from public opinion, the central government, UCEG, began plotting a new fort to replace the old one.
After construction proceeded at a rapid pace, publicly citing outdated facilities as the reason, the residents were to move to the new fort once the front line was stabilized, and the governing system was renewed.
Thus, Fort 6 was to become an abandoned capital.
That was nearly 15 years ago.

 

 

 

But, there was a problem.

 

 

The military, which had been in control of Fort 6, refused a request from UCEG to hand over the city and state a coup.

 

 

 However, the city of Fort was a fortress designed to be anti-alien.
So the anti-aircraft capability was almost non-existent.

 

 

 

There was no way they could stand up to the central forces with what little anti-aircraft firepower they had, and the battle was rather anticlimactic.

 

 

 In the end, Fort 6 was destroyed by airstrikes.
The military was crushed in about a month, with many casualties.
Residents who were holed up inside or held hostage were taken into custody or protected by the central government, and the rest were scattered.

 

 

The reason for the coup was an overreach by the top brass, who were afraid of being held accountable for their corrupt politics.
It is a very common occurrence.

 

 

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Since then, an election system has been adopted in the Fort, which in peacetime is run by an autonomous government independent of the military.
This decentralized power and at the same time allowed journalists a certain degree of freedom in their activities.
The old rule that journalists had to accept periodic inspections by the UCEG would also be strictly enforced.

 

 

 

“–I had taken the aptitude test before the coup and had been selected to move to 74.
My sister was still young and she was supposed to go to 74 with me, but on the day of the move, a coup happened and 6 was locked down.
Because of the chaos at that time, we drifted apart.”

 

 

 

 Everyone in the private room listened to Abigail in grim silence.

 

 

 

 

“–I didn't know that ……
you never told me anything at all about your past.”

 

 

 

 

Logan said in a muffled voice.

 

 

 

“Because I want to forget.”

 

 

 

“I see…….”

 

 

 Logan nodded once and said, “If that's what you want, I'll do it for the kids.”

 

 

 

“But not right away.
Give me a month or so ……
Senior Secretary Rutherford.
Can you prepare the transfer papers for slum dwellers for Natsuki and Yakumo?”

 

 

 

“That, of course.
We will have to rack our brains on the reasons for the relocation…….
If anything, it would be easier if you find a guardian in the central first, and then have that person take the form looking for an adopted child…….
If we act that we take them from the slums of the Fort as a charity, they would not be scrutinized us too much due to the recent increase in human rights awareness.”

 

 

 Rutherford readily agreed.

 

 

 Tornio next to him cleared his throat a little.

 

 

“Ummm ……
is this Natsuki girl…..used to work for us?”

 

 

 

“No, she told us she was a match girl at Sludge.”

 

 

 

“Hmm.
Sludge is very strict about the loose threads, so I'm a little worried.”

 

 

 

 

“Yes, that's true.
I'll keep her in my custody for the time being, but I'm also concerned about pressure from the local government.”

 

 

 

“It was clever of you not to leave them in the hands of the police.
Sludge has a lot of influence over the police.”

 

 

 

“But Inspector Mclaren, who was in charge of the case seemed like a trustworthy man…….”

 

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“Hoh ……
you know Inspector Mclaren?”

 

 

 

“Yes.”

 

 

 

“Hohoho ……
that's lucky.
He is a pretty serious guy.
You can count on him if you need anything.
As for me, I'm going to be reasonably generous with you.
If there is anything you want to know about someone in 88, by all means, you can count on me.”

 

 

 

 Abigail felt a small twinge of confusion when Tornio smiled at her.

 

 

 

For a gang boss, he was far too easy-going.
Was this friendliness a mask? But she could not sense the fishy characteristic of a gangster in him.

 

 

 

 

Perhaps such confusion showed in her expression, Rutherford tapped Tornio on the shoulder.

 

 

 

“Tornio is the man behind the curtain of 88.
Although we call it a gang, the Sand is only focused on providing entertainment to the ragged soldiers.
He is like the living embodiment of 88, taking care of all the 88 rougher-lads and beggars, and has been doing well with the lieutenant-general for a long time.”

 

 

 

 

 A necessary evil, Abigail thought.
There is no way that a city as large as this can remain clean.
That the lieutenant general understood this and was working with this Tornio person was a story that made sense to her.

 

 

 

“……So, Logan.
What do they ask in return for this generous hospitality?”

 

 

Abigail put her hands on her hips and sent him an accusing glare.

 

 

 

“No, no.
It's not that big of a deal.
Natsuki's case is already settled when you came here.
I'm just trying to get you to meet these two people.”

 

 

 

He paused briefly before sighing.

 

 

 

“–Abigail.
It's time for us to really talk.”

 

 

 

 He glanced to the side and looked at InoRyder.
I guess he meant to ask her to leave the room.

 

 

 

But she couldn't imagine working without her help.
Making eye contact with InoRyder, who was at the poker table dealing cards and doing some card tricks.
Abigail said clearly.

 

 

 

 

“These two are my only allies right now.
If you get rid of InoRyder and Vani, I'm leaving.”

 

 

 

At Abigail's words, InoRyder proudly huffed.
The card trick she was performing increased in speed.

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