Translated by: Miss Ruby
“Are you following me?”
Kalian turned to face the alley opening and opened his mouth which was pressed into a tight line.
Genos scratched his head, not denying it as he walked up to Kalian.
“I’ve known you for far too long, you know. I heard your family head ordered you to withdraw under the pretext of resting…but somehow, I just knew you had no plan to do as you are told.”
He kicked a pebble at his feet, and it bounced till it hit the forehead of the man who was collapsed in front of Kalian. The man was one of the people who were acting like gangsters in the crowd till Kalian caught him.
“And sure enough, I was right…are you planning on taking separate action in secret?”
He seemed like he was asking a question, but his tone was as though he was already convinced.
Genos stood before Kalian and spoke like it couldn’t be helped.
“I know you’ll be bored by yourself, so I’ll accompany you.”
“I don’t need…”
“Don’t say you can handle it all by yourself.”
Once Kalian heard Genos talk like he had read his mind, he shut his mouth again. Genos glanced at the Kalian’s feet then repeated what he said earlier.
“You know too, that this kind of thing will not change the fundamental issue.”
“Well, I’m just telling you what you used to tell me before.”
This time, his tone was a little playful. After saying that, Genos turned around.
“Let’s go somewhere quieter. I have something to tell you.”
Kalian watched Genos as Genos began walking back to the alley opening. And some moments later, Kalian’s foot which had still not moved an inch, finally took a step forward.
* * *
After leaving Anne-Marie’s house, Lakis went straight to see Milliam.
“So you’re up.”
Milliam lifted his head when he saw Lakis. Lakis immediately kicked his head without a pause.
Milliam couldn’t steady himself and his body wobbled. The chains binding his body cried sharply.
“The more I see your bloody mug, the shitter it is.”
The place they were in looked similar to the ruin’s labyrinth where Lakis was in the past. It was a dreary and dark space, filled with a nauseating smell like something was rotting.
Naturally, the energy inside was unpleasant since it was a place where countless bodies were carried out after testing ruin fragment absorption on volunteered or kidnapped humans.
“The way you look…Don’t tell me you’re already fully recovered?”
Milliam spat out the blood in his mouth then he looked up at Lakis in disbelief since Lakis was standing there, completely fine.
When Lakis and Milliam met two days ago, they had quite a fierce battle.
Since he had stolen Lakis’ looks and even all of Lakis’ ability, Milliam thought the odds were in his favor at first. So he had even felt refreshed to see Lakis, thinking that Lakis was finally walking into his grave.
However, things ended up differently from what he expected. Maybe he had even deluded himself into thinking he gave Lakis considerable injuries.
“Wait, you…did you eat more ruin fragments?”
Milliam mulled over why Lakis was much stronger than before and finally reached the right answer.
“I should have known, you’re a tenacious bastard.”
Lakis sneered and a ridiculing laugh left his lips.
“Better than a bastard like you who only know how to do cheap tricks.”
Milliam’s face hardened momentarily at those words as if he still had some pride left.
Lakis was repulsed by that sight.
“Who knows how many people you’ve stolen from with how f*cking greedy you are. Even if I didn’t do it, I bet you’d have fallen dead one day.”
Lakis mocked him without reserve.
—Hey, but Lakis, you’ve beaten your own face into a steamed bun, it’s hilarious. I mean, if you want to beat him up, hit other places. Do you like it when you make your face like that? Your taste is unique.
‘Shut up. I’m already annoyed without your yammering.’
Milliam wasn’t shaken by Lakis’ provoking remarks at all. He spat out some more blood and spoke calmly.
“Sure. I suppose the day I kicked you out of Carnot was my first and last opportunity.”
Milliam seemed to be remembering the day he betrayed Lakis and stole his position.
“I should have just killed you then, instead of hesitating.”
“Still talking bullshit, huh.”
But Lakis only laughed as if he had heard something ridiculous.
“Why are you talking like you let me go instead of killing me that day? Do you feel better if you wrap your weakness in such a nice package?”
And when he heard Lakis’ following words, Milliam fell silent.
“Even if your mouth is crooked, don’t bloody lie. I was the one who hesitated like an idiot and let you live that day, you f*cker.”
Even though things were like this now, Milliam used to be the only person Lakis kept by his side. Naturally, Milliam knew that too. Of course, they had already crossed an irreversible line by now.
“What are you planning to do with me? Why didn’t you kill me straight away?”
Milliam didn’t make excuses or beg Lakis for his life. He didn’t even get upset or rage that Lakis should kill him right now instead of humiliating him any further.
So Lakis also didn’t ask Milliam why he betrayed him, and at this point, he didn’t have any meaningless anger to express.
“I can’t kill you so fast and let you be comfortable.”
Lakis walked up to Milliam.
For now, he was planning on using Milliam to get all the information that he hadn’t been able to find till now.
“Besides, I think you should be the one to clean up all the shit you left lying around, don’t you?”**
When he first caught Milliam, finding Yuri was his highest priority so he only read through a few selective memories.
Milliam sneered when he heard Lakis’ cynical words.
“You think I’ll follow your orders now?”
However, Lakis’ ridiculing laugh after hearing that was deeper.
“So you still think you can refuse.”
Lakis grabbed Milliam’s head roughly.
“You stupid bastard. Even if you stop breathing, you have no choice but to move as I wish.”
His light-blue eyes were as icy as the winter moon and they were sharply fixed on the face of the man who would be his slave from now on.
“I’ll show you from now on.”
* * *
“Yes, I’m coming!”
Early the next morning, Anne-Marie heard a hurried knock on the front door and went to open it while yawning.
“Hello, Ms. Anne-Marie.”
“Oh, good morning, Luke.”
“Today is the last newspaper delivery for this month so I stopped by to ask if you are going to use it regularly next month as well.”
The delivery man who brought Anne-Marie a newspaper every morning said with a smile. The fact that he knocked instead of ringing the bell next to the door showed he was being considerate since it was still early in the morning.
Anne-Marie let him know that she planned on using the newspaper delivery services next month too.
“Okay then, please pay here…”
While the two of them were talking, a shadow suddenly appeared over their heads.
Anne-Marie and Luke, the delivery-man, felt the sudden darkness and raised their heads in unison to see. A tall man had appeared next to them at some point and he was blocking the morning sun.
The man looked down at them with cold eyes and spoke curtly.
Anne-Marie and the newspaper delivery man moved aside unconsciously to make way for him. It was only after Lakis entered the house that Anne-Marie suddenly came to her senses.
Her eyes opened wide in surprise.
Anne-Marie hurriedly finished her business with the newspaper delivery man and entered the house. But by the time she was done, Lakis had already gone back to his room and lay down, covering himself with a blanket.
“Mr. Lakis, did you go out? Just when did you…”
The fact that someone as seriously injured as Lakis went out and came back without making any sound was enough to make Anne-Marie very surprised.
She walked up to Lakis who was lying down in place.
“I told you moving around like that is dangerous. Let me take a look at your injury. It might have gotten worse…”
But the moment Anne-Marie’s hand touched him, Lakis coldly smacked it away. Anne-Marie’s eyes widened at that icy reaction.
“Don’t touch me.”
Lakis said, with coldness dripping from his eyes as he stared at Anne-Marie while leaning against the sofa. The gaze directed at her was so chilly that Anne-Marie couldn’t help but shiver all of a sudden.
“Don’t call my name as you like either. I never gave you permission.”
Anne-Marie was naturally puzzled by this.
When she coincidentally ran into Lakis in the street some time ago, he was definitely cordial to her. He was even the same yesterday when Yuri was here.
But now, his attitude was cold like he was a completely different person.
—Hey, what’s wrong with you?
The bug in Lakis’ head was also surprised and asked Lakis.
—I thought you planned on using this woman? And besides that, you’ve been faking it since she’s friends with the landlady, so what is this now all of a sudden?
The bug wasn’t wrong; like it said, he initially planned on using the woman in front of him after learning that she had healing powers. Even now, when the woman touched him, he felt his still-healing body grow more comfortable. The effect was considerable for such a little touch.
Lakis had also benefited from just staying still and not rejecting the woman’s healing touch. But although his body grew more comfortable, he felt increasingly uncomfortable.
Whenever Anne-Marie’s hand touched him or she met his eyes, it grated sharply on his nerves.
This uncomfortable feeling had started ever since he opened his eyes for the first time here and saw Anne-Marie Blanche in this house.
**I don’t know if I even mentioned it but when Lakis says ‘shit’ in reference to what Milliam has done, he uses the word for actual shit. It’s kinda funny how he says Milliam sprinkled poo all over the place.
…Weird imagery, I know.
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