Criminale! 5 – Nero
CV – Hirakawa Daisuke
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3:00PM. On the outskirts of Rome.
Hey. Are you going home now?
I haven’t seen you for a while. It’s been three days, right?
How are you?
I guess I’m doing okay.
Let’s go home together! Our houses are in the same direction anyway.
Did anything happen in the past few days?
Ah… I was just worried when I thought something might have happened to you. It’s because it’s been ten years since I moved into your neighbourhood, and I usually see you everyday. Although I was busy at work, I was still worried.
Hmm… I’m a little busy at the moment. I suddenly got assigned to a job. I’m looking for someone.
I wouldn’t say it’s tough, but it gets difficult when I think that I won’t be able to see you so often. I wonder if I can bear not being able to see you.
I’m not joking. I’m being serious. The truth is… I don’t want to be away from you for even a second.
Hmm? That presence just now…
Sorry. Let’s go the long way home. I don’t have time to explain why. Please… Okay?
Keep up with me. You haven’t been on this street before, have you? Don’t get separated from me. Everything will be over if you do.
No. Don’t look back.
I know that there’s someone following us, but just pretend you haven’t noticed.
Don’t worry. There’s nothing to be afraid of. Stay close to me.
Come on. We’re going to turn at that corner.
You stay here.
Here they come.
There’s one more!
There’s no way you’ll hit me!
Someone like you shouldn’t be trying to attack me. Go home and eat your mother’s cherry pie!
Are you okay? You can come out now.
Hmm? Why do you look so surprised?
Ah… That was the first time you’ve seen me doing that.
I’m sorry. I didn’t want you to get dragged into this, but I would’ve felt sorry for you walking home with someone following you. I’ll take you home as soon as I find out who they are. Wait a minute.
This tattoo… I knew it.
Hello. This is Nero. I’ve captured one of them. I found a family insignia on him when I checked. There’s no doubt that he’s one of them. I don’t know why they’re targeting me now. If they had time to be dealing with me, then they would be looking for Father’s daughter.
Ah… It can’t be. I’ll report to you again later.
Hey. I want to ask you something. Have you got something important to you that you’ve had since you were a child?
Can I look at that bracelet?
There’s a crest on it. Then you’re… Those guys were after you, not me.
I see… So it was you.
Ah… I can’t believe you were this close by. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to go home now.
Hmm? It’s okay. They’re just handcuffs. It won’t hurt, so don’t move. Now I’m going to put the other cuff on me.
Okay. Now we won’t get separated, will we?
What’s the matter? Are you trembling? You don’t have to be afraid. Now I’m going to take you somewhere safe. Because you’re Father’s daughter, the person I’ve been looking for…
4:00PM. On the outskirts of Rome. One hour has passed.
Even though this isn’t the first time I’ve walked around town with you in the afternoon, I feel kind of excited.
Hey… Is there something bothering you? You look pretty pale.
Ah… Hey! You shouldn’t leave my side.
Come on. Come here. Stay closer to me.
You can’t go far because of the handcuffs.
Was there a shop you wanted to see?
Shall we go to the ice-cream shop you always visit?
Well… I know everything about you. Your favourite flavour of ice-cream, your favourite movie and your favourite music too.
I even know that last weekend, at 8:45PM, you were lying on the living room couch and eating a Neapolitan pizza  watching a Serie A  match.
Hey… Do you want to have some ice-cream? I’ll go anywhere with you.
Strange…? What do you mean? I’m acting the same as usual.
Well, I’m feeling a little better than usual.
You see… I’m finally able to stop hiding things from you. I was always just a friendly neighbour to you, but it wasn’t just a coincidence that I moved into your neighbourhood. It was because of my work.
I’m a member of the mafia. I’m Nero, a cleaner from Amphisbaena.  I belong to a large mafia family known as Amphisbaena.
That’s right. I do all kinds of jobs connected with the dark side of society, like murders and smuggling. As a part of my job, there was one mission that was given to me alone.
That mission was to observe you. I was entrusted with the task of watching over you all this time and reporting to our boss. I wasn’t told the reason why, but now I finally understand. It was because you’re Father’s only daughter.
That’s right. Your father was a mafia boss. It’s only natural that you’d be surprised, but it’s true.
I know that you live together with your mother. I know that you lost your father when you were a young girl. Your father was actually our boss. He didn’t really die.
You still don’t believe me?
Well, I suppose that’s understandable. I didn’t know until I saw the seal on your bracelet either. I can’t believe that the girl I’ve been watching over all this time was our precious young lady.
I really am surprised. But thanks to that, your identity has been revealed. I don’t have to keep my distance from you any longer.
I’ve been watching you for almost ten years, but this is the first time I’ve been able to observe you this closely.
Your ears are a beautiful shape… The curves that I’m running my hands over now are so smooth.
Your earlobes feel soft too. You’re cute.
What’s the matter? You can’t go any further away from me. You’ve got handcuffs on, you see.
Come on. You’re a good girl, so stay by my side.
No. You can’t take off the handcuffs. That’s because I’m taking you to Amphisbaena’s hideout now.
But I don’t want to knock you out and carry you. I’d feel sorry for you if I tied you up with a rope. Using handcuffs is the most gentle way for me to escort you, isn’t it?
And when I think that I’ve been joined to you with this cold metal, it makes me feel happy. Come on, let’s go back to the hideout together. I’ll keep staying by your side, even after we arrive. Okay?
Shh! Be quiet.
They were hiding in the shadows just now, but I’m sure there’s someone following us. There are three of them this time.
They’ll follow us, even if we run away. We’ve got to deal with them here. Come with me.
5:00PM. On the outskirts of Rome. In a maze of streets. Two hours have passed.
Take cover in the shadows of the buildings for a while.
It’s alright. The streets around here are like a maze. They won’t find us easily. I’m used to this place because of my work.
But I can’t believe they’re shooting in the middle of town… They’re breaking the rules, like they always do.
Those men are from a rival mafia family. They’re trying to kill you.
I don’t really want you to know the reason why though.
Father… Your father passed away the other day. At that time, I understood that your existence… his daughter was a precious existence. You have the right to choose the next Father. You’ll be killed if they catch you. Even if they don’t kill you, you’ll end up being used. Father probably knew that this day would eventually come. For that reason, I’ve been by your side since you were a child.
They’re here. It seems like they’re trying to drive us out by shooting. We’d be in trouble if you got hit. I’m going to carry you, so hold on tight.
It’s alright. You’re a good girl, so put your arms around me to make sure you don’t fall.
You’re cute when you’re trembling too.
Ah… Don’t worry. I’ll make sure to protect you.
The first. Then the second.
There’s no way guns would be any good in this narrow street… That’s because there are plenty of places to hide.
It’s alright. We’re going to go around this way.
What are you looking at? I’m over here.
All of them are unconscious. It’s alright now.
Okay, I’m going to let you down.
Ah! Were your legs trembling?
I’m happy that you were the one clinging to me. When you’re close to me, I can feel your warmth and the sound of your heartbeat. Your cheeks are getting warm. Your neck too…
Hey. You don’t have to worry about falling anymore. I’ll catch you every time.
What’s the matter? You don’t have to run away. Come on. Stay in my arms.
I defeated those frightening men. Why are you still scared?
You’re a good girl, so…
You… I thought you were unconscious.
Are you alright? Hey!
You only got a scratch on your arm? I see. Thank goodness…
No, that’s not right. You’re bleeding. Your beautiful skin is…
I won’t forgive you. Definitely not. I definitely won’t…
How dare you hurt my young lady. Breaking your bones won’t be enough to satisfy me. I’m going to hurt you until your face is no longer recognisable, your insides burst and all your blood flows out.
I won’t forgive you! I won’t forgive you! I won’t forgive you! I’m going to kill anyone that hurts her!
What is it? What’s the matter? You started clinging to me all of a sudden…
That’s no good. He’s only unconscious. This isn’t enough.
He hurt my precious young lady, you see.
What’s wrong? Does it hurt where you got shot?
I’m sorry. I should have treated your injuries first before dealing with him. It’s okay. I’ll make it better right away.
Come on. Come here.
There’s no need to worry about those men. I’ll call my allies later and make them into dog food.
Come on. Let’s hurry up and go.
 A pizza made with mozzarella cheese and tomatoes.
 A professional league competition for football clubs in Italy.
 The amphisbaena is a mythological ant-eating snake, which has heads at both ends of its body.
6:00PM. On the outskirts of Rome. In an underground safe-house. Three hours have passed.
Can you sit on that couch there? I’m sorry it’s so dusty.
This is one of Amphisbaena’s safe-houses. But it’s an old building and part of it is in ruins, so it isn’t being used much anymore.
Come on, show me your arm.
I’m going to rip your sleeve.
I know it’s just a scratch, but it hurts to think that it’s on your arm.
I’ve got to do something about it quickly. It’s bleeding!
Ah… No! Just stay still.
This building is old and the water isn’t running anymore. There’s no other way. So…
Yes, it’s clean now. Your pale skin is back to normal. I’m going to wrap a bandage round it. I don’t think it’ll leave a scar.
Alright, that’s done.
I’m sorry. I won’t let you get hurt again.
Even if they attack us again, I’ll get rid of them all. If anyone tries to destroy you, I’ll crush them to pieces with a mixer and throw the pieces into the Trevi Fountain.  I won’t let anyone touch you. No one except me.
What’s the matter? You’re as white as a sheet.
Your hands are really trembling too. You must have been scared after suddenly getting shot, right?
That’s not it? So what is it?
No way. There’s nothing strange about me. I’m the same as usual, aren’t I?
I’m more worried that your smile hasn’t returned. Come on, smile like you usually do.
Your mother comforted you like that when you cried as a child, didn’t she?
I know because I’ve been watching you all this time. You look cute when you’re crying too, but I want you to smile.
Your cheeks are so soft.
It’s just as I thought. You’re as sweet as ice-cream and I’m sure you’ll melt away if I taste you. Your lips are trembling too.
Poor you. I’ll make it stop now.
I suppose that wasn’t enough.
No, you shouldn’t struggle! Your wound is going to open up. Hey!
Keep lying down like this and be a good girl. If you move, the handcuffs will rub against your skin and you’ll get unnecessary injuries.
Hmm? I can’t take off the handcuffs. We’ll get separated from each other if I do, you see.
We’re connected to each other now.
I’m definitely not going to let go.
Hey. Don’t move.
I suppose I don’t have a choice. It’d be troublesome if you got hurt, so maybe I should stop your other arm from moving too.
Maybe it’d be good if I wound the chain around both our arms?
Okay, that’s done.
One of my arms is right next to yours. Shall we hold hands too? Entwining our fingers, like this… It’s nice when we’re touching each other this closely.
When our bodies are closer, I can also see your face up close.
When we talk at this distance, our breaths meet. I can also tell that you’re breathing faster. Your heart is beating quite fast too.
See. When I touch your neck here, I can feel your pulse clearly.
Your neck seems like it could break at any moment, so I should stroke it gently.
There’s a small scratch. I hadn’t noticed.
You can’t move? I’m glad I tied you up with these chains.
Are you hurt anywhere else? I’ll lick you if it hurts.
I’d glad if you weren’t hurt though. Your face is still pale. You haven’t stopped trembling either.
Your right hand feels cold. I’ve got to warm it up.
Hmm? That tickled?
Just bear with it until all your fingers are warm.
Your cheeks are cold.
Your ears too…
Even though I’m warming you up, you’re still pale.
Maybe I need to touch you all over?
You shouldn’t move until you get back to your usual gentle and cheerful self.
You’re everything to me, so I won’t let anyone else defile you.
Your body is finally warm again. I think you’re alright now.
You feel warm when I hold you.
Hmm? What’s the matter? You don’t seem to have any strength left.
Ah… Are you tired from all that running?
It’s dangerous to go around in the dark, so shall we rest here for tonight?
I’ll hold onto you to keep you warm, so you don’t have to worry.
I think I’ll have a good dream if I fall asleep right next to you.
It’s alright. I’ll be by your side, even while I’m sleeping.
Hello? This is Nero.
Yes, I’m fine. Sorry I couldn’t get into contact with you.
It’s alright. I’m taking care of Father’s daughter. I’ll come back to the base once it’s light.
Huh? Is there something the matter?
No way. It can’t be.
Alright. I’ll leave Rome immediately and take her with me.
I’ll leave the rest to you.
Ah. Good morning. It’s not light yet though.
But now we have to leave. I’ll undo the chain, so will you be able to walk?
One of my allies contacted me. Unfortunately, it wasn’t good news.
Ah, it’s okay. It’s not the worst news. Well, I suppose it’s not that bad.
There’s a bomb somewhere in Rome.
 A fountain in the Trevi district of Rome, which was completed in 1762.
5:00PM. On the outskirts of Rome. 14 hours have passed.
Are you still tired?
I’m sorry. I wanted to let you rest a little longer, but it seems that they thought they had no chance, even if they challenged us head on.
They’ve planted a bomb somewhere in Rome. The bomb is set to go off at 3:00PM tomorrow. In 35 hours’ time. Ordinary citizens will get caught up in this if you aren’t handed over to them before that. Getting ordinary people involved is crazy.
Of course I’m not going to hand you over. It’s okay. One of my allies knows a lot about bombs. They’ll be able to defuse it as soon as they find it. Even if we can’t find it, if we catch one of those guys, we’ll make them tell us where it is.
But Rome is in turmoil right now. So we’re going to get away from here. I’m taking you somewhere safe, just in case the worst might happen. So it’ll be just the two of us for a while.
What’s the matter? You can’t stop here. We’ve got to get moving before they notice us.
Why? Are you going to run away from me? You’re a good girl, so come with me.
You don’t have to be scared. It’s okay.
I’ll stay by your side, no matter what happens.
Miss… Could it be that you’re afraid of me?
How insensitive of those guys…
We’ve been surrounded. I guess we left a little late. Come close to me. I’ll carry you again. Hold onto me when I give you the sign.
I’m surprised you’re pointing guns at us when we’re completely unarmed.
You want me to hand her over? What if I say no?
Was that supposed to be a threat?
I’m going to protect her, even if I end up full of bullets. I’ll make sure to tear you to pieces.
Shoot if you want to. It’s easier than opening a tin of beans, isn’t it?
Why are you afraid?
This way, Miss! Let’s go.
Just one more!
I’m sorry. My shoulder got hit. I guess dodging everything like they do in the movies is impossible.
I’m fine. It’s bleeding, but it’s only a slight injury.
Anyway… You’re alright, aren’t you?
I’m glad. I didn’t know what I’d do if you got hurt again.
Hmm? Your face is completely pale.
What’s the matter?
Huh? That’s your handkerchief! Using it as a bandage is a waste!
No! You’ll get blood on you if you touch it!
I don’t need any treatment. Not if you’re going to end up getting dirty…
Don’t worry, I’m fine. I don’t even mind dying, as long as I can protect you.
Ah… Why are you angry?
I’m not joking! I’m serious.
I don’t want anyone to defile you, not even me. That’s more important to me than my life. It’s because I admire you.
I’ve always been watching you, ever since I was a child. All I ever did was come into contact with corpses every day and you were the only thing that was brilliantly beautiful.
You don’t know what my job is? I’m a cleaner. A job that involves picking up dead bodies and dealing with traitors. The other people in the organisation call me a hyena. Everyone despises that job, even the members of the organisation themselves. No one looks at me normally. But you smiled at me gently, even when I had just moved into the neighbourhood. I was happy.
From then on, I began to see you every day. You always smiled at me. No matter how dirty my hands became, it was only you who didn’t change and always remained beautiful. Of course I was observing you as part of my mission, but that wasn’t all…
I wanted to protect your happy life, which was something that I could never have. I’m going to destroy anyone who tries to kill you.
I’m going to keep watch, to make sure that you never come to any harm. That’s my duty. My life. You’re… You’re everything to me.
Why have you got that expression on your face?
That’s right. I’m going to stay by your side and protect you. I’ve always said that, haven’t I? Could it be that you don’t believe me?
That’s why you were afraid of me?
There’s a car coming! It’s their allies. They’re even more bothersome than flies! Even when you chase them away, they just keep coming!
Where did all those people come from? So I don’t have any choice but to kill them, do I?
What’s the matter, Miss?
You may not want me to do that, but we’ll just get discovered if we stay here.
Huh? We’ll steal a car and escape? The car they just arrived in? You’re going to come with me?
Is that okay? You see…
I guess now isn’t the time to be saying that. Alright, let’s go. We can’t just stay here.
Alright! Let’s get going!
Here you go. You wanted a cappuccino, didn’t you? You should try and drink a little. You’ll calm down.
So we were able to get out of Rome somehow.
Well, we can’t take our time looking around this town though. We’ll have to get going again in a little while. Let’s make our way to Florence for now. They can still catch up to us while we’re here.
I think they’re going to chase us as far as they can.
Now that a bomb has been set, my allies can’t leave Rome. The further away we get from Rome, the more distant we will be from my allies. But for now, the only thing we can do is run. The bomb will go off in 33 hours. Let’s trust the others to deal with the bomb before that. I’ll be with you, so don’t worry.
Are you sure that you’re not worried?
Well… It’s because you were reluctant to come with me when we left Rome.
Why did you decide to come with me?
I don’t think hearing about my life would be very interesting. But if it’ll help you trust me, then I’ll tell you everything you want to know. I won’t hide anything from you. Let’s go back to the car. I’ll tell you while we’re driving.
I’ve got a younger brother. We were orphans who were found and brought up by Amphisbaena.
Do you know the word “machina”? It means a spy that will follow any order, just like a machine. As an experiment, the two of us were educated to become machina, so that we would become excellent spies.
However, that experiment ended in failure. The leader in charge of the facility was a terrible person, and both of us had a hard time. By the time that Father had realised, it was too late. There was something strange about us as humans. Even I don’t understand it myself. You could say that we’re just useless junk.
The leaders were worried about how they should deal with us. The only thing left was to kill us. At that time, Father called out to us. He asked us whether we would join the family as cleaners. If it wasn’t for those words, I wouldn’t be here right now. Father found a place for someone useless like me. I’m truly grateful. That’s my life story.
As I said before, I became the one who observed you and grew up watching you. I can’t believe I never realised you were Father’s daughter. But your existence was the only thing that kept me going. Of course, that hasn’t changed at all and I don’t think it ever will. That really wasn’t an interesting story, was it?
I see. I’m glad then. It’s a little late for me to be saying this, but you and Father are similar. Especially when you have a serious look on your face.
I see. So you’ve never met your father. You were told that he died when you were young.
Don’t look so sad. You shouldn’t feel as if you were abandoned by your father. I think Father didn’t want you to get involved in the conflicts of the dark side of society. That’s why he stopped having contact with you.
I know! Otherwise I wouldn’t be protecting you. He was a Father who brought together hundreds of mafia members. He went as far as giving an order just for the sake of one girl. Your father is a kind person who cares about his daughter.
Hmm? Ah… Well… I didn’t think that you’d thank me.
That was close.
I’m sorry… I wasn’t looking while I was driving. It was just a little surprising.
Huh… I should be happy, but I feel strange.
Let’s leave the car here. The longer we ride it, the more likely we’ll be discovered. For now, we’ll wait for my allies to contact me.
I wonder what has happened in Rome?
There are 30 hours left. I hope they find the bomb soon.
Are you worried?
I’m impressed. But you don’t have to push yourself too hard if you’re scared. That’s why I’m by your side, you see.
Ah… No… Well… I’m glad you’re grateful. I just can’t stay calm though.
I wonder why that is?
Ah… I see. I’ve always seen your smile from a distance, but this is the first time I’ve seen you smiling at me.
Huh? What’s the matter?
I let my guard down…
Stop it… Don’t lay a hand on her…