|"We want you to.... kill the Cat."
A Chevalier agent to ex-Commander Radox.
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|Chapter 147 ←||Chapter 148||→ Chapter 149|
|Preliminary Battle II|
|Volume 22, Chapter 148|
|Translation||Preliminary Battle - Part 2|
Preliminary Battle I
Elizabeth and Arnett discuss the approaching celebration for the surviving Pandora hosted by the Chevalier, though in reality is done on Gengo Aoi's order. In Veracruz, a Chevalier agent enlists ex-Commander Radox Phantomheim for "Operation Cat Killer," the assassination of Gengo Aoi. Radox agrees and begins to gather the four women who are to be grouped as the "Busters" for the mission. Gengo meets with Scarlett Ohara and requests that she comes to work for him. She agrees after he promises to reveal the truth about Maria Lancelot. Two women meet outside of an elementary school, one of whom is a teacher and a serial killer.
With the survivors of the 12th Nova Clash being confined at Gengo's base, none of them have their clothes except for the Volt Textures. Arnett McMillan and Elizabeth Mably prepare for the upcoming dinner party and the Pandora have been gifted with new dresses through a special dress texture, but special textures lack any defensive power.
In Veracruz, Mexico a member of the Chevalier believes that Gengo Aoi has gotten out of control, and everyone from the board wants to stop his "rampage." In order to stop Gengo, they approach their former commander, Radox Phantomheim.
The middle-aged man states he warned them time and time again about Gengo, but they never listened. The messenger apologizes, but states that the E-Pandora crisis and the 11th Nova Clash was too big of an incident to allow Radox to stay in power. But now, Gengo has a hold on Scarlett Ohara who's knowledge of Stigmata is nearly as dangerous as Gengo. The messenger continues to state that Gengo is about to perform a coup against the Chevalier, and they need "the cat" killed.
Radox is taken aback by the request. The messenger forewarns that the Chevalier will deny any connection with Radox should he fail, so it just looks like a loose cannon wanted his nemesis eliminated. In return, Radox wants his position re-established and more, but the man knows that Radox has been moving around the shadows enacting his own plans to kill Gengo. Radox has been trying to gather rejects the messenger knows are "inhuman beasts" that will not be easy to control. Yet these beasts, being four women, are so powerful that they'd reshape the current rankings within the Chevalier, but their might is matched only by their complete insanity. These unstable women, who could no longer be Pandora, are known as the "Failure List."
Outed, Radox admits he's been plotting Gengo's assassination with these women, but he cannot control them. The messenger promises that the Chevalier will help him and present the Failure List with special Stigmata immediately. Radox agrees to take on Operation Cat Killer.
At West Genetics, Gengo and Su-Na Lee welcome Scarlett Ohara to the esteemed doctor's office. Gengo needs Scarlett for a special task, but Scarlett is furious that Gengo used her as a pawn against the Chevalier and left her broken as a human being and woman. At this, Gengo asks Su-Na to step out. His bodyguard is reluctant, but Gengo assures her that Scarlett is an old friend. Su-Na steps out, leaving the two former colleagues alone.
After the two exchange blank stares, Gengo asks Scarlett to join him. Scarlett believes Gengo underestimates people too much but wonders if he believes that she'll be enough to beat them or humanity. Gengo asks a blank Scarlett if she wants to know the truth he's been hiding since her termination from Lab 13. Gengo finally earns Scarlett's attention. She denies wanting revenge anymore, but she is curious about this "truth."
Elsewhere in Veracruz, a woman "Isabella-sensei" is sending off her young students. When the last one leaves, a woman with black hair and white headband approaches her. She giggles and says kids are supposed to have sharp instincts, but they cannot realize their teacher was a nurse who killed thirteen babies. "Isabella-sensei" gives an ominous grin as the other woman correctly calls her a "real bonafide serial killer."
- Introduction of Radox Phantomheim, former commander of the Chevalier, who has been secretly planning to assassinate Gengo Aoi.
- Introduction of the "Failure List."
- Several members of the Chevalier request that Radox lead Operation Cat Killer, the assassination of Gengo, and Radox accepts.
- Scarlett meets with Gengo.