Original and most up to date translations are posted at volaretranslations.
Translator’s Note: As a reminder, VolareTL will be celebrating its one year anniversary this week on the 15th of December. Hint: You won’t need to spend and sponsor next week! Dakara yorokobe, shounen!
Chapter 41: The Hysterical Black Mice’s Leader
Cillin had always suspected that there was something on the black mice’s leader for it to experience such a transformation. Mutation was one thing, but a stability period should follow after a mutation had occurred. But this black mouse had undergone its second transformation not long after its first was completed, and it was so successful that it was as if its intelligence and combat strength were the culmination of hundreds of years of evolution. It was unheard of.
Who is better, a one year old mouse or a hundreds year old mouse that is just as strong as ever? The answer was obvious.
When Cillin was examining the traces left behind by this black mouse, he already discovered that there was a strange substance inside its cells, or should he say that there was likely something inside this black mouse’s body that was stimulating all of its cells to produce enhancing substances.
It wasn’t until the black mouse appeared that Cillin had a clear sense of a special signal transmitted from inside its body. This signal caused the biochips inside his body to grow incredibly excited, almost as if they had found their own kind.
The huge black mice’s leader with a pair of frontal teeth that looked like large scythes emanated a strange ‘chi chi’ noise from its mouth that was unlike a normal mouse’s. It had sensed Cillin’s presence earlier but did not attack immediately. It felt that this human gave it a very special feeling. There was a faint sense of danger, yet there was also a temptation that reminded it a delicious meal. Perhaps eating this human would benefit its evolution. After holding back for such a long time, in the end, it decided to attack Cillin.
The black mouse disappeared from its original spot and appeared right in front of Cillin within the next moment. Cillin’s reactions were not slow either. His gun and backpack had been tossed aside while he faced it with his bare hands.
Dull banging sounds resounded as his reinforced body clashed against the black mouse’s. The instant the black mouse’s claw swiped at his direction, Cillin swiftly rebounded on his feet and kicked it right in the cervical vertebrae.
The black mouse’s neck didn’t break, but the upper part of its body was knocked to the side by sheer force. The wall it slammed into was hollowed as shattered rock debris fell towards the ground. Bits of rocks flew everywhere, and the tunnel walls grew wider and wider as the black mouse’s claw cut continuously through them like tofu.
After repeated contact, Cillin had already discovered where that thing was inside the black mouse’s body.
Two mouse claws flew towards the black mouse’s bloody eyes, and the black mouse closed them while turning its head slightly away. The two mouse claws Cillin had thrown out struck at the bottom of its eyes, failing to scratch through its skin. But the mouse claws that were thrown out as a hidden weapon were only a distraction. Cillin’s next target was its ears.
The moment it closed its eyes, Cillin had thrown out yet another two mouse claws towards its left and right ears at the same time. If they really sank into its ears, with this strength and speed, no matter how tough its auricles were, its inner ears and nerves inside the ear canal would be damaged.
The big black mouse also understood those consequences, and that was why it brought up both its front limbs to deflect the hidden weapons with its sharp claws while closing its eyes and avoiding the first first two mouse claws at the same time.
Cillin jumped at a slanted angle and passed right beneath the black mouse’s frontal claws. His reinforced arm penetrated right through its stomach and sucked out that thing from inside it like a magnet. Then he pulled back and jumped away swiftly. The entire process took only an instant.
It was a fist-sized crystal white ball that glowed with a dense white light amidst the darkness. Holding the white ball, Cillin could feel clearly a huge amount of energy emanating from inside the ball. However, this was not the time to study the white ball. Cillin quickly evacuated after getting what he came for. Only an idiot would fight head-to-head against this big guy.
The wound Cillin dealt to the black mouse’s stomach didn’t bleed much before it began to heal instantly. However, its healing speed was slower than when it still had the white ball.
After noticing that the white ball had been taken, the black mouse turned berserk. Its bloodshot eyes turned even redder than before as it screeched out angrily. The anger and killing intent brimming from its scythe-like frontal teeth had reached their peak.
It could forget about revenge and forget about the lives of the other black mice. But it could not lose the white ball. All of its reliance and fortune had come from this white ball!
The black mouse chased after Cillin like it had gone insane. For every step it ran, a layer of rock would be torn apart by its sharp claws. It did not even bother turning, and simply charged at a straight line through the shortest path towards Cillin. You could imagine how impatient it was. Many of the tunnels were destroyed by it, and the paths behind Cillin and the black mouse slowly began to crumble.
Cillin had chosen the path with almost no other operatives to run through, and since the black mouse itself had caused quite the commotion, the nearby operatives were also alerted. When they noticed that the tunnels were starting to destabilize, they swiftly began to evacuate towards the surface.
Cillin had formed a perfect picture of the tunnel in his head a long time ago, so he knew very well exactly when to travel down which fork during his run. He had run through almost all of the tunnels, including the places where he took out those hidden killers, and after those tunnels collapsed, even the last vestiges of evidences had been buried as well.
The longer the chase went, the more the black mouse felt its weakness after losing the white ball, and thus, grew even more restless. Unfortunately for it, the human that took away its precious thing was incredibly quick. While running, the black mouse let out a long, drawn out howl that was less like a mouse and more like an ancient beast’s.
The howl caused the entire underground network to shake. Even those fighting against the black mice on the surface could hear it clearly.
It was like the terrible howl of cold winds, or the devilish voice of a Shura walking through hell. At this moment, every operative and researcher who heard this voice felt a trembling cold chill.
What kind of creature must it be to let out such a noise? And what kind of state and mood was it befell on to let out such a hysterical howl?
When the howl had resounded, every black mice on the surface, be it the ones fighting against the operation squads, the ones hiding at a certain spot in the station waiting for an opportunity, or the ones that had almost dug through the final layer of defense of the station’s central area, all stopped whatever they were doing and rushed towards the underground. They were utterly indifferent even when the operatives shot them with their weapons.
“Tell all squads who haven’t left the tunnel to evacuate immediately! Everyone else on the surface be on high alert!” Huo Neil roared into his communicator. He might not know what was going on, but judging from that howl alone, it was obvious that the mice’s leader was about to appear.
At a certain spot underneath the tunnels, a squad of soldiers were heading towards the front. They had lost contact with the surface earlier, and they could not get even the slightest signal on their communicators. However, seeing that the tunnels were growing more and more unstable, the squad captain made the decision to evacuate. It would be terrible if they were buried at this place. His decision to retreat grew firmer after hearing that one terrifying howl just now.
“Captain, we got a signal!” A squad member cried out joyfully.
The closer they were to the surface, and the further away they were from the black mice’s leader’s location earlier, the more there were receivers installed earlier that escaped destruction. This wasn’t the only squad either; all the other operatives evacuating towards the surface had also realized that they were receiving signals once more.
“All underground operation personnel are to retreat to the surface immediately! Retreat to the surface immediately!”
Huo Neil’s voice resounded from the communicator with urgency.
The squad captain ordered immediately.
But before they took more than two steps, they could feel a distant tremor closing in on them.
Every squad member readied their weapons and got into positions to fire, but they all knew that there was no way the few of them could deal with the amount of black mice that had caused such a tremor.
Go back? It was pointless. This was a very long tunnel, and to escape to the back now would only be wasting their strength and delaying the inevitable clash.
Previously, when they had first entered the underground tunnels, they had not encountered such a huge number of black mice. Now it would appear that the black mice had gathered as one and rushed onward as a single group. Moreover, judging from the commotion, they had not bothered to disguise themselves at all, unlike the silence when they were waging a guerrilla warfare against them before.
Sird was also part of this squad. Right now, he could no longer be bothered to wipe the sweat above his forehead. He recounted everything he had experienced up to this point, his dreams, his ambitions when arriving at Seven Lights… Do I regret this? He asked himself this.
He didn’t know. He really didn’t know. He wasn’t thinking about anything else but his feelings when he was but a young kid and saw that golden, shining medal with a military emblem on his father’s study. Perhaps it was that moment when an obsession was born inside his heart; that someday, he should get one not of his father’s name but his own, Sird.
The black mice were closing in. The squad members could already smell that disgusting smell in the air coming from afar.
The squad members roared after the captain and tightened their grips on their weapons.