Enemy Level-5.

The screwdriver scraped into his ear with a crunching sound. Fierce, intense pain exploded in his head, and the sound from his right side became muffled, as though he was wearing an earplug. On top of that, for some reason, about half of his vision seemed to be stained pinkish-red.

Ignoring all of this, Hamadzura pulled out the ‘crystals’ from his pocket.

It was a small, rectangular and clear case, like one that holds pencil lead.

Grasping the case tightly, he used the edge to slash open lengthwise the face of Mugino, who was extremely close by.

Mugino’s right eye was crushed at once, almost liked a pirate captain.

“Gwooooooooooooh – !!”

Holding her red, wet face with her two hands, Mugino stumbled backwards.

Seeing this, Hamadzura quietly laughed.

“A Level 0’s ear for a Level 5’s eye, huh… a bargain, ain’t it?”

At those words, Mugino’s face was dyed by her rage.

“HAMADZURAAAA – !!”

With a crackle, flashing light surged out.

Mugino Shizuri’s left arm, from her wrist to around her elbow, was blown off as though it had melted. The light of pure white produced there was aimed at Hamadzura Shiage’s face. She was trying to release Meltdowner, disregarding any fine alignments.

” – !!”

Right on the brink, Hamadzura swung his head to the side.

What allowed him to dodge the overwhelming attack was simply a coincidence.

Mugino stretched out her bloodstained right hand, forcibly pushing down an unstable Hamadzura who had lost his balance, and ended up straddling him. At that moment, the case of ‘crystals’ left Hamadzura’s hand, clattering while sliding across the ground, but Mugino no longer turned her eye towards it.

Fixing the gaze of her remaining left eye onto Hamadzura’s face, Mugino shouted, brimming with rage.

“It doesn’t matter!! It – doesn’t – MATTER!! An ear, an eye, the hell with that!! Rip my limbs off, crush my insides, you still can’t turn over this difference in power! This, is Level 5. This, is Number Four, Meltdowner!! Don’t get so cocky, you piece of shit. I don’t gotta lift a finger, to slaughter Level 0 bastards like you, A HUNDRED TIMES OVER – !!”

Froth flying from her mouth, Mugino grabbed Hamadzura’s neck with only her right arm. If she activated her ability in this state, Hamadzura’s entire head would certainly be annihilated.

Hamadzura Shiage, with his neck being held onto like a soda can, laughed.

As though he had decided to quit on something, he relaxed.

“…Well, I’m not stupid. I’d thought it’d end up like this.”

Hamadzura said, while listening to Mugino’s panting.

“You’re the kind who just won’t be satisfied until you can clear a game with no continues. The kind who gets pissed off at a small mistake, who won’t accept it even if you see the ending.”

“What?”

“Someone like that would find a new goal to write off that small mistake. If you couldn’t clear it with no continues, you’ll settle for setting the new high score instead… You didn’t need to fuss over a pointless Level 0. It would’ve been fine if you’d just use that Level 5 power you’re so proud of, and shot me down at long range right away.”

What I mean is – Hamadzura laughed.

“That useless fussing over a victory speech will turn into a definite opening.”

Clack! A metallic sound echoed.

It was the sound made as Hamadzura Shiage stretched his arm and the ladies pistol came out from his sleeve.

“Wha,”

Before Mugino could speak, Hamadzura pulled the trigger.

Bang bang bang!! Together with these dry sounds, multiple holes opened in her upper body. Hamadzura kept pulling the trigger until he was out of bullets, and his index finger continued to move for a while even after he was empty.

“…..”

Mugino looked towards her bloodstained body as though in surprise.

Finally, she began to shake and sway to the side, and fell and did not move.

“That was a breeze, Level 5.”

Saying something on the spot, Hamadzura dragged his battered body back up and rose. He picked up the case of ‘crystals’ from the floor and put it in his pocket again.

Even if Hamadzura Shiage had tried to take out the pistol from the beginning, he wouldn’t have won against Mugino Shizuri. She could have easily defended against it by using her ability. It was because of this that he had to hold back until the utmost limit. He had not taken out the pistol even after the screwdriver was put in his ear, in order to lure her into letting her guard down due to ‘Hamadzura no longer having a proper weapon’.

Previously, the leader of Anti-Skill, Komaba Ritoku, sealed the ability of Academy City’s strongest Level 5, and cornered him almost to the point of taking his life. What Hamadzura did was the same.

He stuck his little finger into his wounded right ear.

It didn’t seem like his eardrum was damaged. Drawing out the blocking clump of blood, his hearing recovered somewhat.

“…Geez. That really was a bargain.”

It was then, as he said in amazement and was about to leave.

” – ma, dzura -”

A voice that sounded like it rang out from the depths of Hell made shivers run up his spine.

He slowly turned around, and there,

“HAMADZURAaaAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA – !!”

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