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Cugine City was an independent city, which meant that it was a city that didn’t belong to any country and had its own government. When one hears Cugine city, they immediately think of the renowned Three Dons. These Dons were infamous across the entire Beast Continent. The reason for this is because these three persons were believed to be solely responsible for why Cugine city could remain outside of every country’s influence.

However, this wasn’t the case. The Three Dons emerged a mere 20 years ago, but Cugine city has existed for twice that long. There was a different reason why this city remained on touched.

If you had asked a random person who ruled the city, they would most likely say the Three Dons. That wasn’t wrong. The city was divided into territories which belonged to the Three Dons, however, not all of the city’s territories belong to them. There were areas known as neutral zones, where none of the Dons could throw their weight around. These areas were ruled by the official ruler of the city.

The mayor!

It was night time in the city. A white limousine was driving through one of the neutral zones. In the back, someone was sitting and enjoying a bottle of red wine with a pleased expression on their face. It was a man who had a slim figure, dressed in a gray and black vest suit, with slicked-back gray hair, a handsome face, and green eyes. He looked human in this city filled with beasts.

This was the mayor of Cugine city, Benito Mussolini.

“Mayor Mussolini, we’ll arrive at your office in a few minutes.”

The limo driver spoke to Benito through the intercom in the vehicle.

“I see. Thank you for the update.”

Benito put down the glass he was drinking from and started to straighten his appearance.

“A man of great power must always look the part.”

He muttered while checking his hair in a mirror.

“Alright. Everything seems to be okay.”

After a little over five minutes, the limousine pulled up in front of a skyscraper with the initials BM on it.

“Mayor Mussolini, we’ve arrived.”

The driver, who was an orc, got out of the vehicle and opened the door for Benito. Benito stepped out of the limo and straightened his suit while looking around.

“Thank you.”

He tipped the driver and walked towards the building.

“Mr.Mayor.”

He was greeted by a pair of doormen, who opened the door for him.

“Goodnight, Gentlemen.”

After giving them a simple greeting, Benito entered the building.

“Good evening, Mayor.”

He received even more greetings from his employees inside.

“It looks like everyone is working hard. Keep it up.”

He waved to his employees and said.

“Mayor!”

He heard a panicked voice and turned around to see a cat-folk woman running towards him.

“From your expression, I take it that you have bad news?”

Benito calmly said to the woman.

“Mayor….He’s here to see you.”

The woman spoke with a trembling tone.

“He?”

Benito looked confused for a bit, and then it was like he got an idea.

“Do You Mean Cesare?”

“…..Yes.”

A serious expression appeared on Benito’s face.

“I see. Where is he?”

“Your office. He’s been there for a while now. I think he’s starting to get impatient.”

Benito placed his hand on her head and started petting her, which she seemed to enjoy.

“Don’t worry. I’ll handle him.”

He then walked past the secretary and headed towards the staff elevator, which led to his office.

“The Mayor is something else. If it was me, I wouldn’t have been able to keep that wild beast under control for so long.”

The secretary said, while watching Benito enter the elevator.

“Sigh.”

Inside the elevator, Benito was silently waiting for the doors to open with a frown on his face. After around 30 seconds the doors opened and he stepped out and into his office. His office was very spacious, had some luxurious furniture, and had a pleasant smell.

“There he is.”

He looked around and saw someone sitting at his desk, with his feet on the desk. He was fair skinned, really muscular, had a buzz cut, gold beastly eyes, and was dressed in full black. Just like Benito, he looked like a human.

“Cesare, how many times do I have to tell you? If you’re coming here, don’t walk through the door. Take the secret passage I told you about. My subordinates are seriously afraid of you.”

Benito said to the man.

“Hmph. If they’re afraid that’s their problem. I’m not a criminal, so I don’t need to hide.”

“In some ways, you’re worse than a criminal.”

Cesare took his foot down and stood up from Benito’s desk.

“Anyway, Benito. I was getting tired of waiting.”

“It’s not like you told me you were coming.”

The two walked passed each other and sat in places across from each other. Benito sat at his desk, while Cesare sat on one of the chairs in the office.

“You should’ve known that I was coming. You’re the mayor, aren’t you?”

“Being the mayor doesn’t mean that I keep track of everything. That’s your job.”

“My job is to slaughter and rid this city of criminal trash. Get it right.”

“I’ve never heard someone describe their own job in such a crude yet proud way. You hardly sound like the Chief of police, Cesare Mori.”

“But I am, and I love being it.”

Cesare suddenly started laughing.

“The Black Dogs are the sole reason why those three brats haven’t started a full-blown war among each other. The citizens should be grateful that I created such a dependable police force.”

“They’re grateful, but they’re also afraid of you. Your wild behavior and extreme tactics when dealing with criminals gave you a bad reputation. You should try and fix that.”

“Unfortunately, Benny, I’m not a politician. I don’t need the public’s support or love. As long as I rid this city of scum, people will be forced to acknowledge me.”

“So the end justifies the means, huh?”

“Exactly.”

Benito sighed.

“Sometimes I wonder why I appointed you the head of police?”

“Because you knew that I’m the man for the job.”

Cesare leaned back in his chair.

“I mean, even I know that I’m a bit off the rockers, but I’m the best man to handle those three crazy brats.”

He showed a savage smile.

“You just need to give me the okay, and I’ll go and slaughter them for you.”

“……….”

Benito didn’t answer and only changed the topic.

“Anyway, Why did you come here today?”

“I can’t pay my childhood friend a visit?”

“No.”

“So cold, but I love that about you.”

Cesare sat up.

“Benito, what’s this I hear about illegal entries a few months back? Why wasn’t I informed about this?”

He had a serious expression on his face.

“Oh, you heard. The reason I didn’t tell you is because the situation was weird.”

“Weird?”

“Yeah. We discovered the toll booth attendant, for that day, passed out in her room, after she was reported missing for days. When she came to, she said that she was on her way to work when she saw a shadowy figure appear before her. She doesn’t remember anything after that.”

“Then there was no booth attendant that day?”

“No, according to our cameras there was. And it was that same attendant, or rather her imposter.”

“The cameras couldn’t see through their disguise?”

“No, it was an extremely high-level disguise. We couldn’t see their true identity with our technology.”

“I see. Then did that imposter helped some people enter illegally?”

“No, the imposter only talked with those who entered illegally. They entered on their own by jumping over the wall. Their faces were hidden by a similar technique to the one the imposter used. We soon lost track of them the moment they entered the city.”

“……..”

Cesare stayed silent for a bit before talking again.

“I’ll have my pups keep a look out.”

“Please do.”

“Oh, since we’re on the topic, there’s been another illegal entry. However, this time we know who it is.”

“Who?”

“Lucian Erebus.”

Benito stood from his seat when he heard the name.

“The Twilight King?!”

Cesare nodded.

“Why is he here?”

“No idea. He tried to come in legally, but jumped over the wall when he was told he couldn’t use his killing permit as an ID.”

“…..That strange behavior does sound like him.”

Benito said.

“So do you know where he is now?”

“Yeah. My pups are keeping tabs on him. So far he’s only walking around like he’s sightseeing.”

“….Well, he’s not one to cause meaningless destruction. Let’s leave him.”

“Nah. I wanna know why an infamous bounty hunter who earned the recognition of the Sacred Army is here. I’m going to continue observe him.”

“Fine, But don’t provoke him.”

“No promises.”

Benito felt the urge to strangle his friend, but held back at the last second.

“Is there anything else you wanted me to know?”

“Yeah. I received word that Lucas Emilio and Tony Gambino met.”

“What?!”

Benito was once again shocked.

“What do you mean they met? When?”

“A few days ago.”

“Impossible, those two haven’t met directly since their falling out during the mafia wars.”

“Well, it’s true.”

Cesare sounded a bit excited which Benito immediately noticed.

“……Did they fight?”

“If they did, there would be a third Mafia War going on right now.”

Benito nodded acknowledging Cesare’s words.

“Do you have any idea what they discussed?”

“No idea, but it seems that you have an idea though from your expression.”

Benito nodded.

“I heard from my spies at Spider Banking that someone tried to invest 5 Billion Ani in the bank.”

“5 billion?! I could buy a lot of bullets and bombs with that!”

“Why are those the first things you thought about buying?”

Benito shook his head.

“Anyway, I heard that instead of investing it. he had it cleaned and even offered a billion to Pearl as payment.”

“What? Isn’t that too much for money laundering?”

“Yeah. I believe Tony and Lucas heard about this and had a meeting to discuss Pearl getting a powerful backer.”

“I see. The power balance between those three would crumble if pearl received that much money out of nowhere. By the way, who’s the rich bastard?”

“He’s known as Aniket. Other than the fact that he lives at the best mansion at the Golden Breath Villa, nothing else is known about him.”

“The golden breath villa? He must have quite the background.”

Cesare suddenly thought of something.

“When did he appear?”

“I know what you’re thinking. I also think that he might be one of those who entered illegally. However, until we know who he is, we shouldn’t provoke him.”

“Why are you acting so docile? This might be another obstacle in your way, you know. There’s already those three brats, if this guy joins in as well, then you’ll never truly own this city.”

Cesare stood up.

“I don’t want to own this city.”

“Who are you trying to kid? I know you better than anyone.”

He approached the desk.

“A snake with always be a snake. You’ll never submit to anyone, you must always be on top.”

He smiled.

“Back when Salvatore Riina ruled this city like a god and those brats were only rookies, you waited and waited for the chance to take this city. When Salvatore died, you took the seat of mayor believing that it was finally your time, but the Second Mafia War happened and those three brats rose up and surpass you.”

He leaned over and stared Benito in the eyes.

“You can’t expect me to believe that you’re not frustrated. There’s no one who hates the Three Dons more than you. So just give me the word.”

He stepped back and placed his hand on his chest.

“Just give me the word and I’ll open the path to the top for you. I’ll wage war and rip open the throats of everyone in your way. Let’s walk the bloody path, Benito Mussolini.”

“……….”

Benito looked at Cesare in silence before sighing.

“Don’t be ridiculous. If I do what you want me to do, I wouldn’t be any different from Salvatore.”

“What’s wrong with that? He’s the only one to stand at the pinnacle of this city. An invincible man who was hailed as the Beast Incarnate. Someone who was seen as a future Beast Emperor. What’s wrong with being like him?”

“He was a dictator.”

“And you aren’t?”

Cesare laughed.

“You’re more like a king than a mayor, I mean just look at this place. Which mayor has a 15 story office?”

He grinned.

“You’re one step away from being a dictator and you know it.”

Cesare stepped back.

“But the Three Dons are in your way.”

He then started to leave.

“If you make your decision you know where to find me. Oh, as for Aniket I’ll have my pups keep a look out. If he’s like the Dons then I’ll have them sick him.”

He waved behind him without looking back.

“Later, Mayor.”

Left alone in the room, Benito clenched his fists and a smile appeared on his face.

“A dictator, huh?”

A sharp light appeared in his eyes.

“I guess it’s not a bad profession change.”

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Kodyak Combs

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