Chapter 20.2: The Hunter in the Fog
“Shun,” he called out.
However, it went unnoticed by his brother who was focused on intercepting the curses. He took a few more breaths before trying again.
Shun glanced at him from the corner of his eye.
“Yeah? What is it, I’m busy—”
“Chase after her.”
For a moment Shun had turned his head towards him. Shock was written all over his face.
“Are you deaf?” His tone grew sharp. “Leave me and go after her.”
To him, the next logical course of action was obvious. He was sprawled on the floor without an ounce of mana left in his body, and it was forcing his brother to block a barrage of spells.
However, Hiroshi had forgotten a crucial fact.
“Haa? Are ya crazy? Hell no.”
Shun wasn’t a logical thinker. Unlike himself, his rowdy brother wasn’t capable of removing emotions from his decisions.
“What the hell do you mean by, ‘Hell no.’ Don’t you understand the situation we’re in?!”
“Oh, infighting huh? I guess I might as well slow down and watch—”
“You there, shut up [shaddap].”
The twins directed a unified shout at their assailant in the fog. Feeling as if his head was going to explode, Hiroshi took a deep breath. In a calmer tone, he began explaining his thoughts.
“I’m immobile on the floor, drained of mana. I barely have any points, so there’s no use in defending me. I’m dead weight.”
Shun wordlessly stood there, refusing to respond.
“If you leave me behind, you can probably catch the girl. Instead, you’re defending me. It’s a total waste of mana.”
“Both of us have nothing to gain from you doing this. We have a lot more to lose, considering that you have all our points.”
With his patience gone, he was unable to keep the anger out of his speech.
“Why in the world are you staying here speechless like an idi—”
“Ya robot bastard,” Shun said, cutting him off.
Hiroshi could barely hear him. Straining his ears, he was startled by what his brother said next.
“You, me, Kaa-chan… Everyone up and abandoned us, leavin’ us behind ta fend for ourselves. All cause it was a smarter choice givin’ up on her issue.”
It was his turn to be speechless.
“What the hell’s with that,” Shun spat out. “Whether it’s logical or whatever, in the end, they just think it’s a bother, don’t they?
“I don’t wanna be like those bastards. I don’t wanna just leave ya be and go for her. Is that so terrible?”
It was an honest desire with no hidden meanings: a simple wish from the heart of a straightforward individual. It caused Hiroshi to sigh.
Shun let out a heartfelt voice. A warm feeling grew in his heart, fighting against the cold exhaustion.
“I’m sorry for what I’m about to do.”
With a start, Shun turned backwards. He saw his brother’s hand shakily move towards his own neck. They made eye contact, and within his brother’s gaze was a smile and a sadness.
“You must win for Kaa-san’s sake.”
Unlike its firm appearance, the collar was easy to remove.