Raishin returned back to his room, thoroughly unsatisfied.
He gingerly peeked into the room. Just how badly was she sulking?
The alternative was she was angry. Either way, he wasn’t looking forward to it.
“Welcome back, Raishin <3”
Her feet pitter-pattered on the floor as she ran towards him, in an extremely good mood.
“I made dinner. I have confidence in my cooking tonight.”
“Uh… What are you saying…?”
Meals in the dormitory were handled by the canteen. There was no facilities or equipment for students to cook on their own.
His eye glanced over at the table— and he was startled.
“What… are you up to now?”
“What’s the matter? Hurry up and have a seat.”
Yaya beamed at him, beckoning him towards the table.
There were several plates placed neatly on top of the white tablecloth.
All of them were empty.
“What’s wrong with you? Snap out of it!”
“Ufufu, there’s nothing wrong with me. Raishin, you’re being so weird.”
Although Yaya was smiling brightly at him, her eyes were hollow, devoid of light.
Raishin felt a chill creeping down his spine.
Was there a malfunction in her thinking process…!?
Not knowing what to do, Raishin pulled Yaya to him and hugged her tightly.
‘It’s my fault! I’m sorry! So please, return back to normal!”
Yaya cracked, burying her face inside Raishin’s chest—
And then she started to cry.
“Uu, Uu, Raishin is so cruel… Even though you know how Yaya feels, you still chase other women…”
“I said I’m sorry, so stop crying. Look, I got you something.”
He held out the package from the shoe shop. It was something he had bought when he was out in the city with Charl.
Yaya stared at it in surprise then, with a mixture of expectation and unease on her face, she opened the package accompanied by the rustle of paper.
It was a pair of shiny, black lace-up boots.
It was a little old-fashioned, but well-crafted and elegant.
“When you stepped on the railway tracks that time, your geta got all battered up. It’s hard for you to fight wearing them, and there is always the risk of the strap breaking. So use these for the time being.”
Raishin helped her put them on, and Yaya blissfully smiled.
“A perfect fit… <3”
She turned her feet a couple of times in happiness.
Although she was being a little too exuberant, she was back to normal. Raishin let out a sigh of relief.
“Yaya. You’ve been making a fundamental mistake in your thinking. I’m not attracted to Charl or anything, and I didn’t invite her out because I was.”
Dispelling her misunderstanding was dangerous. Raishin carefully and thoroughly explained himself in an easy to understand manner.
“In the first place, I’m not interest in little girls who have to use padding. I prefer someone like Shouko, a lady with full cleavage like the goddess of harvest.”
“How did you know her chest was fake..? Also, again with Shouko, Shouko, Shouko..!”
Noticing that Yaya looked like she was about to blow her top, Raishin hurriedly coughed and changed the subject.
“Let’s leave that aside for now. And anyway, I went out with Charl because I wanted to confirm something. It’s related to Cannibal Candy.”
Yaya picked up on something. Her eyes widening,
“Don’t tell me, you suspect Charlotte of being Cannibal Candy?”
“The torrent of light Sigmund fired out would leave behind a similar scar to Cannibal Candy’s handiwork.”
Raishin was referring to the uniquely smooth, glassy scar, which resembled someone licking a candy.
“There was a million to one chance of Cannibal Candy appearing when Charl and I left the academy.”
“If it did it would create an alibi for Charlotte, wouldn’t it?”
“That’s right. And as a matter of fact, Cannibal Candy did attack— or so it seems.”
“Then doesn’t that mean Charlotte isn’t guilty?”
“No, on the contrary it only makes things murkier.”
No matter how he looked at it, it seemed too convenient.
Up till now, Cannibal Candy had never attacked two days in a row. This time, he didn’t wait till midnight to hunt, and the wound was only half melted. Something felt off about it.
Tonight’s dinner had been fictitious— a sham, and it had deception written all over it.
Yaya didn’t seem to understand. She had a troubled look on her face as she furrowed her eyebrows together in a frown.
“But Sigmund and I were both keeping watch over the rooms the whole time. Without a puppeteer nearby, we wouldn’t be able to manifest any magic energy.”
“There is an exception to this though, bandolls.”
Bandolls were essentially living machines which housed human parts inside them. Because of that, they could supply themselves with magic energy to a certain extent.
“In that case, her alibi wouldn’t hold up… so, that means it really was a date…?”
“Don’t widen your eyes. Her absence does have meaning.”
Yaya stared at him doubtfully. However, Raishin didn’t explain himself, going over the situation in his head instead.
Indeed, Charl being on a date with him did have meaning. Thanks to that, he was able to grab the enemy by the tail… or so he felt. If what he saw just now had really been the handiwork of Cannibal Candy—
Just as he was in the middle of his thoughts, he was disturbed by an unexpected knock on his door.
From the opposite side of the old door, the boarding master’s voice could be heard, his voice redundantly easy on the ears.
“Raishin. You have a phone call.”
Raishin left Yaya in the room and went down to the first floor lobby.
The telephone was in front of the boarding master’s office. The receiver was already off its hook, and Raishin picked it up.
“I’m sorry for the late call. It’s Lisette Norden.”
“Oh, it’s you. What do you want?”
“Did you think I would call someone as sad as yourself just for fun?”
“… It would have been better if you’d started with that. So, what do you want?”
“We’re searching for Charlotte.”
“— What did you say?”
“She’s left the Gryphon dormitory. I don’t know if you know this, but Charlotte and I both reside in this dormitory.”
“Are you sure she’s not there?”
“If she was, I wouldn’t be making this phone call, you dense maggot.”
“… You’re right.”
“I thought perhaps she went over to your room to indulge in illicit sexual relations.”
“Are you Yaya? Your leap of logic is spectacular. Stop jumping to hasty conclusions.”
“For you to have insulted me is such a humiliation. Do you have any idea where she might be?”
For a moment, he remembered the lone ray of light that had fallen upon her cheek.
“If you do not possess any knowledge, then you are clearly useless. Goodbye.”
There was a click. She had hung up.
Forgetting to place the receiver back, Raishin stood still for a minute.
Was Charl still planning on searching for Cannibal Candy?
Or— Was she about to do something rash?
(… No. Calm down. I can’t do anything if I’m flustered.”
If Sigmund was with her, then Charl would be able to fend off Cannibal Candy… or should be able to. Also, if Sigmund was with her, he would prevent her from doing anything foolish.
However, all this was supposing Sigmund was there. If he wasn’t—
“Dammit, such a troublesome person…”
He slammed the receiver back onto the hook, walking towards the entrance. Just as he was about to dash out of the academy— he stopped like he had been stuck by a bolt of lightning.
His eyes were focused on someone standing there.
Although he wanted to hug her, he couldn’t say that in front of her.
Her kimono was more in the style of a dress, and her ample bosom was so white it almost shone. As if she was hiding her peerless beauty, she had glasses in the form of an eyepatch over her right eye.
With a bewitching laugh, her voice was like a stringed instrument.
“Tonight’s a fine night, isn’t it boy. The moon is so beautiful.”
Raishin finally came to his senses, managing to spit out her name.