【Episode 2 Part B: Real and Fake, Part 2】
That’s my little sister, Sakuradamon Aika for you.
「You don’t have to be afraid anymore, Aika. If nothing else, I’ll make sure to protect you.」
「Okay. Knowing that makes me really happy, brother. I feel like everything’s going to be fine now.」
Seeing Aika’s quiet smile further increased my motivation.
I slapped my face with both my hands to reenergize myself.
「So I guess suspecting one another was futile in the end, right? So now that we know that we are among friends, how about we figure out how to get out of here?」
Everyone agreed with me when I suggested that.
Fujisato’s thought were valuable insights, but they were nothing more but predictions. Putting aside the matter of whether or not this 「Legendary Knight」 is really here or not, we all agreed that it would be better for us to leave senpai’s room for now. We want to take the initiative and do something ourselves instead of just waiting for things to happen.
「Fujisato, Shiki. Is there any chance that we could somehow get rid of that snowy Boundary Field?」
「Well, let’s see…」
「Let me think…」
Fujisato struck her chin with her index finger as if she tried to recall the memories of the past. Meanwhile, Shiki was the one who came up with an answer first.
「I am only familiar with dispelling barriers that use tools or patterns engraved into solid surfaces as their foundations, and as you’re well aware we found nothing of the sort while we were searching the tower.」
Ah, right. That was the reason we conducted the search after all. So if Shiki only knows how to work with something so specific, then we can only rely on Fujisato’s memory.
「Let’s see… I think I’ve been in a similar situation before, but how exactly did I broke through that one pesky little barrier?」
Probably sensing where all of this was going, Kuhoh came to Fujisato’s side.
「Oh yeah, now I remember! It was a space-like void where gravity was all messed up, but even so I was somehow able to keep on moving even though there was literally no ground for me to walk on and I even thought to myself 「Well this is it for me this time.」 but guess what, it was not! See how amazing I am, Monjiro? Come on, don’t be shy and praise me and my awesomeness! 」
「No you’re not. It was because the barrier’s structure was unevenly configured. You just used that to your advantage.」
「Yes, yes, of course there was that too. For you see, this is a common mistake made by those who use glyphs and runes as the basis for the circle that’s formulating their barrier. If you want your barrier to be truly impenetrable, each and every line and symbol must be drawn with equal care and precision and infused with equal amount of power. Without that your creation will be like a broken fence made out of swiss cheese: sure, you’ll still be able to do it, but bypassing it’s rules you’re your own or destroying it won’t be much of a problem.」
The two of them began discussing something so specific that I couldn’t understand a single word they were saying, aside from the last bit that seemed to imply that what got Fujisato out of that pinch was brute force after all. As expected of someone called 「The Lord Killer」. It might be presumptuous of me to say so, but taking things head on like that without worrying about finer details suited her very well.
「I see. So you were able to cause the collapse of the barrier’s spacial composition and ignore the laws that should have been absolute there by strengthening yourself with autosuggestion rooted in theoretical development…」
Even Shiki was impressed to hear that, so it must’ve been something truly amazing or hard to pull off.
「That’s right. We Lords are bound only by our own stories. Everything else like logic, theory and practice and conformity has nothing on us. If you try hard enough, you can kick just about anything to the curb. That is the Nightkin Way, Fujisato Yuika Style!」
Ah, yes, of course, why haven’t I thought about that sooner? I mean, I knew that from the start… all right, I’ll be honest with you. I have no idea what are they talking about. Not a single clue.
「Brother, I don’t understand all of it myself, but I think the gist of it is that even when trapped in a seemingly impenetrable barrier, you can escape it if you find a weak point in its structure.」
Aika, you understood it so easily and explained it to someone as dumb as me! You truly are a genius! Thanks to her I was somehow grasp what that whole discussion was about.
「So in other words we should find something that’s strange or out of place because that might just be one of the barriers weak spots?」
「That’s right. Going by what Fujisato Yuika said, it doesn’t have to be something physical or engraved upon a surface. In our current situation, even the smallest of anomalies or special distortions might just be what we’re looking for.」
All right, now I finally know what I’m supposed to be doing! I don’t even want to think how helpless I’d have been if Aika wasn’t here with me.
「But don’t you think that this 「It’s snowing even though it’s the middle of summer」 situation is already an anomaly in and out of itself?」
「Way to call the kettle black, Mr. Pot. In this case it’s more like the snow is falling to confine us in here, so when you think about it that way, it stops being as strange as it initially was, wouldn’t you agree, Monjiro-kun?」
So it’s basically the same as when Fujisato thought that it wouldn’t be strange if she could move through space and she ended up doing just that? So what she is trying to tell me is that I should try thinking outside the box a little bit more?
And then, as if she realized something after listening to us…
Senpai clapped her hands together.
「Have you come up with something, senpai?」
「Our clothes, Jiro-kun!」
「Hmm? What about them?」
I said as I looked at the clothes senpai was currently wearing: an adorable plain white dress which exposed her shoulders and collarbone and the skirt part so short that you could see senpai’s knees.
「Yes, that’s exactly it! Isn’t it strange that the inside of the tower remains in the 「summer zone」 even though the outside is covered with snow? Shouldn’t the temperature inside normally be affected by the temperature outside?」
Now that she mentions it… when we opened the main door to the tower during our investigation earlier the whole ground floor was flooded by the currents of cold air from the outside, but as soon as we closed it, the temperature went back to being as hot as it was before.
「I see. When you look at it that way, this whole place can be viewed as a tear in the whole fabric that is outside, or a seam that has become undone if you would.」
「Shiinamachi-senpai’s room is bound by a different barrier than the one that has been placed outside, so I think it would be more accurate to expand on the cloth metaphor. If the outside is the whole cloth, then this clock tower is a hole that was made in it, and the barrier in this room is a patch meant to fix it, but one that was hastely sewn together to the rest, making the seams connecting the two weaker!」
That theory seems a little bit far-fetched to me, but since both Fujisato and Kuhoh are convinced that this place is a 「tear」 then that must be it.
「Knowing that is nice and all, but how exactly is this going to help us get out of here?」
「Yeah, it’s probably not going to be so easy as simply going outside through the front door, right?」
「Who knows, we never tried to fully open them. We stopped as soon as cold and snow began getting inside.」
「So you didn’t go outside of the tower?」
That is what I just said. Due to all the snow that piled up opening the door was already plenty difficult and when the three of us managed to open them just a little bit we immediately closed them back because we didn’t want to let the snowstorm inside.
「That might have been a psychological trap, Monjiro-senpai. That might be exactly what the enemy wanted you to think: The door are impossibly difficult to open and if you do manage to open them it’s not going to be worth all the effort put into opening them due to the freezing weather, so the best thing to do is just to leave them be. That is the best way to ensure that no one will try to get out by simply walking through the front door.」
Kuhoh might actually be onto something here. I mean, when we did open the door, closing them right away was the only thing we could think about due to the shock caused by the blizzard. So if that really was a psychological trick, then we have fallen for it splendidly. We got played like a damn fiddle.