Tuesday, June 11, 2024 @

Volume 5 Chapter 24 The Gold-Ranked Exclusion Plan

Volume 5 Chapter 24 The Gold-Ranked Exclusion Plan

 The next day, in the pouring rain, Toxy was invited by Frain to their hideout.

 "...Come in."

 Sylvia, with a difficult expression, invited Toxy in. Inside, Frain and Kadras were standing with their arms crossed, looking tense.

 "...You're here."

 "I'm here. What's the plan from now on?"

 Toxy walked in quickly and sat down in an open seat.

 Frain asked Toxy,

 "First, tell me... is Wade okay?"

 "He's in a stable condition. He's not dead, but if we don't do something, he'll die. We can't save him without doing what needs to be done."

 "Is that so? So, it means we can save him?"

 Toxy looked at Frain, whose straight gaze seemed to convey a sense of urgency.

 So, Toxy replied,

 "It's impossible without me. We discussed it within the party, and we came to the conclusion that we need combat ability above gold rank and a certain quality."

 "...I see. Well, fine. I'll leave it to you then. --Now, let's discuss our next moves."

 Frain seemed to have heard what he wanted to hear, took a deep breath, and let it out. However, the tension didn't dissipate.

 "First, let's share the current situation. The sabotage of Nightfather's business is going smoothly, but we've confirmed that Fist of the Dragon is approaching. The lord is pressuring us, and we need to take care of them quickly."

 The room fell silent. Frain continued,

 "So, even if we lose Wade's combat power, we need to continue our strategy without hesitation. We can't wait for Wade's recovery."

 "...I'll take care of Swallow."

 Toxy said, causing Kadras and Sylvia's expressions to stiffen. Toxy thought to herself, "Am I really that scary?"

 Frain looked at Toxy.

 "As I said, I'll leave it to you. I borrowed some assassins from the lord and sent them after Swallow, but most of them were killed. The only one who came back said, 'He's no longer a human opponent.'"

 As Muramasa took Wade's fate, Swallow grew stronger. Toxy narrowed her eyes, and her killing intent began to seethe.

 Frain changed the subject.

 "Meanwhile, Rebellion Flame is making progress on their strategy to take down Puppet Master. The covert team finally managed to convince the city folks to cut ties, and now all we need to do is stop Puppet Master from getting away. We'll just go with the flow and take Puppet Master down too."

 "...Damn it, Brat. So that means we're going to take down a gold-ranked opponent on our own?"

 "That's right, Kadras."

 "Frain, even if Wade was defeated, do you understand that we're silver-ranked and going up against a gold-ranked opponent?"

 "Yeah, I do."

 Kadras and Sylvia let out a heavy sigh, then glared at Frain.

 "Got it. We'll reluctantly follow your orders, leader."

 "It's unbelievable that we recognized such a guy as our leader."

 "If you don't like it, then quit."

 ""Just kidding.""

 Kadras and Sylvia bared their teeth and growled.

 "Puppet Master is a despicable guy who makes my blood boil. I've had it in for him for a while now. It's risky, but we'll take him down."

 "I was almost turned into a puppet, and I won't rest until I see him die screaming. It's the only way to quench my anger."

 "It's settled then."

 Frain nodded, looking at Toxy.

 "Puppet Master is cautious, but if he loses his cool, he'll panic and make a move. He'll probably show up today. Luckily, we haven't taken any losses except for Wade. We'll probably clash tonight. Toxy, after you take down Swallow, come and support us."

 "Got it."

 The location of Swallow was unknown, but they had time until nightfall. Frain's group had gathered for the sake of justice and efficiency. Toxy was holding back his desire to take down Swallow immediately.

 "Well, I'm off. See you tonight."

 Toxy stood up and quickly left the scene.

 Next, she arrived at Wade's father, Weld's house.


 As she called out to her, she peeked inside to see Weld, who was drunk and face-down on the living room table. Toxy's eyes widened, and she asked, "Hey, are you okay?"

 "...Yeah, Toxy-chan. Hiccup... just leave me alone."

 It seemed like something shocking had happened. He had an attitude that hinted at it, so she naturally asked.

 "You knew that Wade was stabbed by Swallow, didn't you?"


 Weld reacted like he had been startled, and then his face turned gloomy, as if he was about to cry.

 "Wade really did become a gold rank... and he's trying to take down Nightfather."


 At this point, there was no need to hide anything anymore. Last night, Toxy had suddenly called out Wade's name. It reached the ears of Weld's father, who worked at Nightfather, through Protean's mouth.

 Toxy pressed on, asking,

 "Then, tell me quickly. Where is Swallow? If I know that, I might be able to save Wade."

 "What do you mean? Can Wade be saved?"

 Weld looked at me with wide eyes, and I nodded.

 "Wade wouldn't have died from that injury alone. But he's cursed by the special sword Swallow has, and he can't be revived. In other words, if I defeat Swallow, Wade can be saved."


 Weld clenched his fists tightly, and then turned to Toxy.

 "Hey, Toxy-chan. You know I work at Nightfather, right?"


 "Then, you came to see me to get me to tell you where Swallow is, didn't you? You want me to betray Nightfather, don't you..."



 Weld covered his face with his hands. Toxy pulled a chair closer, sat down next to him.

 "...I wasn't a good father..."

 "I'm listening."

 "Ah, I see. ...That's probably it. It's only recently that I've become somewhat stable. Until then, I was a complete mess. It's actually surprising that Wade turned out so straight-laced."

 "...In front of his father, Wade is really rebellious, though."

 Toxy said, and Weld slightly shrugged hwe shoulders.

 "Phew... That's just a phase of rebellion. If that's as far as it goes, then it's cute. In front of me, he'd say something like that, but in front of Toxy-chan, he's being honest, right?"

 "That's right. Yes, that's correct. In front of me and our friends, Wade is a really straight-laced leader."

 "A leader, huh? If you put it that way, then he's probably well-liked. Compared to me, there are probably many people who would die for him. That's right, isn't it? In no time, he's grown up to be quite impressive..."

 Weld took a deep breath, then let it out. He scratched his head vigorously, then said,

 "Swallow isn't in the Defense department, you know. He's the top of the Mercenary Department. So, he's in a building that belongs to the Mercenary Department. But, there are only a few people there, including Swallow. The people from the Mercenary Department basically live with their clients."

 It's like how Sandra used to be. Then, it seems like they can fight Swallow right away.

 "Will you tell me?"

 "...The location is on the outskirts of the dungeon city. It's a shady, inconspicuous place. Basically, it's a building that only organization members are allowed to enter, so it's hard to find without an introduction."

 "Are there any distinguishing features?"

 "There's always a gatekeeper standing guard, keeping a close eye on the surroundings. There are a lot of those kinds of people around here, but the gatekeeper here is pretending to be a vagrant. The notable thing is that they're doing that."

 "Thank you."

 Toxy bowed her head, about to leave immediately. But Weld stopped her.

 "Wait, Toxy-chan."

 "What is it?"

 "...Uh, what was it?"

 Weld looked down, choosing his words carefully, his gaze wandering, and then he smiled faintly, looking a bit lonely.

 "No way, it's nothing at all. Just tell Wade to take care of himself when he's feeling better."

 "...Yeah. Thanks."

 Toxy didn't have the luxury to question the somewhat sulky attitude, so she just bowed her head again and took off.

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