The city of Liverpool was bathing in the warm rays of the sunset.
The solemn gates of the academy were also dyed orange.
Right below that gate, a pearl haired girl was vacantly standing there.
It was Frey. Rabi was sitting by her side.
The sentry was deliberately pointing his gun at them, but the two of them weren’t bothered in the slightest, and kept staring into the distance. It looked like they were waiting for someone.
“What are you doing here?”
Abruptly, a voice cut in. Frightened, she looked behind her. Standing behind her was Loki. The hostility in his glare was scary, so she found herself averting her eyes.
“Go back to the dormitory. You’re causing trouble for the sentry. Just what are you trying to do?”
“Uu… I’m waiting… for Raishin.”
“He’s not coming back ever again.”
Her shock made her forget her fear, and she met Loki’s gaze again.
His face expressionless, Loki continued.
“Isn’t that good for you? He’s disappeared from this world, and you didn’t even need to get your hands dirty. With this, you should be able to participate in the Night Party without any problems.”
“He… Is he in trouble? Did something… happen?”
Her face an odd colour, Frey drew closer to Loki.
“Were you responsible for the attack on his automata earlier as well, Loki?”
“And what would you do if I said I was?”
There was a dangerous glint in Loki’s eyes. His glare was intimidating. Frey trembled— then like she was ashamed of her own weakness, bit her lip and stared back defiantly at Loki.
“Second Last was nothing more than a filthy rat. He sneaked into our home, and tried to discover our secrets. Because of that, father ordered him to be terminated. He’s already dead.”
“Don’t just go and write off someone like that.”
Suddenly, someone interrupted. The siblings turned their heads simultaneously.
On the opposite side of the gate, with the evening sun behind him, someone stood there.
His clothes were dirty and ragged. His side was stained with blood. For some reason, he was barefoot. He looked like a shipwrecked survivor. A haggard expression on his face, he looked very different from what he normally looked like.
However, it was unmistakably Raishin.
Loki’s eyes opened in disbelief, before clicking his tongue in disgust.
Turning his back, he stormed off.
“Heh, such an antisocial person.”
“Uu… I’m sorry…”
“Why are you apologising?”
“Because Loki is… my younger brother.”
At that moment, Rabi suddenly rose up and began sniffing Raishin’s hand with interest. He seemed to like the smell, for his tail was wagging happily.
“… It seems like he’s detected the smell of a friend off you.”
Raishin suddenly felt a sinking feeling in the pit of his stomach.
He desperately searched for something to say— but there wasn’t anything.
“… I have to apologise to you.”
Raishin braced himself. Bowing his head, he confessed his sin.
“Yomi is dead.”
“I’m sorry. I dragged her into it. I… broke her out.”
Numerous questions surfaced within Frey’s red eyes.
Why did Raishin know Yomi? Why had he gone to her home? And why… did Yomi die?
Frey was in a state of bewilderment, but looking at the bitter expression on Raishin’s face and his grave tone, she knew one thing for sure. He wasn’t lying.
Her tears began to flow.
Drip. Drip. Drip.
“Let’s go somewhere else. I’ll tell you the details then.”
“I want to hear it… but… the Night Party… is about to begin.”
Wiping her tears away, Frey looked up at the clock tower. It was just past five. The Night Party began at six, but the opening ceremony was due to begin shortly.
“I see… I’m sorry then. It’ll have to wait till later.”
“… Thank you.”
Raishin couldn’t believe his ears. What did Frey just say?”
“… What… did you just say?”
“Yomi… You brought her out of her cage, right?”
“I did, but it was because of my selfishness—“
“Yomi… For many years now, she’d been shut inside there. So I think… she probably must have enjoyed herself, even if it was just a little bit…”
It was true, Yomi had said that herself. Her last moments were spent having fun.
Raishin clenched his fists tightly, to the point his knuckles turned white.
“Uu… I’ll… see you later then.”
Rabi by her side, Frey trudged away slowly.
Raishin could only watch her thin shoulders and the figure of her fragile back as it retreated.
“… Why won’t you blame me?!”
Don’t thank me. Blame me, curse me, scold me.
Say it’s my fault. Yell at me!
I should be the villain, and then you can defeat me easily.
His legs feeling like lead, Raishin slowly walked back to the Tortoise dormitory.