This was one of the reasons why he had “never” failed in his assassination attempts over the past few decades.

“Well then, Xenia, after eight o’clock, you can start whenever you like.
I will do my work then.”

See you again after the completion of the jobー”

As if with the same nonchalance as always, Xenia sent Matthias off.

As Matthias also made a nod, he closed the front door without uttering a single word to Eto.
Perhaps Eto was conscious of this, for there was no confusion in her expression.

Following the disappearance of Matthias’ shadow in the frosted glass, Xenia stretched broadly.

“Yeah, my appetite is growling after all that brainstorming! Eto, Kanaki, do you guys want to grab a bite to eat somewhere?”

“Your audacity really impresses me… I will have to pass.”

“Um, today I will be waiting at home for my father and the others so…”

“Is that so? Then I guess I will go out for yakiniku on my own.”

Xenia looked back to me as she walked away, slipping on her high heels.

Are you honestly not intending to take any action today?”

“That’s a given.
How could I possibly survive in a battle of this magnitude?”

“You liar… Well, forget it.”

―What a boring man.

Leaving that remark, Xenia exited out of the front door this time.

In the garden, bell crickets were seemingly beginning to chirp.
With the evening sun streaming in dully through the glass door, our feet were vaguely illuminated.

“…Don’t you have to set your preparations up, too, Teacher?”

Eto’s voice, strained as it was, blended into the hallway’s wooden flooring as silence descended on the house all at once.

“You said that to Teacher Xenia, but the truth is, you are planning to make a move today too, aren’t you? I won’t disclose this to the two of them, so it’s all right.”

“…Eto, why?”

“I can tell by the look in your eyes when you stared at Ms.
Fina today, Teacher.”

Looking at Eto, whose eyes were tear-stained slightly, an awkward smile broke out on her face.

The words of apology threatened to escape my throat somehow, but after swallowing them, I too showed my original, awkward smile.

“…I was confident in my ability to fake facial expressions.”

“Please don’t underestimate me.
I have been watching you, Teacher Kanaki, for four years now.”

Feeling a newfound sense of freshness at the sight of Eto puffing up with pride, I returned to the living room and gathered up my belongings.
Though having said that, my baggage was not especially large.
Among them were a pistol, a rarity in this country, which I had employed in the battle with Aldar the other day, and five magic crystal stones.
The rest was simply a white bangle with “Chakrameth” technique engraved on it.

To Eto, who was observing this with a complex countenance, a smile was presented to her.

“Rest assured.
I don’t intend to pull any major maneuvers today, so there is not much at stake.”

“…Is that true?”

“Compared to the work your father is doing today, yeah.
Well, it is more like night patrol to check if any of my students are in jeopardy.”

Winking at her, Eto gave a laugh, as if distressed.

“I will be waiting for you and the others on your way home, okay?”

It shouldn’t take too long.”

With a last smile―that same reassuring smile, of course―I dashed outside, already aware of my destination.

To the corner that overlooked multiple sniper points, not far from the hospital where Karen was hospitalized―

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