There was a thunderous roar as part of the ceiling that served as a light panel fell from above.
The wiry man that was chasing him jumped back out of the classroom when he saw it. His agility matched his thin frame.
Masaki couldn’t move, but since he was by the window, he wasn’t caught up in the wreckage.
Was he lucky?
Or was he unlucky?
After that, he started to see strange beings falling from the floor above.
Card soldiers, hatted mice, ducks, parrots, crabs, and a gigantic cat.
A girl clung to the tufty triangular ears of the cat.
The girl spoke, her voice clear as water.
“…Who are you?”
Masaki was fascinated by her appearance – her beautiful golden hair and sapphire eyes.
“Er, I’m Kusunoki Masaki… I transferred to this school today.”
“I see. Did I surprise you?”
“I was really surprised. I thought I was going crazy for a moment – wait, who the hell are you?”
“…I feel sorry for you.”
She didn’t answer my question; instead, she spoke words of pity.
“You’re going to die.”
Masaki heard the faint sound of something slicing through the air and turned around.
Outside the window––
Masaki saw a creature with the upper body of a hawk and the lower body of a lion, with a wingspan larger than the classroom!
It was a legendary monster that appeared in fairytales and fantasies – an ominous fantasy creature that was half-bird and half-beast. A griffon.
A huge black shadow plunged in.
Masaki dove to the floor. However, the scream did not come from his mouth.
The window broke with a crash.
The wall crumbled.
The building shook.
Shards of glass fell, scattering over his back.
The small fragments that rained onto him didn’t hurt, but the big fragments were quite painful.
The rain of glass and the shaking of the building stopped.
When he raised his face, he saw that the head of the gigantic hawk completely filled up the space between the ceiling and the floor. The spread out wings of the upper body and the lion lower body was outside the window. It was bigger than the big cat.
It was really a griffon.
Such a creature couldn’t exist in reality.
It must be imaginary.
The card soldiers and hatted mice must also be the same.
The griffon moaned in a throaty, hoarse voice.
“Alas, I have been stuck within this room! How embarrassing that I did not fit! But if I take in a long and deep breath, I shall surely blow this building down flat! ” (1)
The huge fantasy creature took a deep breathe.
The girl sitting on top of the large cat was the one that controlled it.
“You wish for me to wait and do nothing?”
The girl waved her hand to send him away.
“Since I don’t have a partner anymore, you may return.”
The griffon roared and glared at the girl with its ferocious eyes.
The girl glared back at him.
The girl had given an order to the fantasy creature, but it was being unexpectedly defiant.
Was everything alright?
Masaki watched attentively with bated breath.
“Hmph!” The griffon snorted.
That was enough to send a lot of the card soldiers flying.
“Will this, the coming battle be resolved? Will I not get a turn to fight this time?”
“Then yours truly shall wait until next time!”
The huge hawk head left the classroom in the same showy manner that it used when it entered.
The girl frowned.
“…That was a pain.”
She didn’t like the griffon’s plan to “wait until next time”.
“Was it a big deal?”
Masaki got up while brushing the fallen splinters of glass off of himself.
The huge gaping hole in the wall was proof that what he just saw wasn’t a dream or illusion.
But maybe this moment was the continuation of the dream…
“…I’m glad that he survived,” the girl muttered.
The girl’s tone lacked emotion, but he completely agreed with what she said.
“Really… I’d appreciate it if you would tell me if my life is no longer in danger, but…who are you?”
“You… you don’t know who I am?”
“It’s because I only just transferred schools.”
“Really now… isn’t all of this terrifying? This cat, the card soldiers, the griffon from just now, and my Dialect.”
“I was shocked and frightened when the griffon came through the wall. But no matter how strong it is, a power is a power. Its user can be scary, but I think you’re someone I can rely on, since you just saved me.”
The girl looked liked she was lost in thought, though her face was still expressionless.
“…When I destroyed the ceiling, I didn’t know you were here… I only saved you by chance.”
“Ah, okay, was that it? Even so, you ordered the griffon to leave when it came, didn’t you?”
“Yes, that’s right.”
For Masaki, even that was enough for him to thank her. Only a little earlier his situation had been hopeless.
The girl tilted her head to the side.
“…With only that, you trust me?”
“That’s enough for me.”
“Is there some sort of discount sale on trust going on~? ”
“No, no, no! I’ll have you know that I properly thought about it before making my decision!”
“A sale for a shop that’s going bankrupt…”
“I’m a bankrupt shop!? I’m not selling trust cheap, so I’ll be able to do business for a long time!”
“Whatever you say…”
“Is there some reason why you don’t want to be relied upon?”
“No,” the small girl replied.
Then she finally answered his original question.
“…We are the Breaker Team “Help Cat”.”
Though her voice was cold, it was a surprisingly cute team name.
He remembered hearing about Breaker from Shirley.
“We do rounds to make sure that there aren’t any rule-breakers and we warn people who break the rules of the academy. Those kinds of things”
“Could it be that that guy who was chasing me is a rule-breaker?”
“Yes… he will be caught soon.”
“Eh? Even if he runs away?”
“I have a fast partner… he’ll be cornered. He’s troublesome, but he should be a Level 4.”
She muttered the last words to herself, then she cast her eyes to the window.
Masaki followed her gaze and shifted his attention outside.
There was a sudden flash of light.
He was blinded.
From another school building came a flash of light. It shot between the groups of buildings in the city and flew out towards the horizon.
It was as if a bolt of lightning left the building. Or maybe it was a laser gun – it seemed like a kind of weapon.
At almost the same time, there was an earthquake.
Masaki was left trembling, but it seemed like the girl expected it to happen.
It didn’t take long for the flash of light and the earthquake to finish.
The girl lifted her blonde hair and brought her left hand close to her ear. She wore a silver bracelet on her wrist. It was adorned with an engraved rose that bore a purple crystal.
“––Is it over? Really… you’re pretty smart. Let’s meet up.”
Masaki was perplexed.
The wiry young man that had put him in this situation seemed to have been caught by someone else in some other place.
He noticed that the card soldiers and hatted mice had disappeared.
All that was left was the rubble and the holes in the wall and ceiling. The classroom was like a condemned building.
The girl stood alone in the wreckage.
She started walking towards the ruined door.
“…Do you want to make a claim?”
“That’s not what I want.. .I didn’t want to know your organization or the name of your team. What is your name?”
She answered after a bit of consideration.
“…I’m Alice Clockheart. Goodbye.”
The girl disappeared into the corridor.
Masaki began to rise from the floor. However, the fatigue from running away with all his might and the repeated shocks finally caught up with him, so he couldn’t muster any energy.
“So this is the floating academy city, ‘Canaan’.”
Masaki, who had just arrived in this town of people who had awakened to certain abilities gathered, was met with trouble on his first day of school.
- (1) – The Griffin’s speech is written in iambic pentameter~