t’s now the after school period.
First of all, we divided into teams because there are too much people.
My team consists of four people. Me, Charo-senpai, Kushinada-senpai and Ruirui.
The other team consists of Tenka, Kunisaki and Maria, three people.
For the time being, we are divided into these two teams in pursuit of Kushinada Himeko.
“We are counting on you, Tenka-chan.”
“Alright, Koujirou kun. Just because Raika-kun is not around, don’t go thinking that you can put your hand on Maria, got it?”
“What are you talking about? Don’t you know that I’m a trustworthy guy?”
Kunisaki smoothly escape Tenka accusations.
Slightly shocked, I sighed at their behaviour.
“We will search around the West District. Kunisaki and the others will go to the East District.”
Right now, we are at the monorail station at South District.
This is the nearest train station from our school.
From here, we will take separate trains to the West and East District respectively.
After hearing my explanation so far, Kunisaki raises his hand.
“Forgive me for asking, why the West and East District respectively?”
“The area around North District and South District was searched thoroughly. Plus, both Ruirui and Tenka are well versed with the area surrounding the West and East District.”
Tenka lived in East Dormitory while Ruirui lived in West Dormitory.
They might not be that familiar with each nook and cranny of this district, but at least they know the overall layout.
Slightly, I narrow down my eyes on Tenka.
“Tenka. I leave searching the Eastern District to you.”
“Leave it to me!”
Looking at her face with a wide smile still give a shiver up to my spine.
However, even during this morning, I was able to handle it calmly.
Truth to be told, my hatred towards her is still lingering.
I was taught on how to best deal with own emotions.
The way it works varies from person to person.
Anger and murderous intent, burn like fire, some people turn into a passion.
I’m the opposite of that.
I tried to image a blade of ice.
Cold, sharpen, as sharp as my own killing intent.
Right now, my blade is still sheathed inside my heart.
Someday in the future, the blade will be buried deeply under his neck.
My expression returns back to normal, and then I said.
“Then, let’s give our respective reports tomorrow.”
Tenka winks and give a strange salute.
Just like that, we went our separate ways.
Before that, Kushinada-senpai stopped Tenka and the other.
“Sorry. Tenka-san, Maria-san, Kunisaki-san, thank you very much.”
“We don’t mind it at all, senpai. It’s normal to help each other when they are troubled.”
Tenka smiled and said so to Kushinada-senpai.
Both Maria and Kunisaki are wearing the same expression as her.
Kushinada-senpai look at them and bow her head again.
On the other hand, Kunisaki glanced at me and grinned.
“Just because Nadeshiko-senpai is a beauty, don’t you dare lay your hand on her alright?”
“He is not Kunisaki, nothing to worry about.”
“Raika really can spew some abusive words sometimes.”
Kunisaki retorts such.
Good grief, talking with Kunisaki really ease my mind.
Ever since participating in the Representative War, the weight in my mind has increased exponentially, it’s turning into an unnecessary burden.
I’ve been thinking a lot about it, and not able to say it out.
“Then, see you later.”
I will return back to dormitory once it’s darken.
At that time, I will meet Kunisaki again.
I waved to the three of them, and return back to Charo-senpai.
“Now, should we head to the West District?’
Kushinada Himeko dormitory was at West District.
That means there is still chance that she is still nearby in the West District. There might be a lead.
“Though, the West District is a very large place. Where do you plan to start our investigation?”
Ruirui asked that question while we are walking towards the station.
“There is warehouse at the western town.”
“Sure, that’s where they keep stuff stored from the port. What’s that got to do with this?”
“No, there is nothing particularly of interest over there. Anyways, lets start from there. Are you fine with that, Kushinada-senpai?”
I don’t go into the details, but I believe that if Kushinada Himeko is still alive and well, she must be somewhere nearby the town’s warehouse.
The reason is food.
A missing person without any cash with him, how do you think he will acquire food?
Resorting to an illegal way is the only method left.
In essence, theft——that is the reason why I don’t explain everything to Kushinada-senpai properly.
So, where can she steal the food? Like what was mentioned earlier, the warehouse is used to store various kind of things from the port.
It’s the first place that will be aimed.
Of course, that’s all depended on how tight is the security at the warehouse. That is why we are going there to confirm it.
Eventually, the monorail arrived, and with that we ride towards the West District.
We got off at the second station in west area, and from there we went straight to the warehouse.
“It’s really quiet here.”
“That is because the western town is basically a port.”
Catching me staring at outside the window, Ruirui start talking to me.
The West District is the quietest place among the four-main district.
The main facility here is the port, the warehouse to keep the goods from the port, and a factory to process food.
There seems to be no other facilities here.
“I’ve expected it to have karaoke at least, just like the one that can be found at the South District. There is lot of vacant lots here, must be dead silent at night.”
Ruirui is spreading out her hand, as if lamenting.
It’s everyday occurrence on this island to be dead at nighttime. Though, I will keep myself from retorting to her.
“Ruirui, there are lots of vacant spots here because they will be used when new facility is being built.”
“That’s explain why there are many vacant lots!”
Certainly, the scenery outside the window is that of empty lots and nothing appear to be interesting.
That’s lead Ruirui to mourn for this place.
While chit-chatting about that, our bus finally arrived at the station nearby the warehouse town.
We are the only one getting off at this place.
“I can smell the beach.”
Charo-senpai get down from the bus while keeping her silver hair.
If we went further west from this location, we will reach the harbor.
Since the warehouse were arranged in stack, we are unable to see the port and the sea directly.
“Kyaa! The wind here sure is strong.”
I agreed while feeling the sea breeze hitting my cheek.
The island always gets their winds from the west due to the influence of the west wind.
That is why the wind is particularly stronger in this area.
A loud intermittent sound from the wind can be heard coming from the warehouse.
“Since this warehouse area is larger than expected, what do you say we split into two teams?”
“Is it fine for four of us to separate?”
Ruirui asked me.
Well, our work will be more efficient that way, but.
“No……I’m just giving my opinion.”
“Is that so.”
Ruirui let the matter go easily.
I wonder if either of it is fine for this girl.
I look at her eyes.
“Then, Ruirui and Kushinada-senpai. Together, you will search for whatever trace is left by Himeko-san. Let’s regroup later at this bus stop after an hour.”
“Yes, roger that.”
“In the unlikely event, can I expect you to protect senpai properly?”
“I know that already/”
Under the influence of my Evil Eye of Obedience, Ruirui walked away together with Kushinada-senpai.
I look back at Charo-senpai.
“We are going too.”
We move towards the opposite direction from the others.
The warehouse was lined up in many lines across the paved road. Although we are walking straight, we were forced to cross the road many times.
“Somehow this area layout is very confusing.”
“That is because the landscape is nothing but the warehouse and the road.”
“Those who are managing this place, I wonder if they get lost sometimes?”
“I’m sure they can manage it well, there is number allocated for each entrance after all.”
“Ah, is that so.”
I continue to have idle talk with Charo-senpai.
She seems to be more talkative that usual today.
“You really talk a lot today, senpai.”
“Eh! Uh, do you really think so?”
“That’s what I think. Not like I mind it.”
I look over my neck.
Charo-senpai is squeezing both of her fingers together.
“That……I don’t have much chance to talk with Raika-kun before.”
She answers it quietly.
I don’t hear her talking much ever since this noon.
During our discussion, we were consulted by Kushinada-senpai. While travelling to the west, only Ruirui talked.
Even so, I don’t see not being talkative as a problem at all.
『——Uhihihi. You’re an idiot when it comes to woman. 』
Bálor laughed heartily.
I don’t know what’s so funny about this.
Since I don’t get it, I better change the topic.
“By the way, how’re your condition compared to then?”
“I’m talking about Brynhildr.”
This girl has a Valkyrie named as Brynhildr residing in her body.
I have her sealed inside her body with my Devil Eye of Dominance.
“Even though she can’t resurface on her own, she is still technically a God. There is no telling what she might planned. Please let me know as soon you feel like something is wrong.”
“What’s the matter?”
“No, Brynhildr-san screamed [There is no way I’m going to do that!] just now.”
Apparently, Brynhildr is protesting against what I said just now.
“Stop surprising senpai like that.”
I give a piercing order towards her who is still inside senpai.
Then Charo-senpai said hurriedly.
“I’m alright, Raika-kun. Brynhildr-san, she rarely gets talkative.”
“……Is that so.”
Then, there is no problem.
But, why does it look like Charo-senpai is in friendly terms with Brynhildr?
Is it because she is a naturally kind person?
Or is it because of the presence of God?
I don’t get what is her feeling now.
For now, let’s keep observing her.
Anyways, she sure doesn’t hold her speech. So distasteful.
『——What’s that. As if you never speak like that before. 』
Don’t you know how to shut your mouth?
『——Hoho. Keep up with attitude, and I will endlessly disturb you no matter during your class or your sleep. 』
『——Uhihi. I wonder how far a virgin like you can handle my ‘adult’ talk. 』
This perverted evil God……!
Although it’s possible to temporarily shut off my auditory organ by concentrating, there is no way I can shrug off the voice speaking directly to my soul.
What should I do if this idiot truly did what he declared just now……
His foolishness really gives me headache all the time.
“What’s wrong, Raika-kun?”
“No, nothing in particular.”
I shake my head towards Charo-senpai who have a worried face.
“Ah, um, what were we talking about just now?”
“The thing about Brynhildr-san?”
“Ah, that one is fine.”
“……Brynhildr-san is getting mad again.”
“I will scold her carefully later.”
“Hmm, could you stop it already?”
“Well, if Charo-senpai said so.”
“Then, what is it that you want to talk about?”
Charo-senpai tilted her head.
『——it was something previously when you chatted. 』
Told by Bálor, I finally remembered our conversation.
Meanwhile, Charo-senpai laughed softly.
“I may have not said anything worth mentioning.”
I said that, and she laughed again.
That expression, she looks really happy.
Why is senpai laughing?
『——You are truly dense. 』
I get uncomfortable since I felt like I was judge unconditionally, but Bálor are not dropping any clues till the end.
“……now that we’re talking, you know…”
Charo-senpai said in a somewhat restrained voice,
“Yesterday, I mean, what is the relationship between Raika-kun and Ruirui-san?”
So, she asked.
That said, yesterday she really did came barging in my room without permission……
“This might’ve sound like an excuse, but there really is nothing between me and Ruirui. Of course, I didn’t force her with my Evil Eye also.”
“Ah! Un, I don’t doubt you.”
Charo-senpai hurriedly shakes her head.
“Then, you don’t have any feeling for Ruirui-san, no?”
Why her face relaxed out of sudden?
That time, the sea breeze softly caresses Charo-senpai hair.
She stopped at the crossroad, and carefully combed her hair.
“Raika kun, have you ever swim in the ocean?”
Perhaps influence with the salt laced gust, Charo-senpai suddenly throw me the question.
Long time ago, I remembered the time before the Myth War.
My sister just turned five, the memory when me and my family went to the ocean for the first time.
“Yes, long time ago, I did.”
“Is that so……I never have the chance, not even once. That’s because there was no sea nearby.”
Charo-senpai turns her eyes to the west.
Far beyond the warehouse, there is a sea.
Although the sea was not visible due to our distance, it felt as if the sea was just right ahead.
Listening carefully, it felt like I can hear the sound.
“When it starts getting hot, I’m sure everyone will want to go to the sea.”
Charo-senpai sits still together with a soliloquy.
“Raika-kun and Tenka-chan, Ruirui-san and Maria-san, also, Kunisaki-kun, all six of us.”
It’s still chilly right now.
Still a long way before it starts getting hot.
Will the Representative War over by that time?
Will all of us survive, I wonder.
Of course, I will take everything back, and protect it.
I will do it without fail.
That is something that Charo-senpai herself knows.
That’s why, she said the words.
That’s why, I.
“Shall we go then, with everyone?”
“Un. But, they won’t allow us to swim at the harbour, right?”
“If not mistaken, the North District has a beach.”
“Then, why don’t we go there. When the time comes, I hope Raika kun will instruct me how to swim.”
It’s just a small promise, the future felt so distant.
But, it’s worth promising.
Until I fulfil the promise, I will definitely protect her.
Once again, I reaffirmed my determination.
“If you don’t mind, we can go to the pool. I will teach you swimming there.”
“That is a good idea. Suddenly start at the ocean might be dangerous.”
“Then, why don’t we go to the pool at the South District pool this coming Sunday……?”
Charo-senpai said happily.
Suddenly, a gust of wind blew.
Her skirt rises up till my eyes level.
I closed my eyes in hurry, but it seems that I was a bit tad late.
Listening to Bálor cheers makes me grit my teeth.
“……Did you look?”
While holding down her skirts, Charo-senpai asked.
Her face was dyed as red as ripe tomato.
I’m at a loss of word.
The moment happens in an instant, however, with my acute visual which I have trained for years, I manage to capture every moment clearly.
To be honest, or not.
“I d-don’t see it.”
I chose to lie.
『——Uhihihi. What are you acting shy for? It’s not like you’ve never seen her naked before. 』
Just fucking shut up, you fucking perverted Evil God!
Bálor humour really disgust me.
Both me and Charo-senpai kept silent for a while. Soon, she opened her mouth.
“It’s o-okay, even if you saw it.”
Since she can’t say otherwise, she chooses to go along with my lies.
However, even though the trouble has gone, the feeling of guilt still remains.
I never thought the day where I regret training my eyesight will come……
I felt embarrassed, making me turn my eyes towards the hot day.
This time, I found something else on my right eye.
I beckon Charo-senpai to follow me go through these warehouses.
Then, I stopped in front of one of the warehouse.
“Please take a look……here. Do you understand?”
I pointed at the wall of the warehouse.
At first glance, it was just a wall.
But, after looking at it closely.
“……eh? It’s cracked?”
Charo-senpai gradually turned her head.
“This crack was not caused by natural deterioration. This wall was cracked by force, no, it was slashed down.”
The wall surface was cut into squarish shape at shoulder height.
In other word, by pushing this slashed wall aside.
A square hole appears on the wall.
“What, is this?”
“Most probably an entrance. The preparator slashed it down and make his way inside. Later on, he re-pastes the wall to camouflage it.”
It sounds easy when I said it, however it’s not like we can cut it down like a scissor to a paper.
This wall is at least 10 cm thick.
The ability to slash a perfect square like this, I don’t think this belong to any humane feat.
Is this perhaps the work of God?
『——Well, the probability is very high. 』
I asked Charo-senpai to wait outside while I take a quick look around in this warehouse.
Apparently, this warehouse seems to be storing foods.
There are lots of preserve food like ham and meat stored inside.
I don’t have the leisure to inspect the whole warehouse carefully, though, I managed to found a trace of something being taken from the shelves.
The person who drilled the hole on this warehouse wall must have been stealing on regular basis.
Otherwise, why trouble themselves by re-pasting the wall.
I get out the hole, and fixed back the fallen part to its position.
Since the cut part is considerably heavy itself, this fortifies my theory that this was not done by any ordinary people.
I already seen the portrait of Kushinada Himeko, and it’s very unlikely that she can do this with her thin limbs.
So, the other suspect would be……another Divine Apotheosis…
That’s no good.
That’s the worst possible answer.
Although I can explain this situation by mincing some words off, this will still be too heavy for Kushinada-senpai to accept……
“Let’s go back, senpai.”
“Yes, I will come back and check this later. However, it’s wiser for us to back away for now. If we don’t, then we might involve Kushinada-senpai.”
Charo-senpai face shaken.
This island becomes an entirely different place by night time.
Even if anything get break during the night time, it will be fixed when morning came.
But the hole on this wall remains cut.
That means, the preparator who slashed this wall down is entering and leaving this place during day time.
There is high possibility that we will have a dangerous encounter with it if we remain in this place.
Before returning back here, a minimum preparation must be done.
While checking the time on my wrist watch, I decided that returning back to our gathering place is for the best.