43 Chapter 90 - Barely
Just a few seconds prior…
Micheal's VIP room was located near the middle of the more than 60 story skyscraper.
The room he was looking for was located a few floors above him. He would only need a brief period of time to fly up to it, though it took a bit to properly find the exact room.
When he began flying upward, he moved with caution, sticking to the wall. The last thing he wanted was to be spotted flying around on the outside of the building, one of the big reasons he pasted on the Magic Paint.
The fact that he could cut through windows was something he hoped to keep secret.
It took a few minutes of flying up and down the skyscraper, counting the number of floors and peering in windows, until he found the one he was looking for.
The Directive Storage Room had a set of windows that were covered with blinds, obscuring vision into the room. However, there were still several cracks he could see through, letting him confirm he had found the right room.
When he reached the correct spot, he held out his Ashari Blade, preparing to make contact.
Just as he was about to begin, he abruptly froze, his entire body sliding to a halt as his heart pounded.
Right off to his left, a few dozen meters away, he could make out movement.
Slowly, his head tilted over, peering through the darkness.
The figure of a Morenkai could be seen, slowly clawing its way, from window to window, up towards the roof.
'Oh.' A wave of relief swept through his heart as he watched the creature climb, waiting for it to move out of sight. He shook his head ruefully as he saw this.
The creatures reached the rooftop either through stairwells or scaling the outside of the buildings. Their powerful physical strength made it very easy to climb, though the exact reasoning behind their strange compulsions were unknown, even to Micheal.
'The guards up top should handle it.' When it was nighttime, they would still guard and kill any Morenkai that came up, but would do so quietly. No one wanted to wake up the high ranking officials sleeping in the Branch, or draw more Morenkai to the scene so late into the night.
After it moved on, he reset himself, positioning his blade right outside the window. He took several deep breaths, focusing. Using Advanced Tier Sword Energy with his relatively weak Soul stat required some of his direct attention, even if he was an expert. He would need at least a Soul state of 40ish to be able to use it freely.
His blade swung out, several precise cuts appearing on the window as he slashed with the precision of an expert surgeon. Faint, glimmering red light appeared on his Ashari Blade, pushing past the resistance the windows offered.
A square of glass fell inwards.
His free hand shot out and snagged it, not letting it fall. He then crawled through the opening like a lizard, quickly sneaking inside as he pushed the blinds aside.
The moment he crawled inside, actually, the moment he pushed the panel of glass inside, a warbling alert began to echo. Some type of alerting Ability or Artifact had come into play, sounding off. He absorbed his Life Orbs back into his feet as he fully stepped in and heard that, frowning.
'Alright, Plan B it is.' His eyes flashed as he heard this, immediately switching his plans to his backup. If he had been able to sneak in silently, he would've just stayed put and read through all the intel he could. There was a chance there was an alert and alarm system here, but he had hoped there wouldn't be one.
The inside of the room was like he expected. A bunch of filing cabinets, a table, lots of pieces of paper.
He quietly tapped on the piece of glass he'd cut, storing it in his Spatial Ring. The wind outside was blowing very lightly, not interfering with the room at all due to the smooth angle of the cut. The hole was unnoticeable unless you were standing right next to the blinds.
He quickly began to look at the filing cabinets, stepping up to several of them and scanning them. He read the labels on the outsides, not taking the time to open and check them.
'Department promotions plans, no. Enforcer Team adjustment plans, no.' He mumbled in his head, glancing from bin to bin.
It was at this moment, as he was checking over the 6th cabinet to no avail, that he heard footsteps and people moving towards him, just barely audible under the echo of the alarm system.
'Ah, dammit.' The guards hadn't reacted instantly, but they still gave him far too little time to find anything of value.
With that thought in mind, he began to take a step forward towards the door. However, as he was moving, the doorknob began to twist. The keening echoes of the alarm had thrown off his hearing, making him think the guards were farther away then they had been.
When he saw this, he did the only thing he could think to do.
He threw himself backwards, calling his Life Orbs into existence as they knocked into his legs and back, zooming him up to faceplant into the ceiling.
'Come on, come on.' He mentally grumbled as he knocked his head into the stiff, wooden ceiling, his nose wrinkling. His entire body was pressed up against the roof.
Not an instant later, the alarm turned off as Micheal heard someone walk in. His heart pounded slightly as he sensed the presence of one of the guards, hearing them talk out loud.
"Oh, there we go." A gruff voice spoke aloud, sounding like a wizened, grungy man that had seen a lot in life.
"Must've been that." A younger, more cheerful voice returned.
Despite the tense situation, Micheal remained perfectly calm. The two guards looked around in confusion, completely unable to see anything out of the ordinary.
The Magic Paint he wore blended him into the ceiling. While it wasn't perfect, it absorbed the texture of the surroundings he was pressed up against or near, making him very hard to notice. This, combined with the fact that they weren't looking at the ceiling, led them to miss him completely.
"Just another false alarm."
The door slammed shut as the two guards left the room.
The moment Micheal heard that, he dropped down from the roof silently, putting away his Life Orbs.
Without even a speck of hesitation, he jumped forward and sprinted to the entrance. He then jumped up into the air, his hands pushing against the wall as he climbed above the doorway.
As he ran, the warbling alarm resumed as Micheal predicted it would, alerting the guards to his presence.
The doorway was located on the left side of the room, next to a wall in a corner. Micheal took advantage of this, forcibly holding himself up in place using the raw strength of his legs and one arm. He opted to not use his Life Orbs, knowing they couldn't react as quickly as he could.
As he tucked himself in, he tapped on his Spatial Ring.
Immediately, several darts appeared, ones he held at the ready as he looked down intently.
'Come on… this needs to work perfectly…'
Not a second later, the door opened once again and a guard took a step inside.
It was the older speaker, a man with thinning grey hair, wearing the standard leather armor that the guards of the Angels Arcadia wore
The guard began to speak, his voice full of confusion,
"Did it get messed up or-" Before the guard could finish speaking, Micheal flicked his hand.
Silently, one of the small darts he held shot out and pinched into the guard's neck. The attack was completely secretive, almost impossible to detect.
The guard stutter to a stop, gasping out loud as the effects of the Knockout Poison came into play. The numbing agent on the dart prevented him from recognizing the direct attack.
Before the man could do anything else, Micheal shot out a Life Orb, commanding it to slam into the man's chin. The guard fell forward like a log, knocked out instantly. The combination of the surprise attack jarring his brain plus the Knockout Poison affecting his mind overwhelmed the man, not giving him a chance to respond.
"Randy, are you okay? You trip again or..?" The other guard's voice echoed out as the first guard fell to the ground, filled with concern. Micheal felt a minor twinge of guilt for attacking innocents, but crushed it down with experience.
"Randy," The guard continued, his voice drawing near,
"Are you alri-" Just as the guard walked into view, Micheal flicked another dart, sending it flying into the man's neck. Right after, he shot a Life Orb forward.
"Where?!…" The guard's voice trailed off as the Life Orb slammed into him and knocked him unconscious, rendering the both of them down on the ground.
Throughout all of this, Micheal remained perched on the ceiling, staying out of view of the hallway.
'Got them!' Micheal smiled as he saw the results of his handiwork. He flipped off the wall, taking one last glance around the room as he quickly picked up the darts.
He then booked it at top speed, running away without hesitation.
He sprinted over to the window and then…
Threw himself out it, falling off a 60 plus story skyscraper.
His Life Orbs caught him in midair, preventing him from falling as he twisted around and looked at the hole in the window.
He tapped on his Spatial Ring, his heart beat with tension as he brought out the large glass section he'd cut out. He brought out his Magic Paint and a set of strong superglue he'd bought from the Shop, as well as a small brush.
He slathered the glue on, and then the Magic Paint on right after, taking only a second or two. The Magic Paint adhered to the glass and covered up the glue, helping disguise it. While it wasn't perfect, it would hold up to most forms of scrutiny.
He then fit the glass section into the hole in the window, moving quickly and precisely.
'Come on… come on…' A pent up feeling of being too slow been to fill him.
The piece of glass sank into the hole, fitting perfectly. He set it in with care, watching as it came to rest. The Magic Paint did its work fine, making the window look like it had always been whole. If he looked closely, he could just barely see some fine cracks, but that was only because he knew where to look.
His cuts had been extremely precise and, when the window was fitted in, they blended back in almost perfectly.
As soon as he finished that, he dived into a near freefall.
'I need to hurry!'
Only a few seconds had passed, yet Micheal was aware that this was the most crucial moment.
'They're going to do one of two things. They'll either race up the building when they get the alert that the guards are down. Or they'll race down and check on me.' He would likely be the prime suspect, given that he had arrived the exact time they were attacked.
'They might even do both.' The thoughts swarmed through his head as he fell through the air, rushing downward.
It took him only a few seconds more to reach his room, moving as fast as he could.
The moment he reached his window, he dived through it, knowing that every second counted.
Everything was as he left it. The first thing he did as he jumped in was snag the piece of glass from the ground, pulling out the glue, Magic Paint, and small brush.
He repeated his actions, coating the side of the piece of glass. Just as he was close to finishing, however, he heard footsteps echo in from the hallway.
'Damn, that was fast.' He swore as he rapidly finished coating the edges of the cut section of glass.
"Emissary Heron! Sir! We have an active threat on base, we need to confirm your status!"
Micheal recognized Sub-Commander Kathleen's voice, full of unrestrained suspicion. It seemed she was well into suspecting him as the criminal, though he couldn't blame her. The timing of all of this was rather suspect.
'Not that I had much choice in that matter.' He tossed the stray thought from his head as he picked the glass up, wrenching it into place and watching it seal. It fit just like the previous one, sliding in and sticking together perfectly.
An ominous silence had appeared as he fixed the window. Micheal's heart continued to pound with adrenaline as he felt this, knowing he absolutely had to avoid being discovered as the culprit.
He rapidly began to throw off his clothes, storing them in his Spatial Ring. He took or wiped off everything that had Magic Paint on it, stripping off his outerwear.
As he did this, he could here Kathleen speaking aloud,
"Get ready to blow it, we need to check the room, time is of the essence!" Her voice echoed in a commanding tone as Micheal finished stripping to his boxer-briefs.
He rapidly threw on a pair of random pants and a shirt from his Spatial Ring. He didn't have time to button anything up as he sprinted for the door, feeling out of breath as he hastily put on his mask.
He stopped right before the door, taking a deep breath to calm himself and look casual.
"Inform the Commander and Sub-Commander that we have a possible Code 9. Prepare to inform the Headquarters of a possible betrayal!" Kathleen's voice continued to speak commands from outside of his door.
"On my count, we begin-" Sub-Commander's words abruptly cut off as, before her eyes, the door began to open.
"Yes?" Micheal adopted an annoyed tone, his heart shivering in his chest as he finished pulling open the door.
He looked disheveled, his hurried motions of getting dressed making it look as if he had just woken up. A single bead of sweat fell down his forehead, blocked by his mask as he looked back at the Sub-Commander.
"Can I help you?"