Chapter 3-1

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Surprised by the sudden burst of light, Yaya ran to the window.

Outside, light and shadow were intertwined in various gradations of black and white.

It was the Raster Cannon. Compared to when she had seen it before, there was a remarkable difference in terms of output on this one.

The beam of light was heading towards the wreckage of the ruined clock tower at its base.

“— Raishin?!”

Unable to contain herself, Yaya jumped out of the window and started to run.

The light vanished just as it hit the ruins of the clock tower.

The security guards were raising the alarm and issuing out orders. Just as Yaya reached them, the ground suddenly gave way. The earth crumbled with a large roar. It looked like the Raster Cannon didn’t just obliterate the wreckage, but pierced through the earth as well.

The debris began to fall inside the hole. Sand, rock, brick, metal— and Raishin!

“Raishin! Raishin—!”

“Wait, Yaya!”

Someone had grabbed Yaya’s arm. It was a surprisingly strong grip.

The person attached to the arm was none other than the beautiful professor Kimberly.

“It looks like you were just a step too late. But now that it has become like this, there’s nothing you or I can do in this situation. Don’t try anything foolish.”

“—Yaya will go search for Raishin!”

“At the bottom of the hole? Don’t bother.”

“But—!”

“Have you not noticed? There are plenty of stares in your direction.”

She looked around with a start.

Just as Kimberly had said, the security guards’ gazes were locked firmly in her direction.

They were wary, hostile, and full of fearful suspicion. Like Raishin, Yaya’s five senses were also sharper than a normal person. Their sharp stares at her were akin to holding her at gunpoint, and she felt the weight of the stares.

“You once broke through severe restraints with your own strength. That is something to be feared. At this point you are no better than a mysterious monster to them.”

Even though Kimberly had said that much, Yaya was still at a lost over what to do.

She fidgeted with a mixture of unease and impatience. Looking at her reduced to such a state, Kimberly had a rare display of gentleness in her voice.

“Follow my orders obediently. I promise I won’t do anything bad.”

“… But—“

“If you try something foolish now, then Second Last will get implicated as well.”

It was the coup de grace. Having heard that, Yaya stopped moving.

“In any case, consider the depth of that hole. Anyone who fell into that deep a pit should have been killed instantaneously… so even if you did go down now, there’s nothing you can do to help.”

“—!”

“However, if they’re alive, then he’ll find some way to be saved, and you going down would be a needless act.”

Her words were full of belief. It was entirely possible that Kimberly actually had more faith in Raishin than Yaya herself.

And that was something very, very shameful to realise.

“The professor… is right.”

“Good girl. Now come along.”

“Where are we going…?”

“I have an idea of my own or two. But first I’ll need to discuss it with my comrades.”

Turning her back on the commotion taking place around the largehole, Kimberly started to walk off in the direction of the grove of trees.

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