Chapter 652: Are you really a member of the Haruta Family?
Translator: imperfectluck Editor: Kurisu
In the card game's second round, Saitou was the loser and Mitsuko was the winner .
Mitsuko seemed to casually ask some random questions . Saitou also answered them casually, as if they were ordinary friends having a normal conversation .
In the third round, Rota won again and Yoshihara lost .
"My first question . I'd like to ask, does Yoshihara-san currently have a mission?" Rota went with the direct approach .
"I do," Yoshihara answered with a wide grin .
"My second question . I'd like to ask, is Yoshihara-san's mission target currently here?"
"Yes . "
"My third question . I'd like to ask, am I your mission target?"
"No . "
Rota asked these three questions in quick succession, and Yoshihara answered even quicker . However, everyone was able to hear everything clearly .
The well-known assassin, "Judge", currently had an assassination mission . And, his target was present among them! The target was someone other than Rota .
This caused the entire atmosphere to tense up significantly again .
In the fourth round, Saitou lost for the second time, while Seiji won for the first time .
Seiji didn't have anything that he particularly wanted to know . So, he casually asked some questions about the manga that Saitou liked in an effort to ease the atmosphere .
In the fifth round, Saitou lost again .
In the sixth round, Saitou lost yet again .
In the seventh round, of course, Saitou lost yet again .
Was he doing it intentionally?
"Saitou-san, are you losing on purpose?" Mitsuko, the winner of the seventh round, asked the question that everyone wanted to know .
"Not at all . My luck has just been bad . " Saitou scratched his hair and smiled wryly .
"It's boring like this . Please take things more seriously . "
"I'm quite serious, Kitajima-san… But right now, my luck with the cards is truly atrocious . Perhaps I should take a break and go smoke . "
"Let's take a break, then . " Rota stood up . "I'd also like to go for a smoke . "
He excused himself and started leaving .
At this moment, Seiji suddenly heard a faint sound . . .
This sound was quite faint but also clear, as if someone had whispered it into his ear . However, it was impossible to determine whether the voice was male or female .
Seiji reflexively looked around him but saw nobody next to him at all .
Rota left . Mitsuko was too lazy to ask Saitou any more questions, so she also got up to leave . The card game stopped there .
'What did I hear just now? Did someone use a spell to communicate with me?'
Seiji returned to Shika's table as he wondered about this .
"Brother… what's the matter?"
"I heard a strange voice just now . "
Seiji explained what he'd just heard .
Something flashed in Shika's eyes . She had been observing this venue and hadn't noticed anyone using a spell on her adopted older brother .
'"Stop…" Who, and for what purpose, sent that message to me?' Seiji contemplated . 'Judging from the timing, did that person want me to "stop" Rota? Stop him from leaving?'
Daikawa Rota had left the dining hall already . It was likely that he was smoking on the deck of the ship .
Should he go check on Rota's situation?
Seiji decided to go check on Rota . If nothing else, he could enjoy the scenery .
"Shika-chan, how about going out to the deck with me?"
Shika nodded in agreement .
The field of vision was quite clear on the deck of the ship . However, the weather was overcast with plenty of fog and clouds . Beautiful scenery was nowhere to be found . The passenger ship was currently proceeding at a high speed . The chilly sea winds blew past, bringing along a cold chill .
Rota and Saitou were standing on the deck and smoking . Nothing seemed off about either one of them .
Seiji and Shika walked over .
"Would you like a cigarette, Haruta-san?" Saitou offered a cigarette to Seiji in a friendly manner .
"I'll pass . I don't smoke . "
"That's a good habit . Don't start . "
"I never expected to hear that from someone who's smoking right in front of me . "
"Haha, everyone knows that smoking is bad for your health . "
After chatting for a minute, Seiji and Shika left .
"I don't think that he's anything like a 'Haruta' at all… what do you think, Rota-san?" Saitou casually asked Rota after Seiji and Shika left .
"Saitou-san, have you ever met a real 'Haruta'?" Rota countered with a question .
"I haven't . "
"I haven't, either… both of us only know about the Haruta Family through secondhand accounts . That's why we shouldn't say whether he's like a Haruta or not . I can only say that he doesn't fit what we know about the Haruta Family . "
"Is there any difference?"
"It's fine if you treat it as there being no difference . This is simply my opinion . "
"Your opinion is rather difficult to understand for me, Rota-san . "
"I apologize for that . "
Both of them slowly puffed on their cigarettes .
"Although he isn't like a Haruta, if he really is, I think that would be pretty nice . " Saitou glanced at the direction that Seiji and Shika left in . "Although we only played a few rounds of cards together, I don't think he's a bad person at all… If the Haruta Family, and even the youngsters of the other six major Yin Yang Master families are all like him, Sakura Island will become a really great place to be at . "
Rota fell silent for a moment before responding .
"Perhaps… but that's impossible . "
The last part of his sentence had an ironclad adamant tone .
Seiji heard that voice again .
"Who's talking!?" Seiji immediately spoke up .
There was no response except for the sound of the wind .
"Brother, did you hear that voice again?" Shika looked at him .
"Yeah . " Seiji nodded and furrowed his eyebrows .
There was nobody near at all… or he should say that he saw nobody .
Was this a hallucination?
Something obviously happened, yet he was unable to find what caused it . He had just recently experienced such mystical phenomena at the Genhana High School sports competition day .
Could it be that another Inner World was hidden on this ship and causing all this?
Seiji thought about it and decided to take a tour of the entire ship .
Looking around everywhere as he went, he decided to treat this as a walk .
"Are you really a member of the Haruta Family?"
Not long after he started walking, a short youth who wore earphones stopped Seiji and asked him this question .
This youth was leaning against the railing and gazing at the sea . When Seiji and Shika passed behind him, he suddenly asked such a question .
This person was Ikuko Takeuchi, a ninja who was Mitsuko Kitajima's partner in this tournament . Her appearance as a teenaged boy was a disguise . Appearance-wise, she was actually just an ordinary girl . She typically worked in spy activities and was extremely low-profile . She acted as the backup support for Mitsuko whenever they worked as partners, and it was possible that Ikuko had never even killed a person before .
All this information popped up in Seiji's mind when he saw this short youth looking at him .
This youth… the female ninja named Ikuko Takeuchi removed her earphones and looked at him as well . A sharp glint could be seen in her eyes even underneath her magical disguise of having a blank expression .
"That's both true and false," Seiji answered vaguely .
"…Why are you attracting everyone's attention by using such a method?"
"No reason at all . " If he had to forcefully come up with a reason, he had just acted pretentiously on a whim .
Ikuko took a deep look at his face .
"You know about that… right?"
"Know about what?" Seiji blinked in surprise .
However, the female ninja only glanced at him one more time before she stopped looking at him, put on her earphones, and speedily left .
"Wait a moment!" Seiji reflexively tried to top her . "What do you think that I know?"
Ikuko didn't respond .
She didn't even look back at him and swiftly walked off as if her earphones blocked out his voice .
Seiji furrowed his eyebrows . He faintly felt as if he had just missed something important .
The problem was, he really had no idea what Ikuko was talking about… what did she think that he knew? Was this connected to that mysterious voice from earlier?
Just what was happening on this ship right now?
The confusion he felt was like fog that wouldn't clear up in his mind .
At this moment, he suddenly heard a nice sound . . .
This clear and pleasant sound resembled the sound a bell would make .
Seiji reflexively looked around him .
He heard the same sound once again, clearer than last time . It sounded like the source was closer to him this time .
Suddenly, the sound of the sea wind disappeared and the entire world instantly fell silent!