Taiyou turned around and loses the smile on his face. What he saw in front of him was a man, with a swollen face, and Kohaku who was being restrained by the man. Out of the subordinates that were brought along by Kaizen, this man was tall and solidly built, he could easily be classified as a “big grunt” type of person. On the other hand, Kohaku had the average constitution of a ten year old girl.
They had such a huge difference in their physique, the man had his arms around Kohaku’s neck, and it seemed like he was in a position to snap off her neck at any moment. To put it quite simply, they were in a pinch—
「Don- don’t move!」
The man’s voice was shaking. Even though he was supposed to be in a dominant position, it could not be helped that he was scared out of his wits, as just moments before, the person he was threatening wiped out dozens of his comrades with unparalleled strength.
Even if he had a hostage with him, it was quite visible that the fear of Taiyou still remained firmly embedded within his eyes. Taiyou slowly turned around his body to face him.
「I told you not to movee!」
The shrill and nervous voice of the man, was followed by Kohaku’s anguished voice. The man strengthened the force of his grip, the pressure on her throat increased and Kohaku looked like she was in a lot of pain.
「If you move any further, I don’t know what I might do!」
「You’ve done well Oshita. Now then, bring the girl and come over here」
The man called Oshita was restraining Kohaku as he moved around Taiyou in a big circle whilst never taking his sight off him. The man slowly headed towards Kaizen in this manner.
「…….To take such a young girl as a hostage, don’t you feel embarrassed?」
「That kind of provocation won’t work」
Compared with Oshita’s manner of speaking, Kaizen had regained a lot of composure to his tone of voice. He was so flustered just moments ago, and it seemed as if it was all just a lie.
「I already know that as part of the Eternally Little, her appearance doesn’t match her age. Azumaya Kohaku, she is one of the oldest people taking part in this project, and she is 87 years of age. She is most definitely not the “young” person you claim her to be」
「In that case, I will paraphrase it, don’t you respect your elders?」
「I already told you that such cheap provocations won’t work against me…..Oshita」
「So that she has no chance of escaping. Use something to bind her」
Kaizen had a gloating smile on his face after hearing Oshita’s acknowledgement.
Meanwhile, Taiyou’s eyes met Kohaku’s. Perhaps it was because she had already lived for 87 years….and the fact that she lived in the most turbulent period in this country’s history. Although she had her neck completely restrained by a big and brawny arm, and whilst she did have a look of discomfort on her face, her eyes showed no fear.
On the contrary, her eyes were looking straight at Taiyou as if she was trying to urge him to do something. What she wanted to tell him, was something Taiyou could not figure out. The amount of time he has known Kohaku did not pass a period of three hours, being able to communicate with tacit understanding or by using eye contact was not something he could do with her at this point in time.
Moreover, even if Kohaku wanted him to do something. Taiyou’s objective hasn’t really changed, and in fact the situation right now was convenient for him. This was his thoughts.
「I will ask you the same question as before, where is Sakura-san?」
「……She isn’t here」
Taiyou pretended to yield Kaizen as though he was reluctant.
「I already know that. What I want to know is, where did you put her?」
「I don’t know, because that task…Was given to someone else」
「A detached force?」
「Ahh, I barely know her, her name is Shirokiyami, a Goth Loli girl. She is the one who took Sakura」
Kaizen’s face became stiff. Kaizen also knew of the fact that Taiyou attacked the Juunishima mansion with Shirokiyami, so he easily believed in the words. But then again, this was not that far from the truth anyways.
「When will….You get in touch with each other, where will you meet?」
「I also don’t know that, the arrangement was that when I escaped from the facility, the other party would come to meet me」
「…..Are you telling me that Shirokiyami is the mastermind behind this? No, Shirokiyami doesn’t have her own set of principles, she is merely guided by money. It is certain that there is someone controlling her from behind the scenes…」
Kaizen was grumbling to himself.
「Kaizen-sama, what should we do?」
「……First of all, wake up all the members」
Oshita was waking up his colleagues whilst still restraining Kohaku.
The men Taiyou put down took a huge amount of damage, and they were unable to get up. Rather than saying that they would get up. Most of the men had their bones shattered and it would not be strange if they had to quit their jobs and go to the hospital to recover for several months
Out of the dozens that were on the floor, there was only about five people that could get up including Oshita. The five of them had a relatively minor injury compared to the others as they stood in front of Kaizen and waited for orders. Meanwhile, Oshita ties Kohaku arms behind her back with ropes he found somewhere and gags her mouth.
「Natsuno Taiyou, I will also have you become one of the hostages」
「Me as well?」
「Yeah, I will have you and Azumaya Kohaku become hostages to exchange with Sakura-san」
「Bind him with ropes as well」
The four men respond to orders and moved forwards in Taiyou’s direction. Although he was about to be constrained, Taiyou did not panic. This was also not too far from what he wanted to accomplish. Having Yurikago get far enough by gaining her more time to escape was his main objective. That’s why although his face looked sour on the outside, on the inside he was snickering at them.
However, in the next moment, the calm atmosphere was blown away.
A dull sound resounded, and his field of vision turned white. For a moment his consciousness flew, Taiyou could not understand what was happening. The first thing he understood when he gradually regained his thoughts, was that he was on the ground, and some of the dirt had entered his mouth. And the fact that he was hit in the back of the head took him a few more seconds to realize.
「This punk! How dare he attack us a while ago!」
「Arrogant little shit!」
「Take this! and this!」
The men were viciously beating on him as if they were releasing all that pent up anger that they’ve built up until now.
In order to brush away their strikes, Taiyou got up. Taiyou instinctively made a fist and took on a fighting pose.
「Don’t move! Don’t you care what happens to her?」
Oshita once again reminded him, as he used his rugged hands to grip Kohaku’s windpipe. His massive hands against the small Kohaku. If he put in a little strength to his grip, it seemed like her throat would snap.
Taiyou silently opens his fist, and straightens up. It was the kind of pose that showed how a child would be subservient to their father.
In order to make sure he wasn’t going to rebel, one of the men threw a fist right at Taiyou. The punch that comes to the side of his face was a clean hit, and Taiyou once again fell towards the ground.
And then, the four men started to kick Taiyou relentlessly one after another. All of them were throwing their anger towards Taiyou.
「Leave it at that. Hurry up and tie him up」
At Kaizen’s words, although the men seemed slightly dissatisfied, they had more or less released some of their resentment and so they did as they were ordered and restrained Taiyou. His body was propped up, and just like Kohaku previously, his hands were tied behind his back. In addition to that, they took out metallic handcuffs and restrained him with it as well. And just to add a little more assurance, they gave Taiyou a body blow right into the pit of his stomach.
In that moment, there was a metallic taste of iron leaking out from the depths of his throat. He endured it and swallowed it back down. The men pulled Taiyou along and returned to Kaizen’s side.
「Kaizen-sama, what should we do about the woman who escaped?」
Kaizen nods and looks towards the hole in the wall.
「…..Just leave her be, considering the fact that we have two trump cards in our hands, it will be more than enough. More importantly, you guys need to watch these two closely, so that they do not escape」
「Oshita, come and follow me」
Saying this, Kaizen brought along Oshita and went somewhere. The only ones left here was Taiyou and Kohaku who was both gagged and restrained, along with the four men. Taiyou and Kohaku were exchanging glances, and even though she was trying to tell him something, as per usual, he had no idea what she wanted to convey to him.
However, the one thing he did manage to figure out that she was worried about his body condition. Her expression was a little different from a while ago, because her eye brows were frowning and her eyes were wavering.
Taiyou was broadly smiling, as he incessantly blinked his eyes open and shut. “Don’t worry about me”, is what he wanted to tell her. Perhaps the meaning was conveyed, because Kohaku’s face seemed a little bit more relieved.
Knowing that she was so worried about him, Taiyou’s heart felt full of warmth. Having someone else be so worried about him, was something he hardly experienced until now.
「Hey, you guys, I don’t think Kaizen-sama will return anytime soon. Then, don’t you think it should be fine?」
「You rascal, are you going to do it again? You Lolicon!」
Taiyou was locking eyes with Kohaku, when he heard an unbelievable vocabulary being mentioned.