Prologue – The Assassin in White
“Raishin, you’re so amazing. Yaya is… Yaya is already… Aaaahhhn <3”
In a blissful voice, the girl’s body was trembling all over.
That body wasn’t human, but rather, a high class automaton. With the gentle sunlight filtering through the trees overhead, she was in a good mood as she walked.
This was England, and they were in the Royal Academy of Machinart, Walpurgis. The Night Party was commencing tomorrow, and the entire student body had been caught up in the Night Party fever. Unexpectedly, some of that enthusiasm might have rubbed off onto the girl.
That aside, there was a tinge of annoyance in Raishin’s voice as he spoke.
“Cut that weird voice out, Yaya. People will get the wrong idea again. Especially about me.”
“But you were unbeatable in P.E. I could see the envy in everyone’s eyes during class!”
Yaya hadn’t heard a word he’d said. There was an enraptured look in her eyes as she spun around the place.
“Yaya is so happy. It seems like everyone is finally acknowledging Raishin. They’re recognising how strong he is, how cool he looks, and how he’s only gentle towards Yaya.”
“Your fantasies are leaking out into reality, and your delusions aside, I think you’re making quite the mistake here. This is a school for magi, so there’s nothing “cool” about being good at physical activities whatsoever. … In fact, I might actually be the most barbaric and primitive guy on this campus. I’m so sick of attending makeup lessons day after day.”
He rubbed his stiff brow with his thumbs.
“Even though it’s a Saturday, I have two makeup classes in the afternoon. Let’s just quickly get back to the dormitories so I can pick up my texts. We’ll have lunch in the school cafeteria, then head over to the school building.”
Yaya smiled back at him in response. However, once they entered the room, her smile vanished.
In the middle of the plain room, there was a mysterious object swinging about.
It was a net. It looked like something that was used to catch fish, only it was dangling down from the ceiling.
Something was caught inside it. Something white, and smooth.
After realizing someone’s skin— thighs to be precise— could also be seen in there, Raishin realized he had been staring at “a forbidden piece of clothing” for a good five seconds.
There was a lone girl clad in a school uniform, with both her legs raised up high, in a dangerously erotic pose suspended inside. Her hair was fastened to the right, and was a beautifully deep pearl colour. A curiously long scarf, a garterbelt, and a fluffy ribbon gave her a look that was best described as cute.
Squashed beneath her butt was an animal that looked like a cross between a wolf and a dog with black fur, also caught in the net. Its shoulders had armour attached to it, giving it an automaton-like appearance.
So… what was this?
An ominous black aura was beginning to form around Yaya, much like a black hole.
“What kind of play is this, Raishin? Bringing a girl into your room… and then suspending her like that…!”
“Don’t jump to weird conclusions! I was with you the whole day!”
“I took my eyes off you when you were in the changing room for 0.3 seconds!”
“0.3 seconds is not even enough time for a pick up line! Wait, peeking into a changing room is a serious crime!”
The girl in the net pathetically wriggled her body about, trying to appeal to them to help her.
Seeing such a pitiful sight, Raishin loosened the net, lowering it onto the bed.
As soon as her feet touched the bed, the girl moved to extract herself from the net, but instead found herself entangled even more. Her limbs were stuck, so she flopped about like a fish out of water.
Her sluggish movements surprised Raishin, so he used his knife to cut the net open.
“Uu… Thank you.”
Trembling like a mouse, the girl offered her thanks.
She was beautiful. Her red eyes were like rubies. In contrast to her weak face, they had a curiously intense feel to them.
The twin bulges on her chest seemed to defy gravity. Raishin found himself blushing unintentionally.
“What were you doing in my room? Depending on your answer I may have to call security— woah!?”
Perhaps sensing the hostility in his voice, the wolf dog had suddenly leapt at Raishin.
“Woah, what a huge dog! Are you an automaton? Why are you in my room!?”
“Stop barking. You look like a dog, but it doesn’t means you have to act like one too.”
The girl hugged the dog, nervously pulling it away.
“Rabi can’t speak… but he is… my family.”
“… I take back what I said earlier. Nice to meet you Rabi. I’m Akabane Raishin.”
Meeting the wolf dog’s gaze, he extended his right hand out.
The dog looked up at Raishin with round eyes—
“There’s blood Raishin! We have to stop the bleeding quickly!”
“Don’t lick it Yaya! What are you, a dog?!”
During the resulting commotion, the girl had somehow slipped away.
Her disappearance was unexpected. For someone who was so sluggish earlier, she had surprisingly quick feet when it came to running away.
“… What in the world was that?”
Raishin muttered as he looked around the room.
Scattered to one side were some springs, pulleys, and elastic cords.
“It seems like she was making a trap, but then got caught in it.”
“It can’t be… a honey trap!?”
Yaya’s face turned pale. The next moment, the rumbling of a mysterious tremor could be felt.
“… No, no matter how you look at it there’s no “honey” lying around.”
“That girl was obviously using the “show him your panties” trick to entice Raishin! If you really like panties so much, then please just look at Yaya’s and Yaya’s alone!”
“Don’t pull up your kimono! Have some shame!”
It was turning into quite the troublesome situation. The look in Yaya’s eyes was also very dangerous. It would be great if I never see her again, Raishin thought to himself.
As a matter of fact, he did meet her again, and much sooner than he thought he would.
He had barely stepped foot out of the dormitory, and already the openly vigilant Yaya was glaring at an area shaded by trees.
From inside the shade, a beautiful pearl hair and a dog’s tail could be seen.
Raishin sighed and called out to them.
“What do you want?”
The girl timidly stepped out from under the tree and nervously held out a basket.
“What is it?”
“I wanted to apologise for that incident earlier, so… I made a bento.”
The sound of paper crumpling could be heard as Yaya gripped the texts in her hand tightly.
“So, the relationship between the both of you has reached that level already… as I thought…!”
“It’s obviously a trap! How can somebody prepare an apology in advance!?”
“Well, I’m… pretty good at cooking, so…”
“Your skill with cooking has nothing to do with this. Unless you’re saying you can surpass time and space?”
The girl opened the basket with trembling fingers. It appeared she wasn’t lying when she said she was a good cook. Delicious looking sandwiches were packed neatly inside.
“No… I appreciate your offer, but we’re already going to eat at the cafeteria.”
The girl began to tear up. Seeing no other way around it, Raishin reached for a sandwich.
Bringing it close to his nose, he sniffed. There doesn’t seem to be any strange odor.
Feeling Yaya’s murderous glare on his back, Raishin took a bite.
“Geh! Bleah! What the hell’s inside!?”
“Uu… It was supposed to be sleeping pills, but since I couldn’t get any, I just put in lots of salt.”
“By upsetting the balance between the potassium concentration and sodium concentration in the body, this should cause the cells in the body to be destroyed…”
“Putting someone into an eternal sleep is a cute idea, but don’t you think that by putting salt, someone will notice it before shoving the sandwich down their throat?”
If somebody ate the whole basket though, it would probably kill them.
“Seriously, what goes inside that head of yours… No, forget it. I don’t want to get dragged deeper into this. Let’s go, Yaya.”
Turning his back on her, he started to walk off. Before he took another step though, his senses told him something was wrong.
Right in front of him, there was a patch of earth which was obviously a different colour from the rest.
The girl behind him was staring at him expectantly.
Raishin sighed at the obviousness of it, and took a step diagonally to avoid the discolored ground.
The sound of sadness floated from behind him. The girl was even sniffling. It was extremely unbearable. Raishin deliberately withdrew his foot, and stepped onto the discolored soil.
The earth opened up. A newspaper functioning as the cover of the trap floated downwards, gently coming to a rest at the bottom of a little hole. It was about 30 centimetres deep.
“… And just what exactly is this?”
“Wrong answer. I don’t think you could even catch a kid with this.”
“But if I dug it any deeper, then I wouldn’t be able to get out…”
“… Well, I guess at least a pit this deep might cause a fracture. All in all, it’s a pretty malicious trap.”
The girl’s cheeks flushed crimson even though what Raishin said wasn’t really praise.
“Um, in that case… how about we take a bath together?”
Ripping sounds echoed in the back as Yaya started shredding the texts in her hands.
Raishin’s eyes were half closed.
“… A bath?”
“You fell into the hole… so you must be dirty.”
Excitedly clearing a path through the grove of trees, the girl gestured for Raishin to enter.
Inside that grove, there was a bathtub which looked entirely out of place.
“Why… is that thing here…”
The girl had a little pride in her voice as she answered.
“So you can soak in the forest…”
“No, that joke isn’t funny at all, you know?”
Her openly suspicious behavior only made Raishin more curious. Without noticing it himself, Raishin had drawn closer, until he was close enough to bump into her… Raishin checked himself, and took a step back.
Ignoring the girl who had suddenly moved away, he peeked into the bathtub.
“… And what is this?”
“A bug bath…”
The girl had fallen on her butt, and answered Raishin in a voice that sounded like a mosquito buzzing.
“If anyone falls into a bug bath, even if it’s you, their spirit will be drained by the disgusting insects…”
“Yes, well, I can see earthworms and centipedes wriggling inside, but there’s only five of them in total?”
“After catching five, I felt like my spirit had been drained already…”
She confessed somewhat embarrassingly. It seemed she was aware of her own inability to handle bugs.
“Um, in that case, how about…”
“You still have something up your sleeve?”
“Uu… Now I‘m serious. Please come to my room tonight. … Ok?”
It was an awkward invitation. But it was a real honey trap in action!
Yaya was muttering something incomprehensible in a low voice, while the shredded texts in her hand started to scatter in the wind like confetti.
Any further provocation would be dangerous. Raishin sighed.
“Hey, enough already. Just what are you trying to do? I’ve endured your games long enough. For your information, I don’t have time to play with you all day.”
It was a cool line, but since the reason behind his lack of free time was the fact he had make up classes to attend, the whole thing came off rather uncool.
Staring at Raishin, while her body trembled, the girl firmly declared out loud.
“I am going to… assassinate you.”