Chapter 4-3

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“Yaya. Wake up, Yaya.”

After hearing her name being called several times, Yaya slowly opened her eyes.

The first thing she saw was a small, steel-coloured dragon.

“Uh… Sigmund…?”

Gradually, her consciousness returned to her.

At the same time, a sudden sharp pain assailed her. It felt like countless needles were all being stabbed into her at the same time. Glancing at the place where the pain was coming from, Yaya was shocked.

Where the intestinal area should have been, there was a large hole instead.

“Yaya, how’re you feeling? Are you alright- that’s not likely but still, how’s your condition?”

“This… is still within my limits… I don’t think I’ll shut down just yet…”

“That’s good. You did well to survive taking a blow like that.”

He gestured to her side. Lying there was an acorn shaped projectile. Sigmund had probably dug it out of Yaya’s body. It was covered in blood, but the front was smooth, and had no blemishes on it.

“Yaya is… The world’s greatest, automaton… Something like this… is barely a scratch.”

She tried to smile, but ended up coughing up blood instead.

“Don’t overdo it. I’ll get a technician to come over right away.”

“No… It’s fine. Yaya is, a bit… different, from normal automata.”

“This isn’t the time for bravado- wait; you’re talking about your construction, aren’t you?”

“Yes… Normal repairs won’t… work… on Yaya.”

“In that case, what should I do?”

“Raishin… I want to meet… Raishin…”

She broke off into a sob. Her weakness was probably also causing her emotions to become unstable. Yaya was crying like a little child would.

“I see. So his magic energy is our best bet.”

It looked like there was no other choice but to rely on her self-repair mechanism. As Sigmund was troubled as he tried to come up with something, he suddenly noticed a presence approaching the bench.

It was a beautiful female student with golden hair. Her arms and legs were tensed unnaturally and she was restlessly looking about for something.

“Charl. I’m over here.”

“Sigmund! Don’t just go and disappear like that! I’m going to downgrade your lunch from chicken to shrimp! Do you know how worried I was!? What was that sound just now? Don’t just go wandering around on your own!”

“Calm down. I understand what you want to say, but this isn’t the place for it.”

Charl had drawn closer while firing off like a machine gun- when she suddenly jumped back.

“What, this… what happened!?”

“You came at a good time. Let’s give her a hand.”

“Give her a hand… this situation calls for a doctor!”

The smell of blood was causing her to become anaemic herself.

“What are the people in Japan thinking?! She’s more of a living creature than Sigmund is!”

“In this case, if the designer himself isn’t here, we can’t repair her. In other words-”

“She requires magic energy. I know.”

Trying as much as possible not to look at the wound, Charl rolled up her sleeves.

Extending her hands towards Yaya, she focused her concentration. Bluish-white light began to gather in her palms, and flowed out into Yaya- and almost immediately, her shoulders started shaking violently.

“What… is… this, I… ahhhhhh!”

Something was clearly wrong. Sigmund braced himself, and rammed himself into Charl, knocking her back.

The flow of magic energy broken, Charl’s will was hers once more.

Staring at her hands, her nails were bleached and her fingertips had become dry.

The moisture in them had disappeared, and their complexion was bad. It was like staring at an old woman’s hands.

“Don’t… overdo it, please…”

Seeing through Charl’s horror, Yaya weakly mumbled.

Charl huffily sat down in front of Yaya again.

“Don’t be stupid. Something at this level is nothing for someone like me.”

“But… Charlotte is… an enemy…”

“I am Charlotte of the noble house of Belew, whose family crest the queen herself conferred the unicorn onto. I vowed that we would fight against each other at the Night Party fair and square.”

“But… I don’t want to be indebted to a vixen…”

“You talk back too much. Just be quiet and let me heal you!”

Gathering her spirit, she began to summon her magic energy.

Once she had gathered enough, her flesh didn’t waste away like before. However, in exchange for that, her magic energy was being stolen from her at a rapid rate before her eyes. Even for someone like Charl, she felt her breathing become strained.

Despite that, she continued to focus her magic energy that she was so proud of. Yaya’s body began to heal immediately, mending her wound at an alarming speed.

“That’s enough…!”

A voice brought her back to her senses. When she finally noticed it, the skin over Yaya’s wound had grown back.

“Thank you very much Charlotte. Yaya is fine now.”

Charlotte sank down onto the ground, exhausted.

At some point in time, a crowd had gathered around them. Members of the Public Morals Committee had also gathered. They quickly sealed off the area and began interviewing witnesses.

Flying from that area, a little dragon fluttered his wings as he landed.

“Sigmund. Where did you run off to?”

“I went searching. Although I didn’t find anything.”

He turned to look at the projectile. Charl and Yaya done the same.

“…This must weigh at least seventy pounds. Something that can fire this can only be cannon and it has to be a pretty big one at that. I wonder where someone could set one up?”

“It doesn’t have to be cannon. It’s shaped like a projectile but there aren’t any rifling marks, are there?”

Just like Sigmund said, the bullet was spotless.

“Unless they were on a glider, it would appear that the enemy has some sort of firing mechanism that doesn’t require a physical barrel.”

“So, you’re saying that the insolent guy who shot this is able to strike from any location?”

“That’s probably the case- oh, this is not good.”

Sigmund’s voice abruptly hardened.

“It would be infinitely easier to target someone outside of the academy. It’s a possibility that the enemy-or enemies- goal is to force Raishin to withdraw.”

Her consciousness still hazy, Yaya tilted her head in puzzlement.

Charl grabbed Yaya’s shoulders impatiently, shaking her.

“Raishin’s in danger! If he got hit by something like this, even a barbaric pervert like him would be crushed flat!”

“…Raishin!”

Yaya wanted to dash off, but she fell awkwardly. Her strength wasn’t back yet.

Charl and Sigmund hurriedly helped her up. Amidst the throng of people, a maiden with pearl hair was watching the whole affair with a pale look on her face.

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