Chapter 2-5

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Raishin wondered if he had been noticed or not.

The male student with the silver mask crossed the street without even so much as a glance in his direction.

There were two people— or rather, two bodies following him.

Adorned with frills and lace, they were clad in beautiful dresses. The dresses had a kinky aesthetic to them. In vogue with the late nineteenth century trends, their scent was that of death and decadence. Both girls were breathtakingly beautiful, but also clearly unworldly.

Glancing between the outside scenery and Raishin’s hard gaze, Charl spoke in a surprised voice.

“That’s the Magnus, isn’t it? What, are you going to target him this time?”

“Yaya.”

“Yes.”

Raishin and Yaya stood up. Charl also rose to her feet with a start.

“Wait… Are you serious!? Hold on a second!”

She grabbed on to Raishin’s arm— and flinched.

Raishin’s eyes had a brutal glint in them. Charl quickly withdrew her hand, but summoned up enough courage to issue him a warning.

“I won’t say anything bad. Just give up on him now. He’s someone you definitely cannot win against.”

“Definitely?”

“Yes. He’s head and shoulders above everyone in terms of techniques and magical energy. His combined scores are the highest of any generation, and since he started at this academy he’s been hailed as a genius. A one-man force who uses six automata simultaneously. At this point in time, he’s considered the closest person to the Wiseman— hey, Raishin!”

He didn’t stay to hear the end. Raishin was already starting to walk off.

“Unfortunately, I’m a hard-headed idiot. I need to try for myself before I understand.”

With quick feet, he left the table.

Bursting out of the cafeteria, he called out to the back of the black coat.

“Wait up, you masked freak. Or should I call you Magnus?”

The male student— Magnus stopped.

The two female automata stepped in front of him as a protective measure.

Upon seeing one of them, a maiden with pink hair, Raishin’s face involuntarily twisted into a grimace. A searing pain hit his chest so intense he thought smoke was going to come out, and he couldn’t keep his calm composure anymore.

That doll’s resemblance was excessively so.

“Yo. Having your dolls wait upon you as you take a walk? As always, you have the worst hobbies ever.”

“… Who are you?”

“Don’t break my heart now. I flew all this way from the other side of the world just to meet you.”

Although his tone of voice was light, Raishin was acutely aware that his core was burning up.

If you hated someone you’d generate wrath at them. However, even though Raishin was keeping his anger under control, wrath was pouring out from him calmly and quietly.

Even if he kept his voice low and killed off his emotions, wrath continued to spill from his body. Students walking on the streets came to a halt and students eating in the cafeteria stopped to stare in their direction, where it looked like a massacre was about to take place.

Magnus stared at Raishin intently, before finally speaking in a calm voice.

“It seems like you have mistaken me for someone else.”

“If that’s what you think, so be it. However, I just have something I want to give you—“

While talking, Raishin lifted his arm, and in that split second,

Something happened, but Raishin couldn’t comprehend what went on.

Like a bouquet of flowers had been thrust towards him, his lungs were filled with a sweet floral fragrance.

The fluffy feel of frill tickled his nose, and his vision was blocked off. His hands and feet were in contact with the soft skin of a girl. Finally, numerous blades were held at his throat.

Exactly like a flower bouquet, Raishin was enveloped in a sea of colour that was hair, eyes and dresses.

There was someone standing behind him, and someone in front of him. There was also someone on his shoulders. He didn’t know where they had appeared from, but now various swords, spears, and daggers were pressed against his skin.

A total of six automata had pounced on Raishin at the same time.

Where had they appeared from? And when did they appear?

Up till this moment, he hadn’t sensed the presence of the other four units.

“Raishin!”

Yaya moved to help him, but the blade against his throat dug deeper in response. With that, Yaya couldn’t do anything, or Raishin’s head would roll before she could even act.

“You ladies are so hasty.”

With a wry smile, Raishin slowly reached for the harness around his waist.

“Don’t be so rash. Since we have just made each other’s acquaintance, I just wanted to present this token to you as a gift.”

Opening a pouch, he removed a small bottle from within.

There was some sort of black powder inside. Considering the situation he was in, it wouldn’t be a stretch to imagine it was some sort of explosive.

“… Stand down.”

At Magnus’s command, the dolls withdrew their weapons.

The pink haired maiden retrieved the bottle from Raishin’s hand and deposited it into Magnus’s.

“I thank you for this gift.”

With only those words, Magnus and his Squadron departed from the scene.

“Raishin…! Are you hurt anywhere, Raishin….!?”

Crying while running over, Yaya clung on to him.

“I’m sorry, so sorry….! You brought Yaya along, and yet…!”

“… I finally get it, Yaya.”

“Eh…?”

“The only way I can get close to him is in a fair fight…”

He was covered in cold sweat. Now that it over, his knees were trembling.

His instincts and his very spirit itself were frightened.

Charl wasn’t lying earlier. The way he was at the moment—

He definitely wouldn’t be able to win.

Any surprise attack would be useless. Personal attacks would only shorten his lifespan. If he wanted to defeat Magnus, doing so under the limits set in place by the rules of the Night Party would be the most sensible.

Nevertheless, he still couldn’t see any way of victory even down that route. The reality was if they did engage in battle, it would only last a second.

Raishin had been training himself so that he would be fight at his maximum during battle.

He was utilising Yaya’s potential at 120%.

He had compiled countless cunning battle techniques, all designed to outwit the enemy.

With all these, was there even a ten percent chance that he could reach his goal?

(Will I ever reach his level…!?)

The difference in their strength was overwhelming. The gap was as great as diving off a cliff.

He felt the ground beneath his feet turn to mush, and his body felt like it was sinking down into the earth.

Having been forced to realise the difference in power, he felt his willpower draining away. But at that moment—

Clap, clap, clap. Someone was openly applauding him.

“The rumours are true about you. Barely four days into your enrolment, and you’re already baring your teeth at the Marshal.”

Turning around, he saw a solitary male student who had a friendly smile on his face.

With smooth, beautiful hair, he was a very handsome lad. If you squinted, he almost looked like a beautiful girl. His voice had a distinct and clear quality to it, sounding like an exceptional stringed instrument.

Greeting Raishin with a captivating smile,

“Pleased to make your acquaintance, Mister Akabane. If it’s alright with you, won’t you give me a moment of your time?”

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