Some time had passed since the destruction of the clock tower, and now it was noon.
Eyeing the basket which had been thrust at him suspiciously, Raishin turned his head in the opposite direction.
“I appreciate the effort you went through to make it, but I don’t want it.”
At his cold refusal, the pearl-haired maiden— Frey, turned to stone.
The basket she was carrying in her hands, which was filled with delicious sandwiches that looked like they had come straight from a clubhouse, wobbled slightly. Incidentally, so did the two large bulges on her chest.
“In any case, you’ve probably put something inside there again today, haven’t you? Something poisonous.”
Frey clung to the wolf-dog accompanying her, and started to sniffle.
“Don’t try and use tears to get your way! I’m the one who wants to cry here!”
“Uu… But, you don’t trust me at all…”
“That’s because your past behaviour has been suspect, ok? This is a result of your repeated offences, understand?”
As Raishin was admonishing her, a blade filled with malice was suddenly thrust against his neck.
Yaya rose to her feet in shock. She looked like she wanted to try and extricate Raishin from his situation, but the blade had already cut into Raishin’s neck, so she couldn’t make any false moves.
Directly next to Raishin, a humanoid machine whose grotesque shape made it hard to tell if it was angel or devil was standing there. Its whole body seemingly made up of blades, its primary characteristic was that its entire body seemed to be comprised of acute angles. Of course, it was Loki’s automaton, Cherubim.
“… What is the meaning of this, dear neighbour Loki?”
“If I may say so myself, I am a tolerant person… However, there are three things in this world I cannot forgive. People who give me orders. People who defy me. And finally, scum who make my sister cry.”
“Even if I’m the victim!? Day after day, I’m the one whose body is subjected to poison here!”
The blade dug deeper, cutting off Raishin’s protests.
“—Ok, fine! All I have to do is just eat it, right!?”
Grinding his teeth, Raishin finally resigned himself, and Cherubim released him.
Expectation filled Frey’s red eyes, as she thrust out the basket once more.
The pupils of Yaya’s eyes darkened, resembling a bottomless lake, as she stared at Raishin.
Raishin had the air of a man facing the death sentence as he took the proffered basket.
“… Are you absolutely sure you didn’t put anything weird inside this time?”
Frey’s head bobbled up and down as she nodded.
“So you haven’t put in salt or rum or dried newts or powdered scorpions or sleeping pills?”
Raishin braced himself, and reached for a fluffy egg sandwich.
Taking a deep breath, he steeled his resolve, and bit down.
It was tongue-numbingly bitter, and his throat was burning. For a brief moment, Raishin coughed violently.
Raishin silently glared at her, causing Frey to confess whilst on the verge of tears.
“The professor from the medical department… gave me a prototype drug…”
“…What kind of medicine is it?”
“It’s supposed to boost the fertility of livestock like cows and horses…”
“Don’t mix something like that inside! Wait, you lied to me!?”
“Uu… it’s not a lie.”
While hugging onto the neck of the wolf dog, Frey denied it in a rare show of stubbornness.
“Normally, I’d put something inside the ingredient of the sandwich, but…”
“What’s with that ‘but’?”
“This time, instead of putting it in, I mixed the drug into the ingredient, and sandwiched it between the bread…”
“That’s just splitting hairs! At any rate, what you’re doing is already human experimentation isn’t it!”
With a crash, Yaya kicked her chair aside as she stood up.
“That’s enough already!”
“Oh, Yaya. That’s right, you tell her.”
“Why haven’t you learned your lesson yet, Raishin!?”
“… Huh, me? Why are you angry at me?”
“Even though you’ve been tricked all this while, you still continue to eat her food… Don’t tell me, you actually love this vixen….!?”
A panicked Yaya turned to look in Frey’s direction.
Frey blushed ever so slightly, and diverted her gaze away meaningfully.
Yaya began to sob convulsively, and at the same time, the ground began to tremble.
And so, ultimately— Raishin got the short end of the stick.
“…. She jumped?”
While sticking a band-aid onto Raishin’s face, Frey repeated what Raishin had said.
Covered in wounds all over, Raishin was currently being attended to by Frey. She was sterilising and sticking band-aids in an experienced manner. Although her reflexes were terrible, it looked like she was skilful with her fingers.
Yaya had sulkily stormed out. Though having said that, since there was a malicious aura floating over from outside the window, she was probably observing them from nearby.
It was noisy outside. A continual stream of students flowed incessantly up and down the dusty main street; professors and security guards were about, and even city officials had made the trip down. Because of the collapse of the clock tower earlier in the day, the whole academy was like a cat on hot bricks, a different kind of restlessness and tension than the one associated with the Night Party permeating the air.
Raishin continued on, while observing the hustle and bustle without.
“Yeah. A short while ago, she jumped off from the roof. Almost immediately before the destruction of the clock tower.”
“… What kind of person was she?”
“Hm… Well, she had flax coloured hair, and she wore a hat.”
Frey tilted her head slightly. With such little information, it wasn’t possible to narrow down the girl.
“What else… Ah, she had that kind of feeling about her.”
Raishin was pointing to someone outside the window. Standing somewhat dazedly in front of a grove of trees was a lone female student. She had brown hair, and was of average height. She was the type of girl that wouldn’t leave a lasting impression, but she was staring intensely in his direction— once she noticed his line of sight though, she abruptly vanished.
He was a little curious about her behaviour, but since he didn’t recognise her face, Raishin soon forgot about the girl as he returned to his conversation with Frey.
“Oh, right, she resembled Charl somewhat. Her face and build especially.”
“That’s… Henri. Probably.”
“Henri? Isn’t she a girl?”
“You said Belew?”
In English, Henriette would be Henrietta. For her first name to be read in French, as well as having Belew as her family name— she was the same as Charl.
Like she had seen through Raishin’s doubts, Frey quickly spoke.
“Henri is the T-Rex’s younger sister, and also her roommate.”
“Seriously? Wait, before that, since when was her sister ever in the academy?”
“No, she wasn’t. She only entered recently…”
It seemed a week ago, she had been enrolled into the gryphon dormitory out of the blue.
As a transfer student, as well as being the younger sister of the T-rex, you’d expect more rumours to have flown about. Raishin thought that his lack of knowledge was due to him being distant from Charl recently, but it looked like Frey didn’t have many details as well.
“Huh, I did think they looked similar… But I didn’t expect her to be Charl’s sister.”
Their faces did look alike. However—
If he compared her to Charl, whose beauty was like an elegant fairy’s, then Henri was more of a plain jane.
Her hair wasn’t golden like Charl’s, and the colours of their skin were slightly different as well. The difference between them was akin to both belonging to the Rosaceae family, but while Charl was a large flowered rose, her sister was a mere strawberry flower.
For some reason, he felt depressed. It was the same feeling as when an old wound was dug up.
“Henri has attempted suicide six times already. If we count what Raishin saw, then its seven times now.”
“… Seven times?”
“The rope she tried to hang herself with broke, when she poisoned herself they were able to get the antidote to her in time, saving her…”
“Heh… So they were able to help her easily. I don’t know if I should call that good or bad luck.”
Even for the span of a week, attempting suicide seven times was way too many. How badly did she want to die anyway?
Raishin crossed his arms, deep in thought.
One of the basic qualifications required to enter the academy was, of course, being able to pay its fairly large tuition fees.
Although, this year being the year that the Night Party was being held, the number of applicants to the academy were few in number, and so the selection had been rather lenient… or so he heard. Because freshmen didn’t have much battle experience, they would be at a disadvantage were they to fight. Even so, Charl’s family was nobility that had fallen into ruin. They wouldn’t have the money to throw around like that. That meant that there had to be a sponsor behind her.
Rather abruptly, he noticed that sitting on the bed next to him, Loki had a grim look on his face.
“Loki. Do you know something?”
“… If I may say so myself, I am a tolerant person, but people who spread baseless conjecture sicken me.”
That’s why I won’t say it— or that’s what it sounded like.
“What’s with that. Don’t start and then leave people hanging mid-sentence.”
“When did I start saying anything? Don’t put words in my mouth, idiot.”
“You’re the idiot. Always nit-picking and finding faults with minor slips of the tongue, you’re the textbook example of a big headed person. It’s so obvious you’re giving off such a strong aura that says ‘talk to me’.”
“What aura? You day-dreaming idiot, don’t mix your oriental delusions with something that doesn’t exist in the real world.”
“It’s a figure of speech. A literary device. And also, don’t make fun of the East you Western idiot.”
“Silence, world’s greatest idiot.” “Solar system’s greatest idiot.” “Milky way’s greatest idiot.” “Greatest idiot surpassing the fourth dimension!”
Veins popping, the two of them started squabbling like little children. Frey looked like she suddenly remembered something, and so said it out aloud to stop them from fighting.
“Ah… Speaking of the T-Rex. Ever since yesterday, she’s been missing.”
Raishin’s ears perked up. What did she say?
“She didn’t return to the dorms… The boarding master was in an uproar about it.”
Raishin didn’t wait to hear the end. He jumped out of bed, and sprinted barefoot out of the ward.