Irreplaceable

Chapter 4

Inside the warehouse, the guards were obediently doing their job. They were all looking so submissive.

Well, that's how it seemed before some voices, or rather, talking, had their ears perked up like a pack of hungry wolf. Although they were interested, they still raised their weapon in alert.

"Hey, is it really alright to be in such place? It looks kind of scary..." A high-pitched girl's voice rang outside of the main entrance.

"We don't have a choice, I don't even know where we are, might as well get some help around." Another girl answered.

As the guards were focusing on the voice from the entrance, two young girls walked in, looking insecure. The guards lowered their weapon.

One of the man that was standing guard in front of the toilet grinned and nudged his cloaked partner before whispering , "Wanna try them on? Look at those perfectly sized hooters! Especially the purple-haired one!" while gesturing at the young girls . Strays of blonde hair swaying as the masked figure gave him a shake of the head as a declination.

"Damn man...you're no fun. Well then, they're all mine!" The man happily skipped to the teenage girls.

"Hello, ladies. May I help you? Oh, could it be...by any chance, you're lost?" He flashed them a cheesy grin and threw his arms around the girls. "You two must have been tired from all the trouble of searching a way out. Why don't you rest here for awhile and I'll lead you out later?" He then slowly ushered the girls into the storeroom beside the washroom.

"Really?! Thank you so much, you're a good person." The high-pitched girl brought herself closer enough for her breast to slightly touch the man's arm. "How can we repay you for your kindness?" The girl with the low twintail opened her purse and searched for some cash.

"Oww, don't you worry, I don't need any money in return. Just come in and let's have a chat. I'll treat you to some delicious cookies." With that, he closed the door and began to have his way with his prey items.

Watching the ruckus, the men in front of the hostage room sighed. " That guy...as playful as usual huh..." Then, one of the men noticed something missing. " Where's the one guarding the front entrance?"

The other man turned to face him. " You mean Takaura? I'm not sure, maybe he's out for a smoke?"

"I see, he better not get caught slacking off by the boss, who knows what he'll do." The guards decided to end the conversation and returned to their post. Out of nowhere, the cloaked guard suddenly stood beside them while holding a pack of cigarettes in the left hand and gesturing for a lighter with the right hand.

They were surprised by the sudden appearance of their fellow colleague but then they noticed the hand gesture. "Oh, you just need a lighter?" The guard which is nearer to the masked figure searched his pocket and came out with a silver lighter. But before the item was accepted, he found himself on the cold ground.

Pain spread throughout his chest. A heavy weight on his back stopping his every movements. Someone was grabbing his wrist. He looked right and saw his partner lying unconscious on his stomach. A girl with silky azure hair was holding a baseball bat beside the downed guard. She was wearing the same costume as he did.

Slowly, the man twisted his head as far back as possible to observe his assailant. Pools of cerulean shades were protected by strands of blonde and the rest of them tied into a perfect ponytail. The orbs of this girl was drowning him. He was mesmerized. He watched as the lady lowered herself to look at him.

She gave him a smile before whispering into his ear, "Sweet dreams." A fist fell onto his face and that's all it took for him to go blackout.

Contented by what they did, Eli and Umi gave each other a high-five. Then, they remembered something as both of them turned to the storeroom.

The door flung opened.

"Kotori!" "Nozomi!"

The blonde and the archer stood dumbfounded at the door as they swallowed the scene inside the room. Or at least, they tried to.

"Ahh Elicchi, done with your side?" questioned Nozomi while straddling the guard's back. His shirt was taken off and it was tied from his mouth to the back of his head. Any of his begging was clearly muffled.

"Umi-chan! Are you done? Come join us and have fun!" chirped Kotori innocently. On her hand was a bottle of pepper spray. She then slowly moved it directly in front of the man's eyes and gently pressed the cap-

"Hwwaaaaaaa! Sto-stop! Pleeaaseeeee!"

"What? You want more?" She chuckled. "Very well..."

"N-no! No! No! Don't-"

Eli closed the door in a robotic manner. She and Umi couldn't bear to continue watching anymore of this 'fun'. Both of them sighed as they leaned against the door.

At least they are fine.

"There the intruders are! Get them!" shouted the guards from the second floor. "You two down there, get your ass up!"

The unconscious guards on the first floor rubbed their head and regained their posture. They grabbed their weapon and began charging at the girls.

Umi and Eli gasped. This is bad.

Eli hurriedly picked up the baseball bat underneath her feet while Umi swiftly grabbed a chair beside her. They braced for any incoming attacks even though they knew they had no chance of winning since it was four against two-

Or, that's what the guards thought.

"Rice-tan! Now!"

An outrageous trains of roars(barks) resonated the whole building. All of the guards stopped charging and frantically searched around for the owner of these deafening howls.

Seizing the opportunity, the Russian girl swung the bat into one of the guard's stomach. He spitted a mouthful of saliva.

The other guards heard the groan and immediately snapped back to reality.

"Damn, you girls!" One of the men caught Eli off-guard and pointed his gun towards her. However, before he could fire, a kick slammed onto his nose and sent him flying to the wall.

"No one can hurt my friend nya!"

"Rin! Thank you!"

Before Rin can flash Eli her famous cat-grin, the corner of her eyes caught a movement and she reflexively swirled her body just in time to dodge a punch.

Seeing the gap, Umi threw the chair she was holding to Rin's attacker. Unfortunately, he blocked it easily with his tough muscular arm. Feeling irritated, he threw the chair back to Umi but it barely touched her as she agilely jumped to the side. The chair was thrown with such force that as soon as it landed on the floor, it broke into a clump of mess. Umi was sure that if she hadn't manage to avoid it, she would had been a dead meat by now.

Soon enough, the battlefield became a war of strength against agility.

Gripping the rail tightly, the boss gritted his teeth as he watched the upheaval unfolded beneath him.

How can such thing happen? Where did the girls get in from?


FLASHBACK

"That's all from me nya!" saluted Rin as she report the result of her scouting to the present members.

"Thus, from Rin's observation I came up with a plan." Maki crossed her arms. Her voice serious and determined. "Will all of you hear me out?"

Without a second thought, they gladly nodded. Maki took out a sketched map of the warehouse.

"But first of all," Maki turned to the other two soldier game members. "Eli, Umi, can I have you infiltrate the base and act as one of the guards?"

"We, as an undercover?" Umi pointed at herself.

"Yes. Eli, standby inside the toilet. As soon as someone gets in, knock him out and changes into his clothes." Maki pointed at the back entrance. "Umi, get the guard here. I entrust this task to you two because I believe with both of your skills, you can handle them in a whim."

The mentioned girls took the suggestion into consideration, imagining the situation itself. Once they reached to a decision, they turned to Maki and spoke.

"Okay, we will do this."

"Eh?! Really? Umi-chan, this is dangerous...are you sure you're going to do it?" Kotori tugged at Umi's sleeve while her amber orbs were filled with a bottomless of concern.

Umi rested a hand on Kotori's shoulder and smiled reassuringly. "Believe me. It will be alright."

A soft hand caressed Eli's cheek. "Elicchi, please be careful okay?"

Eli looked to her side and locked eyes with the turquoise. "Yes, I will. I'll make sure to come back...for you..."

"Ahem! Mind if I continue?" Maki's interruption surprised the two pairs of couple and brought them into an embarrassment. They shyly nodded.

"So, once those two were inside the building as a guard, Nozomi and Kotori, you two will go in from the front entrance and act like you are lost. When the men approaches you, seduce them and keep them busy. Once they lowered their guard in front of you, take them out immediately."

"Maki, this is reckless! I won't allow this! What if those men lay their hand-"

"Umi-chan, don't you worry, Kotori and I are absolutely no problem with this. Before they even think of doing us, we will have already 'done' with them. Right, Kotori?" Kotori nodded and a mischievous glint can be seen in both of their eyes.

The archer gulped. "A-ahh, okay, if you say so."

Taking a seat on the chair, Eli inquired. " But what about the guard at the front entrance?"

"I will have Rin clear him out before they get in. Is it okay, Rin?

"No problem nya!"

"Find a chance to get close to the guard in front of the hostage room, Eli. When she start attacking, Umi will assist her." Maki directed her finger to the second floor. "By then, I assume the remaining guards will be focusing on you two. Hanayo, I need your dog to bark loudly to distract the men. And Rin, provide Eli and Umi some backup."

The redhead took a deep breathe.

"And then, while you girls were fighting the guards off, Honoka and I will do the rescuing."

END OF FLASHBACK


He scuttled hurriedly down the staircase to the hostage room without attracting any attention. He planned to sneak the hostage girl out and escaped the place by boat into the other side of the coast.

Even if I didn't get the ransom, I always have the option to sell that girl to the slave master. Right, why haven't I thought of this before! Silly me! Now, I'll just have to get the girl and leave the boys with the police.

He smirked and then pushed open the metal door.


Nico was awoke from her slumber when she heard the scratching noise. She looked behind at the glass window above her. The mosaic window vaguely showed pixels of shadow that looked like a head. After a few seconds, the window popped open and a brunette shoved her head in.

"Nico-chan?"

"Honoka!" Nico tried to move but failed to do so as she didn't have much energy.

"Ah! She's in here!"

Huh? Is someone else with Honoka?

Honoka climbed through the window and landed on her butt. "Oww!"

"Honoka! How do you know I'm here?" Nico asked as soon as the leader got to her feet.

The brunette tried to loosen the knot that were enclosing Nico's wrist but it was futile. "It's all thanks to Maki-chan!" She turned towards the glass window and Nico followed suit.

A redhead appeared at the window and she climbed in. Once she was on the floor, she dusted her trousers. Feeling a stare fixed on her, she looked forward and found the pair of ruby she had been longing to see.

Even though it's only been three days they haven't seen each other, no words were said. Yet they had so many things they wanted to tell the other.

Nico felt tears began to overflow her eyes once she saw the girl that she always had a fight with, the girl that caught her attention from the day they met, and the girl that meant so much to her, was standing in front of her now. Before she could say anything, a hug crashed onto her and she found herself being embraced by a scent of nostalgia.

"I missed you."

Upon hearing the words, Nico closed her eyes and allow the tears of emotion to escape and let herself to be drowned in the sugary embrace.

"I missed you too."

The hug broke apart and they gave each other a genuine smile. The leader beside them grinned joyfully for her friends' reunion before she spoke.

"Maki-chan, I cannot loosen the knot. Did you brought the saw?"

"Ah yes." She took out a small hacksaw and started sawing the rope.

While waiting to be freed, Nico asked. "Where's the other members?"

Honoka answered while holding the rope for Maki to saw it. "They are all outside fighting the guards. Everyone is so eager to have Nico-chan back!"

"Girls..."

"Better be glad we come all the way to get you, Nico-chan."

"Yes, yes princess..." She kept watching Maki and the smile plastered on her face never left.

"Honoka, can you pull the rope tighter so I can-" Maki's sentence was cut off when someone opened the door and shouted.

"When the heck did you girls get in?!"

The man immediately stormed in and grabbed Honoka's hair and swung her to the wall. " Get out of my way!"

"Arghh!" whined the brunette in pain as her back hit the wall.

"Honoka!"

"You too!" He shoved Maki away and proceeded to carry Nico but Maki prevented this as she recovered rapidly from the thrust and grabbed the boss's right leg with both of her hand. He clicked his tongue and swayed his leg in hopes of freeing it from the grasp.

"Let go of me!"

However, the grip was too strong.

The man could no longer wait as he drove out a knife from its holster at the side of his leg. He raised it high up before thrusting the knife towards the redhead.

Maki watched as the knife came down like a rocket before she clammed her eyes shut.

A sound of skin being pierced rung throughout the room.

"..."

"..."

Yet, Maki felt no pain. Just a light weight above her.

She opened her eyes to look at the left and saw Honoka covered her mouth and her baby blue eyes widened in terrible shock.

She felt warm liquid swimming down her face. She looked right and saw red.

"What have you done to her, you bastard!" Eli's furious shout thundered the room.

The sound of a kick could be heard next and in Maki's vision, the man fell to the floor while clutching his stomach. Then, she saw Umi hurriedly pull his arms behind and stepped on his back to restrict him.

Maki slowly sat up, accidentally pushed the weight beside her. Blood stained all over her shirt. But she knew, this was not her blood.

She wanted to turn to look at the weight but she was afraid. Afraid that the identity of the weight was what she thought it was.

She gulped. So hard it felt lumpy. Then, she looked down.

She was right. Her assumption was right. Nico was there, lying almost lifeless. Her breathe shallow and irregular. On her waist, protruded a knife.

Maki shakily lifted the petite up to lay on her arms.

Bags of teardrops was dripping on Nico's face, making her opened her eyes to a half-shut and looked up to see teary amethyst orbs staring at her so painfully.

By now, all the other members gathered in the room and they surrounded the two. Anger, shock and sadness painted their face at the same time.

Nico energylessly lifted her right hand that was freed awhile ago during the commotion to caress Maki's wet cheek which was dampened with tears and her own blood.

"Maki-chan..." Nico began. Her voice weak and hoarse.

"You know, you always get on my nerves... and never stopped doing so. Unlike Nico, you don't socialize much...you were reading books all the time. My first thought was that ' What a bookworm this girl is!...Even though you are so beautiful, so ladylike, and of course...so damn cute. Little did I know, I ended up watching you, observing your every moves..."

Blood flowed out of the corner of her lips as Nico spoke and was followed by a series of cough.

"A-anyone called the am-ambulance?" Kotori stuttered.

Hanayo frantically fumbled with her phone. " I-I have called it, it will b-be here in 5 minutes."

"Nico-chan, stay with us!" The members shouted to grab her attention to keep her from closing her eyes again.

Maki was in total lost of words. She watched as Nico opened her mouth to speak again.

"I don't care whether I can live to see another day...The most important thing right now is that...the words that are hidden deep inside of me can make it out to you now, Maki-chan..."

Maki hurriedly took hold of Nico's slender hand and shook her head aggresively. "N-no...Nico-chan...don't say it...please...stay..."

Nico managed an angelic smile.

"I've fallen deeply in love with you, Maki-chan."

With that, she reluctantly succumbed to the darkness.


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