【Episode 2 Part A: Real and Fake, Part 3】
「If people are not the cause of this disturbance, then what might it be?」
「If I had to guess… then most likely a phenomenon.」
Shiki removed her sight from Aika and looked at me again.
「To put it in simple terms: a spell or device that has been set beforehand and got activated by satisfying certain predetermined conditions.」
「Ah, like something akin to bombs? Although I highly doubt that someone would actually plant a simple bomb in here knowing that Shiinamachi-senpai is a Lord.」
Since the Nightkin are essentially supernatural beings, I doubt any makeshift explosive could actually kill them. Not to mention that me and Kuhoh would throw ourselves to protect our masters from the blast without batting an eye. The type and size of the said bomb would also be the decisive factors.
Of course during the course of my assassin training I’ve learned more than enough methods of coping with threats like that and I’m sure it was the same for Kuhoh as well. So if we were indeed under the threat of being killed by a bomb then I’m sure that we would be able to safely disarm it as long as we’d just locate it and had the right tools for the job.
「In the unlikely case that it will really be a bomb, would you be able to disarm it, Monjiro?」
「Probably. But it would certainly be reassuring to have Kuhoh with me while doing it. As for the tools, I think we can find everything we’d need here at school.」
「In times like these, it’s certainly great to have someone as reliable as you around.」
Hearing a praise like that, and from Shiki no less made me feel immensely happy. Up to this point it always felt like I was the one relying on her help too much, so having her rely on me instead was a welcomed change of pace.
「Also, we can’t rule out the possibility of being locked in a barrier, just like last time.」
「You mean something similar to that dimensional barrier from the mansion?」
The destination of our summer trip, the summer mansion owned by the Yatono family, 「Hachihouken」. It was an octagonal mansion that gave of the feeling of being constructed with the intention of serving as a conduit for experiments and rituals, and as it turned out, it really was something along those lines. Using a special barrier technique developed by the Yahatas, a family serving under Yatonos, it was possible to connect that place to a 「another world」, or perhaps 「different dimension」 and summon its denizens from within, but the downside to it was that the gravity in the part of the mansion became so distorted that navigating it became almost impossible. It really did cause me quite a lot of headaches, as it caused me and Shiki to be caught up in a number of embarrassing situational, but it wasn’t all that bad since in the end I think it allowed us to become closer both as friends and as senpai’s Knights. So Shiki thinks we might be in for another serving of such shenanigans, huh?
「But wait, could something like that even be possible to pull off anywhere other than your that mansion?」
「It is very much possible as long as the space that is to be cut off by the barrier will be surrounded by the energy receivers that are placed in a proper shape, just like it was with the trees in the mansion’s courtyard. Alternatively it can be done by drawing a proper summoning circle on the ground but I highly doubt it was done this way here, since there is simply too much terrain to cover and the possibility of being caught is too great to be worth the risk.」
「But if someone possessed the appropriate tools then it would not be impossible, right?」
「Yes. If someone had both the means and the tools, then even creating the barrier that covered this entire clock tower and a mechanism to activate it remotely would not be impossible. Since this place is not as big as our mansion, creating the activation circle would not take an entire day, maybe half of it at worst.」
Today the three of us went on a date for an entire day. In other words, this whole place was empty this whole time. So technically if someone wanted to prepare a trap like that then he or she had more than enough time to do so.
「So we’re looking for either an explosive or signs of using a specialized technique. Shall we start the investigation then?」
「Yeah, let’s. We need to discover as much as we can.」
When we both agreed that we need to act against Shiki’s 「bad feeling」 it was time for us to act. I walked out of the kitchen with a plate that contained the cups with Barley tea and headed towards where senpai and the others were.
「Kaguya, long story short: I had a premonition during which I sensed something bad, so I’m going to go investigate it right now.」
「Senpai, everyone, I’ll go with her to help, you stay here and don’t go anywhere, okay?」
「Ah, a-all right. Please do be careful, both of you. Thank you for being so vigilant all the time.」
Quite surprisingly, senpai gave us the go-ahead without asking any questions. However, Fujisato, Kuhoh and Aika had serious expressions on their faces. I felt like an absolute scum for ruining their fun, but now is not the time for guilt tripping. We have to go and do everything within our power to thwart the threat before things will get any worse.
Hopefully everyone will be safe here while Shiki and I will conduct our search. After all, senpai said it herself when I first came to visit her here. The only ones that can enter the suite are those whom she invited to do so herself. Apparently she’s also enchanted it with another barrier that protects her from being hurt from the outside. But as convenient as it sounds, it doesn’t mean that we can just ignore the danger. You probably think that with such an OP barrier we could just wait the potential explosion out like it was nothing, but regrettably it doesn’t work like that. If an explosion happens, the only place that would be left intact would be this suite and this suite only. You see where I’m going with this? Safety of senpai’s room does not equal the safety of an entire building. But once that threat gets taken out of the equation, senpai’s protective barrier is as solid as can be. Even Fujisato had to admit that she’s 「never seen a barrier this well done before」.
「What’s wrong, Aika?」
When I looked at her, Aika was holding her chin with her hand, a gesture that signaled she had something on her mind.
「N-Nothing. It’s just that… brother, is today 「That Day」?」
「That Day」 referred to the day when that all of us except Aika knew all too well. The day when various bad things could happen, just because so it was written.
Shiinamachi-senpai’s 「Dangerous Day」.
「No, today is…」
But then I stopped mid-sentence, feeling like I was not the one who should explain this to her, so I glanced over at senpai.
「No, Aika-san, today is not one of my 「Dangerous Days」, but it doesn’t mean that today is completely safe. It might sound confusing, but today is… a little different from how it usually goes.」
That’s right. The usual rule is that 「If it’s not a Dangerous Day, then no harm will come to the story’s protagonist」. It was on one of those days that senpai invited me to her room… where we were then killed by Kuhoh, so I guess it was more of a 「Dangerous Day」 than anything, but that was only because senpai was taken by surprise and got caught off guard! Since we both died that day it should be classified as one of those bad days you kinda wish never happened, but on the flipside that day marked the beginning of my new life as senpai’s Knight, so I guess it wasn’t all that bad.
Personally, I feel like the definition of a 「Safe Day」 should be changed from 「No harm will come to the story’s protagonist」 to 「No harm will come to the story’s protagonist should he/she be careful」. But that is just my humble opinion derived from personal experience, nothing more.
「Oh, I see. Then, would it be okay for me to go together with Shiki-san and my brother?」
And then Aika said something that instantly r*ped the 「Protect Little Sister Mode」 switch in my head.