.
Without caring if she didn’t answer, he told her what he had learned through Maisaka and what he had guessed.
「I want you on my side. If not, I’ll forcibly take you back from Hana-san」
「...I don’t think that’s worth talking about」
After a few moments of silence, Maria let out a deep sigh.
She stared at Chihiro and said in a matter-of-fact tone.
「Then? Is there anything I can do to help?」
Her gaze is cold.
Of course, even if their eyes met now, he couldn’t understand her feelings.
Still, Chihiro looked back into Maria’s eyes and replied.
「There’s no certain way. But Mishuku-san probably doesn’t have a perfect plan」
When his ability comes back, he can take revenge on her. That was one reason why Hana was flustered when he told her that.
Another is that there is a relationship between Maria and Hana.
From this almost certain point, it can be guessed that Hana’s desire for Maria is due to a personal relationship. This means that Hana’s action is probably to "get Maria".
If she wanted a slave regardless of who it was, she would find the right person, set up the situation, and make a plan to succeed.
However, if her goal is to enslave someone in particular.
She can prepare as much as she can and create an environment where she cannot fail, but it will never be perfect.
Just as Chihiro’s attack of Riko was a tightrope walk, so too Hana is not prepared to deal with Chihiro’s counterattack.
The very fact that she is playing it safe proves that she is afraid of failure.
「I think her main weapons are my ability as a hostage and her threats. That’s why she might be vulnerable to stronger measures than expected」
He can imprison her, rape her, train her.
He can hurt her thoroughly and make her choose between death or return the ability.
As long as Hana doesn’t use any means, it’ll probably not be a problem.
But Maria shook her head as she listened.
「It’s all just a theory」
「But you don’t deny your relationship with Mishuku-san, do you?」
What did that silence really mean?
*sigh* once again a sigh from Maria.
Maria’s eyes are filled with annoyance. If he looked closely, he could see faint dark circles in her eyes. Maybe she hasn’t slept much at night.
Was it because she was preparing to become Hana’s?
「I won’t say a word. Just don’t do it」
「Because you’ll regret it」
That’s all she says, and Maria stops talking again.
She’s slurring her words.
She’s trying not to give Chihiro any information.
That’s not like her.
It’s rare for her to use silence to indicate what she can’t say, though she does choose her words to limit the information she can give.
「...I’m sorry. I can’t agree with that. After all, I really, really need Maria」
Chihiro clearly states his feelings.
Maria glared at Chihiro.
「Then you’ll have to convince me by force. If you can’t beat me, I’m going to Mishuku-san right now」
Is it a joke...? No.
She’s not the kind of girl who makes jokes at critical moments.
She’s serious, she’s willing to fight Chihiro to be with Hana.
「Why are you doing this?」
「That’s my line」
There’s no real answer.
Maria just waits quietly for Chihiro’s answer. But――
「You don’t mind if I do that, do you?」
Riko, who had been silent until then, stepped forward.
「I’m on Izumi’s side, and I feel the same way. Then, it doesn’t matter which one of us is fighting, right?」
Then Maria showed a hint of hesitation.
Maybe she doesn’t want to hurt Riko, or maybe she thinks it’s harder for Riko to get involved. Either way, there seemed to be an opening there. ....
Chihiro put her hand on Riko’s shoulder.
He shook his head slowly at the blonde girl who was looking back at him.
「Don’t worry, I’ll do it」
「Sorry. I’m sure I’ll regret letting Riko handle it and I just watch」
Riko looked up at Chihiro anxiously, and after a few seconds, she nodded, "Okay". Then, she turned to Maria and took a few steps backwards.
Chihiro and Maria now faced each other, separated by a distance.
「What are the rules?」
「If I give up, I lose. You can start as you like」
Nodding, Chihiro took a deep breath.
Maria is strong. If anything, she’s even harder to fight than Kamishiro. As long as she has the combo of Self-Healing and Retaliation, Chihiro can never win a normal fight.
The only way to beat her is with a masterful move like Kamishiro did before.
It’s a strategy that even Kamishiro failed at, but it’s the only way.
But having made up his mind, Chihiro ran toward Maria.
Maria, standing in a relaxed state, finally started to move at Chihiro’s approach. She bent down lightly and delivered a right kick that seemed to lift her up.
And it made her skirt flutter softly.
Chihiro, who saw her movement, stops just in time to dodge the kick. Her lifted leg immediately swings down to attack Chihiro, but he dodge it again.
Then, without waiting for Maria to get into position, he moves around to her left side.
He grabs her left arm, just above the elbow and tries a foot strike, but it is avoided.
Maria turns to face Chihiro and fights back, trying to break free of his arm. But he grabbed her left arm firmly with both hands and held it, then moved around to her back.
「...Let go of me」
Her left arm was jerked hard.
But Chihiro grabbed Maria’s arm and held it tightly in his hand, reflexively pulling on her left arm. Chihiro applied a load to Maria’s arm, flesh and bone.
However, a crushing pain shot through his left arm. And for a moment, he lost all strength in his arm.
Thanks to the fact that Chihiro was also using his right hand, the restraint didn’t come off. ....
So this is the power of Retaliation.
If he attacked Maria and dealt damage to her, the same damage would be dealt to Chihiro.
This is the first time he’s actually been hit, but the impact is much worse than he expected. Even if he knows it in his head, he can’t help but stop moving for a moment when he actually feels the pain in his body.
Chihiro pulled Maria’s arm. When her body was out of position, he twisted her left arm to her back.
Chihiro’s left arm ached again, but he held on to the restraint. When he changed the position of his grip to her wrist, he released his right hand and took her right arm as well.
「Fuuh... Don’t get carried away」
Pain in both arms.
Maria is not trying to force Chihiro to untie her, but she is trying to make Chihiro hold on to the restraint by pretending to untie her. If she does, Chihiro will be damaged, and the strength of his arms will be weakened.
Chihiro tries desperately to keep his hands strong and hold on. And this time he succeeded in pushing her down to the ground with a foot strike.
He collapsed on the bare ground with Maria on the bottom. Maria’s full breasts are crushed and she lets out a small, painful breath.
And it made Chihiro feel a faint sense of guilt.
After all, even if it is a mutual agreement, it still hurts to hurt a girl. Even Kamishiro, who had fought Maria to the death, must have had that thought somewhere in his mind.
But, if that is the case, there is a difference between Chihiro and Kamishiro.
It’s not a compliment at all, but Chihiro is used to hurting girls. He’s even strangled Riko and Maria herself. Thanks to that, he feels sorry for them, but is somewhat less hesitant.
And now, he put his weight on Maria’s body.
He pulled her arms tightly and pushed her back so that they were crossed, and then he sat down on Maria’s butt, holding the intersection with his hands.
- Revised some words on 03/02/2022