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AkuMana Ch33

Putting a Front and Bluffing

(But why? This is just like the game but………, there’s no time to be thinking about it right now.)

This even occurs right in the middle of the first chapter of the game, and the protagonist and Ricardo would work together to overcome this ordeal while somehow avoiding any casualties.

(To put it in another way, if Ricardo tried to handle it all alone, there will definitely be casualties this time…….!!)


Just Francesca was about to run into the hall, Leonardo grabbed her hand.

Just as she wondered why he did so, her body was dragged back and pushed against the pillar once again, while her right wrist was pinned down by him.

“………..You mustn’t do that, Francesca.”



She felt no pain. But, she could tell that he was putting a lot more power behind his hands than before as she couldn’t escape his clutches no matter how much she struggled.

“A person that wants to live peacefully in the surface world wanted to run straight into that? Can’t say I appreciate that.”

(……….Even though the ‘culprit’ Leonardo was right in front of me, I still can’t bring myself to say [Stop it!] to him. Because I shouldn’t know at this time that he’s the mastermind behind this incident………!)

He didn’t seem like he was going to let go of her anytime soon, so she simply spoke this much.

“Leonardo, you should come with me, to try and stop this!”

Leonardo, who stood in front of her continued to stare at Francesca with somewhat dimly lit eyes.

Since the full moon was right behind him shining brightly, it was hard to tell what exactly kind of expression he was making but she felt like something was lightly shimmering in his eyes.

“Something’s happening inside the hall. If we don’t hurry, there’ll be casualties.”

“And if I say no?”



Francesca grit her teeth, and used her free left hand to reach under her skirt and pulled out the gun she had taken from him beforehand.

Leonardo was the one who lent it but, he simply smiled and grabbed Francesca’s chin.

And made her to look up, directly into his eyes.



The inside of her head seemed to suddenly distort.

In that instant, she lost all strength in her legs, and she ended up crumbling to the floor and was made to sit down feeling powerless.

(He used, his skill on me……….!!)

One of the three skills that Leonardo had. To rob a person of their freedom of movement.

Even when she tried to get back up, it didn’t work and she remained sat on the stone floor of the balcony.

“My cute Francesca……….why did you think that I would ever agree to letting you jump into such danger?”


Her body felt heavy, and she couldn’t feel the control over her own body. Her arms were shivering, and continued to disobey Francesca.


(My whole body feels like a lump of iron stuck in mud………..!! As if my whole body is restrained under heavy chains and Leonardo is the one pulling it………)

Even her left hand that was gripping on to the gun, went against her will and opened her palm. When she tried to put in more strength to try and resist it, her muscles felt like they had reached their limits and she began to sweat profusely.

“Someone help! Someone, please stop the Earl!!——-Uwaaaahh!!”


“Hurry, to the exit!! Run, or else………”

From the hall, angry roars and screams continued to resound.

Leonardo knelt in front of Francesca, and then stretched out his gloved hand towards her.

But that was not to escort Francesca.

“[Return my gun to me.]”


Now it made sense why Leonardo so easily handed over his gun to Leonardo. In the end, no matter what weapon one might have, they were powerless against Leonardo’s skills.

“The hall sounds like they’re having fun over there. Won’t you stay here and observe it with me, Francesca?”


She was able to squeeze out words of rejection from her mouth but, her left hand still slowly lifted towards him.

Her body, controlled and dominated by Leonardo, was handing over the gun back to Leonardo against her will.

“Stop, Leonardo………!!”

“If you return back to the hall, Ricardo will definitely find you. I have the duty to protect your peaceful school life, don’t I?”

“Don’t say things you don’t even believe in……!!”


Leonardo simply laughed. The beads of sweat that had formed on Francesca’s head were flowing down by her face, and to her chin and then pattering to the floor.

(This is Leonardo’s skill. Now I get why all those assassins lost consciousness instantly when they attacked him at school………..)

If she lost focus for even a second, it felt like her consciousness would fly away.


And if she did faint here, he might even use her body as a puppet. Until the effect of the skill has run out, Leonardo could manipulate her empty shell however he wanted.


But, she was struck with another sense of unease.

(The people in the hall should have lost their senses due to Leonardo’s skill………or at least, that was how it was supposed to be, and yet…)

“Now, be a good girl, Francesca.”

His voice was the only thing that was gentle, as he ordered her in his usual sickly sweet tone.

“………and stay put right here.”

” ~~~~~! “

She ended up biting her lip.

(Villains must not drag innocent people into their schemes………And I am a villain, who ran from the story of the game even though I was supposed to be a protagonist……….that’s why, I need to protect my doctrines……..)

At the edge of her hazy consciousness, she once again saw the figure of her grandfather from her past life.

When she was young in that life, there was a time when her grandfather got shot once.

It would take time before the family doctor could come, so they had to perform emergency treatment by themselves in the meantime. At that time, her grandfather, while still bearing the pain, straightened himself and sat as he endured it all.

When she asked her grandfather while crying whether it hurt or not, this was how her grandfather replied.

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[I mean I had no choice but to put up a front and endure it. If I started screaming around in pain, wouldn’t the members who were desperately trying to pull the bullet out of the body begin to panic as well?]

[Put up a front……….? But, grandpa, you didn’t look like you were in pain at all though?]


[I was simply putting up a front and bluffing to hide the truth that’s all. That helped me encourage myself, and allowed me to force myself into doing something I normally could never do.]

At that time, her young self thought, [he was lying].

But Francesca grit her teeth, and then [put up a front] similar to what her grandpa had once shown her.



The left hand that was about to return Leonardo the gun, was held back by her right hand.

She stopped it, fought against it, and then forcefully returned her left hand back to herself.


(………If I can’t regain my body’s freedom……..)

She somehow slowly put her finger on the firing hammer of the gun and then pulled it.

It didn’t make much of a noise but, she definitely felt the sensation of metal hitting metal in her hand as the gun cocked.

(As if I’d just ignore the game’s scenario……..!!)


Breathing out, she glared at Leonardo.

“You really are the best, Francesca!”

Leonardo laughed even more, but a darkness was smoldering in his eyes.


“To think you’d actually manage to break the skill’s control. There have been others who have managed to resist it through sheer willpower but………”

Now she just needed to fire the gun at him, but Leonardo calmly pushed against the muzzle with his finger.

“I know just how gentle you are. Anybody can tell that you won’t shoot me in the end.”


“You’re not suited to threatening people. So my dear Francesca, if you understand, then give up and obediently………..”

Francesca pursed her lips, and pulled out all her strength, as she once again aimed the muzzle at her target.

But her target, was never Leonardo.


“………..let me go, Leonardo.”

Francesca pushed the muzzle straight at her own throat.

“………..Put the gun down.”



She forced herself to smile, as Francesca spoke again.

“………See, I can clearly threaten you.”



Francesca was not going to let go of the fact that she sensed a slight waver in Leonardo’s voice.

“If I recall, you promised Papa that [You’d protect me with your life], didn’t you?……..And that [While at the party, you will obey all of my demands], that was also written in the blood signed letter.”


It would be very hard to prove the latter.

But the former, would be easy to prove if Francesca were to show back home with even a small wound. His oath to [protect] would deemed as broken.

“You’re right, I can’t shoot you Leonardo. I can’t even imagine myself doing that……….But, for me, shooting myself is a lot easier than shooting others.”

“……….You are really..”


Taking quick breaths, she once again demanded.

“Heed my request.”


Leonardo’s beautiful face clearly distorted a little.

“Cancel this skill,……….and let me go to help.”



After a few seconds of heavy pause, what came was a deep sigh from Leonardo.

“………..I guess this is my loss.”


In that instant, her body suddenly became light again.

“Thank you, Leonardo………!”

She had used up a lot of her stamina but, now she could at least move freely. As Francesca began to get up, this time Leonardo did pull her hand to help her up properly, albeit with a rare sullen looking face.

(We’ve wasted a lot of time. We need to hurry. But with this exchange, I’m sure of something.)

Francesca exhaled, and gazed up towards Leonardo.

(………..Leonardo might not have been the one who made the people in the hall go crazy……..)


Regardless, with her breathing still ragged, she ran out of the balcony towards the hall.

“……….Ahh, seriously.”

Left alone, Leonardo could only sigh in vexation again.

“——-This is the first time, I’ve met a person that so consistently refuses to act like I want them to.”


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