A/N: Thanks to Cole_8643 for editing this book cover! and, I realized that I made a mistake in that I typed Aileen when her name should be Eileen, sorry for that~
It was nighttime, the clock striking 9:00 PM as Minoru stepped out of his bedroom, decked out in a tracksuit. As he descended the stairs from the second floor, he spotted Ai absorbed in a movie, while Aqua and Ruby seemed half-asleep around her.
"Minoru-kun..." Ai whispered.
Minoru flashed her a smile, motioning for her to keep quiet around the kids.
Ai approached him stealthily, curiosity in her eyes.
"You're out late again..."
"I'm working," Minoru replied as they walked together, stopping in front of the elevator.
'He's been going out at night a lot lately, hm~ I've been wanting to ask, but...'
Ai hesitated, knowing it wasn't her place to ask about his private life.
'We are lovers again, right?'
She couldn't quite define their relationship because Minoru hadn't asked her to be one again, nor were they officially husband and wife.
'What was I just thinking!? That's so indecent!'
Even, after four years, Ai couldn't forget the night they spent together in a hotel.
If she followed Miyako's advice, she'd be jumping from A to Z way too quickly.
As her only experience was with Minoru, Ai is simply a novice when it comes to this kind of thing, even though she's a mother of four-year-old kids.
Ai shivered at the memory of how Minoru had devoured her like a beast that night, leaving her unable to walk later on.
'Well, if Minoru-kun were to make a move on... me, maybe I'd let him. But I won't invite him as if I'm in heat!'
Her expression grew serious as she poked her forehead.
'Anyway, should I just ask him to date again? I mean, I hugged him like that, and he didn't resist, so aren't we a couple now? Hm... wait! I don't even know if he's with someone right now!'
Ai's thoughts were interrupted as the elevator doors opened, and Minoru glanced at her.
"Ai... you can sleep ahead," he said, his right hand gently resting on her head as he patted her.
Ai felt satisfied and encouraged herself to ask.
"C-Can I ask you something?" her voice trembling.
"Sure..." Minoru chuckled, "But why does it sound so damn serious?"
"It is!" Ai awkwardly smiles, "Um... are you with someone right now?" She clenched her t-shirt, anxiously awaiting his answer.
Minoru was caught off guard, as he had never discussed this with her before.
"I'm not with anyone. How about you?"
Ai's face lit up, and Minoru couldn't help but laugh.
"Don't laugh at me!" Ai pouted, playfully smacking his chest, "I don't..."
'Hmm... tonight, she's wearing the black one.'
Minoru glanced at her, dressed in nothing but an oversized t-shirt and underwear. She looked so cute that he had the urge to kiss her. However, he didn't want to appear like a desperate virgin.
Unexpectedly, Minoru hugged her tightly, and her face was buried in his chest.
Yet, she resigned herself to her fate.
"Mmm... Whad aw wu doinn?" she mumbled, but Minoru understood her words.
"I'm doing exactly what you did to me in front of the kids. What else?"
Ai lifted her head and looked at him with a big pout.
"Are you just making fun of me?"
"What were you expecting from me? I'm dead serious..." He chuckles, "... and, I don't make excuses to hang around a woman. So, you can sleep soundly without any worries."
Ai trembled, her embarrassment reaching its peak, but she also felt relieved.
"It's not like that! Hehe~! if you say so, then I'll go to bed since I'm tired."
Minoru knew exactly what she thought of him...
He used to be a fuckboy and she is right, but now he had graduated from that lifestyle to become a dad.
Inside the elevator, he couldn't help finding Ai cute.
"Ah~ come back safely!"
Ai replied as the elevator doors closed, and Minoru descended.
His friendly expression shifted into a poker face really quickly.
He shifted from Yanagi Minoru to 001.
After a while, he reached his other safe house where he stashed his gear.
"Ah, there you are..."
He finally found the security setup to unlock the basement.
[Good evening...] greeted a robotic woman's voice from the small screen.
[Scanning the retina... Confirm!]
[Scanning the fingerprint... Confirm!]
[Please input the password.]
"Hmm..." he mumbled, trying to recall the password as he had way too many safe houses scattered around the world.
[Alpha - October - 5 - 1969 – Moscow.]
[Please say the last password.]
Minoru's face twitched as he realized he'd gone overboard with security.
"What the fuck is it...?"
[Incorrect password! You have two chances left...]
'Did this bitch not know that I'm still thinking?'
[Incorrect password! You have one chance left before self-destruction.]
An awkward silence hung in the air. It was strangely amusing that he might meet a pathetic end in his own safe house.
'Should I hunt down the guy who set this shit up?'
Wait, it was him...
As his mouth drew closer, he whispered, "Hail... Hydra."
[Confirm! Have a nice ride, 001...]
A sharp clacking sound echoed as he entered the dimly lit basement.
He wasted no time and swiftly changed into an all-black suit, concealing a bulletproof vest beneath his shirt. His hands slipped into gloves, and he donned a jet-black wig to mask his silver hair.
In his sock, he discreetly tucked away concealed knives, while two Glocks rested snugly in a shoulder holster.
He approached a weathered wooden box.
The lid popped open with a noticeable clack, revealing his famous mask.
It was crafted from titanium, with a face-shaped design he had worn for nearly 17 years.
After applying camouflage face paint around his eyes, he picked up the mask.
He paused for a moment, staring at his reflection in the mirror.
His crimson eyes glowing in the darkest of shadows, pierced through the mask's gaps.
Without uttering a word, he left his hideout to hunt down a pig.
(A/N: His mask had a design like King Baldwin IV)
"That guy must be a suspicious boy, huh!? I believe he's coming to our school to target some of the female students! Tch, tch!"
Swan gritted his teeth, but he was pleased inside.
"If Mr. Robert wants me to push the principal to fire him, I'll gladly take up that task. But... if we can agree first."
It had been almost an hour since Loid sat down with Swan at the restaurant.
Loid Forger, code-named Twilight.
He was currently undercover as a representative of the Second Princess, posing as Mr. Robert.
He had asked Swan to meet him there, under the pretense of interviewing a new teacher who had coincidentally arrived at the same time as Teresa's transfer to Shuchi'in High.
His mission was to investigate all the teachers and staff at Shuchi'in High School, especially the man named Yanagi Minoru.
'This man had two passports...'
Loid looked at the sheet but he didn't find anything new.
'Yanagi Minoru, also known as James Moriarty, has been living in the UK since he was adopted and given the name James Moriarty. He's turning twenty this year and with such a high educational background...'
Loid was talking about a man he ran into while picking up Anya from kindergarten.
What caught him off guard was that Yanagi Minoru had just started working as a math teacher at Shuchi'in High School. And to top it off, he happened to be Teresa's homeroom teacher.
Loid had gathered all the information he could, and there was nothing suspicious about the degree James Moriarty had earned from the university. He also went to the UK to investigate James Moriarty further by interviewing his classmates, but this man is real.
'What a bastard...'
There's a contradiction between Swan's assertions and what Loid had learned.
'Swan claims that Yanagi Minoru is a womanizer, but I heard he never had friends or women during his college days...'
In summary, this meeting with Murdoch Swan was a pointless effort.
"Unfortunately, I don't have the authority to make decisions in this matter. My role here is to inquire about the new teachers and report back to my superior."
Robert politely smiled at him, as Swan gasped.
"T-Then, Mr. Robert... feel free to reach out to me anytime."
Swan smirked, considering this a valuable connection with the Luxemburg Royal Family.
"Thank you for your time, Mr. Swan."
"Hahaha! Don't sweat it, Mr. Robert!"
Robert smiled politely as he got up and extended his hand for a handshake before he left and went to his car, which he had parked on the roadside.
Loid massaged his head.
'Six months...' He narrowed his eyes, 'I still don't have a clue where the man with the code name 001 is...'
In reality, Loid had a mission that was even more crucial than being a bodyguard in Teresa's shadow.
To find the man with the code name 001.
After his new Queen had assigned him this mission, he was frustrated about this mission's progress.
But the truth is, this mission is merely a political maneuver. It would be seen as an insult to the USA if Luxemburg didn't make an effort to track down this hitman who had killed the First Prince in their embassy.
Yet, the USA had also failed to uncover any leads on 001.
"But he did end our civil war..."
It was a dilemma.
This hitman had saved his country from descending into a war zone.
Instead of hunting him down, Loid thinks he should be thanking him.
He suddenly remembered his conversation with his Queen.
Inside her working space.
He stood up, seeing Eileen busy at her desk.
Eileen de Luxemburg is an otherworldly beauty with loose auburn hair in a braid and golden eyes.
Loid couldn't help but be amazed by how perfectly she fit the role of a Queen, but he also felt a sense of fear when he looked at her.
"Oh... Agent Twilight."
She stopped her pen and smiled at him.
"You don't have to stress over this mission."
So, he can just relax with this job? Loid was taken aback after she told him that.
"Your Majesty... Isn't capturing this man important for our relationship with the USA?"
She tilted her head and poked her chin with her index finger, "Hmm... you're right."
"Well, truth be told, I don't care much about our relationship with them since we don't need it, do we? However, if you manage to capture this guy..."
Eileen grinned as she rested her head on her left palm.
"That would be quite entertaining for me as I'm bored..."
Her grin and playful eyes seemed to tell him, that this was more about amusement than a national threat. Loid was also unaware of Eileen's deep relationship with 001, as she was the one who had sent him to kill the First Prince.
'Sigh, what's up with that woman? I feel like she's just using me for her entertainment.'
Then, a deafening crash shattered the silence, sending Loid's senses on high alert.
He peered ahead and spotted a car and a truck, the source of the crashing sound, both vehicles coming to a halt at the red-light intersection.
"Wait, isn't that car owned by Murdoch Swan?"
Still disguised as Robert, Loid stepped out of his car, bewildered.
But then, a gray smoke billowed from the truck, and Loid narrowed his eyes.
There was a lot of smoke coming from the truck's interior cabin.
"Must be an engine failure."
He approached the scene, carefully inspecting the inside of the truck, whose windows were tinted.
His eyes widened as he witnessed something that prompted him to draw his gun.
Agent Twilight rushed to the scene with everything he had.
'That mask, there's no mistake...'
How had he not known about the famous mask that belonged to 001?
What's your take on this chap?