After parting ways with Blain, I went past my classroom and headed straight toward the rooftop. As I was making my way there, I heard the bell, signaling the end of lunch break.
Normally, I should be making my way back to the classroom about now, but I continued down the empty hallway, feeling rather guilty.
I went up the stairs and opened the door to the rooftop.
Naturally, there wasn’t anyone else here but me.
Beyond the fence, the blue sky stretched across the horizon, the cityscape of the royal capital down below.
While I was walking across the rooftop, the door abruptly opened.
I’m pretty sure it was a little early for Laura to be here already—
“Yo, delinquent. What do you think you’re doing here?”
There stood Firvus.
He strode up to me. “I happened to spot you walking the wrong way from the classroom… so I went ahead and followed you.”
I got caught skipping class by an instructor. This is pretty bad…
…is what I thought, but Firvus said something unexpected, “I’ll turn a blind eye to the fact that you’re cutting class.”
“I have business with you. Mind sparing me some of your time?”
…I’ve been called out to a ton today…
I responded immediately. “No can do.”
“Hey, c’mon! You sure are cold!”
“…I made a promise with Laura, and I’m here to meet up with her.”
“With Laura…?” said Firvus, surprised.
However, he seemingly connected the dots immediately after. “Did she now… If someone as diligent as her is cutting class, then I guess there’s a lot more at play here. Mind telling me what’s up?”
I was a little hesitant, but I nodded and agreed.
If I were to keep it a secret, I doubt Firvus would let me off the hook. Besides, this was related to yesterday’s commotion—there was no harm in giving this information to Firvus, an instructor.
I told Firvus all of Laura’s suspicions about Liz.
“I see… I never would’ve thought…” Firvus nodded with a serious look on his face. “Got it. In that case, I’ll let it slide. However, I’ll be joining in on this.”
“…The truth is, there are some things about Liz I find a little off.”
“A little off?”
“She didn’t have the best grades. I’d thought she’d flunk the first semester exam. But she ended up passing it—with a relatively decent score to boot.” Firvus tilted his head. “What with that sudden improvement in her grades, there might be more than meets the eye with her…”
Firvus then continued, “Well, it might just be my imagination!”
He seemed to be done talking, so I changed the subject. “What was that about your business with me, Mr. Firvus?”
“The Seal of Darkness was stolen.”
The Seal of Darkness?
The hell is that?
“They took advantage of last night’s commotion, y’see. It looks like a few other things were stolen as well, but that’s probably just a red herring. Their first and foremost goal was the Seal of Darkness.”
“Who did it?”
“Probably the same person cloaked in black that attacked Blain—someone from Darkness.”
I was a little lost. The Seal of Darkness? Darkness? He seems to be referring to something or someone… Besides, why would he bring this up to me? I’m just a student.
“Carlyle asked me to give you something if anything ever happened, y’see…”
“…Let’s put that aside for now. I’ll give you the specifics after we take care of the matter at hand.” Firvus shifted his gaze to the door connecting to the rooftop. “Seems like they’re here.”
I heard the sound of footsteps climbing the stairs from the other side of the door.
The door opened with a click, and Laura and Liz made their way onto the rooftop.
“…Huh?” Liz froze up after spotting me and Firvus. “There seems to be people here, so why don’t we change spots?”
“No, we’ll stay,” replied Laura.
With a rather troubled expression, she looked at Firvus, then at me.
…We didn’t plan to have Firvus here, after all…
“Mr. Firvus decided that he wanted to join.”
Laura seemed to connect the dots after hearing what I said.
“Liz, to tell the truth, I brought you here because I wanted to ask you about something.”
“…N-No way… I came because I thought it’d just be the two of us… Not only is that noble guy here, but also Mr. Firvus…” Liz stared at Laura, seemingly distressed.
Laura stared back at her with a bitter-looking expression. “…I’m sorry for tricking you… but I want to talk.”
“…Liz,” said Firvus, butting in. “Sorry, but this is about last night’s commotion—I can’t afford to just look the other way. Even if you decide to leave now, I’ll just ask you again later either way.”
Liz made a sour face in response and sighed in an over-the-top manner. “…Fine… What do you want to ask me about?”
Laura asked her about what happened last night. “Back then, I happened to see you, but you said you didn’t see anyone. Why?”
“…Huh? Y-You did? Yeaah, I didn’t really realize…” replied Liz.
However, her face and voice reflected her lack of composure, showing signs of impatience and bewilderment.
…She really doesn’t seem to be good at lying.
“I mean, I was being chased by the undead! I was in a panic and didn’t realize it was you!”
“…It didn’t look to me like you were running at the time. You were just casually walking. Isn’t that right?”
Seemingly distressed, Liz took two, three steps backward.
…She really doesn’t seem to be good at lying.
“Liz, are you hiding something? Please tell me the truth. I want to help you!”
Despite what Laura said, Liz raised her voice. “You’re wrong! You’re just mistaken! This has nothing to do with you, anyway! Stop saying all this weird stuff!”
Laura didn’t say anything back.
Someone with Laura’s disposition was more prone to emotional attacks than logical attacks.
“—This has everything to do with her.”
As such, I interrupted. “Laura was attacked by a high-level undead, a Dullahan, and nearly died because she went after you.”
“…Huh? She did…?”
Laura gave a small nod in response. “It’s alright. Albert saved me.”
“…Why? You had to go through something so terrible, and yet… Why are you looking out for me?” Liz tilted her head to the side, completely at a loss.
Laura stared right at Liz and said, “Because I’m worried for you!”
After hearing those words, Liz’s body shook with a start.
There wasn’t a doubt in my mind that Laura meant what she said. She was genuinely worried for Liz from the bottom of her heart.
Laura seemed to have gotten through to Liz.
Liz staggered a few steps backward, restlessly fidgeting her hands together.
She looked at Laura with a strained expression, and tears began flowing from her eyes.
“Help me, Laura… I’m scared…” said Liz, wringing out the words from her chest. “I might be killed. I don’t want to die!”
It was a cry for help.
We all unconsciously leaned forward from the shock.
Laura nodded. “Don’t worry! Everyone here would never abandon you!”
Liz made a relieved smile and began speaking, looking resigned. “Back then, I was being controlled. I’m one of Darkness’—”
Just then, she went silent.
All of a sudden, Liz clutched at her head and screamed. “AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!”
“What’s the matter, Liz!?” Laura rushed over to Liz in a panic.
I saw it.
The madness in Liz’s eyes. The pitch-black scales of a butterfly sprouting from her body.
“Get back! Laura!”
Before Laura could react to what I said—
Liz touched Laura’s chest with her hand.
That was all she said.
Immediately after, Laura’s body was blown backward by the resulting shockwave.
Been a while since I posted, been busy with other stuff and got addicted to a game so I spent all my spare time on that lol. I’ll be back to regular posting now and I’m gonna post recreator and another chap of arrow tmrw. See you guys then.
EDIT: Forgot to translate a line: “I might be killed. I don’t want to die!” mb lol