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Chapter 4 - The Daughter was the girl's win.

The silence in the bar was punctuated only by the sounds of a raucous argument out on the street.

'Heh heh... Hahaha...'

Holding back the laughter bubbling up, Jack asked the girl a question.

'Hey, missy...where, oh, where, did you learn to be this good?'

The girl made no reply.

Instead, she took the cards into her hands and began shuffling. They flew back and forth with exquisite grace between her long, slender fingers.

She dealt five to Jack, then five to herself.

'Show them,' she demanded, and Jack obliged, hesitantly turning over the cards.

His hand was four jacks.

Her hand was four kings.

'You're... You're kidding me!'

Jack was nearly speechless by the sight, to which she only said: 'Jack doesn't beat King.'

At the word 'King,' murmurs rippled through the bar.

'King.' It was the handle of a legendary gambler, said to be the best in the Republic until his death. The card technique the girl had shown was one of the ones the King had been fond of using when he felt like teasing Jack.

'Who...? Just who are you?' Jack asked the girl. She gave him a long, bitterly-cold glare at the question, as if it were both stupid and one she'd been dying to answer.

'You probably don't know me, but I know you VERY well,' she spat. 'Hello, Victory Jack. My name is Halle. I'm the daughter of King, who you killed.'

'...You're King's daughter?!'

Jack had never met King's daughter--not in person, no. But nonetheless, he did have memories of her. King had been a doting father that had drilled holes in Jack's ears with endless stories about her.

'I see... So King's daughter has come to kill me, huh?'

The atmosphere in the bar was suddenly charged.

'All right, then. Kill me.'

The words casually left Jack's mouth.

It was a line no one in the bar had ever expected.

He tapped his chest.

'The heart's here. Make sure you aim well.'

The girl--Halle--quietly drew her orbal gun. Her aim, of course...was Jack's heart.

第4回 娘











「………! キングの娘だと!?」キングの娘と直接会ったことはなかった。だが、ジャックには確かに覚えがあった。親ばかのキングから、彼の娘の話を耳にたこが出来るほど聞かされていたからだ。