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The sun was beginning to set in the area. He felt chilly a little. For the climate, so far removed from where he usually lived. A fresh cold air caressed his neck. Ocelot tied his beloved thin red scarf back on like a tie. He wears his hair all back, and his long hair was tied up in a bunch with a crimson ribbon. And he wore a well‐tailored suit for the first time in a long time.

This place is from the equatorial waters near the Seychelles about 5,000 miles to the northwest at a distance. Ocelot had visited their mother country via East Africa. Or, accurately, their former mother country. When he landed at the airport, he was greeted by a fresh sea breeze and the sun tilting to the west. As a young man, he had loved the movies of this country. I want to spend my time here sightseeing at my leisure. Ocelot muttered in his mind.

He blended in with this historic city. It is hard to believe he is a soldier usually.
It is a great time to visit for sightseeing. Even after the sun goes down, the city is full of people enjoying a small holiday or vacation. It takes a little longer to get to the meeting place. He took a cab from the airport to the city center and walked a bit to the designated place.
He arrives at the little country into this country. He looks up at the high walls surrounding the country, Ocelot thought he was an odd sight. And he finds it a little funny. He never thoughts he would come to a place like this. Because, he does not have religious beliefs, and he have taken the lives of so many people.

The designated point where the public cannot allow to enter. Ocelot made his way through that country, which was small but it is hard to enough to travel with baggage, to his destination without hesitation.
After walking for a while, he noticed a few stares clinging to him. Could it be that they are going to kill each other on this sacred ground? He braced himself. He looked around the area in a hurry. Then he saw some priests. They peeking at him from shade.

Regularly, they should invite visitors and dignitaries too. But maybe it was because I'm in a place where ordinary people weren't supposed to be. A while ago Ocelot told to them that he had an appointment, he was not particularly blamed by the guards at the gate. Was he behaving strangely himself? In any case, he was not pleasant to be seen like this. Suddenly, one young priest approached him. Ocelot was momentarily defensive, but he seemed to want to make small talk. He didn't seem to have any malicious intent. Blonde hair and blue eyes. A handsome face. But the priest's gaze traced the line of Ocelot's body from his fingertips and was extremely uncomfortable. The fact that he spoke to him in French was also uncomfortable for Ocelot. Is he trying to find out who I am while making small talk? What's the point? Ocelot is embarrassed by the inexplicable events.
All of a sudden, Ocelot notice the man was hitting on him. Because suddenly his precise French became the feminine adjective. And this adjective was directed at Ocelot.

“Excuse me, priest, I'm in a hurry,”

Ocelot forced himself to stop talking and walk away from there. Are the many glances all for that purpose?
He thought faith was more sacred, but maybe it's warped than the military because of the commandment of abstinence.
When he arrived at their destination, he found a guide. At his prompting, Ocelot steps inside the room. A soldier tells him to raise him hand. A security checks. Of course, as a civilian, he went through the airport and was checked by the gatekeepers at the entrance and exit, so he didn't have any such thing with him. Except for the escape kit that he carries in his body just in case. Moreover, that cannot detect a metal detector either. They wouldn't get an inkling of anything about his body not one bit, at the slightest touch.
The corridor through which he was allowed to pass was spacious, though not glittering, and was decorated with religious sculptures and artifacts that appeared to be dated. A large figure reminiscent of Michelangelo's David, and ornaments of animals. The small cabinets that add greenery to the corners of the corridor. That is perhaps old-fashioned furnishings, have a sense of dignity. The room he ended up in was a decent size, but simple and dimly lit. A door that seemed to lead to the next room. A table and chairs with books. A shelf on which a statue of the Son of God sits. An old bookcase with many Latin books. A sofa and a row table for a simple reception. And a clean bed. It looks more like the main living space of his room than a guest room.
He looked at the front and saw an old man sitting there. He wears a scarlet zucchetto and a gold rosary that is disproportionate to his simple designed priestly outfit. Although He could get a general idea of his client by looking at the designated location, he didn't expect it to be a priest in a scarlet robe.
Moreover, although he couldn't see them directly, there were probably two bodyguards, one by one behind the large curtains on either side behind him, and two more in the curtains near the bed. It made this place, where he was facing a soft-faced old man, seem even more swarthy.

“Thank you for coming such a long way,”

The old man began to speak in Italian. His voice was calm and gentle, comforting to those who listened. But the way he spoke made Ocelot frown. Because although Italian was, he sometimes used in conversation with the Mother Base staff, his intonation seemed somewhat, well, peculiar.

“So, have you brought what you were promised?”

The old man began to speak slowly.

*

He heard the helicopter circling around the Mother Base and coming back to the landing zone. Sensing that the soldiers were fumbling around, Ocelot thought vaguely that Venom had returned. Maybe he should greet them himself, but he couldn't keep his hands off them now.
As he thought that, he now received a call to him iDROID. It's Venom. He checks the contents of the message, wondering why he is as soon as arrive. A request for a mission was sent to him.

(Why me?)

The content was simple, but it didn't make sense. It was that Venom wanted me to carry certain things that it had retrieved to a designated location. And it promised to pay more than the market price.

“Have you checked?”

He heard the door behind him open and a man covered in dirt and dust walked in. It's a private room, so at least take a shower before you go in. Ocelot frowned. When he told him exactly what he thought, the man glanced back at him, as if he hadn't noticed, and said, "I'm sorry," as he put his attaché case on the nearest desk and hurried off in search of the shower room.
Perhaps that's what's in this one. He doesn't know what's in it, but Ocelot suddenly tried to touch the attache case, thinking that if it's a delivery of the requested item, Miller should be able to handle it.

“…?”

His fingers that were about to touch it stopped just short of an inch away.

“What… is… this.”
It looked like a nondescript attache case. It would be about the size of a carry-on case for one night. It would be a pain in the ass to carry this around.
But Ocelot knew something was wrong. He raised him eyebrows slightly in discomfort for no apparent reason. It wasn't just his fingertips, but his entire body was filled with disgust. There was an inexplicable presence in the case, as if something pulled a limb from the case and invited him to touch it. Ocelot hesitated and then stopped touching it. As if to replace the motion, Venom enters the room again.

“My bad. “
“Boss, what is this? “
“This is a piece of art that belonged to the children of Angola. “

In recent years, Diamond Dogs has been involved in cultural preservation through a non-profit organization as well as animal protection. They take the local cultural heritage that would otherwise be lost in the midst of civil strife and give it to countries in Europe, Asia and elsewhere that have institutions to preserve it. But that alone is not enough to make money. There is nothing more profitable than culture.
But artworks are different. The number of requests from art dealers, auctioneers, and major buyers is far more than we can count on. Especially in Asia, the economy has been booming in recent years, and foreign art works of unknown origin are being sold at an unbelievable price to enthusiasts.
The items brought back this time were apparently recovered by Venom as part of another operation. The children who had these in their possession were willing to trade them in exchange for food.

“My client sent me a letter personally. I sent it to your terminal, and it's right here. “
“Did they send it to you directly? Can't be. “

The usual requests are made through people. It is taken care of in such a way that all countries do not know the main body of Diamond Dogs. There is no way that a request comes in for that representative to be appointed. Does this mean that the information has leaked out from somewhere? Either that or Venom has been widely known too well. When Ocelot says this, Venom jokingly laughs and pulls out a letter, "I guess I'm a celebrity too," he says.

“We know where to drop it off. But... uh... it might be a good idea for our intelligence unit to take a closer look at it. “

Check the request information. The person requesting the information was not clear. After all, it would be better to deliver it through a person as usual to avoid the risk. Ocelot wanted to leave everything to Miller as it was. However, if the information is leaked, it is also the fault of the intelligence team. If Miller finds out about it, that man will be triumphantly. When he thought that, I was annoyed. And the uncomfortable feeling He felt in the attache case earlier wasn't some kind of misunderstanding. Ocelot received the letter that Venom offered him.
The letter said the same thing that had been sent to his terminal. Is that really all there is to it? Ocelot sniffed the letter, turned it over and let the light see through it. Venom looked at it somewhat curiously.

“What have you found out? “
“No....hmm...? “

There was something written at the bottom of the letter. No, it was a brushstroke mark, as if it had been written with a pen that had run out of ink, as if someone had run the pen across the paper on top. If he looked closely, he could see that there was an alphabet there that made no sense. This was certainly difficult to read with the iDROID, which identifies and reads the ink parts.

“Is it a code? “
“Yeah, but it's a pretty classic one. “

Ocelot recalls the classic two-dimensional table. It was a cipher table created and used in the West in the distant past.

“But there's no key. Didn't you receive anything else? “
“The key...? I don't know. All I got this envelope and letter. “

Ocelot revises the envelope. No mention of the sender. It's addressed to, and then there are three stamps unnaturally attached to it.

“The sender apparently likes spy movies. “
“And? “
“Oh, it reads like this…”

Ocelot was at a loss for words as he tried to read the sentence he was trying to unravel.

“Boss it sure looks like this is my job. “

It was a simple sentence.

"From Zero."

*

“Of course. But first, let me ask you a question.”
“But first, what's your name? My name is Tomas. "Tomas Fides".”

The old man's face could not be seen well due to the dimness of the room. He seemed to relax and lean back on the sofa, unfazed.

“I'm nobody.”
“No, the name is very important. I want to know who you are.”

The old man says as if he is enjoying a simple game of words.

“Hm. so... my name is "Adam".”
“Oh, that's a very beautiful name. That is suitable for this country. “

The old man's tone of voice was gentle to all intents and purposes, and even the first time he met an unidentified person, he seemed compassionate. Ocelot felt the discomfort he had felt earlier from his intonation rise again in his Virgin-like tone of voice.

“Now then, can you tell me about the letter? “

Ocelot returned to the topic again. He hadn't come here to introduce himself. The old man seemed to be thinking a bit about how to talk about it.

“Well that was... when I was trying to contact an art dealer who dealt in African artwork—"

One of the galleries offered to represent me. He was one of our most trusted clients. He said he had a connection with Africa and he agreed to act as an intermediary. Perhaps if you had asked him, you would have found out who sent the letter.

“”If I had”?”
”Yes."
"Last week. He was caught up in a terrorist attack in the South..."

The priest cut a cross quietly as he said this.

"Probably the remnants of a terrorist group that's been frequent for about ten years now."

The person may not have died by accident. Ocelot thinks. Does this mean that he cut the reins himself while fishing for us with a flicker of Zero's name? To Ocelot, the old man's story was too poorly told. But it's hard to get more out of this old man than that. I've come all the way up here, but I'm stuck in limbo, Ocelot said, a little pondering. He held out the item he asked for.

''I understand. Then here is what you asked for. Please check.''

The guide who had been waiting next to him earlier took the attache case and carefully checked the inside. And he let the old man check the inside. Then the old man nodded with satisfaction.

''There are still ... well ... unknowns in his land, aren't there?"
 The old man seemed to be choosing his words.
''Yes, of course, the church has great power, but it's not easy in that place. ''
''There are many works of art on display here, too. Egypt, Asia, Africa, Oceania. Speaking of which, in recent years, the museum that used to be locate outside of country, was moved in the country. The diversity of African cultures is really interesting. ''

The old man started making small talk about nothing. He said that he wanted to increase the number of art exhibitions. That in an area where there is an ongoing civil war, there is no reliable route for ordinary art dealers alone. About faith. That he believes that he can bring peace to the world through faith. On whether Ocelot has faith. The old man did not deny it when he said he did not have faith. He had a fine voice that sang. As he listened, Ocelot felt strange.
This month is the month of the Sacred Heart, you know. We must answer with everything we have for The Lord's boundless love. The city should have been full of people. The Lord was grieved over the cold hearts of the people who followed only rationality. It is as important for us to be merciful as for the Lord's loving and kindness.
Ocelot was largely ignorant of religious holidays. Besides, the manners in the East and the West were different. He had thought there were a lot of people there now because it was the tourist season, but he wondered without any particular significance if there were also a lot of pilgrims for the holidays. Ocelot delivered the words that had been prepared after some thought.
Before he knew it, the guide man had brought him champagne and was pouring it into his glass. Ocelot was dismayed by the opulent hospitality that was unbecoming of this holy place.

"Where are you going tonight? We have only a few modest rooms here, but if you don't mind--"
"No, I'll go to the nearest hotel..."

When Ocelot, who had read the disquiet, raised his hand to leave, the old man squeezed it gently.

"You seem to have the same 'code' as we do."
"We do...?"
"We are a 'family' that shares a 'code'. In this country..."
"You would have been accosted by our 'Family', right?"

Ocelot reminded of what the old man had told him.
The glance he had felt while coming here, and the young priest who had spoken to him in French.
Ocelot realizes that this is exactly what caused the discomfort he felt with the old man. His tone and intonation were calm and gentle, like that of the Virgin. It was not only because of their profession, but also because of their sexual orientation.

"I think it's time for me to excuse you."

Ocelot had an idea of what the old man is telling him.
The glance he had felt while coming here, and the young priest who had spoken to him in French.
Ocelot realizes that this is exactly what caused the discomfort he felt with the old man. His tone and intonation were calm and gentle, like that of the Virgin. It was not only because of their profession, but also because of their sexual orientation.

"I think it's time for me to excuse you."

How whimsy of things, Ocelot was dismayed.
Ocelot forced the old man's hand away and tried to get up from his seat. As expected from the beginning, the four bodyguards crept out from behind the curtain. I didn't originally expect the bodyguards to come out in this situation, though.

''I have one more piece of information for you. "

It was a portrait. It's an Ocelot himself, wearing a red scarf and looking slightly smiled and dazzled against the blue horizon.

"He showed it to me and said, 'This is my kitty'."

Ocelot wondered when he took this picture. Probably It's a fired Mother Base staff member. Ocelot turn he's eyes skyward in a shocking.
It was originally assumed that the information would be leaked by firing them. But that information was supposed to have been strictly erased from them when they were fired.
The old man said the name of one of the men. Ocelot vaguely remembered the man's face. But she couldn't remember anything else.

"The power of love is great."

The old man said with admiration as he ran his finger lovingly over the portrait in his hand.

"I suppose he couldn't forget you until the day he died."

Ocelot backed away silently.

"Adam you are beautiful."

As the old man said this, one of the bodyguards grabbed Ocelot's arm from behind. Reflexively, he grabbed his opponent by the neck and slammed his head to the floor.
While he was doing so, he was grabbed by his waist from behind in reverse.
He head-butts his opponent with the back of his head, making them frighten, and then he grabbed his chest and threw him on his back.
The two coming from the front seemed to be frightened by it and they could seem to only take a pause between them.
Meanwhile, the two behind him took his back.
He quickly tried to sweeping of their legs, but he was distracted by the two coming from the front. Although they weren't wearing military uniforms, these four men were probably trained.

(Regular soldiers?!)

In this country, gatekeepers and other bodyguards are dispatched from the neutral country. But He didn't expect that even those soldiers were closely related to them.

''Be quiet for a little while kitty. There are many people in this country who know 'the manner'.”

The old man's calm voice could be heard in the distance.
Ocelot struggled with the fact that he was like a little girl, despite the fact that there were only four opponents. And it wasn't long before he was held down in the bed.

【To be continued】