|“||Humans are so much more bothersome than Fallen Angels. I only want to deal with Fallens, no more humans for me.||”|
Born in a war-ridden age, she spent her early years as a mercenary active in Gloriville, Nevras, and other locales. Later, due to a chance occurrence, she gave up taking part in human civil wars and turned her sights on Fallen Angels.
Hardtack is a type of biscuit, which is a word that literally means "twice-baked bread". It is made from flour and water or milk, with no yeast, and baked. It was a must-have stored food item for those going on long voyages, and especially in times of war, it was extremely convenient to use as rations for soldiers. Hardtack is made using baking powder and possesses a crispy crunch that does not become wet and soggy. Because it is subjected to high temperatures and pressure while rising, it is sterilized, making it suitable for long-term storage and transport. Plastic packaging is both hygienic and convenient, making it even more suitable for military use.
How to Acquire
blue = lvl 1red = max lvl
|Contract||Are you the new employer?|
|Log In||Is there a new mission?|
|Ice Arena||It's so wide-open here. Not easy for making ambushes.|
|Skills||Prey is only prey after it's been killed.|
|Ascend||Can you help me upgrade my weapon?|
|Fatigue||My nerves have been wound tight. I'm so tired.|
|Recovering||Want a glass? This wine's not bad.|
|Team Formation||Order received. Target confirmed.|
|Knockout||Got some bad intel...|
|Notice||Food? Food... Want some dry rations?|
|Idle 1||This place... doesn't have a shooting range? Whatever, I'll go hang out in the research center.|
|Idle 2||It hasn't been this quiet in a long while. I'm kinda not used to it...|
|Idle 3||Same enemy, different day. How much longer is it gonna be like this... huff... huff...|
|Interaction 1||All these ops target Fallen Angels. Very good.|
|Interaction 2||Humans are mostly all the same, but you-- you're kinda special.|
|Interaction 3||Don't touch that! I mean, if it were to go off, it could be dangerous.|
|Pledge||All my memories up till now are nothing but iron and fire. If you're still willing even with all that... then, I'm yours.|
|Intimacy 1||Get behind me! Be careful. The battlefield is dangerous.|
|Intimacy 2||I didn't really catch all of what you said, but the ways things are right now is a-okay with me.|
|Intimacy 3||These clothes... so light and flowing... Alright, if you like.|
|Victory||Who's the next target?|
|Defeat||A temporary retreat.|
|Feeding||Can you exchange it for... nevermind, thanks.|
|Contents of this page has been fan-translated by Yorutoki and may not be completely accurate.|
Official translations will be added whenever it's available.
I. Stormy Night
“Hey! Stop right there! Yes, you!”
The man huffed and strode towards me while waving his flashlight and baton, the swaying beam of light dispersed and blurred by the rain.
“Restricted area ahead, turn back now.”
His stern voice was betrayed by hints of unease and anxiety; mixed with the intermittent pitter-patter of raindrops, it was almost unintelligible.
I reached for the dagger at my waist on instinct, only stopping myself reluctantly as I remembered a warning I had received. Awkwardly, I opened my mouth to speak.
“Mo… Please move aside.”
If I’d done as I had many times before, I could have silenced a human this fragile and weak with a mere dagger or single bullet.
But I couldn’t that night. Not then, at least.
Frustrated, I tilted my head in the hopes that the rain could wash away those annoying warnings and rules.
Perhaps the rain wasn’t heavy enough, or I really was paid too well; in any case, I suppressed the urge for violence.
I continued racking my brains for a way to get past him without hurting him.
“There are dangerous fallen angels up ahead, got it? Go home.”
The man bent down to look me in the eye. As if he came to the wrong conclusion from my appearance, his voice softened and carried hints of warmth.
The next moment, that warmth was gone, battered by the icy raindrops. A sharp blade pierced the man clean through the chest, lifting him up.
A terrifying howl tore through the night sky, echoing further and further even through the veil of rain.
As if the situation only just caught up to him, the man forced a sad smile, arm stiffly lifting up before dropping weakly.
I wasn’t sure if it was because of the man’s sudden death or a fallen angel killing someone right before me, but I became even more upset than before.
It could have been both reasons.
Even if I didn’t care much about humans, seeing such a scene unfold before me once again angered me.
Squinting to glare through the darkness, my eyes locked on the monster on the nearby street. I crushed the biscuit in my mouth as I took out my pocket watch, and with a click, I started the timer.
“Eleven thirty-three, mission begin.”
Her pet in her arms, a bereaved White Truffle sat facing me.
“I thank you for your aid, on behalf of the citizens of Lupa City.”
“I don’t need it.”
I didn’t beat about the bush. As I pointed towards the black debit card on the table, a certain man who had long since died came to mind.
“I’m just here for the money. The lives and deaths of humans don’t concern me.”
After a brief pause, I added.
“But if that would get me more money——”
“Miss Biscuit is such a funny person.”
White Truffle’s mouth curved into a slight smile as her expression relaxed. While speaking, she slid a token towards me.
Inscribed onto the token were white feathered wings and black ram’s horns, with an underlying metallic sheen; it was petite, yet extremely detailed.
“I’ve got another mission for you, if you’d be interested.”
Picking up the token, I toyed with it in my hand, fond of both its appearance and the slight warmth it gave off.
“It’s the Perigod Institute’s authentication token; display it at any organization associated with the institute whenever you require aid. This is the downpayment for this mission, should you accept.”
I stopped toying with it and placed it back on the table.
“Apologies, but I’m not interested then.”
I picked up the debit card and packed up, preparing to leave.
White Truffle didn’t seem to anticipate my decision. She blanked before asking, looking puzzled.
“You’re not going to ask about the mission details?”
“The concept of ‘help’ spans a wide range.”
I took out the debit card and waved it in front of White Truffle.
“It could be simple or complex. If it’s simple, why would I need this? Exchanging favors is always so much more annoying than monetary trade.
“If it’s complex, I don’t need it either, as it implies it’s going to come at personal cost.
“Also, having this card marks me as some kind of authority figure, which I’m not used to. Money is so much easier to deal with.”
White Truffle didn’t expect this answer from me. She pondered silently before rubbing her forehead, apologizing.
“Sorry, I shouldn’t have probed you like this. Black Truffle was right, I’m not suited for this kind of conversation.
“So, to put it simply: I want to hire you as a member of the Perigod Institute security department.”
III. Awkward Kindness
“Isn’t this great? That… uh… Parry… Parry something?”
The bartender spun the cocktail shaker skillfully and soon a dark blue bubbling mix was slid across the table.
I downed the glass in one gulp. The icy drink slid smoothly down my throat, creating a burning sensation once it reached my stomach, spreading outward swiftly.
I enjoyed this feeling of slight drunkenness where I was still fully conscious.
“You know I’m bad at this type of tongue-twisting vocabulary. I’m not that well-learned after all.”
The bartender shrugged noncommittally, serving up another icy drink.
“It would have been a great chance to rid yourself of this kind of lifestyle. Why did you refuse?”
I sensed a certain something in his voice.
I’ve encountered this type of “something” in the human world many times, some genuine, some false.
I didn’t particularly mind or care, since the intention was about the same no matter which it was.
I’ve known this bartender for a long time. When we first met, that man I called “master attendant” was still around.
These were two of the very few humans I thought were special.
Normally, I would have stayed silent and waited for him to change the subject so that I wouldn’t have to contemplate such cumbersome things.
Alas, this time the bartender clearly did not want to end it here.
“You should think about where you want to go from here, Biscuit. Tang wouldn’t want…”
His sentence was cut short and he fell silent as his mouth was jammed.
“There won’t be a ‘next time’.”
With a poker face, I withdrew my pistol and wiped the muzzle clean of saliva using a tissue.
The bartender’s expression stiffened abruptly, changing many times between breaths before he calmed down again.
Then, as if nothing happened, he mixed another cocktail and served it to me.
“I sincerely apologize.”
His tone was earnest, his expression serious.
Contemplating our past battles together - the three of us - I lowered my gaze to avoid looking at him as I accepted the glass and downed it.
“Give me the newest intel.”
I sighed silently, sensing the gradually lightening tone of the man, whose name I didn’t even want to recall.
You died far too soon; all these remaining humans are all so boring.
Thunderous gunshots rang out; sparks and shrapnel flew.
The man before me paled drastically. The wall to the right of his head was pumped full of smoking bullet holes, but he held a forced smile.
“Please calm down, Miss Biscuit, I’m just a messenger.”
He took a deep breath and politely handed me a name card.
Without sparing it a glance, I flung my dagger and pinned the name card to the ground by his boots.
“Where is… Hu Jing?”
I narrowed my eyes as I looked through my memories, before finally recalling the bartender’s name.
“Mr. Hu is fine. Boss merely hopes to propose a trade with Miss Biscuit.”
“What kind of trade?”
My voice lowered as I suppressed my rising bloodlust.
I didn’t care about humans, and the one who had battled by my side and made me years of drinks was no exception.
“Boss says Miss Biscuit and Sir Tang have killed many back in the day, and one has to pay for the blood on their hands eventually. Alas, Sir Tang is long dead and chasing such old debts isn’t a good look, so there’s just one thing Miss Biscuit has to help with for Mr. Hu Jing to return.”
But I did care about the idiot named Sir Tang, even if he did always make me call him “master attendant”.
“To clear your debt, Miss Biscuit, Boss asks you to kill for him as many men as you have killed his.”
Hu Jing had stayed by Sir Tang’s side for such a long time, after all, I should do him a favor sooner or later.
“…If you investigated me, you should have known that I only hunt fallen angels now.”
I took a deep breath, keeping myself from remembering those bloodstained years of laughter intertwined with pain-filled screams, and enunciated each word.
The man, or perhaps the one he served, seemed to have anticipated my answer and followed up without a hitch.
“Boss says, just as I am but a message, Miss Biscuit is but a gun.
“It’s the same trigger being pulled, be it a human or a fallen angel.”
I stared down the man stock-still. A bead of cold sweat rolled down his cheek.
Before he had the chance to relax.
“It’s the same trigger being pulled, be it a human or a fallen angel.”
The gunshot rang out thunderous. Blood splattered and it hit the ground with a thud.
Looking at the lifeless form of the man, I fished out the token from my pocket, White Truffle’s words coming to mind.
“It’s inevitable a time comes when you need help, so keep it with you even if you don’t intend to use it.”
Shaking my head, I chuckled to myself.
“You were right, humans really are so boring.”
V. Hardtack Biscuit
Gloriville is a big place; glorious and prosperous.
Naturally, there’s going to be unspeakable darkness and filth.
Some say fallen angels are the greatest enemy of mankind.
This may not be true.
For fallen angels only kill.
Not only do humans kill, they tyrannize.
“From today onwards, they’re history.”
As White Truffle cuddled the puppy in her arms, she stood on the rooftop overlooking the crackling flames and spoke calmly to Hardtack beside her.
“Mr. Hu has been rescued as well, with nothing to show for it but scratches.”
“…Sorry for the trouble.”
Habitually, Hardtack spun her dagger in her hands.
“No worries, I’ve got money, lots of money.”
White Truffle turned to “glare” at the girl beside her and said sternly.
“But money can’t solve everything, that’s why I need you. You’ll be at the forefront of trouble from here on out.”
“No skin off my back.”
Hardtack refocused, sheathing her dagger and reaching her hand out to White Truffle.
“As long as I don’t have to deal with humans.”
“Perigod’s security department will only be dealing with fallen angels, I can promise you that.”
White Truffle smiled and accepted the handshake.
Her puppy hopped onto the ground and nuzzled up to Hardtack’s leg.
“Do you want to see Hu Jing?”
As if she just remembered, White Truffle reminded.
“He’s currently at a hospital run by the institute.”
“…No need.” After a moment of hesitation, Hardtack shook her head. Carefully, she removed the old bracelet on her wrist and replaced it with the Perigod token.
“Let’s talk work. What exactly does this security department do.”
“Hunt fallen angels, enforce the security of the research institute, and cooperate with other departments in fallen angel-related matters when needed. Though, of course, you don’t have to.”
The girls stood shoulder to shoulder and walked towards the institute, back facing the flames.
“Right, there’s someone else in the security department, with you, there’ll be a total of two members.”
“No, a food soul. Her name is Braised Noodles.”