Mercenary 8

Chapter 8

Edited by: Kanaa-senpai

 Protagonist’s POV

 Word of me spread through the school.


 '[Bad boy, save the queen]’


 That was written.

 The school newspaper carries a picture of me too.

 It’s not my intention to be famous, but it’s more complicated than that,


 ’Reporter: What is your relationship with Ren-san?

 Tsukasa: Of course. He’s more like a boyfriend than a stepbrother.

 Reporter: It’s a well-known fact. Are you engaged?

 Tsukasa: No, not yet. But I think we can get engaged after graduation.

 Reporter: You have a good relationship. But now that you know the gap between you two, will you have more romantic rivals in the future?

 Tsukasa: In that case, as a stepsister, I will deal with them accordingly.’


 Tsukasa reveals her relationship with me.

 Since it is a well-known fact, it is not so new to the readers.

 The problem is that Tsukasa said that she was planning to get engaged after graduation.

 I am not upset about it, since I had envisioned such a future for myself.

 But what is embarrassing is the fact.


 ”Heh-heh. Yes?”

 Today, too, she’s still attached to me.

 She’s like a puppy with SAD (Separation Anxiety Disorder).

 ”You shouldn’t talk about personal things so openly.”


 ”Well. It’s embarrassing and it’s not good to talk too much.”

 ”Okay, I understand.”

 She’s doing the zip-up-the-mouth thing.

 Honestly, she’s cute.

 She’s so cute, I want to hug her.

 ”Takkun, can I pat your head?”



 She pats my head gently.

 But I’m still waiting patiently.

 We’re in love.

 Someday, we’ll get married, have children, and raise them.

 Because I didn’t get to raise children much in my previous life, I’m willing to help out this time.

 I have played with many refugee children in war zones, and perhaps I can make use of that experience.

 ”Takkun, give me a kiss.”

 ”No thanks, but only after graduation, okay?”

 ”No way~!”

 She ruffles my head.

 The haircut I’d finally got is getting messed up like a bed habit.

 ”Your hair is so cute~♡”

 ”Thank you for that.”

 Tsukasa was loving me to the fullest, even if it was only for a short period of 10 minutes.

 When a person is hit by a metal bat, there are many cases of serious injuries.

 However, I am accustomed to all kinds of attacks from my experience of torture in my previous life.

 A metal bat will not break my bones.

 It is even more so if I parry it in a special way and I only get a bruise.

* * *

 ”Robinson, what happened to that bad boy?”

 ”Oh, right, after interrogation, we poisoned him with curare and threw his body in the compressor, so he’s probably in somebody else’s car right now.”

 ”Is it the Mafia?”

 ”That’s because they’re the Mafia.”

 Robinson laughed and drank his coffee.

 At a coffee shop near the school.

 On Saturday.

 We are meeting in secret while Tsukasa is at school on an errand.

 Nikolai is not here.

 He doesn’t seem to like to see us outside of work, and I don’t even know what he is doing.

 I, however, do not poke into the personal lives of the members.

 As long as they do their jobs well, I am not interested in their alcoholism, gambling, or s*x addiction.

 By the way, Natalie is by Robinson’s side.


 She is still a child, drinking her orange juice in silence. Then, I said,

 ”So why’d you call me here?”

 ”I know who killed you.”


 ”Thanks to Natalie.”

 Robinson pulls a photograph from his pocket and puts it on the desk.

 ”This is Ivan, ex-military. He was dishonorably discharged for war crimes in the Middle East. Now he’s mainly active in Eastern Europe.”


 It is a black-and-white photo, so all I can see is a big man with sunglasses and a beard.

 ”He looks like a bear.”

 ”There is a legend that he beat a bear to death. But maybe that’s an exaggeration.”

 ”So, why’d he kill me?”

 ”He comes from a red army family. His great-grandfather killed the Czar, his grandfather fought the Nazis and the Japanese, and his father fought in Afghanistan.”


 ”But he had no idea that his country would collapse. So he blames America for the collapse, and he hates us. Always.”

 ”…then, he kills American soldiers on the battlefield whenever he sees them?”

 ”That’s right. You’re an old soldier. If you’d been 10 years younger, you would’ve seen the signs of impending doom and responded immediately.”


 I wasn’t so angry when I found out the truth.

 Perhaps I was more conscious of my new life as a Japanese than my former life as an American.

 ”This idiot is considered dangerous even by his parents in Moscow. He shoots down civilian planes. He’s also on the FSB (Federal Security Service)’s watch list.”


 Ivan wears the Order of Lenin and the Patriotic War Medal on his chest.

 They must be family heirlooms.

 ”What do we do? Send special forces?”

 ”Yes. I’m not looking for revenge.”

 ”…you’ve changed. What’s wrong with you?”

 ”I’ve changed?”

 ”In the old days, you’d buy every fight you were offered, but now that you’ve got kids, you’re all soft.”

 ”Isn’t that how it’s supposed to be?”

 ”Well, now you’re in love with your fiancée too. Then, how far did you two go?”

 ”Too bad. We haven’t even kissed yet.”

 ”That’s not funny.”

 Robinson, who was expecting a bawdy conversation, is not happy.

 Just then, my cell phone rings.

 ’Takkun, I’ve finished my business, let’s go home~’


 As I said this, I placed 10,000 yen on the table.

 ”What’s this?”

 ”The money. Keep the change.”

 ”Are you sure?”

 ”Yes, I’m good. If you don’t like it, make a donation or something.”

 ”I’ll send you a separate check for the information…”

 ”Okay, I’ll wire you the money separately. The money will be in an account for Natalie, right?”


 ”Okay. See you later, Natalie.”


 She nodded.

 I haven’t heard her voice once today, but I’m glad to hear she’s doing well.

 Now, I leave the store and head for school.

 It is Saturday, and the baseball and tennis teams are practicing hard.

 But then, I bump into someone at the school gate.

 ―It was my daughter.


 Sharon is looking at the school totem pole curiously.

 She is not allowed to enter the school because she is not a member of the school.


 I start to reach for her.

 I want to hug her.

 I want to talk to her.

 But I hold back.

 She has her own life.

 ”(…you’ve become beautiful.)”


 I walk into the school just as Sharon asks back.

 I don’t look back.

 Seeing her again, I want to hug her for sure.


 I try my best to hold back the tears that start to well up in my eyes as I go to pick up Tsukasa.

* * *

 Sharon’s POV


 I looked off at the back of a high school boy I didn’t know.

 Of course, he is different from my father in a race, face, age, and build.

 The only thing that resembled him was his atmosphere.


 Tilting my head, I looked at the picture of my father that I had saved on my smartphone.

 I scroll through them, looking for a younger version of my father.

 And I find it.

 My father, as a teenager, is very thin.

 According to my mother’s story, he was so thin that at first, the U.S. military suspected he was frail and almost rejected him for enlistment.

 However, he passed the enlistment examination and was promoted to the rank of sergeant.

 My mother showed me a video of my father when he was a teenager.

 No, they are too much alike.

 (Similarity to someone else…? Doppelganger? No way…right?)

 I shake my head and deny it.

* * *

 Protagonist’s POV

 ”..why are you looking a little down?”


 ”Yeah. Are you sick?”

 Tsukasa peeks in, looking worried.

 She’s so cute, no matter what her expression.

 She’s a real sinner.

 ”Not at all. I’m fine.”

 I make up a smile, but,


 Tsukasa looks sad as if she doesn’t believe me.

 ”Is it because of me, perhaps?”


 ”Because I made you stay with me until the holiday.”

 ”Not at all. It’s fun.”

 ”…I hope that’s the case, but…”

 Tsukasa still looks worried.

 She seems to have a keen sense of things since she has been seeing various patients in the hospital since her childhood.

 Maybe she is suited to be a doctor.

 ”…If you really don’t like it, just tell me, okay?”

 ”I understand.”

 ”Do you mean it?”

 ”Yeah, yeah.”

 She says in an angry tone, and I take her hand.



 Tsukasa was taken aback since I rarely shake hands with her.

 But she doesn’t shake it off.

 ”…Your body temperature is cold…”

 ”Isn’t it almost like that?”

 ”About 35 degrees?”

 ”I don’t know.”

 ”Then, I’ll warm you up, okay?”

 Saying that, Tsukasa hug me in a lover’s embrace.

 Tsukasa’s body temperature seemed to be higher than mine, and she was warm.

 The students of the brass band and others in the school stared at the two of us as we made love.




 All of them are one of these two.

 The girls are the former.

 Boys are the latter.

 It’s easy to understand because they are clearly divided by gender.

 ”…I love you~♡”

 ”…I know…”

 ”Takkun, will you tell me that too?”


 Then, I whisper it in her ear.


 ”! No way, why are you say―”


 Tsukasa’s cheeks puff up like a hamster.

 ”That’s terrible, Takkun~!”

 Then she starts smacking my chest.

 But I feel her kindness in not attacking my injured shoulder.

 It made me swear again.

 (…it’s my life to protect this woman…)

 After that, we leave the school building and go out of the main gate.

 Sharon is gone.

 But I have a new love.

 ”Hey, can we stop by the supermarket?”

 ”Sure. Is it for groceries?”


 Then, we enter the supermarket, which is open 24 hours.

 In the evening, there are many customers because it’s the time of the sale.

 In the ready-made food section, people are gathering like toilet paper battles during the oil crisis.

 ”Takkun, did we run out of soy sauce?”

 ”We have two spares. I bought it before.”

 ”Then, what did we run out of?”

 ”Oil. We didn’t have potato starch either.”

 When shopping, there is no need to take notes if I am there.

 I have looked into the fridge from time to time and checked the number of items in stock.

 ”I always think that Takkun looks good as a househusband, doesn’t he?”

 ”Do you think so?”

 ”Yes. You’re also active in housework, and your room is spotless to the point of being a germophobe.”

 ”Well, it’s a habit.”

 I am from a time when male domination of women was much more severe than it is now, but I am adaptable to the times.

 Although I am from a generation that is not familiar with PCs, smartphones, and social networking services, I learn and use them whenever they are released.

 Of course, I have always loved housework.


 I look around, noticing a deadly presence.

 Then my eyes meet a man’s.


 He wears a down jacket in the middle of summer.

 His eyes are strange.

 They are vacant and unfocused.

 (…a drug addict, huh?)

 Even on the battlefield, many mercenaries turn to drugs to drown their pain and fear.

 Sure enough, the man takes out a knife from his pocket.

 The store is in an uproar as they realize something is wrong.

 ”Hey, isn’t that guy dangerous?”

 ”Is he a street pervert?”

 ”Let’s call the police!”

 Some idiots, perhaps not feeling much sense of danger, even take out their smartphones and start filming.

 Maybe they want to sell the video to a TV station or upload it to a video-sharing website to make a lot of views later.

 The man pulled out a knife and grabbed a woman nearby.


 The woman realizes that she has been taken hostage.

 Then she starts to tremble.

 But I can’t stop shaking differently.

 The hostage is Sharon, who happens to be there.

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Edited by Kanaa-senpai.

Thanks for reading.

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