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"Now, it's showtime!"

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"Looks like you're in a bind." Kirika smiled charmingly at Deen. "Would you like to negotiate with me?"

"...What?" Deen was shocked and surprised at the figure in front of him; he couldn't even scream—no, he could only watch. Kirika was so beautiful, that it caused people to shudder in fear; it was more of an uncanny beauty than anything else.

Then again, to use such a phrase, "shuddering in fear", which didn't describe beauty at all, to describe the girl in front of him, it wasn't normal; but for the likes of Kirika, it sounded pretty standard. What was on her smiling face was not a face of kindness or joy, but rather, a face of a predator, one that caused people to have goose bumps as a result of nervousness.

"What are you doing here?"

This was the psychopath who would murder on the slightest provocation.

What the hell did she want to do with Deen?

"I heard your little chat with that woman. You're going to find the Enderdragon in the ruins, right?" Kirika's eyebrows twitched slightly as she relaxed her shoulders.

Deen began to tense up. "Enderdragon? So that's its name?"

"Yup." Kirika explained with a smug grin, "It's basically a mechanical dragon with a crapton of cannons and all that. Rumour has it when the dragons came into being; they were based on it or something like that."

How did that make sense? "...Why do you know all this?"

"Ohoho, please don't ask such boring questions. As long as it concerns you, doesn't it mean that I have a right to know?" As she said that, Kirika revealed a cute smile; it was completely uncharacteristic of her. Kirika knew that right now, there was nothing else that can protect Deen. There was nobody to save Deen: anybody who would prevent Kirika from murdering him –or worse- are all absent.

"...Gah." Deen curled up his body, withdrawing a leg in the process.

As if seeming very happy at the sight of a helpless Deen, Kirika twisted her lips. "Ohohoho, please calm down. I don't have plans for you, at least, not right now."

"What?" Deen frowned. "What do you mean? Didn't you want to kill us?"

"Well, I did, but right now, like I said before, I want to negotiate with you."

"Do you really want me to believe what you say?"

"Do I have a reason to lie now?" Kirika shrugged at him.

"..." Deen went silent.

Indeed, as long as Kirika wished, killing Deen would not be a problem for her. There was no reason for her, who had the sway of whether he lived, to lie right now. However, when it came to the girl in front of him, it was one who had plans to watch an expression of peace turn into horror.

As Deen thought hopelessly while keeping up his guard, he looked back at her and asked: "So, what do you want to negotiate with me?"

"Mm— it's about what happens after."

"After?"

As Kirika listened to Deen's shocked words, she rhythmically stepped on the floor as she approached Deen.

"Hey, Deen." She whispered in his ear, "If the Zodiac Knights get the Enderdragon, don't you think that purple-haired goody-two-shoes will be in danger?"

"What...?" Deen gasped.

"Just as I said. While Gaiki is a powerful person, the Enderdragon is on a whole 'nother level."

"...I need to hurry." There was no doubt about it; Deen wouldn't let that happen.

"Ohohoho, well said, well said. Now that's the man who accepted the power of Zero." Kirika laughed much more happily. However, Deen frowned, due to an unknown uneasiness. "...But no matter how much you want to save her, it's impossible with just you alone. After all, you don't even know where the damn thing's buried exactly. And even if you do find the location, you have to prepare against the Zodiac Knights. Besides, you know, Joker is a troublesome woman. I suspect that out of your little sunshine and puppies club, only Phoenix Knight could kick her ass."

"Tch! You don't have to tell me! But, because of that, I-"

"Ohoho, I expected you to say that. However, this is an act for a brave fool. You won't be able to accomplish anything with just your emotions alone. If you go alone, you'll get slaughtered."

"...What are you getting at?"

Kirika simply sighed. "How don't you understand; I've already told you, I'm going to help you."

"...EHHHHHHHHH!?" Deen widened his eyes upon listening to the unbelievable words coming out from Kirika's mouth. "...You...help...me?"

"Mm, I'm going to help you out here." As she said those shocking words, Kirika Hotsuin smiled once more.

Unable to understand Kirika's motives, Deen held his forehead with his hands in order to calm his confused mental state.

Not only was Kirika another Soul Armour Knight, Deen saw her fight somewhat evenly with Phoenix Knight briefly, and she defeated Tsuruko easily. If he accepted her help, he could definitely accomplish his goal.

Even if he understood this, Deen didn't raise his hands and celebrate in delight. He was still suspicious. "...What are your intentions?"

"I just want to help."

Considering Deen would never believe her, Kirika decided not to mince her words. "You..."

"My, my." Listening to the words of Deen whose eyes were half-open, Kirika intentionally placed her hands at her eyes, acting as though she was crying. "That's so sad. I'm just doing this in your interests."

"..." Deen remained silent; he could still recall the time Kirika single-handedly nearly wiped out the Magic Council.

Kirika stood close to him, placing her lips next to his ear, whispering in a faux-seductive tone, "Aww, you still don't trust me?"

As Deen continued to stare at Kirika with suspicious eyes, he shrugged his shoulders, as though he was getting tired of her actions.

"Truthfully speaking, I have my own reasons for going. As a reward for helping, I would also like to use you as bait. It's give and take."

"Reasons?"

"Mm, I want to find somebody."

"And that is?"

Kirika placed a finger upon her lips and smiled mischievously. "Spoilers."

Deen was suspicious again. "You know, you're not really good at getting me to trust you."

"Please relax. I'm not lying – of course, I won't force you to believe what I say."

Listening up to now, Deen unhappily closed his mouth.

Truthfully speaking, it was still impossible to fully trust Kirika. However, the existence of this person was the only chance he had of reaching his goal.

It was a question as to whether the medicine within the bottle was a deadly poison or an antidote. If a decision wasn't reached – if nothing was done, he'd collapse from the illness. Or something like that.

So, despite the risk, Deen had no choice but to accept.

"...I understand. I trust you. Please, assist me, Super Galaxy King!" Deen shouted that as he clenched his fists.

"Ohoho, it'd be my pleasure." Kirika did a whimsical action, which resembled that of a rich spoilt girl bowing, as she giggled. Afterwards, as though to let her clothes flutter, she spun and rhythmically stepped towards Deen. Of course, she wasn't really fond of genuine help—it was more that they had similar interests at the time.

"We should get moving."

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