-Commander Birksby-

“How did it go?”

Aglop shook his head.
I asked him to check out around the base, in case there are organization’s people lurking around.
As expected, he couldn’t even sense any presence of them.
I doubt if we are really being watched, since nothing happened until now.
But that’s what the kid said.
The kid’s sure they are lurking around here.
But how do Meira and the others move?
To reduce the number of watchers here, we’ll need to move a lot of vigilantes at once.
Did they figure out about that as well?

“What’s wrong?”

“Nah, I’m just wondering how they’re going to move.”

“I see, how she’s gonna move, huh.
Certainly, her target is that kid, isn’t it?”

Aglop frowned hard.
Perhaps he’s questioning his choice of letting that kid in our operation.
Well, the kid said they’re 9, but that’s just their appearance.

“We rely too much on that kid, don’t you think?”

“I know, right?”

“If you’re already aware of this fact, I won’t say anything more.”

We certainly rely too much on that kid.
We’re just executing whatever plan that kid created.
Worse, we’re taking advantage of the fact that the kid’s their target.
As adults, we’re the worst.
But we’re sick of this already.
No matter how we cornered them, they escaped and left behind casualties.
Our hearts were so ruined that we were ready to give up any chase.
I tried to hid my weariness and keep encouraging them, though.
But the weariness piled up high, and honestly, I have also reached my limit.
It was then that Borolda and Saizerg introduced me to that kid, Ivy.
My heart sank, knowing children are being targeted again.
I want to protect them to the end this time, but I couldn’t wipe that feeling of uneasiness.
But Ivy was completely different from the other kids I had met.
Just like me, the cornered Borolda laughed.
That guy, who only looked tragic when he talked about the organization.
I was shocked when I listened to the kid’s story.
They understand their circumstances, and even thinking about how we should take action.
What kind of kid could do all those things?

Even if they were a little older than they looked, as I later found out.
Beyond that, they said to face the organization head on.
What the hell am I doing as a full-fledged adult, I thought.

“The kid is only 9, right?”

“You bet.”

Aglop and I let out a wry laugh.
This guy knows.
That I was pushed to the limit.
That the situation’s different now, and what’s causing it.
I heard someone entering through the entranceway.

“Seems like they have arrived.”

“Seems so.”

We saw Marleek, Nouga and Cival at the entranceway.
But the rest of them are not here.
I tilted my head in confusion, but Cival smiled widely.
I shuddered seeing his expression.

“Good timing.
Leader, please assemble an annihilation team to arrest the band of murderers right now.”

“What did you say?”

Although I don’t usually agree with Aglop, we are both surprised here.
What do you mean?
Annihilation team?
We’re supposed to stand guard here, right?
Or did Meira and the others make a move without me knowing?

“Please gather a large number of members, since there are quite a lot of dangerous people we want to arrest here.
Ah, that’s right.
Since we are going to face vicious criminals, there will be people leaving midway.
I’ll leave the member selection to you, but please keep that in consideration.”

Leaving midway?
Well, there will be injured people, but to phrase it as ‘leaving’… ah, I see what you mean.

“Vice Leader, can you help with selecting the team members?”

“Will do.”

“About people who are supposed to leave midway…”

“No problem.
I have no intention of letting anyone leave.
I’m off then.”

The vice leader, heading off to vigilante group’s place, looks excited.
Catching the traitor among vigilante group as we capture the criminals is fine, but what happened to yesterday’s operation plan?
I’d like an explanation, but…

“Leader, something wrong? Huh, where’s Vice Leader?”

One vigilante group member walks in from the break room in the back.
He’s Gabojula, the one I thought I could trust to take care of things before.
I was shocked when I found out he is a traitor.
Why would someone so popular even among the townspeople help an organization like that?
Well, I’m not him, so how could I know?

“We found a band of vicious criminals.
Most likely murderers.
So, we’re sending a team to wipe them out right now.
Vice Leader is heading to the quarter to gather members for the annihilation team.”

“Criminals, murderers you said…but we need to check if the information is correct before sending out a team.”

I can see his slight discomposure at the mention of annihilation team.
How rare for him.
Well, he quickly hid it, though.

“Nothing to worry about that.
We already verified the information.”

Maarleek grinned towards Gabojula.
The group of adventurers led by Borolda and Saizerg are highly trusted in this town.
You need to have good enough reason if you’re going to object to something they investigated.

“I see, I apologize for my rudeness.
Leader, what should we do about our quarter’s defense?”

“Oh, right, there’s that problem.”

There was a plan to scale down our quarter’s defense, but what should we do about it?
We haven’t had a chance talk about it!
If I say something on a whim, will they support me?

“We’ll take some people from the quarter as well.
The quarter will be fine with minimal defense.”

“I don’t think that’s a good idea, Leader.
Perhaps this place is still an important spot for the organization.
Let’s keep the defense to some level.
Besides, we have moved the important document about the organization from the quarter, right?”

That’s not what you said yesterday, though.
I beg you; someone give me some explanation.

“Huh? Well, you’re right.
It’s a little late for that, isn’t it? Gabojula, please choose some people to defend the quarter.
The rest of them will be in the annihilation team.”

“Roger, will do that right now.”

I looked toward Gabojula’s figure as he heads out to the break room.

“Listen, I think this strayed quite far from what I heard yesterday.”

I glared at Cival, but he just shrugged.

“I’m sorry.
We just knew about the change to this strategy a while ago.”

“What do you mean? Who came up with the change?”

“Of course, Ivy came up with it.
The kid said today is the best time to move, no need to wait,”

That kid, huh.
Then, I guess it’s all right.

“Somehow, that kid is a strange one.”

Until now, no matter what kind of strategy it is, I had always felt worried.
But now, I don’t feel any worry.
And I haven’t even asked about the strategy.

“So, what are we going to do now?”

“Oh, that’s right.

“What is this… hey, this looks like a sleeping ball, though?”

“Indeed, it is.
It is really a sleeping ball.”

“What are we going to do with this?”

“When those people enter the base, the moment they enter that room, we will diffuse this through the entire building.”

The entire building?
What are you talking about?
He sounds awfully serious, though.
Marleek and Nouga are laughing wryly.
…Are you seriously going to put everyone in the base to sleep?

“Our allies are also in the base, not only our enemies.”

“I don’t think we can do anything about that.
We don’t have enough manpower here.”

“Sigh…you don’t say, that kid planned all this?”

“Fufufu, that kid is really interesting, aren’t they?”

I can feel my face twitching.
I wouldn’t have thought of a strategy like that.
By the way, how am I supposed to explain this to the allies we put to sleep later?
That’s definitely my role, right?

“Please, is there any other way?”

“Alright, I’ll set this off quickly.
We don’t have much time.
It’s not easy to spread this to the entire building, you see!”

“Hey, wait.”

He ignored me.
And what’s with that grin!

Well, considering we’re cornering the organization, I guess that makes sense?

“Leader, here.”

Nouga hands me a net woven with durable ropes used to catch monsters.
I have a very bad feeling about this…

“What’s this?”

“I quote ‘when you enter the forest, throw it towards the traitors to slow them down.’”

“The kid said that?”

“No, Cival did.”

What a relief.
So, this one plan is not created by that kid.
But Cival is one nasty guy, huh.
I sighed as I took the net.

“Isn’t this a net to catch the top-class monsters?”

“Yeah, we’ll catch all of them with this one throw.”

“Hahaha, with this we catch all allies and enemies indiscriminately, you mean?”

“Well, that depends on your skills.”

“Please, no matter how you see it, no one can throw this thing only at the enemies!”

“Good luck.”

They think it’s not their problem.

“We’ll think about what happens after that later.
Here they come.”

I see that those who has been selected for the annihilation team has gathered here.
Good job from Aglop.
The traitors and the allies who are confident in their skills.
They have been selected in a fairly balanced manner.
Then, if we’re going to use a net, means we’re doing this out of town.
We’ll catch them around the moment they enter the forest.

“Leader, I gathered 45 people.
Looks alright?”

“Yeah, we’ll only take a few people from the base.”

“A few people…I understood.”

Well, let’s do it.
I’m gonna load all my hatred into this.

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