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“Well then, me too.” (Shuuya)
“Shuuya-san, will you as an adventurer once again plunge into danger?” (Mia)
Mia-san voices such a question while showing a sorrowful expression.
This person has been like this the whole time for a while now.
Being rescued is detestable to her.
“Is that how it will turn out, I wonder? It looks like you have some complaints, but those are for next time…” (Shuuya)
I talk with Rollo who was on my shoulder.
At that point I part from Mia after lightly waving one hand towards her. Leaping out from the conference room, I descend the stairs while hurrying.
I search for the figures of Victor and Deyma.
The battle has already started in front of the stone lanterns at the store front.
It’s a fierce fight with war cries being hurled about.
This is a war.
Having broken the stone lanterns of the promenade, humans and beastmen yell and kill each other.
They cut each other with hatchets and longswords, brandish spears and knock each other down with mallets or their bare hands.
Countless corpses are scattered on the ground, and puddles of blood were created all over.
According to the Laws of Lanchester, a war is decided by the numbers, or so it says, but it seems to be really true.
The dark-brown group of enemies is obviously the one applying pressure.
I joined the battle late. Immediately ten-odd people, who were smeared with blood and revealed crazed expressions, gathered in groups in my vicinity.
Sensing the atmosphere of a battle, Rollo jumps off my shoulders with her hairs standing on end and changes into a black panther without a sound and bared her fangs. In an instant she extended her tentacle bone swords towards a dark brown enemy, who was closing in, and killed him after stabbing his head and torso. Furthermore, she moves around by jumping around with her powerful limbs.
She already went for the next prey.
Haeeh, as expected… you are going to show a part of your divinity as a divine beast.
“This guy is an unarmed idiot, get ‘im!”
I ignore the bullshit. While feeling some fighting spirit to do my best as well, I summon the Magic Spear.
The dark-brown robed bastard, who made fun of me, gets startled and opens his eyes wide due to the sudden appearance of a weapon while he is extending his sword, but it’s too late.
I swung the magic spear, which I summoned, diagonally at him and caused the red blade to directly hit the area below the robed bastard’s belly. Just like that his body was divided horizontally into two parts and I caught them with a rope in one go.
While his entrails are being scattered and his blood dances in a circle as I rotate the two pieces of flesh, which were originally one, several times in mid-air, enemies preparing to release arrows, enter my field of vision.
Since they are ranged-type enemies, they get priority.
I shoot <Chain> at the archers.
The chains plunge forward as if creeping along the ground. Piercing the feet of the archers, the chains swallow their bodies by coiling around them and kill them.
There were several archers, but it doesn’t seem like there are any magicians.
Their numbers are still many.
Stabbing the red spear part of the Magic Spear into the ground, I jump into the crowd while treating the magic spear as pole vault— With a 「Nun!!!」 I perform a drop-kick while releasing a voice filled with fighting spirit causing the dark-brown robed archers to be blown away. Right after that, I swept up the magic spear from the ground and carry out a rotational slash towards the surroundings. The red axe blade dived into the crowd of enemies, who have come to attack, and several of them were slaughtered in one breath.
Immediately following that, an enemy who was in my vicinity, shows his back and starts to run away at full speed.
Do you think I will let you get away!? Kicking the ground, I shorten the distance to the escaping guy in an instant and swing down the end of the Magic Spear at his back— The mass of the magic blue dragon gem at the butt end seizes his back flesh and crushes the spine.
Did the other escaping enemies judge that it’s pointless even if they run away? They stopped moving as if they have resolved themselves to their fate.
They shortened the distance and prepared their specialized weapons, but since I’m restraining them by swinging my magic spear in circles, they can’t get close.
However, that’s my aim.
Since they stopped moving, I mowed down the soldiers close-by while preferentially bringing them down with chains. Having reaped the feet of several, I invoke the hidden blade by charging the magic gem at the end of the magic spear with unadjusted mana without looking back. The chests of several people, who approached from the back, were pierced by the suddenly extending ice broadsword.
“Hiiii, does he also have eyes in the back!! Damn it—”
Is it in desperation? A man throws his sword at me while screaming.
Defending against the thrown sword by shielding against it with <Magic Hand guided by Thought> in a hurry, I grab the sword with a Hand of Distorted Mana in reverse and throw it back.
That caused a new sword to grow from the nether region of the guy who threw his sword.
It’s a strange shriek of death agony.
And then, diving into an area densely packed with enemies, I mow them down with the magic spear.
The red axe blade looks as if a flame has been lit.
Each time it ran through an airspace, a flash of sparks blows up.
One after another several people are slain.
Cut, avoid, hit, dodge, pull and thrust.
As if saying that, the battlefield was dominated by crimson flashes. One by one, the dark-brown enemies, who fight against me, continue to be slaughtered.
This guy is the last one around this area.
“Hiiaaa, d-don’t c-co-come t-this w-w-wayyyy!”
I invoke <Magic Hand guided by Thought>.
Since he tried to run away as well, I stopped his movements by grabbing his feet from behind with the Hand of Distorted Mana.
“W-Wha, I can’t move!—”
After skewering the immobile man’s back by piercing it with the spear, I pull out the Magic Spear and kick the corpse to the left side— With this, I killed all the enemies in the surroundings.
I defeated 50-100 of them?
Confirming the vicinity… garden lanterns were torn off… the ground was drenched in blood, corpses and entrails were scattered about and pools of blood had formed.
… A heterogeneous scenery.
The enemy only avoids my vicinity.
It can’t be helped, I preferentially rushed at the enemy at places with few allies.
It was true that 【Scales of Gaia】 recovered its momentum after me joining, but it’s inevitable that the number of allies is too scarce, even with an uncertain element like me.
The young men have died one after the other.
At that moment I caught sight of the site where Victor and Deyma are fighting fiercely.
Victor is fighting against a swordsman who wields two swords.
He parries the sword attacks with his large hammer. Given that he unleashes hammer strikes causing shock waves that can be considered to come from the repelling or from a skill, the battle can be seen as equal on a first look, but since his movements dull each time he suffers an injury, I was able to judge that he’s getting overwhelmed.
While Deyma is surrounded by a woman who uses a whip, and dark-brown soldiers, he is putting up a good fight, no, are his injuries that bad? He fought while retreating.
Both of them are in for a hard fight.
Shall I help Deyma whose injuries are terrible? I dash towards Deyma’s direction.
While running, I throw a dagger I took out from my chest belt, with <Throw>.
— It restrains the whip woman.
While the whip user repels the ancient dragon dagger with her whip, she moves her body back.
Seeing that— I release <Chain>.
I make <Chain> entwine around the feet of one of the soldiers surrounding Deyma. Lifting the man who had his feet entangled with the chain, I threw him at the other dark-brown soldiers.
Since I was able to create a gap, I accelerate even further to get close to Deyma.
I aim from behind at another one of the soldiers surrounding Deyma.
I stretch out the Magic Spear directly ahead while running.
It’s a normal spear thrust and not <Thrust>, but the spear penetrates the back of the dark-brown robe.
The blood smeared red spear protruded out from the soldier’s chest in front of his eyes.
“Sorry, you saved me!” (Deyma)
Even while being attacked, Deyma expresses his gratitude.
However, there are several traces of Deyma’s abdomen being pierced by countless swords and spears. Blood spilled out from those wounds and a part of his entrails was visible.
The wounds are deep—
However, Deyma’s eyes haven’t died yet.
Just as the enclosure collapsed completely due to my attacks, he bends down and kills a dark-brown enemy, who was confronting him in front, with a sword attack of his four arms.
The cat beastman Deyma switches over to crossing swords with the enemy group as is.
Although I try to protect him as well— A whip attack shaved off the ground with a *slap* in order to stop my momentum.
“— You, you are a spear user, you are the magic spear user Shuuya Kagari!” (Jane)
The whip user yells after she fixed her stance.
This one is the whip user who cornered Deyma and his four arms?
She’s a beauty with fox eyes. Her voluptuous breasts are nice as well.
“Who are you then?” (Shuuya)
“Hmph, my name is Jane Slaib. I’m one of those entrusted with this place—” (Jane)
The whip user raises one arm.
Once she did so, the the thorny end of the whip approached my face at high speed.
— Tsk, although I avoid the whip at that time, the whip’s tip is fast.
It was able to cause an injury on my cheek.
One after the other, attacks from the flexible whip are unleashed at me.
Not just this thorny part but the “whip” itself seems to be made out of iron or steel.
— What a beautiful woman. Her breasts shaking each and every time is great as well.
I didn’t want to encounter her as enemy.
However, even if she might be a beauty, I will make her regret turning her weapon at me.
Though I possess such confident notion…
— Taking distance is difficult.
Each time Jane, who showed an evil smile, swings her arm up and down, the irregularly moving whip heads in my direction continuously— *slap* — *slap*. Each time I dodge and avoid, ochre soil is gouged out.
— The whip’s trajectory is irregular and hard to read.
“Ahahaha, you are skilful at evasion, aren’t ya!? But, how about this?” (Jane)
While continuing the whip attacks with one arm, Jane rolls up her skirt with the other arm and exposes her thighs. “Another whip” was attached at her thigh, tied to her black garter belt.
She swiftly picks up that whip.
Dual-wielding whips, huh?
Jane moved the steel whips, she held in both hands, alternatively.
The two steel whips draw near like snakes.
— Her tits are bouncing.
— Oops, I was slightly late in dodging and the upper part of my violet armour was grazed.
This woman, although she’s a beauty, what she does is nasty.
I don’t have spare time to think about funny stuff.
Moreover, Jane’s figure was blurry due to her being hidden by a cloud of dust.
She seems to blow up and shave off the dirt with her whip dance.
“How about this, eh? It’s difficult to see me, right? Spear User! You have utterly killed my soldiers… I won’t let you die easily!!” (Jane)
The ground is hollowed out with slapping sounds.
The infinite barrage of whip attacks doesn’t stop.
The continuous attacks of the two whips— I continued to dodge and evade them.
Certainly, I’m only showing a composed expression. This is troublesome.
However, it was still a barrage.
Thanks to that, I was also able to grasp the distance.
Well then, is that the start of the counter-attack? Long-range against long-range.
First, a restraining <Throw>— I aim for the woman’s head.
I threw several daggers. Although they will be repelled by the whips, I don’t mind.
I invoke <Magic Hand guided by Thought> and at the same time also <Chain>.
And, I myself will rush at her as well— I began to run towards Jane.
The whips approach from right and left, but <Magic Hand guided by Thought> defends by grabbing the whip on the right side.
The other whip, which drew close from the left side, was blocked by getting entangled by <Chain>.
With this both whips were sealed.
And, I approach the defenceless Jane.
Those are whip user Jane’s last words.
The twisted spear part of the Magic Spear. — It penetrated the woman’s chest with <Thrust>.
Due to the thrust, a round-shaped wound is created at the chest part of the leather armour.
Tearing off the leather, Jane’s chest becomes exposed, but her plump breasts were cruelly and hideously burned and began to carbonize. Right in the centre there was a big, pitch black, drilled hole.
Blood spews out from the round-shaped wound.
Jane lets go of her whips and collapses while showing a pained expression.
With this one of the leaders was dead.
Therefore I check the surroundings.
It was right at the moment when Deyma cut down the last remaining soldier of 【Owl’s Fangs】 on the right side.
However, just as he defeated the soldier, he staggers and collapses.
I got close to the fallen Deyma.
It was probably a hard struggle for him.
In the vicinity the soldiers, who wore dark-brown robes, were turned into corpses while easily exceeding 10 people.
While bearing those injuries, he defeated such a number of people…?
But, Deyma was also at death’s door now.
“Oi, are you alright?” (Shuuya)
“D-Did you get that whip woman?” (Deyma)
Deyma is talking, but each of his three eyes is moving without focus.
“Rather than that, I will take out medicine now.” (Shuuya)
“N-No, all’s good. Leaving that aside, did you get her?” (Deyma)
“Yea, I finished her off…” (Shuuya)
“Hehe, I-I see. I-It was a short t-time, but l-look after, gufuuoa, l-le-leader, I lea… you. To-o-o, lead, leav…” (Deyma)
With a low voice, he leaked his last words from between his blood-smeared teeth while being painful to look at.
Deyma of the Four Arms passed away.
“— Got it. Just this fight you have entrusted to me.” (Shuuya)
Deyma’s three eyes with their dilated pupils were still open.
I silently extended a hand and closed the eyelids from top to the bottom eyes.
— Rest in peace.
At that point Rollo returned with her whole body drenched in blood.
Three corpses each are hanging down from her tentacle swords. She seems to have brought them by dragging them along.
Once she casts away her prey’s corpses, she shakes her body and blood is sent flying to the surroundings.
“Don’t do that close to mee—” (Shuuya)
Wiping the blood, I drink some of it while at it.
“No, rather than that, you killed an amazing number…” (Shuuya)
“Nnn, nyaan.” (Rollo)
She is bragging.
Rollo answers by turning around in circles at the spot.
At that moment I hear footsteps running over here.
The response of one magic source, footsteps of one person as well.
I separated from Deyma’s corpse and Rollo took distance, too.
The one who came running is the man holding two swords who fought with Victor some time ago.
“Hey, Jane, were you done in…? Are you going to die in this place!? What about your usual hysteria? The one who refined the strategy is you, right!?” (Oze)
As soon as the man who came running, saw the corpse of the whip user Jane, he rushed over to the corpse while holding his two swords and shouted that as tears gathered in his eyes.
“Rollo, this guy seems to be an expert. I will handle him myself.” (Shuuya)
Rollo takes some distance, climbs on top of a stone lantern which collapsed in the back, sits down while putting her legs together and takes the stance of a spectator.
“… The one who killed Jane was you?” (Oze)
The man holding two swords asks that while looking at me with bloodshot eyes.
He had a small build and wore a reddish-brown mantle over his back.
As result of that hue, he seems to be blood-coloured all over.
Since he is actually wearing a leather armour with rivets attached and blood clinging to it, I probably seem to feel like that.
— He has a dark bloodthirst.
Blood is trickling down from the point of the long and narrow sword in his right hand.
What he is grasping in his left hand is a shortsword, that shines with a special silver-blue colour, with a size in-between a dagger and a longsword.
Either are special-use swords?
Him having coming here apparently means that Victor the Hammer was done in.
“… That’s right.” (Shuuya)
I replied curtly.
“Are you the spear user? It ended up happening as Jane mentioned…” (Oze)
Even if you talk about such stuff, I don’t know about it and I don’t want to know about it either.
No, even if I get irritated here, there’s no point in that.
I shall ascertain in a calmer manner.
While I question myself like that, I prepare the Magic Spear I grasped with my right hand.
Extending the left arm, which has an arm protector equipped, quietly in front, I provoke him by moving my fingers a bit.
“Enough of the tedious talk, right? Come.” (Shuuya)
“Hmph, so you know what I mean. Here comes Oze of the Silver-Blue, Oze Sulligan.” (Oze)
Huh? Oze introduced himself and bowed as if having a polite match.
“Thief God of the Dark Night Noctar — I swear. I offer this guy’s blood and flesh to Jane’s soul who likely resides in the realm of the dead.” (Oze)
Once he yells that in a loud voice towards the sky, dark steam gushes forth from his entire body with a *swoosh*.
What’s that? God’s grace?
Oze, who was covered by a black aura, grabbed the thin longsword in his right hand and moved the special sword, which seem to match with a rapier or a gladius, in a relaxed manner.
However, what I ought to notice is the shortsword he holds in his left hand.
Going by its appearance it’s a magic shortsword after all?
Once I check it with my Magic Observation Eyes, red and blue magic characters are being created, as if swirling around on the shortsword’s blade. I realize from the unique light it’s releasing.
He took a stance of putting his left foot a bit in front while changing the angles of the shortsword and the one-handed sword.
It’s a stance peculiar to dual wielders.
He moves his green eyes around in order to grasp me. Oze gradually shortened the distance while keeping it at a set range and showing a composed smile.
He seems to be a careful fellow.
It looks like he won’t easily succumb to provocation.
Extending my Magic Spear unable to take a wait-and-see attitude, I start with a normal thrust.
As if he had waited for that thrust, Oze repels the spearhead of the Magic Spear with the silver-blue shortsword. And, he quickly stabbed his narrow longsword towards my chest in a smooth motion.
— His counter is fast.
Warding off Oze’s sword thrust with the centre of the Magic Spear, I release a lower kick. While dodging that with a slight jump, Oze swings down the longsword from an overhead stance in order to strike my head.
I turned that overhead attack aside to the left with the top part of the magic spear— While a sound of metal clashing resounded, Oze stabbed the shortsword, he held in his left hand, towards my face as he closed the distance to me even further.
— A sharp series of thrusts.
Following his alias of Silver-Blue, it creates a trajectory of silver-blue flashes.
I kept evading it by moving my head left and right in order to see through it.
— I receive one then two lines of horizontal cuts on my face.
Gah, ouch, it’s freezing? Cold?
Next the longsword approaches my chest with an irregular trajectory— I retreat while dodging that by shifting my body left and right.
I moved forward slightly in order to relax towards the left— Violet sparks scattered due to Oze’s shortsword and longsword attacks on my overcoat.
I also feel like my mana decreased a bit after I sensed something like a freezing chill from the shordsword’s wounds I received on my face.
It might have been absorbed by that shortsword.
If I get close to my opponent, the shortsword is a nuisance, isn’t it?
I took a bit of a distance with my Magic Battle Feet.
“— Incredible! If you receive even a small wound from this shortsword, one’s mana will be absorbed. Even though you should be dizzy, your expression hasn’t changed… Mmh, the injury is regenerating!?” (Oze)
It seems he noticed that my face injury is regenerating.
“Aah, that’s a special condition of my body.” (Shuuya)
“Oi, oi… really?” (Oze)
Oze is surprised at my regeneration speed.
Rather than that, I had an interest in the ‘magic shortsword’ which Oze possesses.
“What’s that shortsword? Is it magical?” (Shuuya)
Was there leeway in my wording? Oze changes his expression into a broad grin.
“Yes, just as you say… are you worried after all? This magic is—” (Oze)
Did Oze try to lure me into an instant of negligence? Before saying the remaining words, he wields the longsword as if fencing and starts a barrage of thrusts while advancing.
I once again repeatedly move my body to the left and right as if blurring and avoid those sword thrusts. I return a thrust with my Magic Spear in revenge, but Oze countered the thrust of the magic spear cleverly by holding the magic shortsword in a backhand grip and using it for defence.
Even when it repels the red spear of the ancient dragon, the shortsword shines.
— It’s a sturdy shortsword. It doesn’t have a nick in the blade either.
Besides the rhythm is good. Isn’t he quite good despite his small build…?
No, in this case, it’s certainly the case because he is small?
The shortsword and the the narrow longsword, it feels like there’s a suitable space between those two.
Yet I enjoy it. He’s a tough enemy after a long time.
Oze doesn’t use long-range weaponry but only a two-sword-style.
I will use his unique shortsword technique as reference. I want to steal his way of walking* as well. (T/N: In martial arts and such that is)
Therefore, me too, with just my Magic Spear, as a spear user… shouldn’t I try fighting him like that?
While thinking about such stuff, I start to consecutively thrust with my Magic Spear.
However, that simply resulted in the spear attacks being handled well by the irregular difference of Oze’s two swords.
As it seems that he got even more excited, Oze twisted his longsword, trapped the red axe blade, repelled the upper part of my magic spear, lowered his stance and shortened the distance.
His feet were filled with mana— He swiftly moves close with a type of Magic Combat Feet.
Oze handles the shortsword irregularly in addition to a circular slash of the longsword after rotating his body sideways on the way and making use of the centrifugal force.
His arm stretched forward while making it bend loosely back and forth.
My evasion ends up to be slightly late as effect of the Magic Spear being repelled.
I dodged the rotational slash of the longsword by twisting my body, but— the silver-blue blade moves smoothly on top of its irregular trajectory. Evading this is impossible. A line of blood is created on my right arm due to the cut being pulled down from the elbow. Following the flow, the blade of the shortsword stabbed towards my eye socket.
After sustaining a cut wound, I step back.
I take a distance in hurry— and separate from him.
He perfectly aimed at the weak point of my right arm at the part where there’s no armour or overcoat.
After all it is unguarded in the moment before I attack.
Due to being cut, my body feels sluggish and a light feeling of fatigue encroaches upon me.
Is it similar to having consumed mana?
“Is this shortsword maybe absorbing not only mana but stamina as well?” (Shuuya)
“Ahh, that’s correct. To be precise it’s vitality though. Hehe, Because of just now you should have suffered a deep wound. You should be feeling quite weary…” (Oze)
Does he feel confident after inflicting an injury on me? Oze is revealing a rapt expression.
Blood trickles down from the shortsword he grasped in his left hand. Oze shook off that blood, fixed his stance and faced me.
While making a black aura ooze out, Oze sways his body forth and back with a tap-tap, ta-tap-tap and gets into a rhythm.
Just what the hell would happen if I was stabbed by that shortsword…?
If I was a masochist, I would probably be happy.
But I have to hasten my observation and stealing of his movement further.
I will make a bit of a serious effort… I cause my entire body to be clad in magic combat style.
And then I glare at Oze.
Oze reacts to my bloodthirst right away.
I don’t know whether he predicted my intention, but he holds out the longsword before I move and tries to shorten the distance in order to make good use of the short sword.
However, I can already read the sword’s trajectory.
Once I easily avoided the thrust of his sword, which Oze grabbed with his right hand, as he advanced with a “half-rotation using the ball of the feet” to the left, I unleashed a <Thrust> for the first time at him at the moment of turning around.
The sound of air being cut apart resounds and a shrill metallic sound can be heard.
Making a cross with his longsword and his shortsword, he defends against the . But, his face warped.
From then on the composure vanishes from Oze’s expression.
I consecutively thrust at him indifferently.
I repeat the magic spear thrusts while changing the timing and delicately combining it with a different Magic Combat Feet from some time ago.
Sometimes I add normal thrusts into the <Thrust>’s and mix them up.
Oze is forced into only defending against the connecting attacks which change in power and pace.
I close the distance with Magic Combat Feet without giving him any breaks. I unleashed continuous rotational attacks with the butt end, which is the magic dragon gem, and the red axe blade which is the spearhead.
Heavy blows rain down on him from left and right. He, who had a warped expression due to the connecting blows, has his arms pushed upwards due to the recoil which he can’t withstand.
Accordingly Oze’s “suitable space between the two swords” broke apart completely.
The butt end breaks into his flank and the spearhead pierces deeply into his right chest. The finishing <Thrust> seizes his throat and drilled into his neck. His head with the neck attached vigorously revolves in mid-air. The headless torso fell over as if being slapped into the ground due to the impact of the thrust.
It’s a vivid banquet of blood spraying sounds and dull sounds of bones breaking.
As if adorning the finale of the banquet, Oze’s head with neck falls to the ground. Rolling around, a 「Gubuo」 escapes from his mouth, as if he’s still alive. He dies while his blood pours out as he groans.
Without even a lingering memory of having overcome the one-on-one duel, I ran up to Rollo and rubbed against her head.
However, he was worth of holding the nickname Oze of the Silver-Blue.
Honestly, he was strong… he was definitely better in close combat than Kalii.
Oze, the name is simple and cool as well… it’s truly irrelevant, but the mysterious name Keyser Soze*, which appeared in a masterpiece movie, pops up in my mind. (T/N: From “The Usual Suspects”)
Well then, let’s take this magic shortsword and the unique narrow longsword.
I toss them into the item box.
Then I checked the vicinity once more—
Only the stench of blood and gore is spreading and the battlefield is calm and littered all over with corpses without any relation to friend or foe.
No one is fighting any more.
Did Victor die after all?
There are many dark-brown robed corpses, but there are many corpses of my allies as well.
If it’s this many, my allies have been annihilated as well, huh…?
I verify the corpses.
I recover the ancient dragon dagger which fell down next to Jane’s corpse.
I search for Victor’s face with its conspicuous grim wrinkles.
If he has dropped the hammer…
— Found him.
Victor has collapsed in the shape of 大.
With a feeling of a peaceful death, he passed away while holding his hammer.
There are countless wounds which were cut into his body.
Those are undoubtedly the cuts he received from Oze.
For a normal human it’s severe if they suffer wounds from that magic shortsword.
Rest in peace…
However, I defeated the leaders.
With this 【Owl’s Fangs】 in this city should fall apart.
Although it’s sad news, I have to inform their guild leader Mia. Although it’s probably painful that her comrades died, it can’t be helped.
Let’s return to the store of 【Scales of Gaia】.
I retrieve Victor’s hammer as well.
And then, being led by Rollo, we hurried back to the store.
— Huh? Why?
Once I return to the store, the first floor was extremely destroyed and the second floor was burned.
Was there really a detached force?
However, I should have done in all of the leaders of 【Owl’s Fangs】.
Mia and the members, who stayed behind, are…
I head to the stairs outside while anxiety swirls in my heart.
Oh, blood? Those are remains of blood.
Traces of blood remained on the stairs. Moving to the first floor, I continue my investigation. The traces of blood seem to continue to the other side of the alley which passes through at the store front.
I followed those blood traces.