By the time Raishin got back to the dormitory, an hour had passed.
“I’m back. Is the room still in one piece, Yaya?”
Gingerly entering the room, Yaya came flying at him in tears.
Suddenly going into a crouch, she clung tightly to Raishin’s waist.
Without giving him any say in the matter, she started to unzip his pants. Raishin hit her on the head, bringing her recklessness to an end.
“What’s up with you all of a sudden? Did some unknown error occur or something?”
Undeterred, Yaya continued on with her jet black eyes damp with tears.
“Please remove your pants, Raishin! We can talk after that!”
“Are you some kind of highway robber!? Even highway robbers say less objectionable things, you know!”
“There’s only one way to know if that vixen did something. I’ll have to confirm it by smell!”
“Like hell you will! Just how badly warped is your view of others!?”
Raishin forcefully tore Yaya, who had been stubbornly clinging on to him, away.
Yaya broke down into tears, but Raishin wasn’t in the mood to play along, and so ignored her.
“So, did you manage to discuss things with Shouko?”
“Uu, Uu… Komurasaki sent word back.”
“That was quick. And?”
Yaya sniffled, wiping her eyes and speaking hesitantly.
“The military higher ups issued a ‘go’ order for the plan…”
To be honest, it was unexpected. Raishin fell silent.
“Raishin… are you not pleased with it?”
“I am the military’s dog. If they tell me to do it, then I have to… however…”
He looked to Yaya for confirmation.
“Can we really trust him?”
“Are you talking about Felix?”
“The whole thing is fishy. He said I’d be awarded an entry qualification— do they even have that sort of authority?”
“Well, according to what Komurasaki said…”
Yaya looked up at the ceiling, trying to remember what she had been told.
“Regarding the Kingsfort family, they have close ties to the British Intelligence Department, and are one of the influential members of the House of Lords. The head of the family is Sir Walter. After the late queen passed away he became one of the leaders of the Great British Empire from which he derives a lot of power. Even in the academy that sort of influence cannot be ignored.”
I see; they had investigated that far in such a short period of time. As expected of the military. Naturally, they had issued the ‘go’ order after careful consideration.
Besides, it was exactly as Felix had said himself. Even without the backing of the disciplinary committee, if he defeated Cannibal Candy it would raise his profile in a single stroke. Which would mean the Night Party’s executive committee would not be able to ignore him.
A large body of students had gathered at the scene of the incident earlier as well. From that alone, it was clear interest was building in the incident. Felix hadn’t been lying.
So in short— the problem was how he was going to go about defeating him.
Or rather, the more pressing issue was whether he could actually find Cannibal Candy in the first place.
If he wanted the finer details he’d have to ask Felix for them, but if Cannibal Candy was someone that was easily found, then the disciplinary committee members (and maybe the campus security) would have exterminated him long ago.
(Looks like I’ll have to start by tracking him down… can I even make it in time before the Night Party starts?)
Lost in a sea of thought, he was drawn back to reality by a sound resembling the flapping of a wing.
A bird-like shadow landed on the window sill, and started knocking on the glass.
Restraining Yaya, who had gone into high alert, Raishin laughed as he welcome their visitor.
“Yo, Sigmund. Did Charl send you here on an errand?”
“No, I came here of my own will. I wanted to apologise for earlier.”
Sigmund’s eyes fell on Raishin’s hand, on which the teeth marks were still vividly present.
“Don’t worry about it. I was the one who plotted to beat the two of you in the first place — hang on, if you came here to apologise, where’s Charl?”
At that moment, Charl had released magic energy. Sigmund didn’t have the intent to bite him; it was through Charl’s intent that he did so.
Sigmund lowered his small head, sighing apologetically.
“Don’t think badly of her. Normally, she’s not the sort of girl who would use Force on me.”
“She was probably worked up. Under those circumstances, even a cat or a dog would have bitten if touched.”
‘A cat? That’s a perfect description of her.”
He didn’t know how to read a dragon’s expression, but he could have sworn Sigmund grinned wryly.
It was a difficult subject to talk about. Eventually, Sigmund made up his mind,
“She has some unique circumstances behind her. Occasionally, she gets oversensitive. Prone to making mistakes. And she’s never honest. However, at her core she’s kind and gentle, has an interest in handicrafts and is a harmless girl.”
Raishin doubted his ears. Handicrafts? Handicrafts meant… knitting and sewing, right?
Wow. It didn’t suit her at all.
“Why are you telling me this?”
“I wonder why myself. I think I just wanted to tell you, that’s all.”
—what was that supposed to mean?
“I’ll take my leave now. See you around, Raishin.”
Sigmund kicked off from the sill. His light and easy movements made him no different from a bird. When he was in his small dragon form, it appeared that he was able to fly on his own without using any magic energy.
Watching his shadow fade into the distance, Raishin thought back to his discussion with Lisette.
“I feel a little uneasy telling you this, but—”
Earlier, inside a deserted lecture room, Lisette began to speak hesitantly.
“—please be careful of Charlotte.”
“Her registration code is Tyrant Rex. The students call her the T-Rex— do you the know reason why?”
“Originally, that name wasn’t used in reference to her; it was her automaton’s alias.”
“That automaton is a bandoll.”
As expected, Raishin fell silent at the revelation.
Bandoll. Hearing that word always stirred up unpleasant memories inside Raishin.
“There’s a legend passed down from generation to generation in the Belew household. The first lord of the Belew house went up a dangerous mountain where he defeated and tamed the rampaging dragon, Sigmund, making it his servant. For his success he was appointed a viscount, and since then he and his descendants have worked together with Sigmund.”
“A dangerous mountain, huh… That’s kinda typical.”
“According the legends, he ate people, burnt down towns, did every evil deed in the book. Even now, he needs to consume flesh periodically to maintain his body.”
“He eats chicken.”
Raishin had said in a small voice that could barely be heard. He was already losing interest in the conversation.
In short, everything she said was just malicious gossip. Bad rumours surrounding Charl and Sigmund.
“Bandolls are a cursed existence; in terms of their characteristics as well as the absurd situations they create.”
“That does appear to be the case.”
“Things like drinking fresh blood, eating human flesh, only being able to operate in the middle of the night— or enjoying massacres.”
“That’s quite the roundabout manner of talking. What exactly are you trying to say?”
“You still don’t get it? Has your brain been infested by maggots?”
“You’re trying to say you hate me, aren’t you? You hate me on the same level as you’d hate a hairy caterpillar?”
“We have come to the conclusion that Cannibal Candy may be a Bandoll.”
He wondered if that was really it.
For some reason or another Raishin was in an unhappy mood as he averted his eyes away from Lisette’s face.
“Do you have any questions so far?”
A violently cold air snapped him out of his reverie.
Turning around, he noticed Yaya staring at him with eyes blacker than a solar eclipse.
“Raishin… you were thinking about that vixen, weren’t you…”
“Why is your intuition only good for useless things..?”
“Well then, what are you going to do tomorrow?”
“Start the search. Now that the situation has got this far, it’s time for me to start hunting Cannibal Candy.”
Laughing, Raishin shook his head as he corrected himself.
“It’s time for us to start hunting Cannibal Candy. That’s fine, isn’t it?”
Yaya energetically raised her hands in support.
After that, she narrowed her eyes suspiciously,
“It couldn’t be… are you aiming for that vixen!?”
“She really is someone who doesn’t know how to relax.”
“You have to remove your pants after all!”
Carefully maintaining the distance between the both of them, the two ended up in a stalemate like they were a snake and a mongoose facing off.
It looked like tonight was going to be another sleepless night as well.