Chapter 3: The Self-Cutting Man, the Unkilling Fist – Part 1

Zatoh came walking to Noloty. He stood in front of her and stared at her.

She felt terribly uncomfortable. His eyes looked like they were void of emotions.

“Where’s Hamyuts Meseta?”

“The Director?”

“Where did she go?”

“I-I don’t know. She’s fickle and I can’t tell what she’s thinking about at all.”

Zatoh slightly frowned. But he immediately walked past Noloty.

“Please wait a second.”

“What is it?”

Zatoh turned around. Noloty decided that for now she would talk to him and check his situation. She tried thinking of a topic that wouldn’t be sensitive for him.

“U-umm, did you quit that brawl business?”

“I don’t need it anymore.”

Zatoh answered this and started walking. He didn’t seem to be interested in Noloty at all.

“Please wait, Zatoh-san!”

Noloty grabbed his sleeve and called to him again. His expression completely changed. She froze in place after he turned around and showed her his face. He stared at Noloty with eyes full of anger and astonishment.

“Why do you know that name?”

“The Director told me.”

“…I see.”

Zatoh made a displeased frown. He appeared to have some grudge towards that name.

“Do you have any business with the Director?”

After being asked so, the man thought for a bit.

“I’m going to be killed.”

“…Huh?”

“I’ll be killed by Hamyuts Meseta.”

“Umm, pardon me. What did you say?”

“I said I’m going to be killed by Hamyuts Meseta.”

Noloty was stunned to hear those words. The Director said he was being suicidal, but what was this deal about getting killed by her? It was a rather roundabout way of committing suicide.

If he wanted to die, it would be faster to just hang himself.

“Please wait. If you suddenly say such things I’ll be worried. Even the Director won’t kill a person without any reason.”

“I said I want to die. That’s enough of a reason.”

“No, it’s not enough at all.”

“Don’t touch other people’s clothes.”

Zatoh tried shaking off Noloty’s hands. But she didn’t let go easily.

“You’re in my way. I must find Hamyuts Meseta.”

She couldn’t allow it. Just now, Hamyuts had told her that she must save this person. If the person she had to save would suddenly die she would fail the mission. She couldn’t understand the situation at all, but she had to stop him.

“Please wait. I can’t allow this.”

This time she grabbed not his clothes but his wrists.

“Then, will you kill me?”

“…Huh?”

“You’re lacking compared to Hamyuts Meseta, but that fist earlier was quite strong. I don’t mind if you’d kill me.”

She couldn’t understand him at all. She opened her eyes wide.

“Kill me.”

“…I can’t.”

Noloty answered. Zatoh looked annoyed.

“That’s enough. You’re in my way. Go away.”

“Even if you tell me that…”

Zatoh tried shaking off the hands that grabbed him. Noloty desperately held on to his wrists. From a distance they may have looked like quarreling lovers.

Suddenly, something hit Noloty’s foot. When she looked down, she saw a small iron bullet. She released Zatoh’s wrists and picked it up.

“It’s the Director’s message bullet.”

After opening the mass of iron, she could see a small piece of paper inside. Noloty and Zatoh looked at it.

“To Zatoh-kun – It’s useless trying to look for me.”

Zatoh snatched the piece of paper from Noloty’s hand, tore it apart and threw it away. Then, he turned his back to Noloty and started walking in a fast pace.

“Where are you going, Zatoh-san?”

“Don’t follow me.”

He spat and went away.

 

“Even if he says not to follow him, if I do that my job’s done for…”

Noloty walked around while masking her presence. She was walking more than 200 meters behind Zatoh, choosing places she could hide in if he were to turn around. She knew the basics of tailing after someone. Even if following someone alone was hard, a single target shouldn’t be able to feel her if it was an ordinary person.

She decided to gather information about him. She had to take such an action in this state where she couldn’t understand anything about Zatoh. It seemed that for some reason, he wants to die. Furthermore, it seemed like he wants to get killed by someone else rather than hang or drown himself.

What’s going on with Zatoh? She had to investigate this first and foremost.

Zatoh left the downtown area and passed by the pier. He was heading towards the warehouse district; due to it being night, there were no people around.

He stopped in front of an especially old and small warehouse, opened the rusty iron door and then went inside.

“Mm…”

Noloty was anxious about entering that warehouse alone, but she couldn’t just give up here either. She looked for a place she could sneak through while staying undetected. She found the vents on the other side of the warehouse near the roof. She climbed up the stone wall and got inside.

Fortunately, it was dark inside. Noloty had no problems because she could see in the dark, and she wouldn’t be found by those inside. Being careful not to make any sound, she silently descended down the wall. Infiltration successful.

The inside was dusty and apparently hadn’t been used in a long time. Noloty thought she will have to be careful not to sneeze or cough. Inside the warehouse was a large pile of cloth sacks. Judging from the smell, this warehouse seemed to be storing coal.

Noloty put her ears to the ground. She could hear the sound of her own heartbeats as well as the footsteps of just one person from the other side of the warehouse. Other than that she couldn’t hear even mice on the floor. For the time being, she thought that only she and Zatoh were inside this warehouse.

Noloty gently poked her head from behind the sacks of coals. There was a small space in the corner of the other side of the warehouse. There, Zatoh was rubbing a matchstick and then used it to light a lamp.

His figure was illuminated. Around him were just a single lamp, a shabby sleeping bag, and a small satchel. Seeing he had a sleeping bag there, this was probably the place he slept in. Since Zatoh should have made some money by getting beaten like she saw earlier, Noloty couldn’t understand why he would sleep in such a place. Was there some reason he couldn’t go to an inn?

Zatoh took something out of his satchel. When the lamp’s light was reflected on it, she could see that it was a short sword. He grabbed the blade in a backhand grip and suddenly stabbed the back of his hand.

“!”

Noloty barely restrained herself from making a sound. The thirty-centimeter blade was buried up to its middle. The blade dug into the bare ground through the back of his hand.

Zatoh pulled the sword out. It was covered in blood, and he once again lowered it. He stabbed himself in the same spot. The pain of having stabbed himself in the same spot twice wasn’t insignificant at all. Zatoh seemed to be bearing it since he widened his eyes and clenched his teeth.

When he lowered the sword for the third time, it wasn’t to the back of his hand. He pierced the middle of his chest through his ribs.

“…Ah.”

Normally, when stabbing your chest you would turn the blade horizontally. However, Zatoh simply buried the blade inside him as it pierced his chest. Noloty felt as if she could hear the sound of his ribs breaking from where she was. Even from that distance, she could understand the broken ribs and blade pierced his heart and lungs.

Zatoh coughed violently. Blood flew from his mouth.

He grabbed the sword that was covered in blood up to the handle with both hands. While sprinkling blood from his mouth, he next pierced his throat with the blade.

He undoubtedly died. Whether or not he strengthened his body with Magic, there was nothing he could do. He didn’t even have the time to stop since it was so sudden.

“…Oh no…”

Noloty muttered. She suddenly failed her mission.

There was no need to hide anymore. Noloty raised her body and walked towards Zatoh’s corpse.

His body, collapsed forward as if he were prostrating, was vainly lit up by the lamp. When Noloty stepped into the fresh blood she could feel it was still warm. Even while she understood it was useless, she reached for Zatoh’s body. Then, she suddenly looked at his left hand.

“Huh?”

There no wound on his hand. Thinking that perhaps it was his right hand instead, she went around Zatoh to look at it. Suddenly, she heard a voice.

“…What are you doing?”

Noloty started looking around her reflexively.

The voice she heard surely came from Zatoh at her feet, but she couldn’t believe a man who just died could speak.

“…As I thought, it’s you.”

Zatoh raised his body from the sea of blood. His face, dyed red by his own blood, looked at Noloty.

Noloty lost her words. Zatoh still being alive after having pierced his heart and trachea seemed impossible to her.

Only one person had such an ability.

It was the Monster that attacked Bantorra Library.

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Chapter 3: The Self-Cutting Man, the Unkilling Fist – Part 1

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