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Mission 3, Part 6
“Aren’t you coming in?”
The girl in lacy red dress stood behind him. He was startled by her sudden appearance. Then again, considering her special ability, it’s nothing to be surprised of.
“… Don’t feel like stepping inside again. Besides, I’m disqualified, right?”
Fus.h.i.+mi looked away from Anna. Leaning on a corner of a building, half hidden in the shadow, he looked to the bar at that three-forked road one block ahead. Anna remained standing there without a word, gazing at his face from the side. Her fixed gaze was modest, yet straightforward like seeing through him, which made him feel uncomfortable.
“You knew, didn’t you? You knew that it’ll turn out like this.”
He tossed her the question without looking at her. He never liked children to begin with, but that’s not the point here. For him to have eye contact with her was a pain, ever since they first met.
“… It’s only a feeling. Somehow I felt that one day you will leave." Anna replied in a murmur.
“Since the beginning… But I wished it wouldn’t come true.”
“Has this feeling of yours ever missed?”
After a little hesitation, she shook her head lightly.
“Ha! In other words, you see me as a traitor from the very start.”
In the sorrowful silence, Fus.h.i.+mi felt that it’s not funny, and stopped laughing.
The bar’s door opened with the crisp jingling of the bell on it. Seeing this from a distance, Fus.h.i.+mi stepped into the shade of the alley.
"Anna?” Kusanagi’s tall and slender figure appeared at the door. “Anna? Where are you?” He looked around the bar, calling for her. Minato brothers were still at large, so Homra couldn’t be in a carefree manner either. The way he talked was calm as usual, but Fus.h.i.+mi can feel anxiety in his tone.
“Go on. He’s looking for you.”
“Anything you want me to tell them?”
“… Tell Kusanagi-san, I…”
On the night the twins ran off, surprising may it be, it’s possible that Akito might have left to try and dissuade Hayato. Fus.h.i.+mi thought of this too. There’s a possibility that the situation wouldn’t get so sticky, had Fus.h.i.+mi not attacked him. But that’s no more than a guess.
“… Never mind. Hurry up and go.”
Apologizing now couldn’t change anything. Doing so would be merely for self-satisfaction.
“Anything to Tatara?”
“… I’ll tell him myself, okay? Now go or I’m gonna kick you.”
He felt the little girl ran past him toward the bar. But it wasn’t long before she stopped and turned to his direction, looking at him straight from the front. Unable to avoid her gaze, Fus.h.i.+mi showed distaste on his face.
“Now what? Anything else you need?”
“Saruhiko, are you alright?”
“… What do you mean?”
“You saw something scary, didn’t you?”
Her hitting the nail on the head left him speechless for a while.
“Don’t be ridiculous. You mean like a Boogieman is on my tail?”
He deliberately said it in a mocking way, but Anna remain unperturbed. She quietly waited for his reply, gazing at him like she’s seeing through his heart.
After a sigh, Fus.h.i.+mi a.s.sumed a grave look, and replied her seriously.
“Boogieman was defeated. It’s gone.”
“… No.” Anna shook her head. She lowered her gaze, hesitating, like there’s something difficult for her to say.
“It’s still there… the Boogieman.”
“Huh?” Fus.h.i.+mi frowned.
Kusanagi continued calling her name.
“… Go on.”
Abruptly he urged her. Anna nodded without looking up, and ran toward the bar in light footsteps. Kusanagi made a sound of relief when seeing her. Fus.h.i.+mi watched the two talking in a relaxed mood while walking into the bar.