“Now, let’s start the game. Whose hostage is more important?”
As Isaac finished speaking, the screen lit up, revealing a terrified and confused woman tied to a chair in between two North Bears. Anton’s eyes trembled when he saw the woman on the screen.
“You should at least say hi to your wife when it’s been so long.”
Anton’s enraged shout echoed, but Isaac nonchalantly smoked and continued.
“Now, release the hostages and surrender. Or the hostage dies.”
“… Kukuku. Did you think I’d be convinced by a pitiful threat like that? I’ve sold my soul to a demon for revenge!”
“Iya, so your wife is just a stranger at the end of the day, is it? I guess I don’t have a choice since you don’t care about her wellbeing. You’re saying she has no value as a hostage?”
“Fine then. Kill her.”
Isaac ordered and the North Bear standing next to the woman sliced off her head in an instant. Anton watched blankly at the sight and grit his teeth, never expecting Isaac to actually call his bluff and kill her.
“Hostages are best when they are blood-related, right?”
Doubt overtook the anger in Anton’s mind as he silently watched Isaac snap his fingers. Held by a group of elves, a girl was brought to the area.
“Ah! I see you at least remember your daughter. I think Debora noonim felt bad for framing you for everything, so she took care of your family at the very least. Sophia had been attending Campus thanks to her sponsorship, which is why it was so easy to bring her here.”
“Where is this? What did I do to…”
Sophia pleaded to the elves next to her, but the elves ignored her as they brought her next to Isaac and tied her to a chair.
“Hello, pretty lady. What’s your name?”
“S, Sophia. What’s going on? I am a Campus student.”
“Oh! I see that you’re my hubaenim. Do you by any chance recognise who that bandaged man is?”
Sophia looked at the man on the second floor of the villa before shaking her head.
“No. It’s my first time seeing him. Um, why am I… Mum?”
Sophia looked around in confusion, eventually spotting the body of her mother on the screen. Her eyes quaked in disbelief as she fought the ropes, but the elves immediately tightened her restraints.
“Don’t make me laugh! It’s impossible for you to bring her all the way from Campus so quickly!”
Anton argued, and Isaac snickered in response.
“I see you didn’t get all the details when you signed a contract with a demon? You should have been mighty surprised seeing airships flying in the skies coming out of your bed after so long. That airship is actually something Central has been using for a while. But that’s only what has been revealed so far. There’s these things called planes that travel much faster than an airship. You can go anywhere real quickly using that thing. Why don’t you ask that idiot Delkrew if you don’t believe me? He is an ex-Central agent after all.”
Anton quickly looked behind him, only to turn back with a crumbled expression.
“So your name is Sophia. I’m Isaac. You know my name at least right? I was quite the celebrity back in the Campus. Hey now, you should pay attention when your sunbaenim is talking to you.”
Isaac grabbed Sophia’s head and twisted her away from the screen, forcing her to look at him eye to eye. Sophia trembled in fear as she whispered .
“Yes. I’ve heard of you. But why are you…”
Isaac smiled at Sophia, who still seemed confused as to what was happening.
“Don’t worry. I’ve called you here to play a game.”
“A game? What are you…”
“Sophia Rednov, what is your father’s name?”
“A, Anton Rednov.”
“Where is Anton now?”
“He passed away.”
Isaac twisted Sophia’s right little finger even before she finished talking.
With the sound of bone cracking, Sophia screamed and squirmed in pain, but it was futile with the elves holding her shoulders down so strongly.
Anton shouted but Isaac ignored him.
“Now, tell me. Where is Anton now?”
“I, I don’t know! He passed away!”
This time, it was her left index finger. Sophia’s body trembled from the intense pain, screaming for her mother on the screen.
“Kuhahaha! Did you really think I’d be shaken by something like that! I’ve sacrificed everything to kill you!”
Anton laughed mockingly at Isaac before bringing out Rizzly and stabbing his left eye. Rizzly writhed in pain, to which Isaac smiled gleefully.
“That’s exactly it! Let’s see whose hostage breaks first.”
Isaac spoke as he pulled out a dagger and cut off Sophia’s left ring finger.
Anton’s anger peaked when Isaac, unwilling to lose the fight for momentum, cut off Sophia’s finger.
“Oh! They claimed that it could cut through bone without a problem, and it really delivered. But I don’t think trading an eye for a finger is fair… There’s the arm too, so why don’t I cut off her arm and eye to start even and… Hm? She fainted? Wake her up.”
Isaac ordered when he saw Sophia’s unconscious body sagging on the chair. The elves holding her down put their hands on Sophia’s head. A glimmer of light shone and Sophia regained consciousness.
“I’m sorry. Please don’t kill me.”
Isaac patted Sophia, who immediately pleaded for her life.
“You want to live? Then tell me. Where is Anton?”
“Over there! He’s over there!”
Sophia shouted, looking toward the bandaged man who looked back at her, not knowing if he truly was her father or not.
“Correct. Now, what should you say to your father after such a long-awaited reunion?”
“Help me! Dad, please help me!”
Anton’s eyes shot wide open, his will faltering against Sophia’s plea.
“Eheh. It seems like your dad doesn’t want to help you. I think his revenge is more important than his daughter. Or maybe you’re not putting in enough effort? I wonder what’ll happen if I cut a few more?”
Isaac dragged the dagger across all of Sophia’s left fingers. The knife made clean work of them all with ease.
“Hehe. This is a dream. Yeah. It must be a dream.”
“What the? Only this much and she’s already broken? Like father like daughter I guess, having the mental aptitude of a sponge. Useless.”
Unable to hold back his anger, Anton jumped out the window and shot straight towards Isaac like an arrow. But Rivelia, who was already standing ready, stepped in his path.
Immediately, the North Bears and elves standing by charged into the villa. As Rivelia and Anton clashed against one another, Isaac took out his megaphone.
“Ex-central agent Delkrew. You’re next. Do you want to die alone? Or die together?”
Isaac’s blackmail seemed to have taken effect, as there were no signs of resistance from inside the villa. The North Bears secured Rizzly and Laila, taking a slight detour to avoid Anton and Rivelia as they brought them to Isaac.
“I’m sorry for showing you this sorry state.”
Rizzly spoke with his one eye still brimming with strength despite being short of breath and missing an arm and an eye. Isaac looked at Laila in Rizzly’s arm.
“And the brat?”
“She lost consciousness after being infected by demonic power.”
“What about you?”
“The same. Otherwise, Anton couldn’t have played with me like a toy.”
Rizzly grit his teeth and looked at Anton still battling with Rivelia but pain seemed to have gotten the better of him and moaned.
“Go to the hospital first. You need to reattach that arm first.”
“Anton is my mark!”
Rizzly shouted as he was being escorted on a carrier. Isaac smiled and replied.
“No, he’s mine.”
Rizzly groaned in frustration, but he was swiftly withdrawn by the quick feet of the North Bears. With Rizzly and Laila’s lives secured, Lanburton let out a sigh of relief and approached Isaac.
“Delkrew has surrendered. And we’ve captured Rodney and Niske, who attempted to escape.”
“Those two were there too? Hold onto them for now since there’s nothing to take out of them anyway. The Expeditionary Forces weren’t here, right?”
“No. We will alert the city and request additional assistance from the Directorate of Surveillance.”
“Tell Smartass not to look for people but objects instead. There’s no way the Expeditionary Forces walked through unarmed, and even if it was the back alley where nobody cares for each other, I’m sure there were a few who eyed their foreign clothes and items like guns.”
Isaac gave the order to Lanburton and lit up a new cigarette, admiring the fierce battle between Anton and Rivelia. Anton pressured Rivelia with his boundless demonic power, while Rivelia faced him with her own mana.
The battle was evenly matched, proving their decision to have Rivelia face Anton correct. But as time went on, Anton was slowly being pushed back. It became obvious that Anton would lose in time. But Isaac didn’t want to wait that long; finding the Expeditionary Forces was the priority now.
“You sure playing around like that is smart when you’ve contracted a demon to kill me? Don’t you think you’re being too lax? Or do you need more motivation?”
Anton’s demonic power trembled when Isaac spoke the last sentence. Isaac threw his bloody dagger lightly into the air before catching it and stabbing it deep into Sophia’s heart. Sophia’s body twitched before going limp.
Anton rushed at Isaac like a mad bull, even forgetting that he was facing Rivelia. She didn’t miss that opening.
Blue mana lunged forward from Rivelia’s sword, cutting off the demonic mana coating Anton’s body and slicing through his legs.
With his legs gone, Anton crawled at Isaac with his arms. The North Bears and elves joined in the fray, cutting his remaining limbs.
Despite losing all his limbs, Anton squirmed tirelessly toward Isaac, his eyes possessed by vengeance. The elves and North Bears looked in disgust at the sight.
Isaac continued to smoke as he watched Anton worm his way towards him. When Anton got up to Isaac’s feet, Lanburton pressed on Anton’s neck.
Even as he coughed blood, Anton’s eyes still burned with vengeance through his pus-ridden bandages. But the demonic mana surrounding Anton’s body dissipated, detaching itself from Anton and reforming into a shape of a small ball before flying away at lightning speed.
“Follow it. I want to see the face of the demon bastard that was in on this.”
“ Surveillance has already been on standby.”
With the demonic power gone, Anton’s eyes dulled as gasped for air through his teeth. He looked at Isaac and spoke.
“… I have a request.”
“What is it?”
“I want to see my daughter’s face.”