AntiMagic Academy "The 35th Test Platoon"
The Witch Hunt War (First Part) - The 2nd Witch-Hunt War Preview

Chapter 1
Kurogane

Takeru left the roof, going back to the building that mimicked school and walked down the hallway.

In this space, he had no idea whatsoever about the situation outside. The information was coming in, but it didn't seem like they passed it to them.

In the outside world, the "Second Witch Hunt War" had already begun.

The war didn't seem to extend to the old Japan, but the witches seems to have one-sidedly invaded the overseas using transfer magic. It was no longer a little skirmish like the border operation performed by Pureblood Party. A war in true meaning of the word had erupted.

The information on Kiseki entering the combat still hasn't reached Takeru.

Currently Kiseki was a stronger deterrent than a nuclear weapon and the ultimate weapon of Inquisition.

"............"

Takeru clenched his teeth, bearing the anger.

Treating Kiseki as a weapon and using her as a tool of was despicable.

Even if Kiseki wished to be used in that manner, he couldn't let it be as the older brother.

...I won't let them use her...! Kiseki is my little sister... not a weapon...!

The one who tortured Kiseki saying it's to help her, the man who continued to betray Takeru and his comrades, Ootori Sougetsu.

There was not a single thing known about that entity.

『"Ootori Sougetsu is shrouded with mysteries. The only thing we know, is that he looks similar to men that had appeared countless times in the shadows of history. What kind of people were they and how did they die is unknown. We have obtained a hair of one of them that was treated as a relic and examined it. When we did, we found that it's DNA matches Ootori Sougetsu's."』

These people who seemed like they were Sougetsu all without exception seemed to be involved in war.

『"Whether he is a human, a sorcerer, or maybe something other than that... in order to defeat him, we need to know what is he no matter what."』

Nagaru said that was all Heretic Alliance knew.

"............"

Takeru didn't know what was that man nor what was he thinking. But Takeru knew that he was trying to win the war by using Kiseki.

But, for what reason did he give Mistilteinn to Takeru? Did he intend to use Takeru in the same manner he uses Kiseki?

To win the war?

...no.

『"Hey, Kusanagi... lemme tell ya... what Chairman wishes for... that person intends to destroy the world..."』

Magnolia who had chased after Takeru and others said that.

That man's goal was to destroy the world.

『"See, this world is wrong... it seems like originally, magical power and magic didn't exist in this world."』

What did she mean mean by 'wrong', he wondered.

The more he he thought about it, the less he understood about that man.

Takeru shook his head, giving up on thinking.

They'll know once they find the document. It can't be helped even if he thinks about it now.

Stopping the war is connected to stopping Kiseki from being used as a weapon. If he needed to investigate that man for that, he would undertake it at full force.

Even though he said that to himself, Takeru's chest was still astir.

"——That's scary ya know? Kusanagi-kun."

Being called out to Takeru was surprised.

He eased the expression that had imperceptibly turned steep and looked forward.

When he did, he saw a girl on a wheelchair. Also, behind the wheelchair there was a figure of a girl wearing a green dress as she pushed the wheelchair. The two had an exactly same face.

"Yoshimizu...?"

Takeru called her name, still sitting on the wheelchair Yoshimizu Akira smiled lightly.

"Been a while, hasn't it? I'm happy we meet again."

Laughing shyly, Akira scratched her cheek.

"Has your consciousness returned? A-a-are you all right now?!"

Takeru wanted to run up to her, but at that moment Lapis appeared in front of him.

He involuntarily stopped moving.

"Host, please get back. It's dangerous."

"Yoshimizu isn't dangerous, is she."

"No. That fellow standing behind her is dangerous."

Fellow she says... thinking that he looked behind Akira.

A girl in green dress was glaring their way intently.

She was a spitting image of Yoshimizu Akira. Since he never heard of her having twins, thinking normally this girl would be——

"It's Kirigaya Kyouya's Relic Eater, "Nero"."

Before he could come to a conclusion, Lapis answered it.

Nero had only once before spoke with Takeru. It was back when Kyouya temporarily killed Kiseki. Since Nero wanted the contractor's revenge, she had fueled Kyouya's revenge.

Being wary of her was a correct move. He had no idea why was she pushing Yoshimizu's wheelchair, but it was hard to think of her as an ally.

The girl in dress, Nero snorted.

"What's it? Being wary of me? Worry not, I've not a speck of interest in you guys."

She spoke quickly, in a mocking manner and faced forward.

Lapis stared at her intently and slightly tilted her head.

"Having you walk around in human form is surprising. I thought of you as of existence that only incites the contractor, what is this change of mind?"

"Ahh, I see. Ya pickin' a fightt? Lemme tell ya, I've not changed at all. Unfortunately. Heck, the one wandering around for a long time without pickin' a contractor is asking me that?"

"What's incomprehensible is that appearance of yours. Now that Yoshimizu Akira-sama's consciousness has returned, that appearance can no longer inflame Kirigaya Kyouya's vengeance. When do you intend to stop mimicking others' appearance? Having a genderless personality like you stick to this appearance is a comical sight."

"Ahahahahaha! That appearance of yours is based on Kusanagi Mikoto too, ain't it! Despite being a Sacred Treasure how long ya going to drag it on, pathetic!"

Glaring at Lapis with half-opened eyes Nero burst into laughter.

Not losing to her, Lapis shut her mouth tightly, expressionless and glared at Nero.

...I wonder why Lapis is so provocative towards the other Magical Heritages. The opponents are mostly...

Since he couldn't cut into conversation, Takeru stood on the sidelines, but it had gradually started turning dangerous. Squinting, Takeru tried to stop Lapis.

"He〜yy, Nero-chan, leave it at that for now."

Squinting in the same way, Akira sighed and pacified Nero.

Being interrupted as the quarrel had reached its climax, Nero clicked her tongue and turned away, melting into the air. While it was surprising that Nero listened to Akira, seeing Akira aware of Nero's existence was also a surprise.

Moving the wheelchair by herself, Akira moved closer to Takeru. Lapis too seemed to have guessed how Takeru felt and has disappeared once again.

Even as she was in front of him, he still couldn't believe it. It really was Yoshimizu Akira.

"Are you all right now...? Is it fine to move?"

"Yep. A bit dull but all right. That said, it's been a while already since I woke up. Since the body's adjustment was necessary I couldn't say hello immediately."

"............I see."

Not knowing how he should respond, Takeru remained silent.

It was because he didn't know if she understood what situation she was in.

She joined her hands on top of her knees and faced downwards.

"I've heard everything from Kyo-cha... from Captain, you don't need to worry. I already know everything."

Raising her face, Akira smiled wryly.

She smiled brightly, but normally one wouldn't be able to stand it after hearing what happened while she was sleeping. Her disturbance when she heard the truth must have been immense.

Smiling despite that made him think Akira was a strong girl. Since he didn't know what kind of expression should he make, he averted his line of sight.

Akira's smiling expression slightly clouded over.

And suddenly, she bowed.

"I've heard from Captain that Kusanagi-kun had saved me... and that when he went berserk you did your best to stop him."

Her expression wasn't visible, but her feelings of guilt have been relayed to him strongly.

Takeru felt tightening in his chest.

"...don't lower your head. I——"

"——Thank you."

He gasped.

Akira's hands on top of her knees were trembling.

"Sacrificing something important to you, you saved me haven't you. I don't know what else should I say, but thank you."

"Stop that...! I wasn't really trying to save you. I prioritized my own issue and turned back on you...! There's nothing to thank me for...!"

Unable to bear it when he was thanked, he slightly raised his voice.

Still, Akira continued to lower her head.

*drip*, a tear fell on the back of her hand.

"Even so... thank you. Even if my memories are the same, I know my body and soul is't the original's. My real self is long dead, I know well that me who is here now is Yoshimizu Akira's copy. Still... when I woke up and when I learned the truth..."

"......!"

"I was happy to be alive and to meet Kyo-chan again... is what I thought."

That's why, thank you.

Akira raised her face and said so in tears.

Takeru didn't think what he did was right.

He acted selfishly and failed, then gave priority to saving whom he could at the moment.

A person who acts like that does not deserve to be thanked.

He gave priority to other things. That's why being shown gratitude was honestly hard for him.

Takeru turned around on a heel to leave the place, as if to run away.

"Kusanagi-kun!"

When she called out to stop him, he involuntarily stopped.

"I can somewhat tell that you blame yourself, Kusanagi-kun."

"............"

"But it's a fact that you have saved me. I won't tell you to be proud of it though."

"............"

"...I don't want you to think you have accomplished nothing. At the very least, you have saved me!"

As if his chest was being clenched, Takeru felt tightening in his chest.

He was ashamed at himself for turning his back to her.

Escaping without taking responsibility for what he did was something a coward would do.

Even if he wasn't able to save Kiseki, no matter the reason, it was his decision that resulted with Akira being saved. And yet he let himself be crushed by guilt, looking away from the fact he saved her, he was the pinnacle of fools.

She was grateful to him for being saved, if he rejected her gratitude Akira would be hurt. Telling her that he didn't want to save her would be similar to telling her she shouldn't be alive.

Takeru clenched his teeth and stretched his back.

"...I'm happy that you're fine, Yoshimizu. But it's true that I can't be proud of it."

"...thank you."

"I don't regret having the means to save my little sister being used on you. Even if I had priorities, I didn't hesitate to save you. I want you to know that."

After just telling her the truth, Takeru left the location.

He was angry at his immature self. He couldn't forgive himself for not congratulating Akira sincerely when he first saw her. Even though he should have learned about hearts of people, his endlessly selfish self was unbearably miserable.

***

After closing AntiMagic Academy's chairman office's door, Kurogane Hayato stopped moving.

His refined appearance that looked like a sculpture concealing a blade was not swayed by emotions.

However, in the depths of his eyes was swirling anger many times stronger than a human's.

Hayato closed his eyes to quell the anger and clenched his fist.

"Senpai!"

Coming from the corridor was a man and woman.

They were wearing black inquisitor uniforms. In other words, the two were Hayato's subordinates, members Zeroth Extermination Police, the "EXE".

The man was young, with brown hair and slender, firm body. His appearance could be seen as frivolous, but in his facial expression dwelled a resolution of a professional Inquisitor. The other person was a woman with long, wavy hair. Even though she looked gentle, her foundation seemed to be very dignified.

The man's name was Jougasaki Mamoru and the woman's was Himemiya Iori. Both of them were comrades Hayato put his trust in.

After moving in front of Hayato, they corrected their posture by saluting.

"What did Chairman say? What happens to EXE?"

"Mamoru. That's too rude, calm yourself a little. Also, don't call him 'senpai' but 'captain'."

As Mamoru flared up with a strong momentum, Iori calmed him down.

He made an unconvinced expression and spread his arms wide.

"There's no way I can be calm! It's the crisis of EXE's existence!"

"I know. And that is why you should calm down. Even if we're to yell, it won't change the result."

While the two contrasting two were quarreling beside, Hayato turned on his heel and started to walk away.

The two followed him in a hurry.

"Please answer me Senpai...! What are the orders from above? What should we do?!"

"There should be a notification soon enough. Wait for it."

Hearing the cold response, Mamoru furrowed his eyebrows.

"...we can't do that right? We too should have the right to know. Not just us, members who aren't contractors are waiting as well!"

"............"

"EXE isn't participating even though war is in under way...! Magnolia and others are in action, it's strange for just us to be on standby."

Iori grasped Mamoru's shoulder and shook her head.

Mamoru knew well he was being disrespectful. The instruction from higher-ups to have EXE on standby was extremely unusual to the point he flared up at Hayato, who usually trust his comrades.

After the border's invasion done by witches, despite the situation evolving into a full-fledged war not even once there was an order for EXE to sortie.

There was a possibility of enemy appearing in any location of old Japan using transfer magic. Inquisition's headquarters and branches have dispatched all the Spriggans to the city. They have arranged it as to cope with attack any time.

But meanwhile, the strongest force of Inquisition, EXE, has been ordered to be on standby. They weren't ordered to protect the headquarters nor any of the VIPs, just to be on standby.

In this outrageous emergency the EXE was ordered to do nothing.

"All of this is because mass-produced Relic Eaters were completed. Are we going to be dumped?"

Swinging his arms in frustration, Mamoru sought an answer from Hayato.

Hayato moving his legs.

Mamoru and Iori waited for him to speak.

"There was a notice from the Chairman just now. Currently existing EXE is temporarily dismantling."

"...as I thought...!"

In annoyance Mamoru hit his palm with a fist. Iori also predicted that, but her pupils shook in agitation.

"Don't misunderstand. Even though it's dismantled, it doesn't mean it's disappearing."

"...what do you mean?"

"It's not only EXE that's being dismantled, the first, second and third troops are the same."

"?! F-first? Isn't that the one that adapted mass-produced type..."

As Mamoru made a questioning look, Hayato turned away.

"They're integrated into Extermination Riot Police and scheduled to be reorganized as newly-made EXE. Since it's wartime, you can predict when will that happen. Spriggans and Seelies will also be under the command of EXE."

"............"

"That's all I was called in for this time. I'll say it again, EXE is not disappearing. After it calms down it'll be reorganized. That's all."

Hearing Hayato's blunt report, Mamoru had strength leave her legs and he fell on his butt.

"What〜... hey, Himemiyaa, your prediction was off."

"I told you that it's something I think is a possibility. I told you three times to calm down, haven't I."

With an amazed expression Iori laughed at Mamoru who laughed like a young boy.

Hayato stood unmoving in front of the two.

"Senpai's being too reserved. Even if you tell us that, there's no problem."

"It's not 'senpai' but 'captain'. Good grief... how many years do you think has passed since you graduated from school. How long do you intend to stay in student mood."

"Senpai will always be my senpai right? When it comes to work, age or being a man, Senpai is my senpai. Right, Senpai?"

Mamoru raised his thumb with a refreshing smile. Iori sighed dejected.

"Being like this in the same troop with Senpai is my pride. That's why having EXE disappear would mean the place I belong to disappears."

"I get it... really, you haven't changed at all since you were test platoon's captain."

"People don't change so easily. Oh, right. Since the troops are being integrated, that obviously means Senpai will be the commander, doesn't it?"

Although Mamoru asked with a smile, Hayato stared down at him expressionlessly, then he lowered his line of sight at the captain's emblem on his own chest, then touched it with his fingers.

Hayato removed the captain's emblem and flipped it like a coin to Mamoru.

Mamoru caught the flying captain's emblem in a hurry.

"...eh?"

He looked up at Hayato in shock.

Hayato turned away and started to walk off again.

"I leave EXE to you. Support it until I'm back."

"............"

"...what do you mean?"

"I'm leaving the headquarters for the time being. I leave the rest to you."

Saying just that, Hayato started to walk away swiftly.

"I don't get it! You can't leave without expl——"

Mamoru stood up and was about to chase after him, but Hayato glared at him over the shoulder. The cold stare directed at him was as sharp as a blade and sent chills down Mamoru's spine.

"——No matter what happens, don't follow me. You should fulfill your duties."

Even though they didn't show on his face, Hayato's feelings hidden deep in his pupils caused Mamoru's body to stiffen.

Mamoru knew that going against Hayato when his eyes looked like that was suicidal.

After that, Hayato left the place without looking back even once.

Left behind, Mamoru and Iori were unable to chase after him.

An hour after Hayato separated from his subordinates.

He was driving in a car through the town.

It was raining outside and there was poor visibility. It was still evening, but the light barely managed to reach the ground.

The city light's haven't changed from before and were still peaceful. Although evacuation of the citizens had begun because of the Pureblood Party's assault, there still were many people in the town.

A company employee wearing a suit making a call with his mobile phone, a housewife shopping merrily, schoolgirls lively engaged in conversation. Terrorist attack set up by Valhalla happened half a year ago, after that Hyakki Yakou had gone berserk, then there was the border invasion by Pureblood Party... so many disasters have occurred and yet the people of old Japan didn't have any sense of crisis.

It hasn't been announced that the enemy can appear anywhere using transfer magic. If the truth was announced, it would intensify the confusion and make it known that nowhere was safe.

This city was the safest place as it had the Inquisition's headquarters in it.

That is what was conveyed through media like the TV.

The general public didn't know in just how big a crisis was the old Japan. Of course, this entire region was in the immediate vicinity of the Inquisition's headquarters so it was true it was being protected. Rather than lead to a pointless confusion, this fake peace was the best situation for the Inquisition.

However, Hayato predicted.

That before long, this place will turn into a battlefield.

"............"

He stopped on the red light and looked at the rear-view mirror.

Rain continued to fall and it seemed like some accident has occurred since there was a traffic jam on the road.

Staring at the mirror Hayato continued to hit the handle with his fingers. Normally, he didn't have a habit like that.

*tap*, *tap tap*, he kept moving his finger as if to engrave a rhythm in it.

What he gazed at that was reflected in the mirror, was the driver sitting in the seat of a black van, three vehicles behind him.

He clearly looked like a civilian. His appearance and gestures were like that of a gloomy office worker. It was at him that Hayato stared.

Five seconds, eight seconds... ten seconds.

When he continued to stare without averting his gaze——his eyes met the man's, who shouldn't have been paying attention to him.

Hayato stopped making a rhythm with his finger and squeezed the handle.

——*dngg*...!

The moment the signal changed to blue, Hayato stepped on the accelerator with all he had and turned the steering wheel.

The tires momentarily blown water backwards, then rotated raising a smoke.

The car suddenly accelerated and moved to the left. There was no road in there. He crossed through the side walk and drove straight into an alley between two buildings.

Hayato drove the car squeezing it through a space normally a car wouldn't pass through. The vehicle's frame rubbed the walls sending sparks. Even though the door was blown off, Hayato continued to step on the accelerator as he sat in the driver's seat.

The tires were punctured and smoke rose up from the car's hood.

At the same time as his car stopped, he kicked the wind shield breaking it and escaping from the car to the outside.

"Damn it! Just when did he notice us!?"

From the black van three vehicles behind Hayato's car a group of people has come down.

There was ten of them altogether. All of them Inquisitors.

They were in black. In other words, they were people newly integrated to the EXE. Each of them held a firearm and was ready to fight any time.

"He noticed right from the start. Don't underestimate Kurogane Hayato. Even without a Relic Eater he is a monster beyond monsters. The moment you relax you'll all get killed."

"What do we do?"

"Six people are to block the entrances to the alley. Remaining three will go in with me directly."

"We're supposed to tail him. We weren't ordered to capture him, were we?"

"Now that we've been found out there's no choice but to catch him."

The man who looked like the captain said so and took out a box similar to a black coffin from the trunk.

Inside was a small railgun... on its body "The Malleus Maleficarum Production Model „Guillotine“ " was engraved.

It was a mass-produced Relic Eater.

"We have permission. There's no problem if we kill him in the worst case."

The man held the railgun, turned it around in his hands and shouldered it.

The six people who received the order divided in two and went to block the exit to the alley.

Taking three people, the Captain followed Hayato back into the alley and passed through the car he was riding in.

Shortly after chasing after him, they discovered Hayato leisurely walking in the back alley.

Hayato's footsteps resounded as he went left on a T-junction.

His subordinates preceded the Captain and chased after Hayato.

The moment his subordinates went around the corner vigilant and were about to aim their muzzles,

——Just when the breechblock was about to slide backwards, the gun itself decomposed.

"——Eh?"

Immediately after the weapon he held was broken to pieces, someone's palm rushed at him from the front.

A palm heel strike. Unable to avoid it, his subordinate had his chin and nose broken, then blown away onto the wall.

The member who smashed onto the wall with the backs of their heads lost consciousness and were bleeding from head and nose.

Two of his subordinates froze seeing all that happen in an instant, then a shadow appeared right in front of them.

They were unable to react. It was speed that couldn't be caught up with using human dynamic vision.

One person was kicked in the face and squashed, the other had his face grasped and was thrown onto the ground.

The hem of his coat fluttered then fell according to gravity. Right in front of the Captain, there way Hayato still remaining in the same posture after smashing his subordinate's head into the ground. Even though each of them had a gun, they were all incapacitated before they could fire a single shot.

It didn't take even a second to complete this series of tragedy.

Feeling dryness in his throat, the Captain directed Guillotine's muzzle at Hayato.

"Change of plan. All members, go in."

He contacted his comrades through the radio and focused his conscious.

He had a Relic Eater. Even if the opponent was Kurogane Hayato, he could easily overwhelm him using the inhuman power.

No matter how strong the opponent was, he was just a human. There was no way he could lose. Encouraging himself, the Captain raised his hand forward.

"Desiring with supreme ardor——"

And, he expanded the magical circle to active Witch Hunter——

——*fwshh*!

The moment he heard sound of the air being cut, it was already too late. The moment he thought Hayato disappeared, a shock ran through his right shoulder from above. Hayato leaped and performed a heel drop using his own weight.

"Ghha...!"

The Witch Hunter form activation was interrupted, the Captain fell on his knees.

He was careless. As not to cause a commotion, he was wrong to set a foot in the back alley without Witch Hunter form. He should have entered complete Witch Hunter form beforehand.

Soon after he reflected on it, a blade shone in the darkness.

The shine headed for his right hand that held guillotine. After blinking what the Captain saw was his own hand and the Relic Eater rolling on the ground.

He was completely sealed. He couldn't invoke any magic without the Relic Eater in his hand.

When he raised his face, he could see Hayato pass the anti-magical knife from his left hand to the right.

——I'll be killed.

Immediately after the Captain prepared himself, Hayato twisted his upper body while holding the knife in his hand and threw it backwards.

Exactly at the same time, Captain's subordinate appeared from behind the corner of the alley.

The knife pierced through his right foot and the subordinate stumbled with a scream. In a split second Hayato pulled out a large handgun from his pocket and under his arm he shot towards the back of T-junction. The bullets were anesthesia ones. At the same time Hayato hit the subordinate's head with anesthesia bullet, Hayato turned his body around and fired all the remaining bullets towards the right corner of the T-junction.

Probably vigilant after seeing the first one get done in, the remaining five didn't show themselves on the T-junction. With a calm motion, Hayato turned towards the T-junction.

And, he threw two grenades attached to his waist belt.

The screams of the members hidden in the alley echoed.

There was a flash and explosion of smoke.

At the same time he could hear violent coughing, Hayato rushed into the T-junction at breakneck speed. The Captain who had his arm cut off was pressing on the cut off part with his opposite hand and stared into the T-junction shrouded in smoke. There was a sound of impact and shooting as well as more screams, but he couldn't see anything because of the smoke. The screams too, went silent as if nothing happened just three seconds later.

"...ghh..."

While trembling, the Captain breathed in the smoke.

Even without seeing it, he knew. They were wiped out. In just an instant, nine of his comrades were wiped out.

He was the one who underestimated Hayato, the Captain admonished himself. Hayato was an Inquisitor who worked as a Dullahan for long years. Just how horrifying he was, only now the Captain was able to understand.

Picking up Guillotine with his left hand, he gave priority to completing the Witch Hunter form. He resumed the interrupted process of taking the Witch Hunter form, quietly expanding the magical circle. There was no need for the Relic Eater to formulate the operative procedure. Especially, the Guillotine was connected to the magical power and brains of the witches captured by Inquisition, which in turn made the magic's activation quicker than that of the existing Relic Eaters.

A steel-colored armor wrapped around the Captain.

The Witch Hunter form was completed. There was no time to reconnect the arm, but the bleeding was stopped immediately.

I can do it——the moment he thought that, arms have extended through the smoke towards him. A palm approached the Captain and grasped his face. In addition to that, a muzzle was pressed against his left eye.

He raised a drawn-out voice.

A pair of eyes harboring cold light inside were glaring at him from the smoke.

Hayato waited for the smoke to clear up before quietly speaking.

"You bunch are the first troop. Why are you following me?"

"T-there's no need to ans——"

The moment the Captain has gone against Hayato's command, the gun's trigger was pulled. It must have been re-loaded with live ammunition. A sound of gunfire has sounded, the Captain's eye was ruptured by the bullet. A heartbreaking cry echoed through the alley.

The handgun Hayato used was a 0.50 caliber automatic. An ordinary human would had his head blown way and died. The reason he was let off with just an eye, was thanks to the Relic Eater's strengthening.

"It's not an anti-magic bullet. Your skull won't crumble even with a few shots."

"Aghh...! Gahh...!"

"However, even with Relic Eater's strengthening, regeneration of an eyeball is difficult. Guillotine specializes in attack power and defense, having nearly no regenerative abilities. You can be even cornered and rendered unable to continue the battle with 0.50 caliber bullets."

This time Hayato put the muzzle into the Captain's mouth and asked coldly.

"On whose orders, why are you following me?"

"Kughh... n-no o..."

"I see."

Hayato mercilessly pulled the trigger many times. The Captain's screams roared along with the gunshots. The bullets ricocheted inside of his throat, striking the soft meat. Still, he didn't die. He vomited blood and his breath turned rough, but even so, a human strengthened by a Relic Eater won't die with just this much as long as anti-magic bullets aren't used.

The Captain who lost one arm had no means of attacking Hayato. In the first place, there was no chance for him to attack. All he could do is to desperately clutch the Relic Eater strengthening him.

With only three bullets left in the magazine, Hayato pushed the muzzle against' the Captain's right eye. The Captain continued to breathe out painfully, with a whistling sound.

"If possible I don't want to shoot a coworker any more than this. Regenerate your vocal cords and answer. Or do you want to have two artificial eyes?"

"...ghh...ahh..."

"Why are you following me."

Hayato asked for the third time with an emotionless voice.

The Captain shed tears from his right eye. It wasn't a tear of fear, it came from resignation and pain.

He fell on his knees and replied.

"...C-Chairman's...orders...you're suspected...to have stolen...Mephist...opheles... body..."

"Continue."

Hayato let go of the Captain and listened while replacing his gun's magazine.

The Captain who lost his will to fight continued while breathing painfully.

"Orders are...to capture...and interrogate."

"Was that all you were ordered?"

"...yes..."

"...I see. Well done."

——*pshh*

After he finished reloading, Hayato pulled the trigger in rapid succession.

Needles were stuck between the right eye and the orbit, in a spot that wasn't enhanced. The Captain has fallen down without letting out any voice.

Hayato picked up the Captain's intercom and listened to it. He heard the communication coming from First Extermination Riot Police. Other members were waiting for the Captain's reply. However, it seemed like all the members who have rushed into the alley were defeated by Hayato.

Judging from the situation, a sniper team was supposed to aim from the building's roof.

"............"

If what the Captain of first Extermination Riot Police said was correct, Hayato was being chased under suspicion of stealing Mephistopheles' body. A few days ago, certainly Mephisto's body was being convoyed and the body had gone missing.

However, it was unlikely he would be tailed for being a suspect. If that was the case, they wouldn't tail him, instead they would directly issue an arrest warrant.

Then, why would they bother doing something as sluggish as tailing. If they explored the location of the Relic eater they would find his location instantly, without having to tail him.

That meant,

"...my objective was found out, is what it means."

Hayato dropped the intercom, once again loaded live ammunition in his 0.50 caliber gun, then pulled the slide.

And, once again his footsteps resounded as he slowly disappeared in the darkness of the alley.

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10: The Witch Hunt War (First Part) - The 2nd Witch-Hunt War