What to Protect
She slowly digested the realization of that fact.
“It’s time to come clean, Serranova.”
Beside Francesca who was deep in thought with her head hung low, her father quietly spoke that.
“At the very least, I can negotiate with the king and the other families to settle this matter with just your life and nothing more.——–it’s the least I could do as old schoolmates.”
While her Father explained the situation to Gerard, Francesca was deep in thought inside her head.
(During the finale of the First chapter of the game, right after the alliance is made, the event called [Leonardo’s assault] begins.)
Inside this mansion, attack type skills cannot be used.
But on the other hand, a barrier that would prevent guns from being brought in had not been put up. After all, this was because this mansion would often be used for the purpose of buying and selling guns as well.
(During the event, the mansion will get attacked from the outside. After that, Leonardo would come in with a gun in hand,——-and try to shoot Ricardo.)
That was one of the biggest dangers of the climax.
(In the game, Ricardo of course didn’t get shot. That’s because the protagonist would jump on and push down Leonardo, making the bullet miss its mark.)
Recalling that moment, she prepared herself to lunge at any moment as required.
(The things that happen in this world, mostly overlap with the events of the game in terms of the general framework. In that case, in this situation, the one who’d get shot at would not be Ricardo but……..)
“—–it’s already too late.”
Gerard muttered quietly.
“It’s already too late Calvino. To be honest, even I don’t really know how things ended up this way.”
“………What are you talking about?”
“I don’t understand why I did something like this.”
Hearing those words, her father frowned.
“……..I didn’t want to bring ruin to my house, I wanted to show my proud back to my son, as a good father. I didn’t want my family members to suffer this kind of embarrassment and shame either!! That’s all, THAT’S ALL I WANTED!! AND YET WHY!!?”
“Calm down, and talk. What do you mean, you don’t understand?”
“I DON’T KNOW MEANS I DON’T KNOW DAMNIT!! AAH SHIT, Why did I did I do something like this that I could never come back from!?”
Gerard suddenly began to ramble to himself, and stood up as if he had snapped.
With the sound of his chair falling backwards, he thrust his hand into his inner pocket and desperately searched for something.
“I worried over it, thought over it, I struggled, and I suffered! I SUFFERED! More and more……..”
“PAPA! Uncle, he has a gun after all…….!!”
She had already talked to her father about her fears.
Gerard could have maybe snuck a gun inside through some unknown way. And that he might pull it out when cornered, and might fire at her father with it.
(Guns were strictly controlled inside this [mansion], and yet he had so easily brought one in. there’s a chance that even the supervisor is our enemy but, right now, before all that comes…….)
The incidents happening in this world are still following the general framework of the game’s scenario. That’s why in place of the absent Ricardo, she’d have to [protect her father who was about to be shot] or so she had predicted.
(I must protect him, Papa…..!!!)
She had predicted it.
And yet, the situation had taken an unforeseeable turn.
Gerard pointed his gun not at her father, who should have been his biggest threat, and instead aimed it directly at Francesca herself.
“You’ll also suffer by losing your daughter, CALVINO!!!”
Even if she tried to counter, it’ll take only a second for the trigger to be pulled.
(I’m going to get shot…….!!)
The dry, yet heavy sound of gunfire resounded inside the room.
A sharp, horrible pain ran through her stomach, and she became unable to breathe.
(It hurts, it hurts, it hurts…………!!)
Reflexively, she shut her eyes, and bit her teeth tightly, when suddenly, Francesca realized something uncomfortable.
(——–No, this is different.)
She was hit with a strong sensation of dizziness.
And with a burning pain, she heard her [Grandpa] call her name. Her head spun in circles as she tried to understand what was happening.
(This is different. This is not the pain of my current body, this is from when I got shot in past life……!!)
She struggled against the memories flooding through her head, and desperately opened her eyes back again.
(I’m not scared, it doesn’t hurt, more than all that!!……..my body doesn’t even hurt, that’s because……!!)
Her body still shivering, she opened her eyes wide and confirmed the situation again.
In front of Francesca, stood her father, tightly holding down at his abdomen area. And as he took light breaths, he slowly spoke.
“………..Are you okay, Francesca……..?”
The blood dripped down on the floor, and was staining the carpet red. As Francesca clung to her father, she desperately tried to support him from falling down.
“NOO!! PAPA, no, please, get a hold of yourself!!”
“Don’t worry about me, and run………that guy, he’s not normal anymore….”
“If I’m going to run, Papa, you’re of course coming with me, right?!!”
Gerard’s eyes looked hazy and sluggish, and continued to mutter something to himself over and over again. His current look was very similar to the participants of that night party where they all lost their minds and went berserk.
“—–I don’t know, anything anymore. I don’t know. That’s why, I…….”
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The moment he aimed the un at her again, Francesca reached inside her dress to her thigh as well.
Inside the dress, attached to her garter belt was her own hidden gun, and she pulled it out.
(It’s the gun I [borrowed] from Leonardo that day……..!)
None of the adults had expected Francesca to have a gun of her own here. Having snuck the gun through the supervisor, she aimed it and then fired it with no hesitation.
The recoil of the gunshot made her grimace.
But, as soon as the bullet hit Gerard, it just fell to the ground as if it had hit a hard wall.
(A defensive skill…….!?!)
Most likely, it was the skill that greatly enhanced the defensive ability of allies for a certain period of time. Similar in nature to the one Ricardo had, or perhaps one even stronger than that.
With his stagnant eyes looking down on her, Francesca glared back at Gerard.
(Papa can’t even stand anymore. I need him to use all his strength into staying alive…….! I can’t get scared, I must not give up, I CANNOT!!)
But the gun was aimed at her once again, and Francesca resolved herself.
(This time, I must become Papa’s shield instead if I have to——–…….!!)
Right at that very moment.
With a large sound, Gerard’s body was blown away.
Crashing through a bunch of chairs, his body finally slammed into the wall. Francesca gasped as a certain tall man stood in front of her showing her his back.
“………..Seriously, why do you always have to be so reckless.”
She was so surprised, she wasn’t even able to react instantly.
As she looked up towards him, he spoke as if he was astonished in his usual listless yet sweet voice.
“Even if I were to kneel to you and beg you, you still just won’t quietly accept being protected by me, will you?”
Looking back at her with affectionate and gentle eyes, Leonardo showed her a troubled smile.
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