Peter Pan and Alice Tempt Each Other, and… (2/4)

3 Jul

I’m not dead, I swear. Nor is this project! So thank you all for sticking by – there aren’t too many pages left, so hopefully the rest of this will go quickly. Hopefully!

Chicago

Union Station

“Miria…!”

With this name on his lips, Isaac bounded excitedly onto the platform.

Although his cry was quickly lost in the turmoil of the station, Isaac still peered around, as if expecting to see Miria at any moment.

“Hey…where could she be?”

After a long journey, Isaac had finally arrived in Chicago.

Because Isaac had only told Miria he would be arriving “sometime in the morning,” it was possible that she wasn’t there yet.

But as he anxiously glanced around him, Isaac found himself overwhelmed by the sheer number of people in the crowds.

“Oh, and that’s right..where did Sham go off to?”

Realizing he hadn’t seen a sign of his new friend since getting off the train, Isaac glanced around the station.

Huh, if I’d know this earlier, I would gotten his address first…ah, never mind! Next time!”

Despite the improbability of it happening, Isaac seemed absolutely certain that they would meet again.

Though now alone, Isaac was not one iota less cheerful as he walked around, waiting for Miria.

Suddenly, Isaac noticed someone behind him. Turning around, Isaac smiled, ready to greet Miria—

Only to see someone completely different—


Ten minutes later

Wheezing, two figures ran into the station.

Nick and Jack—members of Jacuzzi’s gang.

Seeing that the train was ready to depart to New York, Nick cried—

“Aaaah, it’s already here!”

“Oh, whatever—the bigger question is, how’re we going to tell Isaac? If we tell him Miria was kidnapped, won’t go off the rails?”

“Huh, I don’t think so…but even if he did go run off to save her, he’d probably just get hit first.”

With these groundless worries in mind, the two fruitlessly searched the station for signs of Isaac.

“…? Could it be the next car?”

“Huh…let’s keep on searching for a bit first.”

As the next train readied to arrive, the men continued scanning the platform—

Only to find no trace of Isaac.

When the next train came, he wasn’t on it—and even on the one after that, there was no sign of him.


A few moments earlier—

Nebular Corporation Building

Guest quarters, corridor

Just looking at its rich decor, one would think the guest room was a restaurant or an art gallery.

Used for receiving Nebula’s many and varied guests, the room was the match of any hotel’s presidential suite – the type of room that high-ranked executives and politicians use when abroad.

From that luxurious door now emerged a man in glasses, who seemed related to the group outside.

In addition to wearing similar clothes, he gave off the same, intimidating aura.

As the group passed through the halls, the hotel’s workers pressed against the walls, holding their breath as they making room for the group to pass.

Terrifying enough individually, the men were truly menacing as they stalked in a group down Nebula’s halls—

Suddenly, all eyes fell on two figures: a man and a young girl clutching a camera.

Though he stood directly in front of the terrifying group, this man’s sharp gaze did not waver as he examined him.

By his side, however, the girl trembled violently as she gripped her camera.

“Who are you?”

“Wait, that’s—”

Murmuring, the group halted.

In the brittle atmosphere of that corridor, the sharp-eyed man adjusted his glasses as he calmly addressed the group’s ostensible leader—

“…it really has been a while, hasn’t it.”

In response, the other spectacled man wordlessly raised a hand in greeting.

And like waves parting, the other men in the crowd cleared to the sides for this figure.

A man of roughly fifty years of age, his face set with the moderate wrinkles of middle age. With a pair of spectacles perched on his nose, his face gave an impression of regal erudition.

“It has indeed been some time since I’ve seen your men. Here on business, Gustav?”

Though clearly sardonic, the words were not particularly sharp.

Expression unchanged, St. Germaine replied—

“I thought I spotted you yesterday, so I thought it only polite to greet you.”

“Ah…well, as it is, we do have some matters to discuss. But not until after lunch, however.”

“Until next we meet.”

Retreating back into the corner, the Vice President let the group continue.

Still trembling as she crouched behind him, Carol let out a sigh of relief as the figures walked past.

“For staying silent and panicking…plus thirty points.”

Hearing this rare bit of praise from the Vice President, Carol opened her mouth—

“Right then, those…those people…they were definitely from the mafia, right? Right?”

“Hm?”

“Right…right then, what gang were those people from?”

Seeing Carol continue to tremble, the Vice President sighed as he stroked his chin.

“To be that afraid of someone, without even knowing who they are…minus 527 points.”

“That…that leaves me with nothing!”

St. Germain, however, ignored these cries.

Instead, as if introducing an old friend, the Vice President answered Carol’s first question—

“No need to fidget, at least. If you’re curious, that was Mr. Bartolo…the head of the Runoratas, a powerful mafia family on the East Coast.”


Several minutes later

Nebula Corporation

Conference Room

“…I told you, I’ve already given you everything I know yesterday.”

From her place in the chair, Nice now directed these firm words at the men in front of her.

The thin sheen of sweat on her back, however, betrayed the fear she was trying so hard to suppress.

In the past, Nice had been involved in many conflicts with the Russo family. Even before the repeal of prohibition, the two had been on very shaky ground.

With this pressure bearing down on her, Nice now felt inches away from breaking down.

These men…they’re definitely from the mafia…

And if they’re anything like the Russos, then there’s no chance of talking to them…!

So far, her captors had done nothing horrific to her, nor had they threatened to do so.

Even so, Nice was clearly in agony. Whether this was because of  her captors or the effects of being toyed with by her enemies, it was impossible to say.

Whatever the reason, these men seemed to promise an impossibly brief, brutal, and hopeless future.

Even Ronnie Schiatto, the terrifying man Nice had encountered a year earlier, paled in comparison to the brutes sitting across from her.

Especially terrifying, however, was the man sitting in their middle. While his clothes suggested a respectable, middle-aged man, the sharp gaze under his spectacle made others hesitate.

With all the dignity suggested by his appearance, the man called Bartolo now spoke.

“Of course. And so we won’t be talking to you today—only the boy with you.”

Saying this, his eyes moved to Nice’s side, where Rail sat bound to a chair.

With Miria in another room, Nice knew that even if took out the bomb she’d hidden and threw it,  there would be no way to guarantee her friend’s safety. Unsure if Miria was even still alive, all Nice could do was grit her teeth and continue assessing the situation, trying to plan an escape.

At the same time—

As the man’s gaze shifted towards him, Rail—whose bombs had long been all taken away—felt an indescribable anxiety.

What  are they, these people…

They’re not immortal, so those that means…they’re just humans?

But them…why…why…

Why would they be so terrifying.

Although his captors had done nothing horrendous to him, Rail still felt a burning horror rise in his throat.

Not just the bespectacled man across from him, but also all the other men in the room—standing to flank their leader, their faces so alike as to be clones—exuded an indescribable aura.

That is, each and every one of them  felt like a threat.

Their stance.

Each move they made.

Their gaze.

Their breathing.

For Nice and Rail, all these elements combined together to create an inexpressibly terrifying feeling of being trapped in a spider’s web.

Only one figure, cowering in a corner and uncontrollably trembling, gave off no air of intimidation. His disheveled air and beard, however, showed that he clearly should not have been there, and so his presence did little to ease the overall mood.

In this oppressive atmosphere, Rail—having already resolved to say nothing—now found it difficult to even breathe.

I should blow them up blow them up blow them up blow them up blow them up blow them up blow them up blow them up blow them up blow them up blow them up blow them up blow them ahahahahhahahahahahah…blow them UP blow THEM UP BLOW THEM BLOW THEM BLOW THEM UP—

…but…no, I can’t.

Even as the usual cries of destruction clamored through his mind, gazing in front of him instantly cooled his thoughts. Even if Rail had been able to overcome his fear, he had not the slightest weapon on him.

The next moment—

With a bang, the very object Rail had been longing for fell onto the table in front of him.

“…!”

“The question I’d like to ask today…has to deal with these fireworks here.”

Already well acquainted with the contents of Rail’s pack, Nice and Rail simultaneously widened their eyes in surprise.

And almost simultaneously, they began wondering what had lead to this stroke of luck.

At the same time, the bespectacled man calmly continued with his proposal—

“These fireworks—from what I recall, they were originally intended for a friend. On their way, however, they were unfortunately stolen.”

Although still severe, the man seemed to speak more directly, adjusting to Rail’s age.

However, this did little to comfort Nice, who had broken out in a cold sweat.

Yesterday, all she had told her captors was that on the way to see a newly-released friend, they had been found an injured Rail, whom they had taken in. The reason they were avoiding the police and the fact that Jacuzzi’s gang was probably  the source of Rail’s bombs, however, she had left out.

But now…if word came out that it had been Nice who’d helped steal those fireworks…then there’d be trouble with the Russo family, not to mention who knows what else. If that happened…

Then Nice’s chances of returning to Jacuzzi were close to zero.

Thinking about it—an image of her corpse, a letter to Jacuzzi stuck in the sockets of her eyes—Nice began to tremor in fear, a wave of nausea coming over her.

Oblivious to the fear gripping his captive, Nice’s interrogator slowly stood up.

Leaning in towards Rail, he continued softly speaking—

“Because this friend departed a while ago, retrieving them hadn’t been a top priority. However…if these same fireworks are being used to terrorize Chicago, then it is a different matter altogether. No matter what method you use to do this, the goods are the same.”

His tone as level as before, the middle-aged man spoke slowly, emphasizing his points carefully as they drilled into Rail’s ears—

“All the same, I’m willing to make a deal with you—a quite fair deal, I like to think. I would like you to hand over the rest of the explosives you have. This includes, of course, retrieving those bombs you have cached away.”

“…!”

That meant they knew how many explosives he’d taken, then.

From the man’s tone, they seemed to not only know about how many bombs Rail had used at Nebula, but also how many he hadn’t, even taking into account those on the table.

Logically speaking, however, they couldn’t have exact numbers. Ordinarily, Rail would have already been scheming how best to use this fact to destroy his opponents.

However, it was not determined rage that filled Rail’s mind now, but rather a growing weariness. Only one, simple thought keep on repeating—he needed to escape.

Surely he could get away with giving them just half his supplies?

Weak as he was already, what would it matter?

But more importantly, if he did—

Would that admitting defeat?

Admitting that that immortals, that homunculi were…only as strong as the man across him?

That those who could not die or age…were just the same as ordinary humans?

Ridiculous!

Because…if he did…

Then Chris…then that would mean Chris…!

The man he had always idolized. All the pride Rail had always felt in being a homunculus—if he were to duck his head and let the man take away his weapons, like some ordinary child—when he found out, what would Chris think?

These thoughts whirling around his head, Rail began to feel faint.

But if admitting this would allow him to continue to defiantly live—

And if he still hoped to rescue Frank, even now—

No! I’d rather die!

If I’m really going to be this helpless, then…I might as well kill myself.

A momentous decision, one neither declared with decisiveness nor plagued by uncertainty.

Just as Rail began shaking from the compulsion to “blow it all up,” his captor suddenly turned around.

“Well? You know, we won’t just let you go.”

As he faced Rail, the man’s face was perfectly calm.

And it was to this expressionless face that Rail gave this curt answer—

“…no.”

“Ah. Well then. Why not?”

“Because I won’t…I won’t yield, not to you…not to humans .”

Speaking thus, Rail suddenly seemed older.

Instead of becoming irritated or angry, however, the man only smiled faintly.

“So, you’re ready to sacrifice yourself, then. Rather pedestrian, but common enough for your age, I suppose…”

With these words, he took another step, so that his faces was inches apart from Rail’s.

Then, staring at Rail with intense eyes—

“But you—you’re afraid, aren’t you.”

“….”

“You seem to understand that if you make a mistake, then your life is over…and yet, even if it means dying, you’ll refuse to cooperate with us. Isn’t that so?”

Wordlessly, Rail replied by spitting into his face.

After all, he had already prepared to die. Although the thought lingered that Chris would approve of avenging the homunculi against humans, these considerations were buried under the weight of Rail’s current resentment.

In his moment of rebellion, however, Rail nonetheless felt a deep sense of relief—

A feeling, unfortunately, that was quickly disappointed.

Almost immediately after Rail’s act of defiance, one of the man’s bodyguards thrust a hand forward, blocking the missile from reaching its target.

As spit dripped from his hand, the guard neither showed emotion nor made to clean himself. Altogether, the effect was rather uncanny. Taken with the impassive expression on the old man’s face, who seemed to regard the whole thing as a matter of course, chills ran down the backs of Nice and Rail.

“Living to this age, I would think it takes more than a little spit to bother me.”

Shaking his head with a small smile, the man slowly made his way back to his original spot.

“What’s more, to be fully honest…I think I already know what you are.”

“…!”

“?”

At these words, different emotions came crashing through Nice and Rail. While Rail glared at his captor, Nice merely raised an eyebrow, as if to ask, what who is? To Nice, Rail was just like her—another bomb fanatic, and that was enough. While others might have scoffed, wondering how the world could stand yet another trigger-happy bomber, the idea that Nice had found someone “like her” felt like a dream come true.

Of course, this was only Nice’s half of the story.

Even  now, bound and unable to stop his captors from killing him, Rail’s mind was still a muddle of competing thoughts—it’d be better to kill myself; but no, if I could just slip out and grab one of those bombs…

Just as these thoughts were running through his head, the door suddenly opened. Wearing an incongruously cheerful smile, a man walked inside.

“Ah, my apologies, Bartolo! It has been so long—oh, how is your grandson, Cazze, doing these days?”

At these words, the guards’ faces furrowed in confusion. The man called Bartolo, however, only sighed and shook his head.

Deterred by neither the ominous atmosphere in the room nor his companion’s subtle cues for silence, the man continued on, in the same cheerful tone—

“You’ve been in here for quite some time, haven’t you…oh, and is this child the guest you were talking about? Oh, but wait, both of them have scars here… Hmm, that’s tricky…which one could it be? Oh, my apologies if that’s a sensitive spot…do forgive me. But between us, my dear sir, I think those scars are very fetching.”

Though he had called the man in glasses “sir,” this newcomer was visibly older than his companion.

Despite this, however, the impression he gave was the complete opposite of that of “Bartolo.”

Standing over them, he seemed like nothing more than a kindly, mischievous old man. Looking at the smile on his face, Nice’s mouth fell open, and even Rail couldn’t help but feel thrown off course.

“Karl…consider the situation, for a moment.”

“Oh, don’t be so heartless, Bartolo. You’ve brought all these people, just to terrorize a girl and a child? And you, miss and young sir—no need to look so tense now. Come, let’s have a cup of tea and then talk it over, shall we? Ah—tea, please!”

At these words, another man—one who had seemingly followed “Karl” into the room—quietly sprung into action.

“…!”

Although Rail had been unable to see his face, Nice instantly recognized the newcomer as the man who had taken them hostage. at the sight of him, her confusion only increased.

W-what? These men are definitely mafia, but this…isn’t this the Nebula headquarters? If so, could this man be…

Vaguely, Nice seemed to recall that Nebula’s Chairman had always been named Karl. Still, it was ludicrous—and so, unable to wrap her mind around the idea, she shook it off.

Even as these thoughts whirled through her mind, the man called Karl, wide smile still on his face, continued talking.

“Ah—fantastic! Why, this is wonderful! Bartolo, I would have never expected you to stop by.”

“…I hope Beriam hasn’t been talking. To be truthful, we were rather surprised when Rubik explained it to us. Who would have thought that that would be on the same floor as us…”

“Oh, don’t be ridiculous—hasn’t Beriam been stuck in Chicago, since two days ago?”

Beriam…could he mean Senator Beriam?

Hearing this name, Nice was only thrown into greater confusion. Meanwhile, by her side, Rail had begun fidgeting, trying to wiggle out of the rope that keep him tied.

“Ah, this won’t do.”

Noticing Rail struggle, Karl instantly strode over—

And almost immediately loosened Rail’s bounds.

“Wha…”

Suddenly finding himself freed, Rail was so disorientated he momentarily forgot the bombs he had been reaching for.

Sinking into the chair next to him, the man called Karl smiled as he addressed Rail—

“Alright…so first of all, I think I ought apologize to you. An I’m sorry is okay, right?”

“?”

Even as Rail felt himself thrown into confusion, Karl continued blithely on. Behind him, the man called Bartolo slowly went to gaze out the window, while the remaining bodyguards relaxed slightly.

“After all, my subordinates have caused quite a lot of trouble for you lately.”

“….?…?…?”

“Aah…although I suppose we could save this for later, right? What about that? How about you forget about Huey and come work for me, hm?”

“…?”

What did he just say?

Unable to comprehend any of the man’s words, Rail’s face froze.

But even as he found himself gaping like a beached goldfish, Rail still managed to catch one point Karl had mentioned—

His subordinate…who could that be?”

He said I’d caused trouble for them…but I couldn’t have done much, these past few days…

And just as Rail reached a conclusion—

The object of his thoughts walked in through the door.

Without so much as knocking, the figure walked in—

“Chairman, did you need me for something? I know what you think, but I’m very busy, you know! I have to go and get all those people—”

A white lab coat, thick glasses, and an inhumanly lovely figure.

“…”

Behind the woman, five or six researchers followed—one of whom, seeing Rail, reacted before the others.

“Huh?”

The next moment, Rail and Renée’s eyes met—

And with that, the stage was set for unspeakable chaos.

[¬“c—ÇŒå] ƒoƒbƒJ[ƒmI ‘æ10Šª 1934 Š®Œ‹•Ò Peter Pan In Chains350


Chicago, outskirts

“Ah! Found it…”

“Huh? Ricardo, what is it?”

At the sound of Ricardo’s voice, Christopher instantly paused eating and turned toward her. At present, there was still some time left before the meeting with Sickle, so the two had halted for a late breakfast.

“Rail, it seems…is in Nebula…!”

“…”

“There are scientists there as well, and…and Rail’s angry.”

The words came abruptly, like the rushed news of a radio announcement, leaving Christopher speechless in their wake.

“Well, Chris? What do you plan to do? Are you going to just ignore it as before, then?”

“Actually…”

Speaking in measured and slow words, Christopher swallowed his madeline down with milk before continuing.

“I wasn’t ignoring Rail before—only letting the kid choose.”

“Plus, remember Sickle? I picked a fight with Graham to avenge her, didn’t I?”

“Yes, but back then, the way you were acting…it didn’t seem like that.”

Despite these words, Christopher’s voice was calm as he continued.

“So…for Rail and Frank, it looks like I have to do the same thing now, too.”

Saying this, Christopher stood up, car keys in hand, and turned for the door.

When she finally spoke, Ricardo’s level voice was unusually soft.

“Chris…you’ve changed a lot this year, haven’t you?”

At these words, Christopher paused, mind flying to his self of a year ago—

“Definitely.” And nodding his head slightly, he replied with a smile—

“Most likely…I think it’s been because of you.”


Chicago, somewhere

In the time before their meeting, Sickle and The Poet scoured the streets for information.

From the explosions occurring near the Nebula grounds, it was clear that there was a connection between the company and Rail.

However, neither Sickle’s skills nor the Poet’s hypnotic eyes had been enough to get them inside the building.

With none of the people they had accosted part of Nebula, the two could only mill in front of the building, wandering as they wondered what to do—

Suddenly, Sickle felt a tap on her shoulder.

“Wha—”

Although there’d been no malice in the touch, Sickle immediately spun around, instincts on high alert—

And then froze.

“Huh?”

Sensing Sickle freeze up, the Poet hurried to her side.

Only to see a familiar figure—


Chicago, the abandoned factory

Nice and the others had been taken to Nebula’s headquarters—an abrupt, sudden affair.

That, at least, was what Graham’s second-in-command, Shaft, had heard from several members of the Russo family, and what he was now declaiming to the crowd before him.

“Another thing…they said the kidnappers wore a bunch of white coats, which probably means they’re working for Nebula…whoever they are, though, they seem interested in this Rail kid.”

At these words, Jacuzzi and the others all tensed, ready to head towards Nebula at once—

All except for Graham, who stood watching with an unfathomable expression.

Only when all the others had already rushed out of the factory did he slowly join after them.

“…”

“Graham, what is it? Wait…are you in a bad mood? You don’t look so good…”

At Shaft’s flippant tone, Graham shot him a sharp glance.

“Well…I could say the same of you.”

He tapped his wrench against the ground, the sound ringing out softly in the silence. In the stillness, it was only the two of them there—Shaft, Graham, and between them, the gleaming metal of a silver wrench.

“A few words, just between you and me, alright? No one else has to know.”

“W-wait, Graham, what? Wh-what are you pulling?”

“Shaft…you…”

Fixing his lieutenant with a sharp gaze, Graham tapped his wrench on the ground once more. As the sound of the impact rang out, he softly said—

“Did you think I was blind?”

“…what are you talking about?”

“Taking us to that bar at just the right moment…did you really think I’d buy it was an accident?”

“…”

At these words, Shaft found himself speechless.

Just as he was about to come up with an excuse, Graham cut him off.

“Don’t start. Right now, we’re supposed to be rescuing Nice and the others. And plus…there’s a good chance that Nebula did take them.”

“Graham…”

“I told you, I’m not blind.”

And grinning, Graham gently patted Shaft on the back with his wrench—

“Even so, knowing all this…just this time, I think I’ll let it go and trust you. Alright?”


Alcatraz

Exercise Yard

As pain erupted through his head, Firo’s face was covered in warm liquid.

Without needing to check, he knew it was his own blood.

But as the pain subsided, the drops of blood began to move—

Even as it dripped off his hand, Firo’s blood was rushing back to his body.

As the wound slowly closed on inside, blood squirming back and knitting the skin over, Firo gazed at the sky, where the falcons were still circling.

What is this….

As a group, they act like one person, like Sham…and yet…

Could beings like him take birds as well? But…this wasn’t in Szilard’s memories!

When he had felt his blood stop moving, Firo slowly peeked out from beneath his arms—only to discover a dull pain still there.

Out of his left eye, all he saw was darkness.

“…!”

They…they’ve taken my eye!

Realizing what had just happened, Firo fixed his remaining eye on the sky.

“First…I think I’ll make things even…”

As the voice resonated through the space, Firo’s gaze caught on one of the birds, flying quickly out of the yard—

Through the blurry eyesight of one eye, Firo thought he saw something red and white squirming in its talons.

Although there was no way to confirm tell, Firo was already certain what was in the falcon’s claws—

His left eye.

But even as his jaw clenched in understanding, a shadow flickered at the edge of his limited vision—

Instantly leaping back, Firo just barely avoided the dark shadow swopping towards his face.

Even as it dove towards the ground, the shadow changed direction, elegantly swooping upwards in one arc.

That’s fast…!

In pursuing prey, peregrine falcons were reputed to reach speeds of over two hundred miles per hour.

To avoid crashing to the ground, the falcon attacking Firo had to have slowed down as it reached Firo— but even accounting for that, its velocity had still been enough to kill a man.

With this ominous thought flashing through his mind, Firo wasted no time in jumping back another step.

The next moment—

In the spot where he had been standing dove another flurry of falcons.

Even after they passed, the sound of wings could still be faintly heard.

Even as Firo turned to sprint away, another shadow appeared overhead, rapidly descending.  With deadly precisions, its claws dug into Firo’s shoulder, coming away with a chunk of flesh.

“Gah…”

Swallowing the scream rising in his throat, Firo rolled to a stop and stood up, leaning against one of the prison’s walls.

If it had been ordinary human who had lost that amount of flesh, then they would have been done for. At present, Firo’s shoulder was already knitting itself together, but he knew that if the attacks kept coming, he could very well be a pile of dry bones soon.

This isn’t good…

The effect of losing an eye had been worse than he’d imagine.

It wasn’t just that his depth perception was skewed—

Ignoring everything else, he was running around with half his vision taken away, dodging attackers that, for all he knew, could be ingesting pieces of himself.

Even if his injuries could heal, Firo knew that the pain of the blows would quickly cloud his thinking.

…damn it, I’d take armed thugs a hundred times over this.

Even as these alarming thoughts ran through his head, Firo kept silent.

This is…this is terrifying.

Admit it, Firo—

You’re scared.

But…if I can get just survive this…then I’ll get through it.              

Even as he felt like screaming or bolting, Firo focused on this thought, so that when he finally spoke, his voice was calm.

“Hey…how about we call this even, okay?”

At these words, the circling birds seemed to become loudspeakers, one angry, outraged voice blaring across the sky—

“…even?”

In the next moment, the voice returned to its original tone, thundering with anger—

“Ha! As if!”

“…”

“Even? Even..? Ha! When it comes to you and Daddy, there’s no such thing as ‘even’! I could take your eye, your heart, and all the skin off your body, and it still wouldn’t equal a hair my Daddy’s head—much less his eye! Not only are you unworthy of standing here, you’re completely unworthy of existing at all! Firo Prochainezo, I won’t rest until I’ve crushed you out of this world!”

“…you know, I think I’ve heard better arguments from KKK members.”

Even as he spoke, Firo was surveying the situation around him.

By this point, all the other prisoners had become aware of the birds’ abnormal behavior.

Right now, several of the falcons were diving at the prisoners, seemingly intent on driving them back into the prison. Forgetting their rare freedom, the prisoners were rushing in panic back inside.

A few prisoners attempted to brashly fend off the birds, but at the guards’ frantic urging to “get inside!” they, too, eventually trickled back inside.

Of the few stragglers who remained in the yard, all seemed oblivious to Firo’s plight.

Most likely, the guards had all been Sham’s vessels. Which meant that the unceasing voice above him – that was probably the voice of the same girl that Ladd had dragged into Huey’s cell several day again. Sham had mentioned her earlier, but now it seemed he had no inclination to help.

As it was, Firo had little hopes that Sham would help him.

“W-w-woah! What, have these birds gone crazy?”

Just as a familiar words finished these words, a shadow appeared next to Firo’s.

It was Dragon.

Blood dripping off his tattooed hands, he leaned towards Firo and whispered—

“…Leeza still doesn’t know that Sham controls this body.”

“…”

“So for right not, I’m just an ordinary killer, okay?”

…because that makes perfect sense.

Even as he mentally scoffed, Firo could understand the logic of Dragon’s words.

In the distance, Firo saw the African-American man and the short Caucasian man, seemingly readied for attack. Unlike the other prisoners, who had made their way away from Firo, they had remained in the yard.

Aligned thus, it was possible Leeza would try to kill them all in one blow.

And Ladd?

All the time he had been warily watching the birds above, Firo had been keeping track of his surrounding and had seen no sign of the gleeful killer. What was more, he hadn’t seen Ladd at all since coming outside—he must have never entered the exercise yard at all, then.

Alright, what should I do…well, at least they seem smart enough not to rush towards the wall.

Created to prevent prisoners from escaping, the wall was covered with barbed wire, which stretched from the top of the wall towards the yard. Whether the birds dove directly or at an angle, they would still be ensnared in the sharp metal – and even if one managed to fly through the gaps in wire, it would only hit the wall directly behind it.

Seeming safe for now, Firo couldn’t help but give a small sigh of relief—

“You really are naive.”  

Above them, a peregrine’s cry filled the sky with sadistic intent.

“W…what the hell? A woman’s voice…?”

Face a mask of panic, Dragon frantically gawked around him for the source of the sound. To Firo’s eyes, it was a patently obvious act., but he had neither the chance nor the time to voice this.

Leeza’s tone nagged him, making Firo wonder if he really had miscalculated—

Wait—what’s that?

Above him, several of the falcons seemed to have something shiny clutched in their talons—

By the time Firo had figured out what these objects were, it was too late.

Just as it was about to hit, Firo slammed his arms up before his face, the silver ring burying itself deep into the flesh.

Chapter Five, 3/4

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26 Responses to “Peter Pan and Alice Tempt Each Other, and… (2/4)”

  1. Anonymous July 3, 2015 at 2:30 am #

    You’re alive!!!! Really hope you could finish this one. Great job! :DDDD

  2. Willasaurus July 3, 2015 at 3:46 am #

    Thanks!

  3. Anonymous July 3, 2015 at 12:48 pm #

    Thank you for your hard work! As good as always!

  4. Tal July 3, 2015 at 2:14 pm #

    Thanks!!!!! 🙂

  5. Isaac Dian July 4, 2015 at 6:56 am #

    Awesome!!! The project is still alive!!! Please keep going, you almost have it done 😀
    and most importantly thank you! This arc is really amazing ^_^
    I’ll keep telling everyone I know to read baccano! Some of my friends have seen the anime and loved it, now I need to convince them to read the novels. Problem is they don’t like to read too much 😦 but I’ll keep insisting until they try and get addicted to the novels ^.^

  6. vino92 July 5, 2015 at 10:56 pm #

    Yen Press has announced the novels of Baccano, will you continue your translations? I’m translating it into Italian and if you drop the project I don’t know how to continue… Sorry for the possible errors.

    • mistspinner July 5, 2015 at 11:09 pm #

      Oh wow, really? That’s…news.
      At present, with no release date for the light novels ready, I think I’ll continue the project…Peter Pan in Chains is the tenth novel in the series as it is, so it would probably take years for them to get to that point, if the series is even lucrative enough for them to continue. I’m almost done as it is; finishing shouldn’t be too much of a problem, and if they do release an official translation, I’d be happy to do whatever is best for the series and Narita 🙂 No worries about your English, it’s very good, and best of luck with your own work!

      • Ahirube Tohisa July 7, 2015 at 1:41 pm #

        Is it possible for you to archive your translation in pdf in the end?

        What I fear most is DCMA visiting your site.

    • vino92 July 5, 2015 at 11:10 pm #

      Oh, according to what written on Baka-tsuki rules you can finish 5 months prior to the publisher’s release of the first volume. Pleeeeease!

      • Dende July 6, 2015 at 8:52 am #

        Mistspinner doesn’t have to follow what BT says. After all what they are doing is just rehosting mistspinner’s translation. If someone doesn’t agree with BT’s policy they’re not obligated to follow it at all, they just release somewhere else.

        Glad to hear that it’s planned to be finished. Yen Press sucks hard and they do more harm than good to the LN community.

  7. Reyt July 11, 2015 at 3:50 pm #

    Almost there Mist, great job so far. I haven’t been reading what you’ve released yet but the anticipation of reading this and 11-21 after this are killing me, I just couldn’t bear skipping over this volume and going ahead.

  8. S@lly July 12, 2015 at 6:23 pm #

    Ahhh the plot is really starting to come together into the usual baccano! mess, slowly unraveling, isn’t it?

    Anyway thank you so much for translating!!! ouo//

  9. Mpspenguin July 16, 2015 at 11:10 pm #

    Thank you so much for the update- it was awesome to read 😀

  10. sima July 31, 2015 at 11:50 am #

    Hi guys, I have a huge request, it is a little bit unrelated to this chapter but please help me. I am desperate. Is there anyone, who has volume 14 (1931: Another Junk Railroad – Special Express Episode) saved in their computers and is kind-hearted enough to share it with me? Because I accidently deleted it and I cannot download it anymore. Please help.
    And thank you so much for translating this 🙂

    • 1a July 31, 2015 at 4:53 pm #

      Say a other way to send it to you.
      Here could cause problems to the site

      • sima August 1, 2015 at 1:23 pm #

        Thanks a lot but I don’t need it anymore. I already got it from someone else. 😀

      • geriireg August 27, 2015 at 9:27 am #

        Hi! So sorry to request this out of the blue! But if possible and not too much trouble for you, would it be ok if you could send it to me as well please? My hard-drive crashed not too long ago, and I’ve been trying to slowly collect back the Baccano! novels I’ve lost slowly, but I’ve not been able to get them back 😦 I’m still missing quite a few, but yea, I’ll take what I can get, and continue trying to find the rest again.

        If you’re ok with sending it to me, how may I possibly contact you?
        Thank you once again, and sorry for the trouble!

        And also very importantly! Thank you Ms/Mr mistpinner for continuing to translate! 🙂

    • Sendy September 12, 2015 at 3:13 pm #

      Geriireg, use the
      e-mail: sendyourmail011@gmail.com
      password: sendyourmail
      Open the drive

      • geriireg September 12, 2015 at 3:42 pm #

        Thank you so so much! 😀 sending muchmuch love to you! ❤ ❤

      • Sendy September 13, 2015 at 2:55 am #

        Tell me if everything went right, anything just ask

      • geriireg September 13, 2015 at 5:48 am #

        Ah, it ain’t working though?

      • geriireg September 13, 2015 at 6:50 am #

        (sent that previous reply too fast whoops) Says the email and password ain’t matching.

      • Sendy September 13, 2015 at 6:59 am #

        e-mail: sendyourmail011@gmail.com
        (new) password: baccanohere

      • geriireg September 13, 2015 at 7:37 am #

        Got it! Thank you again! 😀 ❤ ❤ ❤

  11. Mikihara August 15, 2015 at 3:34 pm #

    Thanks ! You are awesome

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Peter Pan and Alice Tempt Each Other, and… (1/4) | Mist translates stuff - August 8, 2016

    […] Chapter Five, 2/4 […]

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