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“Tsk! They got away.”

Pearl who hid to avoid Griselda’s attack appeared from out of the dust clouds with a scrawl on her face.

“Tony, I’ll definitely get you and that woman too.”

“Looks like you’ve been having fun without me, Pearl.”

“?!”

Pearl heard a familiar voice and quickly turned around. There she saw a man with flaming red hair, blue eyes, dressed in black pants and white shirt, with a playful smile on his face.

“Rory?!”

“Yo!”

Rory waved at her. Pearl quickly approached him and halted when she took a better look at him.

“…..You’re beaten up.”

Rory had his left side of his face bandaged up, his arm was also bandaged up and was in a slinger, and if you looked at his shirt collar you could see that some bandages were peaking out.

“Beaten? I was completely destroyed.”

Rory said with a laugh.

“Then what about Lucian Erebus?”

“Tsk. I don’t wanna talk about it.”

Rory suddenly had an irritated expression.

(Well, he’s alive so that’s a victory in its own right.)

“Anyway, Pearl. Looks like things became really interesting while I was gone.”

Rory showed a smile.

“Tell me the details.”

Elsewhere, after completing their tasks Amelia and Reina returned to Griselda’s only to find that the place was completely destroyed.

“What happened?!”

“……..”

Shancai looked at the building that was in ruins and frowned. He could see many body parts sticking out from under the rubble and bloodstains on the ground.

“The fact that there’s no bystanders making a crowd is strange.”

He stooped down and placed his hand on the ground and closed his eyes. The girls saw a red ring appeared underneath him. The ring expanded and rapidly stretched far enough to cover the entire district.

“What’s up, Shancai?”

Fraus approached him asked.

“Everyone in this district is gone.”

“What?”

What he said confused the girls.

“What do you mean gone? Are you saying the district is deserted?”

“That’s exactly what I’m saying.”

Shancai stood up.

“Everyone left and our base was destroyed….There’s something incredibly strange about this.”

He approached the ruins and lifted up a big piece of concrete and dragged someone out of the ruins.

“Ming!”

It’s the bouncer who was always at the entrance of the club.

“He’s still alive but he’s beyond saving.”

Shancai placed him on the ground and said. He then placed his hand on his chest.

*Bam!*

Ming’s body jerked as if he was hit with a shock.

“What are you doing?”

Amelia asked.

“I’m giving his heart a jump start.”

*Bam!*

Ming’s body jerked again.

“Cough! Cough!”

He suddenly started coughing and his eyes opened soon after.

“Ming, I’ll be direct with you. You’re organs have been practically destroyed and you’ve lost too much blood. Once you close your eyes again you’ll enter the karmic cycle once more, but before you go tell me what happened here.”

“……”

Ming stared at Shancai for a while before smiling.

“I see. So my time has come.”

“Yes.”

Shancai nodded. There was no grief on either of their faces. It was like this was expected.

“I don’t know what happened…Only thing I remember is that two people walked up to the club entrance and asked if the boss was in. When I answered that she was out a bright light enveloped me and then I blacked out.”

“Can you describe them?”

Shancai asked.

Amelia looked down and saw that a puddle of blood was forming under Ming. Seeing that she looked away and bit her lip.

“….It was a man and a woman…..I know the man but I don’t know the woman….She wore a skull mask.”

“?!”

Shancai’s eyes widened.

“Did she dress in a tuxedo?”

Ming weakly nodded his head. Shancai gritted his teeth.

“Who’s the man?”

“……Benito…Mussolini…Hey, Shancai….I’m feeling tired….Can I sleep now?”

“Yeah. Have you good rest.”

“Thanks….Tell the boss….Thanks.”

Ming closed his eyes and never opened them again.

“….Yeah. I’ll be sure to tell her.”

“Ming…”

The girls looked at Ming who laid on the ground with a smile on his face.

“………”

Shancai silently lifted Ming’s body and placed him on top of the club ruins. He created a flame lotus in his palm.

“Ming….Everyone…May your journey in the other world be a glorious one.”

He blew on the locus and it flew out of his hand and landed on top of Ming. Ming’s body instantly caught fire. The fire spread to the rest of the ruins and a huge fire engulfed everything. The fire was crimson and burned silently. The crimson flame came off as a beautiful and righteous one.

“Let’s move.”

Shancai turned around and said.

“Benito Mussolini….How dare you kill Ming?!”

Fraus clenched her fists with tears in her eyes.

“That’s the guy who quitted being Mayor right? Why did he attack us?”

Reina asked.

“Why else? He’s taking part in this war.”

Shancai answered.

“And as it stands he might come out the winner.”

“Why’s that?”

“That’s because he has some really dangerous people backing him.”

He looked at Reina and Amelia.

“Think of it as being backed by a group on Pandemonium’s level.”

“?!”

Shancai walked past the girls whose faces were dyed in shock.

“The disappearance of everyone in this district makes sense now too.”

The girls followed behind him while he spoke.

“There’s no telling where this war is going now.”

*DONG!*

Everyone suddenly halted.

“A bell?”

Amelia and the girls started looking around.

“It sounds pretty close, but it also sounds like an echo for some reason.”

Reina said.

“Hey, Shan-”

Fraus was about to call out to Shancai but paused when she saw his shoulders trembling. The Amelia and Reina noticed this and became curious.

“Is something wrong?”

They approached him and were shocked to see that he was sweating pretty hard. He even had a nervous smile on his face.

“I don’t have any more time to waste. We don’t have anymore time left, Griselda!”

Shancai looked at the girls with an intense look in his eyes.

“No more beating around the bush! From now on it’s all out war!”

“…..Eh?”

Shancai started walking so fast that it was like he could break out into a sprint at any moment.

“Huh? Wait up!”

The girls started chasing after him.

“What’s going on?”

Elsewhere, Benito was making his way through the city when he noticed that the person who was following him all this time had stopped and was looking towards the direction of the sun.

“What’s wrong, Anput?”

The skull masked woman stood there in silence for a while before speaking.

“Did you hear that?”

“Huh? Did you mean that bell? Yeah, I heard it. It sounds pretty far away though. Must’ve been someone hitting a huge bell or something.”

“Bell?....I see so that’s what you heard…..I guess you’re still too weak to hear them.”

“Weak? What’s this all about? What did you hear?”

Anput remained silent before shaking her head.

“Never mind.”

She looked back at him.

“I guess this is where we part ways.”

“Huh? What’s this all of sudden? Part ways?”

“I can’t afford to be caught in her aura after all. I’ll be purified.”

“You’re not making sense.”

Anput pointed at the flute Benito was holding.

“You don’t have to worry about that. It’ll return to Thanatos once you die, so have fun until then.”

“Have fun?”

“And with that, I’m off.”

“Wait!”

Benito stretched his hand out but Anput disappeared in an instant.

“Fuck!”

He cursed and gripped the flute tightly.

“What’s up with that woman?! What does she mean when I die?! Did she just throw me away to the side like that?!”

He looked towards the sun that Anput was looking at.

“Also, What the fuck does that bell signifies?!”

Elsewhere, Rory was also looking towards the sun.

“I’m curious, Pearl. Did you hear that just now?”

“Heard what, the bell?”

Rory shook his head with a smile.

“I guess only those on the path of godhood can hear it after all.”

He looked at Pearl.

“You’re strong but the fact that you haven’t mastered the Regal Powers will always be a stumbling block in your way.”

“….Then, what did you hear?”

“Me? I’m still hearing it even now.”

He closed his eyes and had a peaceful look on his face.

“The hymns of the Pure Land can even soothe my devilish soul.”

He stood there for a while breathing gently. When he opened his eyes there was an intense look inside them.

“Pearl, it looks like there’s a sudden time limit on this war.”

A grin appeared on his face.

“We’ll have to end this war today. Regardless of who the winner is.”

“I don’t want to rule this city, as long as I can put my friends at peace nothing else matters.”

Pearl stretched her hand out.

“Rory, please lend me your strength.”

Rory looked at her hand and held it.

“Sure, But don’t regret it later when everything is reduced to rubble. After all, I’m in a rush here.”

Elsewhere, Griselda was flying through the air when a beautiful hymn started playing in her head.

“The Pure Land is opening its gates? What bad timing!”

She suddenly started racing through the air like a jet.

“There’s no time! Everything has to be settle as soon as possible.”

She clenched a locket around her neck.

“Mother, Father. Give Haruka strength…..This is all out war!”

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Kodyak Combs

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