Episode 381 The Hounds of Nouvelle Vague (5)

The night had been noisy all day due to a prisoner riot on Level 8.

Numerous guards were injured and taken to the infirmary, while others were stranded in the rugged terrain of the labor camp and had to be searched.

Even uninjured guards were hospitalized in large numbers, complaining of itching and fever after inhaling a thick mist of blood.

The night shift was also put on emergency alert. The guards continued to be on watch duty, skipping the evening and early morning rounds of the day.

There were too many vacancies.

“What a shame that this happened just as we were reassigning the guards.”

“I think Colonel D’Ordume has shown poor judgment. He shouldn’t have pushed the construction so hard.”

“I’m sure it has something to do with the blue lava that was found in the Level 10 sector.”

“By the way, is Nouvelle Vague really an extinct volcano? What if it turns out to be active?”

“Well, it could blow up the whole of Nouvelle Vague, but that’s probably not going to happen.”

The two guards yawned and switched shifts.

Neither of them was normally in charge of this section, but they had been forced to fill in when there was an opening in the schedule.

……And Vikir took advantage of the gap.

He dipped the green vodka he’d stolen from the guards into a puddle of seawater on the floor of the stone chamber.

The dark ink smeared into the water, turning the entire pool green.

Vikir dipped his prisoner uniform in it.

cheolpeog- cheolpeog- cheolpeog-

After several dyes, the prisoner’s uniform was completely green.

The black stripes that characterized the prisoner’s uniform were faintly visible, but it was hard to tell in the dim light of the Nouvelle Vague.

Vikir glanced over the bars and saw that the guards were preoccupied with something else, so he clapped his hands together.

Zeng-

The BDISSEM’s handcuffs broke very easily.

Vikir felt his mana return to his body and nodded.

‘But what are these restraints made of to break so easily?’

The exact material that makes up the BDISSEM is unknown.

However, it was clear that it was influenced by Vikir’s title of Daylily Lumberjack from the Hell Tree.

Eventually, Vikir completely destroyed the BDISSEM restraints attached to his body, broke the iron bars, and came out.

He began to walk slowly down the hallway.

jeobeog- jeobeog- jeobeog- jeobeog-

At that moment, one of the guards on duty in front of him noticed Vikir and his eyes widened.

” ……? Why is a doctor here?”

He must have seen Vikir’s green top and bottom and mistakenly assumed he was a doctor.

After all, at this hour of the night, no one would think of a man wearing green and walking around outside without cuffs or chains on his body as a prisoner.

Vikir replied nonchalantly.

“I’m the doctor in charge of quarantine for the Level 9 area, and I was just doing a final check because a Level 8 ‘plague leper’ sprayed blood and saliva everywhere.”

“Oh, really?”

The guard gave him a slightly suspicious glance, but he couldn’t imagine that the other man was a prisoner.

“Well, I looked at your last shift sheet and there’s no record of you coming in or out…….”

“Is that so, it’s been a while since I’ve been in, I guess I lost track of time with all the quarantine, did everyone else leave first?”

“Haha – you have a sense of duty. I checked the previous shift log, and there was a quarantine, but it says you all left then…… I’ve been busy lately, so I must have missed one.”

The guard smiled, surprisingly pleased with what Vikir had said.

Apparently, he was relieved to hear that the area where he was on duty had been thoroughly sanitized.

“Yes, you may go. Please take care not to spread the plague to us”

“Would it be possible?”

Vikir gave the guard a curt nod and headed down the hall.

‘……Good, I’ve made it through phase one without incident.’

Poseidon found at the blast point, Colonel D’Ordume’s reassignment of the guards, and a loud commotion.

It was an exquisite combination of these three results.

jeobeog- jeobeog- jeobeog- jeobeog-

Walking through the corridors of the Nouvelle Vague at night was refreshing.

The sense of freedom and liberation seemed to add a few centimeters to his height and limbs.

But it was short-lived, as Vikir quietly made his way to a corner of the hallway.

It was the supply room.

It was an armory where the guards’ uniforms, epaulets, boots, and weapons were stored.

‘The prisoners’ supplies are managed like a knife, but the guards’ supplies are surprisingly poor.’

Items such as sardines, bread, and work tools issued to prisoners are meticulously inventoried and counted.

But the supplies for the guards were surprisingly neglected.

The military officer on guard duty in front of the warehouse sits lazily, reading a novel whose pages are tattered from hundreds of readings.

“‘The Worn and Torn Newbie’ …… I must have read this one 200 times already. I can’t wait to see the movie.”

Just then, someone caught the military officer’s eye.

His bushy hair and burn marks covered his face.

It was Vikir, dressed in a guard’s uniform, torn and bloody in places.

[What a vile creature, scarring his face with burn marks. Well, with the basilisk’s super regenerative powers, it can always heal].

Vikir could hear Decarabia whimpering in his chest.

Vikir slammed his fist down on the chest plate in frustration, silencing Decarabia.

Then he pressed the brim of his hat against his mouth.

“Greetings, sir. I was wondering if you had any spare uniforms.”

“Uh-huh-what, did you get ripped off in the riots too? I’m seeing a lot of ripped uniforms today.”

“Yeah. I was just getting back from being stranded under a crevasse in the canyon. I tried to repair the uniform, but it seemed like there was no way I could sew it…….”

“Yeah, well, in that case, you might as well just get issued a new one. Hold on. I’ll find one in a minute.”

The military officer closed the book he was reading and went into the storage room, rummaging around.

He emerged with a guard’s uniform that fit Vikir perfectly, along with a full set of accessories: boots, épaulettes, rank, and badges.

“What do you want me to write your name?”

Vikir asked, and the military officer answered immediately.

“Second Lieutenant ‘Garm Nord’.”

* * *

<Garm Nord> / ◆

A name tag and a single diamond.

Vikir pinned his rank on his chest and shoulders.

He had watched the guards so closely that he could mimic their actions and words.

Except.

“It’s not time to wear it yet.”

Vikir stuck the name tag labeled “Garm Nord” into his mouth.A lowly guard with no name and no affiliation to the Nouvelle Vague.

jeobeog- jeobeog- jeobeog- jeobeog-

Once he put on his uniform and ranking badge, it was all one and the same.

He was able to walk through doors and corridors that would have been off-limits to anyone but a guard without raising suspicion.

Then. A guard called out to Vikir as he walked down the hallway late at night.

“Hey. Second Lieutenant over there.”

A guard with the rank of captain stopped Vikir.

Vikir paused for a moment. Had he aroused suspicion by not wearing a name tag?

…… But no.

“Don’t you see the trash on the ground there? Pick it up.”

The Captain made Vikir pick up the trash that was closer to him and went on his way.

‘Good thing we’re a society that looks at rank before name.’

Humans are like that everywhere.

We decide whether to be interested in someone or not, whether to remember their name or not, based on their title or rank.

In that sense, the second lieutenant was the perfect disguise to avoid suspicion.

No one was interested in the name of the low-level guard, Nouvelle Vague, so there was no question about whether he wore a name tag or not, what his face looked like, whether he was tall or short, or what he was wearing.

Vikir walked smoothly up the central staircase on the 9th floor and made his way to the 8th, 7th, and 6th floors.

His final destination was the 5th floor.

Vikir had just left the 6th floor and was about to open the door to the 5th floor.

“……?”

Vikir heard a voice behind him, stopping him in his tracks.

For the first time, someone recognized Vikir’s face and body type, not his rank.

Vikir slowly turned to see a familiar face standing there.

A female prison guard standing on crutches with her legs and arms bandaged.

Lieutenant Kirko Grimm stood there, cocking her head in question.

“You’re Garm, right? Why are you here at this time of night? I didn’t see you when we were on watch earlier, and where have you been all this time…….”

Suddenly, Vikir was met with undue attention.

Vikir thought for a moment.

‘Should I remove it?’

But he didn’t want to.

Normally, he would have been relentless, but after lending his name and identity to ……, and considering Garm’s last wishes, he felt he could let it slide.

‘It’s nothing compared to what’s going to happen on the 5th floor anyway.’

Vikir’s long-planned escape is perfect.

And if she didn’t know it now, she was definitely someone who would be helpful in the future.

“…….”

Vikir didn’t respond to Kirko’s call, simply stepping through the door.

“Huh? Hey- Garm!”

Kirko’s eyes widened in surprise at the unexpected turn of events.

This was uncharacteristic of Garm, who usually smiled like an idiot whenever he saw her.

“What, are you going to be on guard in another area?”

Kirko didn’t have time to stand there for long, as she’d just gotten off duty.

She shook her head and turned to go.

“……What the hell, I just wanted to say thank you for the Level 8 riot incident.”

But the other side is different. That ‘stupid Garm’.

Kirko soon lost her attention to Garm.

The timid little guy isn’t going to get into trouble, so wherever he goes at this ambitious hour will be no big deal.

‘Maybe I’ll thank him the next time I see him and we can talk properly.’

jeobeog- jeobeog- jeobeog-

Like Vikir, Kirko melted into the dark hallway.

Vikir going up, and Kirko going down.

They went in opposite directions.