17 It's but a gift!

"Are you sure?" A burly man asked, perplexed.

"Yes," Isaac nodded lightly. "There hadn't been any gangs entering my cafe as of late if I remember correctly."

Currently, the other half of the gang suspected of targeting Isaac's cafe came looking for the former, claiming they wanted to 'protect' it.

However, when they arrived, instead of seeing destroyed furniture, all they saw was a calm and serene cafe blanketed with a cozy atmosphere.

There weren't any traces of their other members that came early.

'Damn it, did that doofus Pierre go somewhere else?' The burly man gritted his teeth. He then looked at Isaac, "Are you sure?"

"Yes." Isaac nodded without showing any sign of suspicion. Then his face shifted as if he remembered something.

"Though, I do think I saw a group of men in blue overalls talking to themselves saying they'll be going to Fleuve Cendre when I was out cleaning a while ago..."

'That's them! Those idiots! So they went to Spina Di Rosula's place... Tch.' A throbbing vein appeared on the burly man's forehead as he clenched his fists from anger. Calming himself down, he once again spoke. "...Alright. It was just a false alarm."

"Be careful. Gangs typically target establishments like yours." He then stood up from his seat before walking away and leaving through the door.

Soon, the other members followed with the burly man, and silence descended upon the cafe.

Isaac, now alone, responded with a whispered smile, "You too."

His eyes, which had been languid and carefree, suddenly gleamed with a sinister glint.

"Now, time for the surprise..."


Nighttime, Aquabus station.

The time was almost 9 p.m., and the sky was already draped in the embrace of night.

On the Clementine Line of the Aquabus, the Melusine, Aeval, who was the operator, looked at someone with a puzzled expression.

More specifically, he was the only 'someone' in the Aquabus. After all, it was already nighttime, and, understandably, few were traveling to the Harbor at this time to Romaritime Harbor.

"So... Do you travel often at night, sir?" She asked as she looked at a certain direction of the Aquabus. "N-Not that I judge your taste in traveling or anything Haha..."

There was a reason for her nervousness. After all, who wouldn't be nervous at the sight of the person she was looking at?

Sitting down while holding a book, a man with a gloomy aura was silently reading. On his side was a wooden cane inlaid with silver.

He had neat black hair that reached his back and was wearing a crystal monocle.

As for his clothes, he was wearing a white long-sleeved shirt paired with a black vest, topped with a black two-buttoned frock coat. To finish it off, he was also wearing black trousers and a pair of shiny shoes that glistened in the night.

However, what Aeval couldn't help but notice was his mask that covered his lower face.

Other than that, the man just stayed silent the whole time and didn't say anything to the Melusine.

'He seems like an important person somewhere... Maybe a rich tycoon or a leader of an organization?' Aeval nervously speculated as she observed the man. 'However...'

'Apart from his menacing and gloomy aura... He seems like a calm and rational person...' She couldn't help but conserve him more. 'His gentleness with his book... It reminds me of Monsieur Neuvillette's gentle personality...'

'Is he perhaps like the ludex?' A thought emerged in Aeval's mind. She then quietly giggled and was amused at the thought. 'Someone who's cold on the outside but is nice, warm, and fluffy on the inside...'

'It's odd...' She then started thinking of another matter. 'Only a few humans possess the same quality as Monsieur Neuvillette... And something very close, at that.'

Just then, her eyes caught something.

The man, who had been silent for quite a time now, suddenly stood up before placing his book inside his frock coat and picking up his cane.

"H-Hey, what are you doing mister?" Aeval saw the man stand up and look at West.

The man then turned around and looked at Aeval. He then adjusted his crystal monocle before giving a light nod with a gentle smile. After doing this, the man went down the Aquabus that was still moving.

He then jumped.


Before Aeval could come and stop him, the man had already disembarked from the Aquabus.

Aeval then held onto the railing and looked at the man's shadow slowly blending into the night, never to be seen again.

"That's..." Aeval, who was now left alone in the Aquabus, didn't know what to say.

"...at least wait until the Aquabus docked..." She muttered to herself with a defeated voice.


"Well that was easy," Isaac, who had activated the concealment feature after going down, muttered to himself.

He then looked at the distance where a ruined shipwreck was resting. "That should be Poisson..."

Poisson, a quiet town at the foot of Mont Automnequi. Its residents mostly work in the fishing or underwater salvage industries.

Legends say that before the first Diluvian period, the town was once a central hub for Fontaine's maritime traffic network. Although the change in water levels resulted in the loss of the town's status as a major port, the cozy and warm vibe of the town doubtlessly still attracts many visitors.

It was also the Headquarters of Spina Di Rosula and the Confrerie of Cabriere.

"That's right... This was once a nice and safe place for many..." Isaac's deep amber eyes illuminated the darkness of the night that was surrounding him. "Until the Confrerie introduced Sinthe and made most of the residents addicted to the drug..."

Isaac has to admit, he wasn't the type of person to actively seek out justice. Heck, he didn't even care about any injustice as long as it didn't affect him in any way.

But now that they touched him? Targeted him?

Adding to the fact that they were also the target for Isaac's second main mission, they just declared themselves ready to fight.

If he doesn't stand firm on his ground, another gang will just come and wreck his cafe.

He can't allow that.

Under the brilliant moonlight, Isaac's silhouette was casted over the field of grass that was blanketed with darkness. His frock coat swayed in the wind.

The most noticeable was his eyes— a pair of luminescent deep amber eyes that shined in the darkness. It was similar to a beast's eyes when hunting.

"I won't cause trouble too early. I'm not stupid," Isaac muttered to himself. "It's only been a day since the ruckus I've caused in Palais Mermonia..."

Then he began moving towards Poisson, using the concealment function to keep his steps silent.

Finally, after running and stopping for a few minutes, he finally arrived near the entrance of Poisson. Looking at the shipwreck that was covering a hole where water was flowing, Isaac lightly nodded his head.

"System." He then opened his system, and soon, the familiar interface appeared. "Place teleport mark here."


Seeing the system's reply, Isaac nodded and accessed the system map, where he saw two red markers.

One was at his cafe in the Court of Fontaine, and the other was where he was standing right now.

Without saying anything, Isaac clicked on his cafe and soon, he disappeared from his spot in a split second as if he was but an illusion.

After a few minutes...

Isaac's figure reappeared, this time carrying a massive gift box wrapped in colored paper and topped with a ribbon.

"Ha..." Placing the massive box down, Isaac let out a sigh. He then looked at his "gift" with a sinister glint in his eyes. "This is but a warning..."

"Gehrman already made a debut..." He then adjusted his crystal monocle before pulling out a sticky notepad and writing something on it. "This time..."

"It's James Moriarty's turn." He snickered as his deep amber eyes glowed with malice.

"The Brains and the Brawns... Moriarty and Gehrman respectively." He chuckled at this setting. He was cooking up a performance.

"Oh, how fun it is."

After saying this, he opened his system map once more and disappeared, leaving no trace behind other than his massive cartoonish gift.


Poisson, the next day.

Everyone was currently gathering above ground as they circled something.

"What's happening?" Navia, who went up the moment she heard the news from Silver, quickly asked.

Melus, who was already at the scene looked at her with slightly troubled eyes. "Demoiselle, it's best that you don't see this..."

"It's alright, just what—" Before Navia could finish her words, she immediately saw what was inside the "gift".

"Who in God's name would do this..." Her face slightly contorted at the sight of the five bloody people who were, obviously, dead.

The thing that caught her attention the most were the marks left on their head— as if something thick smacked them.

"We already investigated, Demoiselle..." Melus said on the side while shaking his head. "We looked into it and found out that these lads used to work for the Sinthe Vendors."

Sinthe was a highly addictive drug that could induce extreme euphoria and exhilaration, It began making its appearance in the market about a decade ago. It first appeared in Poisson.

However, the side effects of the drug were severe. Once the effects of Sinthe are gone, the consumer will experience severe anxiety and other psychological problems.

This is why Spina Di Rosula decided to ban them and wage war against the people who were selling them.

"Sinthe?" Navia looked at Melus with a perplexed face. She then looked at the bodies once more. "...If they used to work with the Sinthe Vendors, then why were they sent here at Poisson?"

"That..." Melus crossed his arms before shaking with head with a sigh. "We do not know... However, we did find one thing stuck to the... Package."

Melus then brought up a yellow sticky note.

Navia saw the note and extended her hand to hold it. She then looked at him. "This is?"

"...You should read for yourself, Demoiselle." Melus coughed.

Navia saw Melus' face and got curious. She then looked down and read the contents of the paper.

"Here's my sign of goodwill to Spina Di Rosula. Five bugs that destroy their ecosystem. Ones that drag others down with them."

"I do hope you'll like this gift, Miss Navia. If the chance arises, I'd be sure to send you more."

"Sincerely, Moriarty."

"..." Navia's face darkened after reading the letter. After a while, she looked at Melus.

Melus sighed at her and shook his head once more. "It seems like... You have an admirer, Demoiselle."

"One that has a twisted sense of humor, might I add." He added as he looked at the "gift".


"Achoo!" Meanwhile, Isaac, who had just gotten up from the bed, looked dazed. "What the... Did I catch a cold last night?"


A/N: I hate Pre-Calculus.

Just wanted to say that.

Pisses me off.

Now carry on. I just wanted to vent.

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