The woman dressed as a maid had made a unique appearance, accompanied by the special unit men. It was such a surreal sight, and Taiyou found himself feeling exhausted.
But that was just him, whereas Youran made a grim face and Leticia’s eyes grew cold.
The two girls were on guard. Affected by their demeanor, Taiyou pulled himself together and stepped forward in front of them to cover.
Protected by the men, Michiyo slowly drew closer, stopping when she was within conversational distance.
「It has been a while…Or at least that’s what I would say if that much time had passed.」
The tone of Youran’s voice changed. To Taiyou, this was a very irregular way of speaking: the persona of「New Moon Director」
What kind of a face was she making right now…He was curious, but he resisted the urge to look back.
Now was the time to concentrate on the enemy in front of him.
Said enemy――Michiyo with her maid outfit, answered with a mysterious face.
「Yes, it already feels like something of the far past. To the point where everything feels nostalgic.」
「Are ya in the position to be feeling sentimental? Ya even tried to lay hands on me.」
「Even if I were on the road to Hades, I do not think that I would feel lonely if I were with you. If I were with my dear friend.」
「Well ain’t you nice. My tears are just fallin’ down.」
Leticia said with a wide smile. Someone not knowing the circumstances may have been different, but having saved her just earlier, Taiyou heard it as a statement of the utmost irony.
「My considerate nature was taught to me by my former superior.」
「Well ain’t that a good superior. Wonder why they・・・・became “former”?」
「Disagreement between our personalities.」
「I’d be more convinced if your musicianship was different.」
「That person was very tone-deaf and was not at the level to where they could discuss musicianship.」
「Come to think of it, that’s how it was.」
「Let me hear just one thing.」
While Leticia and Michiyo were conversing with verbal irony, Youran who had been silently listening opened her mouth.
「What might that be?」
「Have you sold me out, or have you betrayed me?」
Taiyou was the one who had let out a puzzled voice. Leticia’s words had been clear irony so they were easy to understand.
But he couldn’t understand what Youran was saying.
Sold out, and betrayed.
He couldn’t understand what differences were between the two. The words themselves, and the intention contained in them.
「I will kiss your casket.」
Michiyo’s answer to that was also something incomprehensible.
「So that’s your answer.」
He sensed the slightest stirring behind him, and since then Youran had become silent.
Taiyou could not comprehend the intent of that exchange, but he got two things out of it.
One was the fact that Youran was satisfied with the answer to her question. Even if Taiyou couldn’t understand, the intention had clearly transmitted between the two of them.
And one more. The fact that the two of them had decisively broken apart.
That was clear from the air.
Then the first move would win. Taiyou readied the shovel and leaped out.
（Do in the head.）
In a straight line, he proceeded to bound forward toward Michiyo, protected by the men.
With their current numbers they were at an overwhelming disadvantage. There was the possibility that fighting while protecting Youran and Leticia would push him into a corner and make the situation worse and worse. So he had thought to settle things in one go so that it didn’t happen.
With Michiyo’s order, the men simultaneously dispersed. With Michiyo left in the middle, they made a semicircle formation surrounding Taiyou.
「That’s crane wing formation.」
「The sensible way to win with numbers.」
Ignoring the voice from behind, Taiyou cut in regardless.
Whatever formation that might be, as long as he held down Michiyo things would work out.
Suddenly, the men had simultaneously tossed something at the lunging Taiyou.
The words reached the edge of his mouth. Absorbed by the night sky and difficult to see, those things were the sorts of nets used for fishing.
But these were no ordinary nets. Sharp blades were attached to the knots, reflecting the sparkling moonlight.
These were things made to tangle and then tear apart the captured.
The scattered nets approached Taiyou. Unlike bullets or bombs, these were things that he could not render ineffective.
Also, there was not enough time to slip through and reach Michiyo.
Until now he would briefly retreat, taking his distance and starting over, but.
「Something like this!」
A flash of fighting spirit. Readying the shovel up high, he swung it down at once. The half-blade edge tore up the nets, blade and all.
Right after feeling the reaction, Taiyou was perplexed.
He felt something entwining right after splitting the nets into two. The sensation of meat being bitten into.
He understand upon seeing the stitch appearing on his skin. It was an invisible net made with a thread that could not be seen, twining around his body.
The first net was a decoy, and the real deal was the second invisible one.
「Right now, capture him like this.」
With Michiyo’s order, the men with the transparent nets began to whirl around. Accompanying that was the further entangling of the net, constricting his body.
「Some…thing like this!」
Feeling around, he thrust his hands onto the invisible stitch, trying to rip it off from side to side. It was made unexpectedly sturdy and at first didn’t move an inch, but when he put power into it to the point where his temple bulged blue and he could hear it vibrating.
Dragging along the shredded net, he aimed at Michiyo once again and lunged for her.
Showing no signs of movement, Michiyo gave another order.
The third net appeared, seeking to twine around Taiyou.
Different than the second transparent net, and also a bit different from the first one.
It was a net that could be seen clearly even in the night sky; a gleaming black luster of material.
There were no blades attached. Then at this rate he could break through and rip――
「That ain’t no good!」
The panicked voice of Leticia came from behind.
Taiyou instantly reacted. He threw the shovel with all his might at the already-approaching net in front of him, immediately kicking the ground and leaping back.
Taiyou’s full strength; an attack enough to pierce through even concrete walls like tofu. But the net only stretched a bit…it was not pierced through.
The faltering shovel clattered on the ground as it fell. Taiyou was perplexed as he watched.
「Just what is that net?」
「It’s a net woven with human hair.」
「Human hair…like hair on the head, huh.」
「With something like that…」
「We did not use mere hair, I’ll have you know. This is the highest quality product woven from the hair of 49 virgins. That strength far surpasses that of carbon fiber.」
Michiyo answered with a somewhat boastful voice.
「Something like that……」
「49 people? Yet another set of odd numbers.」
「This is Juunishima. If it were on the mainland, they would have numbered around 108 people.」
As usual, he heard an abstruse conversation behind him, but there was no time to be concerned about that.
Because Michiyo’s subordinate men were getting closer, nets readied.
Taiyou aimed at the men in the corner. He thought to defeat the people holding the nets if the nets themselves were sturdy, but the men changed positions according to Taiyou’s movements, bringing the nets to where he was.
Quickly slamming on the brakes, this time he headed for the opposite side. But as expected, the men re-threw the nets in a well-practiced encirclement formation.
Once again pressing the brakes, this time he took his distance from the men…from the nets.
Squatting, he silently ran through his thoughts.
A net that was said to have been woven using the hair of 49 virgins, holding power even stronger than carbon fiber.
Judging from the way Michiyo said it, perhaps in there was a charm…the sort of meaning that screwing up would mean an incantation.
That level of an item was actually defending against Taiyou’s attacks like it was nothing.
But, was that really something that couldn’t be torn?
Taiyou hesitated whether to test it or not.
The majority of his strength was superior power. In the case of that not working, it would entail nothing else working either…that state of thinking could very well occur.
If that were to happen then everything would be destroyed, and he had no choice but to break through with brute force to ensure that didn’t happen.
He was of the opinion that even if he were overdoing it, he should do it.
On the other hand, he also thought like this.
Conquering the net and breaking through it was nothing but a method. Ultimately his objective was to protect Youran or have her get away completely.
It wasn’t any good if he mistakenly challenged the net and failed.
「What ya worried about?」
He could hear Leticia’s voice from behind.
「Why don’t ya just use this thing?」
Wondering what she wanted him to use, he turned back, and Leticia was hitting the remaining one-fourth of the car frame.
He didn’t initially understand, but he understood everything when he saw Youran lowering the beaten-up driver from the driver’s seat to the side.
「I get it!」
Rushing up to the side of the car body, the two girls opened up a path. Taiyou lifted up the now-unmanned metal cluster, heading toward the men who were surrounding them.
Taiyou aimed at the men――throwing the net at them.
A gigantic ball ran into the goal net.
The net could not be cut. Lacking speed or sharpness, the car frame was unable to cut the net.
That gigantic mass dragged along the men with the nets all together.