In the evening––
The shopping district was bustling with people who were enjoying shopping and going back home afterwards.
Then there was a scream.
A giant lion had come into sight. However only its head was about double the normal size, the rest of the misproportioned lion’s body was about the size of a large dog. Its footsteps rang out as it ran through the shopping district crying out “Gao! Gao!.”
A woman screamed and a couple who were walking hand-in-hand broke away from each other in panic.
The unicorn leading the lion ran through the crowd that was parting like opening curtains. A spearhead like horn stretched out from the white horse’s forehead. Masaki was straddled on its back with Alice was behind him.
The lion and the unicorn––they were part of Alice’s Dialect, Wonder Carnival. She was able to summon fantasy creatures from fairy tales when she threw a playing card as a signal.
As a matter of course, there would be a storm of complaints afterwards…however, this was a situation where they didn’t worry about it.
It was vital for the two of them to get to Café de Mancio as soon as possible. Shirley and possibly Koori were in danger. The lives of their friends depended on them.
They reached the end of the shopping district and now advanced through streets full of brand name shops. In this town, even though the land was small and densely populated, the surrounding streets had a completely different atmosphere.
“I see it!”
“…What is there?”
In front of the brickwork building with wooden-framed windows, there were people clad in tough looking armor standing around. Their armor was completely white with black hemming. Red lights were attached to their shoulders. On their chest was the “Order of the Rising Sun” badge.
Masaki thought that they were heartening allies. They would definitely help if they told them about Shirley and Koori.
“…What a nuisance.”
Alice bitterly cursed at them.
She said “You can leave now,” and the lion and the unicorn disappeared.
Masaki and Alice ran up to the police surrounding Café de Mancio.
They put themselves on guard. “Academy Police” was written on the buckler on their left arms.
They were an organization that protected the public order of the floating academy city Canaan and were called the Academic Guard in order to distinguish themselves from the outside police. They used different equipment from what was normal in order to oppose Globalizers.
“What do you want?”
Although the helmet’s voice passed through speakers, it sounded a little heavy like an elderly man.
The armored clothes they were wearing didn’t just protect their bodies; it augmented their physical strength and had an effect that blocked Dialect to some extent.
If they helped them, Shirley and Koori would definitely be saved much faster.
“My friend seems to be trapped inside this shop!”
“And there should be an injured girl nearby!”
“Is it…this kid?”
A window was displayed. Projected in it was a collapsed Koori.
“Okay, if that’s the case then she’s been taken away by an aid car. You can feel relived since her life isn’t in danger.”
There was still Shirley, but at least Koori seemed to be fine now. He was relieved.
“Then, what about the other person? They’re caught in this shop…no…there should be other people.”
He couldn’t comprehend Ooi’s situation.
What had happened since then? If she was in a trance then it was possible that she might have returned home.
“Another kid? We’re currently searching this shop. Both of you are students, right? Please wait at home, if we find them we’ll tell you. For now, can I have your contact information?”
“Ah, no…we know where she is! There’s a strange machine on the ninth floor…”
“We heard that the ninth floor is a warehouse…I’ll confirm it just to be sure.”
He manipulated the buckler’s interior. There seemed to someone speaking to him inside the helmet. Masaki couldn’t hear the voice.
Compared to Masaki and Alice, who had heard what had happened from Koori, the zeal of the Academic Guard was completely different. The sense of urgency wasn’t transmitted to them at all.
It seemed like the confirmation was over.
“I see. It seems like the ninth floor is a storehouse after all. It’s packed with cooking ingredients. It was investigated with a permeation camera but there weren’t any problems.”
What was that? Was it disguised cleverly?
Or did Koori make a mistake about which floor it was? She did say that she was going through the ventilation ducts.
Masaki realized this then started to operate his Ring Gear.
“This is the recording of what my friend saw!”
“I see. May I have your contact information for the material you’re sharing for this investigation. It will be sent to headquarters. ”
“What…what are you saying…?”
“It’s the rules.”
“Even though someone’s life is on the line?”
“Yeah, it’s important. We can’t make a mistake with our judgment. When we carefully investigate the information via the proper routes, it will definitely be dealt with.”
“Then you might not make it!? If you’re late, your judgment will be wrong regardless!”
“It’s better than doing whatever we like at the scene of a crime. It’s not right for people with power to behave selfishly. That is an organization.”
Alice went in front of Masaki who was being steadfast.
In a voice void of emotion.
“…In that case, I shall destroy such a worthless organization.”
There were several cards grasped in her hand.
Masaki was growing impatient. And they were definitely in a race against time. However, were they going to use their Dialect against the police!? Alice would become a criminal.
“…I should stop, Masaki-kun? Whose side are you on?”
If he made an objection to Alice here in front of the police, he would be implying that the police were right. Were the rules more important than Shirley and Koori’s lives?
“No, I feel the same. If we’re going to abandon our friends by following the rules then let’s receive whatever punishment we get for rescuing our friend.”