I’m Not a Regressor
[Translator – Maccas ]
[Proofreader – ilafy ]
Chapter 146: Real Man (2)
Releasing the mana wrapped around his left chest, he drew an image in his head.
—The image of a bomb.
A powerful lightning bomb containing frightening electrivity that would sweep away the area in a radius of dozens of meters.
While containing that image within the glass bottle, he threw it.
The glass bottle containing blue lightning caused a small burst of wind as it shot forward.
Kurosaki Sosuke, who was tied onto the chair, slowly furrowed his brow.
A clear water droplet floated up in mid-air and encompassed the glass bottle that was wrapped in lightning.
The blue lightning exploding out of the glass bottle wasn’t able to pierce through the thin water droplet and puffed out.
“Since when… did you know?”
The impression of how Yuji looked like he was going to fall down from a touch reversed in an instant just because the light in his eyes changed.
From a prey shaking from fear to a cunning hunter waiting for their prey to fall into their trap.
Sticky killing intent that was like thick fog settled down in the basement.
“From the beginning.”
Ohjin smiled leisurely in the midst of the thick killing intent that would’ve choked an ordinary person.
Sosuke looked at Ohjin like he couldn’t understand.
When even his subordinates didn’t know his identity, how did it make sense for Ohjin to be able to see through his lies in their first meeting?
“Didn’t I already tell you? I said that I would’ve asked to save my little sister.”
“You noticed that I was lying with only that? Do you really expect me to believe that?”
“Naturally, that isn’t the only thing.”
Ohjin smirked and crossed his legs.
“Through the past few months, you guys acted while thoroughly hiding the location of the ‘digestion facilities’. But in a timely manner, the location of a digestion facility was exposed coincidentally just as I arrived in Japan?”
Up to that point was understandable—maybe Kuroushi's months of effort were just finally bearing fruit.
“It makes no sense for there to be no security devices and not even any sentries near the asylum.”
It was as if they had opened their doors wide to greet the Kuroushi clan’s arrival.
“...Still, that shouldn’t be enough to figure out my identity.”
Sosuke narrowed his eyes.
As he said, it was difficult to find a way to correlate Yuji with Sosuke just because the security was too careless. In the first place, Yuji was too different compared to the Sosuke that the world knew of.
Who could think that a one-armed skinny developer who looked to be on the verge of collapsing was the same person as Kurosaki Sosuke, the one called the King of Seahorses who reigned as an entity of fear?
Ohjin pointed at the vicinity of Sosuke’s severed left arm.
“That arm. You said that it was cut off after stepping up to Kurosaki Sosuke, didn’t you?”
Humans easily believe the words of beings weaker than themselves by instinct because they judged that it wouldn’t be a big threat even if they were betrayed.
This wasn’t a matter of ration or logic, but rather emotion and instinct.
It was the same reason that famous movies with plot-twists made cripples turn out to be the culprit.
Kurosaki Sosuke made Sakai Yuji one-armed in order to cleverly take advantage of that human mentality. There weren’t many other methods that could make someone seem as distinctively weak as a ‘defective body’.
“Why was it the arm?”
“Don’t you think it’s strange?”
“...What part of it is strange?”
Ohjin’s shoulders shook up and down as he cackled.
“According to you, Sakai Yuji is the one and only developer who can reconstruct the ‘Star-forsaken Land’, isn’t that right?”
In that case…
“You should have cut his leg, not his arm.”
Kurosaki Sosuke’s eyes widened.
—Cutting the leg, and not the arm.
The words that left Ohjin’s mouth echoed out in his head.
A laugh subconsciously escaped his mouth.
Thinking about it now, it was an extremely natural question.
Rather than severing a developer’s arm and lowering work efficiency, it was much more ‘effective’ to cut off his leg so that he wouldn’t be able to escape.
“You’re not in your right mind, either.”
However, that was in the realm of theory.
How many people would actually look at a one-armed person shaking from fear and think about work efficiency?
“Just what do you think of other humans as?”
In a sense, that question could only come to mind if you thought of other humans as not people, but something like livestock or tools.
“Haha! Wow, I didn’t think I’d hear those words from a bastard who kidnaps people and turns them into potions.”
Ohjin laughed and clapped his hands.
“Well, anyway. You should know how I was able to figure out your identity now, right?”
“Why did you do this?”
“Hm? Do what?”
“Why did you pretend to be unaware despite knowing my identity this whole time?”
Sosuke furrowed his brow.
If Ohjin knew about his identity from the start, he could’ve just exposed him right away on that spot, but why did he go out of his way to expose his identity three days after the fact?
“That’s because I knew you were going to eat away at your own skin.”
“...What do you mean?”
Ohjin smiled brightly and nodded his head.
“You need that many ‘sacrifices’ to reach your goal.”
For example, the Hippocampus faction that he’d built up until then.
“Hah, you speak as if you know all of my goals.”
“I do know.”
Ohjin couldn’t be ignorant of it.
“The fact that Yuji is Kurosaki Sosuke isn’t all that important.”
The important thing was why Kurosaki Sosuke decided to act as Sakai Yuji and let himself get captured.
“You were trying to erase the existence named ‘Kurosaki Sosuke’.”
What was the best method for a culprit to get rid of their past criminal record?
Secretly going into hiding?
Going through cosmetic surgery on their entire body and disguising themselves as someone else?
The best method was making it seem like the ‘culprit’ was dead.
After all, there was no way to hunt down a person who was already dead.
“Why? Did you start to feel the pressure after hearing that Cheon Doyoon died?”
Sosuke shook his head like he was sick of it.
“It’s my loss. You win.”
He didn’t think that his plan was perfect and impeccable in the first place, but he hadn’t expected it to get demolished so thoroughly.
* * *
Translator - Maccas
Proofreader - ilafy
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* * *
When Sosuke leaned his back onto the chair with a frustrated expression—
—heavy footsteps coming down the stairs could be heard.
Sakaki, with a stiff expression, and Ha-eun, with eyes containing contempt, walked down to the basement.
Behind Sakaki were Koshiro and members of Kuroushi trailing down to the basement in a line.
“Sakai Yuji… no, Kurosaki Sosuke.”
Sakaki’s eyes shone fiercely like he had heard the whole conversation as he stared at Sosuke.
“What? Were all of you gathered up and eavesdropping outside?”
Sosuke smirked and looked around at the people who’d come into the basement.
Sakaki shouted out with an ear-splitting scream while he twisted the collar of Sosuke, who was tied to the chair.
“Are you telling me… that all of that was just an act!!!”
How much had he contemplated about Yuji during the past three days? He felt disappointed at himself for being unable to swing down his sword when Yuji had begged him to kill him.
“Honestly, I was a bit scared, but a man amongst men is certainly different!! I trusted that you wouldn’t kill me!”
Sosuke laughed out loud like he was insane while his collar was being grabbed.
“But… Mr. Taurus, did you know…?”
His lips twisted up.
“That I’m not the only one—who’s been acting.”
Sakaki furrowed his brow.
The sound of feet roughly stepping forward could be heard from behind him.
Killing intent coldly brushed past the back of Sakaki’s neck for a moment.
What Sakaki saw when he urgently turned his head around—
“...I’m sorry, Oyabun.”
—was Koshiro, holding a knife with both hands.
With an expression on the verge of tears and his knife raised up high, he swung the knife down towards Sakaki’s back.
When the knife that had clear droplets dripping down was about to pierce through Sakaki’s heart—
—as if he knew it would happen, Ohjin arrived beside Koshiro before they knew it and caught his arm.
A breath of relief came out of Koshiro’s mouth once his arm was stopped.
As if his attack being prevented was instead a relief, a light smile formed on his mouth.
Ohjin exhaled a deep breath after catching Koshiro’s arm.
“...I hoped that this goddamn situation wouldn’t happen.”
He mumbled swears and roughly kicked Koshiro’s stomach.
Koshiro was sent flying back and crashed into the wall, and the knife that had been in his grasp clattered onto the ground.
“Just what is…”
Sakaki’s mouth opened dumbfoundedly with an expression that was several times more in shock than when he’d found out that Yuji’s was Sosuke.
Ohjin looked down at Koshiro collapsed on the ground with a bitter expression.
He wasn’t going to bring it up first if he didn’t make his move, but he couldn’t hide it any longer once he swung the knife at Sakaki.
“Mr. Sakaki. Do you remember when the Yumehanashi was used?”
“We most certainly used the Yumehanashi on Sosuke back then.”
But despite that, he hadn’t told the ‘truth’.
How was that possible?
The method was simple.
It was so plain that it was boring, and so bland that it caused yawning.
“The Yumehanashi was a fake.”
“And back then, there was only one person that could swap out the real Yumehanashi with a fake one.”
Ohjin looked down at Koshiro, who had his head dropped down in silence.
He hadn’t fallen unconscious.
There was no way he would fall unconscious from crashing into a wall when he was an Awakener of Scutum.
Sakaki looked at Koshiro with trembling eyes.
“Why? Just why…?”
He recalled the way Koshiro called him Oyabun.
He recalled his voice when he energetically shouted out that he wanted to become a man like he was with sparkling eyes.
Koshiro wasn’t simply his subordinate…
He was his disciple, and an existence akin to his son.
“Why, why, why, whyyyyyyy!! Tell me why, Koshiroooooooo!!!!” Sakaki cried out.
Koshiro chewed his lips while his shoulders trembled.
Ohjin silently looked down at Koshiro and then turned his head to Sosuke.
“Why do you think Sakai Yuji obeyed Kurosaki Sosuke?”
“What are you talking about? Isn’t Sakai Yuji a nonexistent person made up by—”
“Why… do you think he obeyed Kurosaki?”
Sakaki’s expression stiffened.
It seemed that he realized something as his fist that was holding Sosuke’s collar started to shake.
Ohjin exhaled a short breath and soon continued with a bitter expression.
“The one who was poisoned wasn’t Sakai Yuji’s younger sister… but Koshiro’s.”
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