Chapter 4-4

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The gunshot echoed throughout the sewer.

Soon after that, a cry of pain could be heard.

However, the one yelling wasn’t Raishin, but the man in front of him. The old dog had sunk her fangs into his arm. At that moment, Raishin grabbed the gun from him and kicked him into the current.

—However, that was a careless thing to do.

He had subconsciously assumed that there were only two enemies.

There was magic energy building up behind him. By the time he had noticed it, it was too late. Time slowed to a crawl, and everything seemed to be in slow motion.

Behind him was a mannequin-like automaton and a puppeteer. Four short swords launched from its shoulders, flying straight towards Raishin.

He couldn’t react in time. It was useless. He was going to die!

At that moment, a black shadow hopped into his field of sight.

The short swords collided into it with a dull thud. At the moment of impact, there was a tearing sound.

The swords lost their momentum, and their trajectory was changed, so none hit Raishin.

He didn’t have time to think. Without any hesitation, Raishin fired at the puppeteer.

He hadn’t fired a gun since military training. Not to mention that it was dark, yet the bullet still found its mark. Hitting the puppeteer’s thigh, the puppeteer writhed in agony.

He wouldn’t die, but he wasn’t in any state to use magic arts.

Ignoring the mannequin that had grounded to a halt, Raishin dashed over to the black shadow-Yomi.

At one glance he could see she was in terrible shape.

Her bottom half was gone. He didn’t know how the swords hit her, but it had sliced clean through. If she were a real dog she would have died instantly, but since Yomi was an automaton, she was still conscious.

Protruding from her upper half were a few cords. However, the smell wafting over was unmistakably that of blood. The cords had been inserted into and were surrounded by real flesh!
The truth dawned upon him. Yomi’s body was largely still made up of organic parts.

No, this was more like the reverse—

“Hang in there. Why did you protect me? If I had died, wouldn’t Frey have won by default?”

Yomi laughed in response.

He didn’t have time to thoroughly check her condition. The sounds of battle had drawn the attention of the others, and their footsteps were closing in. He could see three, four lamps in the distance. There looked like a lot of them. If they were discovered, it would be the end.

“Raishin, there’s a ladder here! We can go up to the surface using this!”

Komurasaki was pointing to a spot in the darkness near them.

“I’m going to carry you, Yomi. I might shake a little, so try to endure-“

Yomi bit Raishin’s arm, and he dropped her.

“Get out of here… you brats…!”

The light was fading from Yomi’s eyes, and her pupils were dilating.

She could no longer preserve her existence. Her Eve’s Heart had been broken. Raishin pumped magic energy into her, but her magic circuits weren’t responding.

“At the very end, I had… a fun… time. I need… to thank… you.”

“I should be thanking you. I will definitely repay your kindness. Once we get through this-“

“Just go…!”

Strong words that were almost like an entreaty. Raishin found his hands stopping unwittingly.

“I want… to rest… here. I can be with… the children this way…”

Raishin finally understood.

Yomi had called that escape tunnel a “garbage disposal”.

There was only one meaning behind that. Those people at D-Works, when they decided to dispose of the Garm units, parts which they couldn’t publicly acknowledge existed were dumped into the sewers!

This canal was the graveyard of the abandoned Garm units.

“Raishin! They’re getting closer!”

“…Damn it!”

Shaking off the rending pain inside him, Raishin began to climb the ladder.

Yomi’s sacrifice shouldn’t go to waste. Fervently telling himself that, Raishin finally abandoned her.

He focused solely on climbing the ladder. About ten metres up, he felt his ears became unnaturally blocked up, and there was an explosion below him.

The ceiling in the sewers crumbled down. If he had to guess, it was Yomi’s doing. With the last of her strength, she had used her magic art to stop the enemy dead in their tracks.

(Damn it… Damn it all to hell!)

Cursing his own weakness, he ground his teeth in frustration.

Unable to do anything else, Raishin fled.

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