Chapter 201 Behind Casino

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InoRyder was standing there sullenly.




 She was glaring at Logan's crotch as if she was about to bite him.




who's the lady over there?”




 Logan asks, unable to stand such a threat.





“InoRyder from Fox.
She's a trusted associate.
The girl next to her is Vani.
Also a member of Fox.”




 This is a corner of Pig's Haven.
It's a private room in the back of a casino.




 It has a poker table and a bar counter.
In this luxurious room, Abigail is in a dress.
Next to her is InoRyder in a pantsuit and Vani in a gothic dress.




InoRyder had just lost a round of games before the meeting time, but that wasn't the only reason for her grumpiness.
The mad dog's gaze was clearly hostile toward Abigail's ex-boyfriend, Logan.




Against them stood Logan, dressed in a suit, and next to him, a well-dressed man with a small beard and an honest-looking black man.





 Logan took the lead and introduced them to each other.




“This is Father Tornio.
This is the man who runs the Sand Brotherhood.”




“Ho ho ho ho ……
please, nice to meet you, Abigail.
And please, feel free to call me Tornio.
It is a pleasure in my life to get to know a beautiful woman like you.”




A man with a small beard stepped forward.
Up close, one could tell that he was of mature age, but his shiny skin made him look about middle-aged.
He's fat, but looks very healthy and fleshy.




The Sand Brotherhood is a gang in Pig's Haven that competes with the Sludge Club, to which Natsuki once belonged.




They were, simply put, big shots.




 Abigail hid her inner turmoil and shook hands with Tornio with a smile.



“And this is Senior Secretary Rutherford.
I'm sure you've heard his name in the newspapers and elsewhere.”




When told, the black man held out his hand.

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“I'm Rutherford.
I'm sure there's no one in the upper echelons of the 88 now who doesn't know who you are.”





“That doesn't sound like a good reputation.”




Rutherford's hand was thick and hot as she shook it.




“Of course, it would, Since you are a woman who can speak up to a lieutenant general.”




Rutherford laughed softly as he said this.
His voice had a weight to it that resonated in his stomach, and his eyeballs looked bigger than normal when he looked at Abigail, as if it was his habit to open his eyes wide.





Rutherford's name, of course, rings in her ears. He is a big name after all.
He's a candidate running against the current incumbent Yasmin, who will be nominated for the Secretary General's election in a few months.




Abigail, who had not been told in advance who she was being introduced to, inwardly cursed at Logan.




 She had contacted him for advice on Natsuki's case, and he told her that he knew someone who could help her with this case.



So what the hell is “this case” about this? It was too much of a stretch.
Abigail must have been screwed over this time because she kept turning down Logan's appointments.



The unusual situation of having a gang boss and a leading candidate for local government sitting at the same table made her nervous.





 Now Abigail introduced InoRyder and Vani once again.




After telling Vani about the objective of Abigail's activities, namely, to investigate Nigel's disappearance thoroughly, she asked Vani to work with her.




InoRyder explained to her in a roundabout way that it might be “difficult” and that she might have to “leave” the team.
However, she was surprisingly willing to go along.
She said that since it was a mission, she had planned to go along thoroughly.



The overly professionalism of the Fox must have been drilled into them through their training.
They were trustworthy.
Abigail was becoming confident of their reliability.




“It sounds like I was invited to a lovely party tonight, but isn't that a little over the top?”





“There's someone you want to move to the central, right?”




Although the requirements had been informed beforehand, Abigail explained again about Natsuki and Yakumo.

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“–So, I can't take care of them forever.
I need to move the kids to a central as soon as possible, and I need a home and a job ……
and, if possible, a guardian that I can trust.”



“That's fine…….
but Abby, what is your relationship with this Natsuki girl? Why do you care about her so much?”




“Well, I don't know.
I just happened to save her and she reminded me of the old days and I couldn't leave her alone.”




“The old days?”




“There was a time when I was protecting my sister…..
Ah sorry, I'm dabbling now”




 There was a slight pause, and Logan groaned softly.



“–I've never heard that you have a sister.”





I've never told anyone, but my birthplace is actually 6.”



“6….fort 6?”



A shudder ran across Logan's face.
Even the expressions of Tornio and Rutherford, who were standing next to him, flashed with surprise.




Fort 6 was one of the earliest constructed fortress cities.




The internal systems were therefore a “complete mess” and as the reality of the system gradually came to light through the press, there was strong worldwide outrage.




Under the sheer pressure 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.”




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?”








“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.




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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