Inside one of the rooms in the gryphon dormitory, just after midnight.
Henri was sitting up on her bed hugging her knees, without switching on the light.
Charl’s room was extremely big, even though it was just meant for two people. There were two double sized beds, and a table set for four. There was a large desk for studying and enough bookshelves to rival a library, as well as two comfortable looking sofas. All were provided by the dormitory.
There were thirteen automata protecting the place— with such an excessive security detail, safety was all but assured. It was very much like the drawing room that Henri used to spend her time in when she was young.
Moonlight was streaming in from the open window, falling onto the desk. A pincushion, embroidery spool of thread and a pair of sewing scissors were illuminated by the light, revealing Charl’s fondness for sewing. Remembering this unexpected side of her sister caused Henri to smile unintentionally.
Her eyes fell onto the sewing scissors.
The solemn gleam of metal and it’s cold, sharp blade stood out.
Swallowing her saliva, Henri got off the bed.
Moving like she irresistibly being drawn to it, her hand stretched out for the scissors like it was sucking her in.
The scissors felt heavy and sturdy in her hand.
The scissors glittered beautifully. Henri’s breathing spontaneously grew wilder.
It was a tool meant for cutting. As an object, its sole purpose was to cut and cut only. Henri held it to her neck. It wasn’t meant to be used for cloth, but skin, muscle, veins—
Suddenly, her arms were restrained with great force.
The boarding mistress had entered the room at some point in time, and was tightly holding on to Henri’s arms.
“No, I can’t do that!”
With great ease, the boarding mistress removed the scissors from Henri’s hand.
Henri sank down onto the floor, large drops of tears falling from her face.
“Just let me die… please…!”
“I won’t let you die!”
But it wasn’t the boarding mistress who rejected Henri’s entreaty.
From outside the open window, another girl’s voice entered inside the room.
The room was three stories high. Yet the girl’s voice was clearly emanating from outside. Straddling atop a dragon, her flowing golden hair fluttered in the wind as she stared straight at Henri with fire in her eyes.
Charl kicked off Sigmund’s back, leaping lightly through the window.
As Charl drew closer to Henri, The boarding mistress stood in between them with an angry look on her face.
“You’ve finally returned. What were you doing, silently running off into the night like that?”
“… I’m sorry, Miss Zeth. There was something I had to do no matter what.”
“I expect you to tell me your story later in full detail. I’ll have to report this to the higher ups after all.”
After saying that, the stern look on her face relaxed, and she stepped aside.
Henri had turned her back in fear. Charl faced her,
“Don’t do something so stupid!”
She suddenly shouted at her— then embraced her tightly.
“Don’t… do something… so stupid… please…”
Charl’s voice was shaking.
It wasn’t just her voice though. Her shoulders and arms were also trembling with anxiety.
“… You said you were here to bring misfortune upon me. But for me to meet my sister and know that my mother is still alive— how can you call that misfortune!?”
Feeling her sister desperately clinging to her back, Henri broke down.
“I’m sorry… I’m sorry… I’m so sorry…”
“You don’t have anything to worry about. Everything will be settled tomorrow.”
“Don’t apologise. Once everything’s over, we can live together once again. Ok?”
She was unable to endure it anymore. Henri grabbed onto Charl’s hands as she continued to sob.
Charl continued to hug those slender shoulders tightly.
Under the cover of night, someone was spying on them.
Outside the window, beyond the hovering Sigmund, he was perched on a branch of a large tree in the garden.
Reclining against the trunk, the shadow had his arms folded. Even though it was night, he was hiding his eyes behind tinted glasses. His hair was dyed platinum blonde, his body was toned and he had a fearless look on his face.
The man was giving off a strange presence, but it was extremely faint. Even someone like Sigmund wasn’t able to detect his presence.
Upon seeing the situation unfold inside the room, he silently vanished.
He made a jumping movement, but there was no reaction from the branch whatsoever.
The only thing left behind was silence.