Owari no Chronicle:Volume3 Chapter 4

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Chapter 4: Constant Questions[edit]

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The usual begins again

The usual questions and the usual actions

As well as the usual unusual


Partially due to lunchtime having passed, schools naturally grew lively in the afternoon.

With its large grounds and many school buildings, Taka-Akita Academy was no exception.

Class 2-D in the second year general school building was Sayama’s class. That class had reached the time for its final homeroom.

However, Ooki had yet to finish her lesson.

“Sorry, everyone. My lessons always take so long.”

Everyone immediately nodded and Sayama spoke up from the center of the back row.

“Do not worry. All of us are used to it after last year.”

“Really? You’re all so great. But, but… The most amazing part was how this class was #1 on the academic test in April. Am I just that good at teaching?”

“You are. Your classes do an excellent job of teaching the students’ to learn independently.”

“Really?”

“When the teacher oversleeps, forgets her textbook, gets off the train at the wrong station, and cannot read what she herself wrote on the board, the students have no choice but to learn on their own. …You do an excellent job.”

“…Is that a compliment?”

“Ha ha ha. If you heard it that way, you must be a very happy person. Congratulations on the happy life to come.”

“Yay! It was a compliment if you ignore the details!”

As Ooki smiled, the students all gave her threatening looks.

As she turned her back to hand a printout to another row, Sayama nodded toward her.

This is the kind of person working to save the world, he thought as he watched Ooki.

The others did not know about that frightening fact.

The ones working to save the world had no sense of superiority.

No one else knew what they were doing.

In the same way, no one knew anything about the Concept War fought during World War Two.

Sayama suddenly recalled what Ooki had said earlier that day.

Why do we need to do the Leviathan Road with 2nd-Gear?

What did the people of 2nd-Gear think? Did they feel the same way?

When Izumo had left at lunch time, he had told Sayama to visit UCAT’s development department if he wanted to know about 2nd-Gear’s concepts and the true circumstances surrounding its people.

When the term Leviathan Road was brought up, would they become allies or enemies?

“Hm.”

Sayama folded his arms.

He really did need to visit UCAT after class.

He had yet to complete his scheduled training time for that week, he wanted to meet with the people of 2nd-Gear, he needed to speak with Kazami and Izumo about what they had discovered after going on ahead, and…

Maybe I can see Shinjou Sadame-kun if I go.

With that thought, he made up his mind.

He would go to UCAT.

And he had to inform someone of this decision.

Shinjou Setsu sat to his right with his long black hair tied back behind him.

Shinjou appeared to have been leaning over his desk to write on some loose leaf papers, but…

He is asleep.

Sayama reached over to tap Shinjou’s shoulder in order to wake him.

But just as he did, Shinjou frowned and spoke in his sleep.

“Ah… N-no, Sayama-kun…”

Sayama reflexively pulled out his handheld digital recorder.

Hurry, he thought. Will I be able to edit it together in time? I hope I do not overwrite the previous recording.

Sayama frantically hit the switch and held the recorder out just as Shinjou stood his fingernails up on the desk.

“Don’t…Don’t you need to heat it up more than that?” Shinjou squirmed. “I-I can’t handle s-something that hard!”

“Hm. What is this you cannot handle?”

“Ya…”

“Ya?”

“Yakiniku!”

Just as Shinjou let out that shout, he stood up with enough force to knock his chair backwards and his desk forwards.

His cloth pencil case fell to the ground and a few sheets of loose leaf paper scattered from the desk.

Silent focus turned toward Shinjou.

After a short pause, Sayama spoke up.

“What kind of exciting dream were you having?”

“Eh? Oh…um… You were insisting on the order meat-meat-vegetable-meat-vegetable, but I was saying vegetable-vegetable-meat-meat-vegetable would be better. Then you tried to force some half-cooked vegetables into… Wait, dream?”

Shinjou glanced around and saw everyone staring at him.

“Ah,” he said.

He seemed to have caught on, so Sayama nodded.

“I am just glad you managed to wake up on your own.”

“There’s no way I can believe you with that digital recorder in your hands! What did you record?”

“Just your running commentary on the yakiniku in your brain. Ha ha ha. But do not worry. I will put it to good use.”

“N-no. I have a really, really bad feeling about this, so give it to me.”

“C’mon, you two. I’m still trying to teach a class here,” said Ooki.

Shinjou blushed but then tilted his head when he glanced over at the clock.

“Huh? Why are you still teaching your class?”

“Ah! I may have been the one to say it, but that was a critical hit!!” Ooki then nodded with a smile and pointed at Shinjou. “At any rate, you shouldn’t oversleep.”

Everyone in the class nodded and spoke.

“How can you say that when you’re late to every class!?”


The afternoon sunlight filled a slanted forest.

This forest was in the mountains that stretched back from the train station in Okutama.

Amid those forested mountains was a curving road continuing from the Oume Highway.

The road followed the natural lines of the mountains and the rivers.

However, the road curved in a V-shape at one point.

The road was turning aside to avoid a single mountain. That mountain was covered in underbrush but had no trees.

It was what remained of a large-scale landslide.

That pile of dirt was one hundred meters wide from north to south and it was two hundred meters long.

Behind it was a small mountain about a hundred meters tall on which the strata of the earth were exposed on the side.

A single person stood at the top of those exposed strata.

It was the young man named Kashima.

He wore his usual work clothes, lab coat, and glasses.

A few white structures were visible beyond the opposite mountain and the forest covering it.

“You can really see IAI on a clear day like this.”

You can always see it well from here.

He could see the sky well too.

Kashima sat on the grass and looked up into the blue sky.

This was not far from his childhood home. When he looked up into the heavens, he was reminded of a single person.

“I used to play with my grandfather.”

His words brought back memories of the past.

My grandfather…

Kashima’s grandfather had survived the Concept War.

He had supposedly been a skilled swordsmith, but he had retired when Kashima was still young. The number of friends who stopped by to visit him had decreased as the years went by and Kashima’s father had chosen the path of a farmer despite inheriting the skills of Kashima’s grandfather.

His grandfather had often spoken of 2nd-Gear as they sat on the porch.

Kashima had attended a Low-Gear school, so he had not thought his grandfather’s stories of a different world were true.

The war his grandfather spoke of was different from Low-Gear’s World War Two that Kashima had been taught about.

However, those stories had involved many different people, many different battles, and many different losses.

Swords had been swung, bullets had been fired, and giant ships and dragons had appeared. And amid all that, his grandfather had told him the following.

“When we came to this world, the name Kashima gained the meaning of the greatest military god. It is not as powerful as the emperor, but this name allows us to speak with heaven via tools with blades.”

Kashima had thought his grandfather’s war stories were nothing but fantasy, but one question had remained.

He would never tell me how the war ended.

No matter how many times Kashima asked, the old man would only smile and say, “That does not matter.”

He had wondered why it did not matter and why his grandfather’s smile was filled with sorrow.

When he had entered middle school, he had been told he was not from this world and his question had transformed into doubt.

According to his parents, when 2nd-Gear had been destroyed by Yamata, the people had escaped to Low-Gear, created a giant humanoid weapon and a sword, and sealed Yamata.

His grandfather had apparently played an important role in sealing Yamata. He had created the sword used to seal Yamata, which was 2nd-Gear’s Concept Core, and he had helped control the humanoid machine.

All of that was true. He had looked into it once he joined UCAT.

However, his doubt had remained.

For example, when his grandfather was still alive, he had never spelled Kashima using Low-Gear’s kanji.

He never let himself fully adapt to Low-Gear. Did the war ever truly end for him?

Kashima did not know the truth. And the time he had made his way closest to the truth was not during his time in UCAT.

It was on a night thirteen years ago.

“The night my grandfather died.”

Kashima closed his eyes and recalled that moment in the past that had marked the beginning of it all for him.


As Kashima’s vision grew dark, he found himself in an old wooden house.

He was in his childhood home’s living room.

It had a tall ceiling and walls, and the thick pillars and lintels were covered in dark soot. All of the wood had a bit of a tree trunk’s curve remaining and the room was lit by nothing but a single light bulb hanging from the ceiling.

It was nighttime outside and the night was filled with the harsh wind of winter.

A thin old man lay on a futon placed on the tatami mat floor.

That man was Kashima’s grandfather.

His hair had thinned, his face had grown yellow, and his eyes were staring blankly up at the ceiling.

Did I ever hold his hand back then? wondered Kashima.

All he remembered was his parents trying to hold him back from behind.

He remembered them telling him to leave him be and not to bother him. But he remembered one thing the most.

“You are wrong! You don’t need to bear your father’s sins yourself!”

Those words reminded Kashima of something else.

Yes, I was holding his hand then.

His grandfather had still been strong enough to squeeze his hand back and he had spoken clearly.

“Akio.”

When he had heard his name called, Kashima had brushed aside his parent’s hands holding him back. He had then moved up to his grandfather’s face.

He did not remember what he had told his grandfather, but he remembered what his grandfather had said in response.

“You can live the same life your father chose.”

But…

“But, Akio, if…if you have any questions, go to the Izumo company. There is an organization called UCAT there. And…”

His grandfather had stopped speaking at that point.

But Kashima had not allowed it. He had used his empty hand to grab his grandfather’s collar.

“Tell me! What do you want to say!? You’ve been holding back this whole time, haven’t you!? You always told me about your dead friends, but you never told me anything about yourself! I should go to UCAT, right! What should I do there!?”

His question had received a single word in response.

“…Tachikawa.”

“Tachikawa?” he had said while holding his grandfather’s collar.

The old man had nodded and taken a breath.

“There is an airfield there and a giant-…”

At the time, he had not known what his grandfather was talking about.

“A giant what!? There’s…there’s something there, right!? I just have to go there, right!?”

“Yes. It is in the front box of the bridge in the head… You need to pass that on.”

“To who!? Pass what on to who!?”

The old man had not given a response. He had spoken a different word instead. It had been…

“A name?” Kashima had asked.

His grandfather had not nodded. He had only spoken while taking shallow breaths.

“That is the word to control Yamata. That is the truth of 2nd-Gear.”

“!?”

“Take that…and go…”

Kashima had gulped and his grandfather’s eyes had moved.

They had turned toward a point in the heavens and they had not focused on Kashima who was looking down at him. He had been looking at something much farther away.

The intensity of his gaze had not wavered as the old man spoke a short sentence.

“Can you forgive me?”

Those were his final words.

The old man’s slender body had trembled.

That throb indicated the end. Kashima had felt that final beat through the old man’s collar and hand. His own body had trembled in response.

Those were Kashima’s memories of that night so long ago.

He may have forgotten some aspects of it, but one doubt would never disappear.

Had the war truly ended for my grandfather?

With that thought, he opened his eyes and stood up.

The slope of a landslide lay below him.

Kashima’s gaze stopped on one point of that expanse of dirt. A color was visible just a bit down from the center of the slope.

That color was white.

It belonged to a piece of painted metal.

A white mid-sized bus had been inextricably buried in the slope while rolled on its side.

Kashima stared at the white bus buried in the landslide and muttered to himself.

“My war has already ended.”


After school, Sayama and Shinjou helped some others clean the classroom.

Once they were finished, they spoke with each other while the others prepared to leave.

Sayama placed his textbook in his bag while Shinjou placed his hands between his legs and hung his head down.

“U-um, Sayama-kun. Sorry about before.”

“Hm? What are you talking about?”

“When I was…um…half-asleep, I said something about a weird dream, didn’t I?”

Oh, that, thought Sayama with a bitter mental smile.

“No, I do not think it was all that weird a dream, Shinjou-kun.”

“R-really? It wasn’t weird?”

Shinjou nodded with a relieved smile and Sayama took his handheld digital recorder from his pocket and switched it on.

“I-I can’t handle s-something that hard!”

“Ha ha ha. Do you see anything weird about that?”

“That’s plenty weird! C-c’mon! Quit fighting and give me that recorder!”

“Calm down, Shinjou-kun. No one is saying you did anything wrong, are they?”

“W-well, no…”

Shinjou seemed to shrink down.

“There is nothing to worry about. Ooki-sensei’s self-destruct stood out a lot more. It is of course possible she purposefully self-destructed to cover for you, but the odds of that are too low for me to calculate.”

“Are you trying to trick me?”

“Not at all. I am misrepresenting the facts to give you a more positive viewpoint.”

“That’s the same thing as tricking me. …Honestly.”

“Honestly? Honestly what, Shinjou-kun?”

“Nnn,” groaned Shinjou as he raised his hands from between his legs. “Um, about what we were talking about before.”

Shinjou grabbed a pile of loose leaf paper from his desk and held it to his chest.

“Do you want to know what I was doing this morning and a bit ago?”

“I do,” said Sayama with a nod.

What a complicated person, he thought.

Shinjou had refused that morning and he had caused a disturbance during homeroom. Those two facts led Sayama to one conclusion.

Did he decide it would be better to just tell me?

“I see. Allow me to prepare my recorder again. …Okay, you may spill the beans now.”

“Please stop with this polite interrogation.”

“Very well. I would like to hear what you have to say. Can you tell me?”

“Yes. But first tell me this: Sayama-kun, do you read novels?”

“I do.”

“For example?”

“Up until summer break last year, I read through every single novel on display in the Kinugasa Library. I target the specific knowledge I should acquire, but I will read any kind of story.”

“I see.” Shinjou’s shoulders relaxed a bit. “Wh-what kind of stories did you like? Ones like Tsujigiri Samurai?”

“That had nothing to make it stand out other than the Tsujigiri. …It was fine as long as you did not take it too seriously.”

As he spoke, he gave a bitter smile in his heart.

A story worthy of facing and taking seriously.

He then realized something.

He realized what it was Shinjou wanted to tell him.

Sayama pointed at what Shinjou held in his hands.

“I see. Shinjou-kun, you are trying to write something like that, aren’t you?”


Shinjou looked up.

Sayama’s almond-shaped eyes looked back at him with no hint of a smile.

Sayama had been exactly right. The loose leaf paper in Shinjou’s arms was…

“After reading some stories, I wanted to write one of my own. I thought there had to be something better out there and thought about what I would have done differently. …And those thoughts turned into these papers.”

“I see.”

Sayama nodded, but Shinjou looked down again.

He looked at Sayama’s feet and realized his indoor slippers were surprisingly dirty.

“But I’ve never seriously tried to write anything before. I feel like I’m lacking something.”

“Lacking something? Like what? Common knowledge? Or maybe composure or objectivity?”

“Sorry, but I need to turn those questions right back at you, Sayama-kun. Anyway, let’s move on. I always stop writing before I finish, so I’m afraid the same will happen this time.”

“I see.” Sayama nodded but finally asked a question. “Shinjou-kun, why are you telling me this now?”

“I thought it would be best to tell you.”

“And why is that?”

Shinjou thought about his refusal that morning and what had happened during homeroom.

He felt apologetic and also wanted to ensure there were no misunderstandings. However…

Why am I so concerned about misunderstandings?

As he thought, he spoke without thinking.

“I want you to know more about me…”

What am I saying? he suddenly realized.

His face felt oddly warm.

Shinjou looked up to face Sayama. As he looked at him through his bangs, he could see a smile in his eyes. He nodded and spoke.

“That is what it means to tell a story, Shinjou-kun. Do not forget that stance.”

“Eh?”

However, Sayama did not reply to that monosyllabic question. He said something else instead.

“What kind of story are you writing now? Is it a bizarre murder mystery that holds the promise of a wonderful romance?”

“I’m not writing some new genre like that. …Recently, I’ve been looking into Japanese mythology a bit.”

“Oh? What a coincidence. So have I.”

“I know. You were reading a mythology book by the man who made this school last night, weren’t you?”

“So you noticed. I would like to look into the legends surrounding Susanoo and Yamata no Orochi. Do you have any advice for me?”

Shinjou thought for a bit.

“Hm… Maybe you should focus on swords and heroes.”

“Swords and heroes?”

“Yes. Japanese mythology features a few different divine swords. The most well-known one is Kusanagi and the second most well-known one is the Sword of Totsuka that defeated Yamata no Orochi. There are also more minor ones like Futsunomitama. Of those three, Kusanagi is the most important.” Shinjou worked to recall the knowledge he had read. “Kusanagi was presented to the head god Amaterasu and for some reason its name changed to the Sword of Murakumo.”

And…

“The one to wield the sword during the age of men was Yamato Takeru. He is a hero on the same level as Susanoo. He went by the name Ousu and wished to unify Japan, so he first traveled to Kumaso in Kyushu and got to know Kumaso Takeru. But Yamato Takeru tricked him to pull off a surprise attack.”

“He disguised himself as a woman to get close and kill him. Kumaso Takeru called him a hero for defeating him and gave him the name Yamato Takeru. Am I wrong?”

“No. Both of those heroes were very unique people. …Susanoo was rude and violent and the gods hated him, but he was honest to himself. However, Yamato Takeru was different. He was brave and people loved him, but…”

“He lived surrounded by lies.”

Shinjou froze in place when he heard that. Finally, he nodded.

Lies.

He looked toward Sayama’s left arm.

He still had the bandages around it, but the arm beneath was likely fully healed.

Shinjou would have to leave him before long.

As he thought that, Shinjou spoke without meaning to.

“I would say you are the Susanoo type, Sayama-kun.”

“I am honored that you think of me as a god.”

Sayama smiled a bit and Shinjou smiled back.

But Shinjou finally opened his mouth again.

The words he spoke were ones that had been on his mind recently.

This had to be the source of the guilt he felt toward Sayama and the desire to have Sayama know more about him.

That thought spilled from his lips in a form that expressed it from a different angle.

“Sayama-kun, what would you do if I was Yamato Takeru?”


School had ended and the cleaning was complete.

The school was partially filled with the afternoon sun and new sounds echoed throughout it.

The sounds were the shouts of practicing sports teams and the bouncing of balls. Other sounds of construction for the All Holiday Festival piled on top of those other sounds.

However, there were a few places in the school where those sounds did not reach.

One of those was the east side of the third year general school building.

The first floor was used to store teaching materials, so people rarely passed by.

A tall woman stood amid the shadow of the school building.

It was Diana wearing her black suit.

She brushed up her hair and turned toward the school building.

A guest slipper box was located at the entrance of the building. Someone was standing next to it.

“Do you need something?” asked a girl.

The girl standing approximately five meters away had gray hair and wore a school uniform. A small blue and black bird stood on her shoulder and at her feet was…

“That’s the kitty I saw in the Kinugasa Library.”

Diana brought her left hand to her cheek and let out a sigh.

The ends of her eyebrows lowered slightly and she looked at the sharp look in the girl’s purple eyes.

“What do you want, Brunhild Schild of 1st-Gear?”

“You know? That simplifies things.” Expressionless, the girl loosely folded her arms at her waist. “I heard from the cat. You told Siegfried to stay away from the Leviathan Road, didn’t you? I assume you’re with UCAT, but what are you thinking?”

Diana smiled bitterly.

“Oh? Why does it bother you so much? You lost to them, didn’t you?”

“I did, but I also gained something because of them. If you do anything to-…”

“And what do you hope to do if I harm them, little girl?”

Still expressionless, Brunhild unfolded her arms.

She held a blue stone in her right hand.

The motion of her hand was gentle yet swift and accurate. The path of the stone wrote words in the air.

“I am not going to be treated like a little girl by someone as young as you.”

“Me? Young? I suppose I do look quite young. …But I would prefer you called me Diana. I think we can get along.”

Brunhild’s response was to send white light rushing from her right hand.

It formed a single link of a chain.

The glowing ellipse was thirty centimeters across and it suddenly flew forward at high speed.

It moved toward Diana’s neck.

But just before it bound her slender neck, Diana moved her left hand.

She reached her fingers into her waving hair.

When she pulled her fingers out, she held a narrow rectangle of paper.

“…!”

The glowing chain struck the paper.

A metallic noise rang out and a quick blast of wind burst out.

All that remained was a scorched word on Diana’s paper.

“Kette… A girl should not be swinging around something like that. Or is that something you take a liking to after living as long as you have?”

Diana’s eyes narrowed and she lightly embraced her own body. A smile remained on her lips all the while.

“I learned one thing today: an idiot will not listen.”

“And who is that lesson meant for, Diana?”

“Most likely…”

Her next words were followed by motion.

“The entire world.”


Sayama frowned at Shinjou’s question. He wondered what he meant.

“What do you mean when you ask what I would do?”

“I mean exactly that. What would you do if I was Yamato Takeru?”

Sayama nodded in response.

He thought for a bit and then patted Shinjou’s shoulder with a serious expression.

“How about we go to the hospital? You are worrying me with this talk of a previous life.”

“Th-that is definitely not the reaction I was expecting.”

“Ha ha ha. Do not worry. I can introduce you to an excellent brain doctor. Everything will be okay. You will only feel a small prick. I can also introduce you to an excellent sanatorium. And I suppose I would be the one to nurse you back to health. A sanitarium in Karuizawa… How poetic… The highlands, the wide-open sky, the silent nights… Ahh, ahh!”

“Stop staring into the distance and imagining some drama.”

Shinjou glared at him with half-lidded eyes, but his expression quickly changed to an exasperated one.

“Sorry, though. I suppose that was an odd thing to ask.”

Shinjou gave a troubled smile.

Sayama did in fact understand what Shinjou’s sudden question had meant.

Just after Sayama had said that Yamato Takeru lived surrounded by lies, Shinjou had asked if he was the same.

Does Shinjou-kun have some lie?

He wanted to know how Sayama would react to this lie, so it would not be something trivial.

The reason he asked me so suddenly must have to do with what he said before.

Shinjou had said he wanted Sayama to know more about him.

And with Sayama’s left arm almost healed, they would be parting ways soon.

Is Shinjou-kun unsure whether he should tell me something before then?

Sayama thought on the word “lie”.

He wanted to know what this lie was, but Shinjou only showed him a troubled smile.

If he asked, Shinjou was unlikely to answer.

So Sayama chose his words carefully and spoke.

“Will you listen to one thing, Shinjou-kun? No, I must insist that you listen.”

“Eh? Wh-what is this all of a sudden?”

“It seems you have some secret, so if you ever feel like telling me, please do.”

A look of surprise filled Shinjou’s face.

That expression told Sayama he was right.

And as if to further prove that, Shinjou’s expression changed to one of relief.

“Okay. I will.”

“But be careful, Shinjou-kun. I am a villain, even when it comes to you. So…”

“I know. No matter how much I tempt you, you mustn’t give in, Sayama-kun. You can only be moved when I get serious and try to tell you something. …Right?”

“Exactly. When that time comes, I will face you as a villain and you will face me based on your own standard.”

Shinjou let out a sigh. It was a sigh of relief.

“I will. …I’m a lot of trouble to deal with, aren’t I?”

“You could say the same about me.”

Shinjou gave a bitter smile and Sayama did the same. In an attempt to bring an end to that mood, Sayama placed his school documents in his bag.

But he suddenly stopped.

He held an atlas of Japan.

He suddenly opened up a map of Tokyo on the desk.

Kazami and Izumo are probably gathering information on 2nd-Gear right now.

For example, they might be learning where Yamata was sealed.

Shinjou glanced at the map from the side.

“Is there something in Tokyo?”

“Yes. I am going to be looking for something soon. If there was somewhere in Tokyo where something quite large could freely go on a rampage, where would that be?”

“Y-you make it sound like a monster movie. I want to say a park, but parks have a lot of trees and hills. Is there anywhere flatter like an airfield?”

“An airfield, hm? I don’t think Tokyo has one of those.”

Sayama’s comment received a response from a voice by the classroom window.

“There’s Yokota Air Base.”

Sayama and Shinjou raised their heads and looked to the left.

Someone’s back was visible by the window toward the back of the classroom.

A boy with a medium build sat on the window frame with his uniform’s coat removed.

The boy had fairly tanned skin, baggy pants, and a shirt with the bottom spread out.

He turned his finely chiseled face and wavy black hair toward them.

“What kind of crazy conversation have you been having?” he asked with his blue eyes hidden by sunglasses.

“It should have been self-explanatory, Harakawa. And what are you doing here?”

“Oh, Ooki-sensei broke this window yesterday, remember? Well, she asked me to fix it.”

“I do remember. She opened the window normally, but it fell out for some reason.”

“Yes, and it stabbed into the flower bed down below. It looked like some kind of avant-garde art. I’m in the automobile club, though, so this isn’t my specialty. Anyway, if you have business at Yokota, I can let you in. I work there part-time.”

“No, I have no business with Yokota Air Base. It would be the airfield from before the war.”

Sayama suddenly spread the atlas out on the desk.

There had been a large airfield in Tokyo before the war.

Sayama quickly opened the enlarged map of western Tokyo and Harakawa called out to him.

“Tachikawa?”

“Yes. It seems your leaving school to work at a military base was useful after all, Dan Harakawa. There used to be a military airfield here in Tokyo: Tachikawa Airfield. It is currently known as the Showa Memorial Park, but it functioned as an airport before the war and…”

Sayama moved his finger along the map.

A train route ran by Showa Memorial Park.

It was the JR Oume Line which left Tachikawa. The Oume Line extended west toward Okutama. It continued directly to Okutama where UCAT was located.

“I see,” muttered Sayama.

Suddenly, he heard a single noise.

It was a metallic noise.

Harakawa must have dropped a tool, because he looked around at the floor.

An atmosphere of confusion filled the room and Sayama alone began to move. He stood up.

“That was the sound of glass breaking.”

“Wh-what is it, Sayama-kun? What was that about glass?”

“Sorry,” he said as he handed his black leather bag to Shinjou. “Could you take this back to our dorm room? Once I take care of some business, I think I will head directly to work.”

“Some business?” asked Shinjou as he took the black leather bag.

Sayama nodded.

“I need to clean something up.”


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