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Chapter of the week: 2/4
In the middle of a night with a clear sky. At this time of the night, everyone in the city was sleeping, except for those who have night shifts, salarymen who are coming back home from a bar with tottering steps, delinquents who still didn’t get enough from playing around, as well as…
Strange people who loiter in the town in the middle of the night.
“How wonderful… So this is, the freedom…”
The dark figure of a person revealing a sinister grin stood in an off-street and shivered from relishing the joy of freedom while enjoying watching something in front of him.
“Guu… Ghaa… a…”
“A… a…. Ah…”
Two men were groaning from pain and anguish in front of his eyes. The two men were placing their hands on their necks and strangling themselves. Despite groaning from the intense pain they felt from their act, their hands didn’t show a sign of loosening. They looked as if they were forced to strangle themselves.
The dark figure who was standing nearby watched the two men with excited eyes as if he were watching a show. He didn’t seem to be intending to save them. Eventually, the two men reached the limits of their resistance and crumbled on the ground. Their groaning voices disappeared and they didn’t move anymore. They were no longer alive. The dark figure who watched them suffering until the end shifted his pleased gaze to the sky as he revealed a satisfied smile.
“I never knew that being free from ties feels this good!”
His voice amplified from the excitement and resounded in the quiet district of the night town.
“I will never go back to that place. Well then, what should I do next…”
Quickly forgetting about the two men who died in front of him, the dark figure made a wicked grin and left the place while considering his next move. The shining full moon ominously enlightened the night town as if it were indicating what was about to happen in the near future.
In a normal morning that has nothing particularly unusual. A few weeks have passed since the day school started and my habit of lazing around the entire day changed into the normal one where I had to go to school every morning.
“Good morning, Yato.”
I greeted my mom while still being in a half-awake condition and took a seat at the dining table. Karen was already sitting in front of me and was eating her breakfast.
“You’re late as usual.”
“You said it, this is the usual.”
I got a short remark from Karen about waking up late, but for me, she is the one who wakes up earlier than the usual. Today, I even woke up 10 minutes earlier. I started eating my breakfast and noticed some strange news on the TV.
“Two bodies of unidentified men were discovered on an off-street of ***. According to a police investigation, the men were forced to strangle themselves. The suspect is still on the large…”
Such gloomy news in the morning… But I see, it sounds pretty strange.
Usually, a person loses their consciousness in the middle of strangling themselves, so the strength they put in their hands will naturally decrease. As long as they don’t hang themselves using a rope or something of similar, committing suicide is out of question.
“Oh my, such a disturbing news. The location of the incident isn’t that far from here.”
“Maybe the murderer is closer than what we think.”
Karen replied with a joke to the remark made by my mom in the kitchen.
Unnatural death, huh…
I got a little curious after hearing those news, but I soon lost interest and continued my breakfast. After finishing eating, I went to prepare for school before my phone started ringing.
“Master, you got a phone call.”
Hearing Meru’s announcing voice, I took my phone and read the name Ishida Tetsuji on the screen. It’s the old man. I can tell that nothing pleasant was waiting for me after accepting his call in this morning. Getting a faint premonition, I hesitated on whether to answer him or not and ended up moving the phone near my ear.
“Sup, Yato. It’s been a while, huh. Your daddy is giving you a morning call ――”
“I’m hanging the call, alright?”
Just like usual, I moved the phone away from my ear and prepared to hang the call before hearing his screaming voice asking me to stop. Seriously, this old man can’t be serious in his calls.
“What do you need all of a sudden? I’m about to leave for school now.”
“It won’t take much time. I just wanted to tell you that I need your help again.”
Well, all of his phone calls had the same intention of asking for my help. I should have expected that much.
“Let me ask for details first. What kind of help do you need?”
“Hold your breath. This time I’m looking for a murderer.”
I was indeed slightly taken aback when I heard his reply. He went all the way to look for a murderer now. I’m used to him asking me all the time to help him find someone missing or some material witnesses. This is the first time I heard him saying that he is actually searching for a murderer. And for him to look for the murderer personally, something must be going on.
“That’s quite unusual of you.”
“Usually, I’d have avoided this kind of missions, but this time is it’s different this time, you see.”
The old man explained in an apologetic voice.
“Yato, did you see the news?”
“Yeah, I did.”
“I’m talking about the murder case of the off-street.”
The murder case of the unnatural deaths of those two men.
“I conducted an investigation on it and realized that there were many strange things about this case. The bodies didn’t have any sign of being stabbed or wounded. Only the trace of their own hands on their necks. For some reason, it didn’t look as if they reduced the strength in strangling themselves until they died, and the two men were apparently not the type who would resort to committing suicide. Don’t you feel anything strange in this case? For me, it feels as if someone were controlling them to strangle themselves.”
“Well, I agree with you on that…”
After listening to his long explanation, I agreed with the old man. It’s impossible for a person to keep strangling themselves without losing their consciousness at some point. Even the old man said that same thing.
“Hey, Yato… could it be that… there is another person who has the same abilities as you?”
This was the conclusion that only the old man who knows about my abilities could come up with. However, I had no idea if such a person does actually exist on Earth. Only Tenjouin and his classmates have the same skills as I do and right now, they are supposed to be in the other world. As far as I know, there isn’t anyone here on Earth who holds the same abilities as me.
“I don’t think so.”
“I see. I called you thinking that you may have a clue, but…”
The old man replied in a disappointed tone. I’m not sure if the murderer has skills, but in case he does, I wonder how he acquired them. Time passed quickly as I fell into my thoughts.
“Yato! It’s about time! Leave before it gets too late.”
I heard my mom’s voice calling me from the downstairs. After returning to my sense of hearing her voice, I looked at my hand watch and realized that a considerable amount of time had passed since I ate my breakfast. I’m going to be late at this rate.
“I need to go now. I will call you when I’m free again.”
“Huh, you’re going to help me?”
The old man who wasn’t expecting that I’d accept his request this easily asked for my confirmation in a stunned voice.
“If the murderer had the same abilities as me, you won’t stand a chance against him.”
“I’m expecting you to treat me to something in return.”
The old man was emotionally moved to have received my assistance that he screamed from delight and accepted to treat me to anything I want. His reaction was too energetic for an old man in the morning. But I guess it’s because of me accepting to cooperate with him without complaining this time.
But still… someone who has skills…
I hung up the phone call and remained standing in my place. Unlike【Cooking】and【Martial Arts】, my skills are very unique and not something that could be acquired by leading a normal life. They exceed the scope of what humans could achieve. As long as the murderer didn’t obtain his abilities from a God like me and Tenjouin’s class did, it’s impossible for him to get them. I kept contemplating for a while but didn’t reach any clear answer.
We don’t even know if the murderer is a skill user in the first place.
I’ve been thinking with the premise that the murderer is a skill user, though, that could be nothing but a mere misunderstanding. It’s still too early to make decisions. For now, let’s go to school. I picked up my bag and headed to school while thinking about the unusual murder case.
“There is a way to acquire skill on Earth.”
In lunch break. I casually expressed my doubts to Lina as we were eating lunch together with Saya and got back an unexpected answer.
“Well, to be precise, it’s more like a person end up acquiring.”
I couldn’t understand what she was talking about and urged her to explain.
“What do you mean?”
“Humans hide various talents and abilities. That’s a prominent fact. In most of the cases, that talent or ability end up fading away without blooming. But, in the few extremely rare cases or due to some strong shocks, there are some people who manage to unleash those talents to their full extent. In the case of your class, all that Metron-sama did was to intentionally make your abilities bloom instead of letting that decision for nature to make.”
“So that’s how skills work.”
So there could actually someone who has unique skills.
“For instance, those who get struck by lightning and stay alive or those who lose their parents in a cruel condition have a high possibility of waking up to their abilities. Those people here in Earth are called『Meta-Humans』.”
Metahumans, huh. I heard that term sometime on TV and thought that they were all lies.
So they ended up being actually true. Even Saya who was keeping quiet all this time exclaimed from the shock.
“Well, the chance of someone becoming a metahuman is around one out of a few hundred millions.”
I guess the old man’s hypothesis could be hitting the mark.
“Then, does that mean I have a chance of getting superpowers too?”
“It’s possible. Who knows.”
Saya asked about herself getting skills half-jokingly. I wonder if she really wants to become a skill holder just like Karen wants to.
This is getting troublesome…
As Saya and Lina were having a fun conversation, I muttered to myself while looking at the sky. If the murderer behind the strangling case were to be a metahuman, then the old man wouldn’t stand a chance against him.
I’m changing too, I guess…
Usually, I would have complained about not wanting to do anything instead of accepting to help the old man immediately.
While aware of my change, I spent the rest of my peaceful lunch break chattering with Lina and Saya.
“I’m surprised on how you accepted to help me so fast this time.”
“You got a problem with that? It’s fine.”
“Yeah, it’s fine… but I wasted my time.”
“I thought that you will refuse me at first so I spend the last night searching for a place that serves delicious food. Though it turned out to be a waste of time.”
“How about you investigate the case instead?”
Next Update: Wednesday, August 08, 2018
Synopsis: The online game <