It shouldn’t be like this.
Everyone without exception surely must have said that in their life. Or even if not then surely they must have thought those words in their mind.
Looking at an ideal, setting a target, making a resolve, with seriousness, one pushed forwards toward the future that they wished to be.
But, what was called as life, and what was called as world, were extremely malicious. As though it was the norm, matter went left when one wanted right, and then it went right when one thought it would be left, and in the critical time it would went “right outside the expectation”. That’s impossible, absurd, it’s unreasonable, etc., even if one was thinking those they would still be toyed around by the raging stream of absurdity as though they were swallowed and washed away by flash flood, and then thrown out into a beach(reality) somewhere like a driftwood.
People with their dream destroyed, their heart broken, just like a scrap wood, they would stood up and start walking once more, or else they would keep being buried under the sand(reality) and vanished……it depended on each person. Although, in most cases there would be salvation from somewhere else for them. Someone might come to clear away the sand, there was also a possibility of someone pulling at their hand to drag their buried body. Perhaps there would also be someone who would stay close at their side for them until their wound was healed.
(Surely, there will be no salvation for me. It’s beyond hope for me to meet something like that. Aa, I, just what have I done……)
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It was inside an equipment storeroom that was overflowing with iron shelves and crammed with cardboard box and fixtures. The place wasn’t that spacious, it was a place to temporarily deposit fixtures that were taken out from large storehouse for the time being, there a girl was sitting down while hugging her knees.
That girl’s body twitched from the sudden large impact sound and she froze from fear. *gan-gan-gan* The impact sound reverberated consecutively. Someone was hitting at the storeroom door from outside. The girl lifted her face fearfully.
She was a cute――or more accurately, a beautiful girl. Her age looked around 16, 17 years old. She had blonde hair that was tied into a side tail using scrunchie. Her almond shaped eyes that resembled a mischievous cat was colored with jade pupils and long eyelashes. On the whole she had slender body type, her legs that were stretching out from her skirt were long and slender, wrapped in black stocking. She was a girl that could even pass as a model.
But, this girl was not a model by any means, and that was shown by her clothes that a normal girl wouldn’t wear in the first place. Yes, the girl was putting on “lab coat” on her blouse.
She wasn’t wearing a lab coat because she was forced to wear it due to some kind of event or because of some particular hobby, which could be obviously seen from the lab coat’s worn out state and her appearance that looked familiar wearing the coat which for some reason could be thought as “fitting”.
That girl dressed in a bit particular look screamed「hii-」when a strong impact sound *gan-* reverberated once more and she held her head with both her hands. She shrunk her body really small, from her look she was in a state of fear, however, it seemed that fear wasn’t because the ringing impact sound outside the storeroom was unknown for her, rather she was scared because she knew the true form of that impact sound.
Because, while the girls expression was scared, at the same time colors of pity, sadness, and guilt were coloring her face.
「I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry……」
The girl in lab coat were repeating words of repentance with a voice so small as though it would melt into the air and became nothing. Just what was that apology referring to……
Butm at that time, the resounding impact sound stopped completely. The lab coat girl thought of a question「What is going on?」with tears gathering in the corner of her eyes. The behavioral principle of “them” that the lab coat girl created was extremely instinctual. Therefore they shouldn’t be leaving away that easily from the storeroom where the “prey” that was the girl was inside. Then, perhaps something different that attracted the interest of “them” had appeared.
The girl wiped her eyes roughly with the sleeve of her lab coat and she advanced through the space between the shelves slowly and quietly on all fours. And then, the girl who finally arrived like a scared cat until beside a shelve at the inner part where it became a blind spot from the door of the storeroom, quietly peeked out her face from the cover of the shelve, her gaze moving toward the door that stopped making sound.
She raised a strange scream that normally she wouldn’t let out. The inside of her throat reflexively tightened from looking at the state of the door. Ahead of the girl’s gaze, the door of the storeroom was――dented all over where it was in the verge of breaking down.
It was a storeroom to deposit items temporarily, so the door was made from iron and fitted with lock. Regardless large number of dent was created on the door as though it had received abnormal and concentrated impact which distorted it terribly. The outside corridor could be peeked out from the edge of the door. If the door received one more impact, then it would collapse inside the room.
Killing her breathing, the girl stared fixedly at the door for a while, before long strength suddenly left her shoulders. It seemed “they” had went away somewhere just before the door broke……
But, it seemed it was a bit too fast to think that.
*GOGAANNN* The door was blown away inside the room at the same time with that terrific impact sound.「Hih」The girl screamed and her body froze. The next moment, the door that flew inside with fierce momentum cut a swath through the shelves near the girl.
The girl fell on her butt and then perhaps because it was her habit when she was surprised, she hugged her head with both her hands once more, tears were gathering in the corner of her eyes while she fearfully opened her shut eyes.
Ahead of the girl’s gaze was a man. It was a young man in the middle of his twenty wearing a lab coat similarly like the girl.
A whisper leaked out from the girl. The young man seemed to be a “senpai” that the girl knew. But, if a person that didn’t know the situation was in this place, surely they would be unable to comprehend the girl’s words at all.
Because, no matter how anyone saw it, for someone who was called as “senpai” by this girl whose intellectual eyes weren’t clouded even with her scared expression, he didn’t look like that type of person, no, in the first place he didn’t even look like human.
The man’s eyes didn’t have fixed focus, those were abnormal eyes that sometimes fully bared the white of the eyes, his face and arms had blood vessels rising to the surface, despite how his body should have slim figure originally, his flesh was swelling bizarrely like bodybuilder, his breathing was rough and saliva was dripping down from his mouth, and he was raising low growl like a beast. There was no reasoning that could be seen from him. While he was wearing similar lab coat with the girl, but that appearance was truly out of place.
And then what was the most strange, was his fists that were tightly clenched. Those fists that likely were continuously hitting the iron door until it was broken just now, their skin was peeled, the flesh gouged, bones were jutting out, and they were soaked in blood, but those fists were rapidly returning back to normal in a speed that was obvious in a glance. No, perhaps to say more accurately, the flesh was swelling up, the bones that were cracked were connected back, and the fist was repaired to the shape of a fist that was still warped.
The girl backed down while still on her butt slowly. The abnormal young man kept growling while heavily pursuing after her. The storeroom wasn’t that big. Therefore, the back of the girl was immediately blocked by a wall.
The man was standing like a mindless beast in front of the cornered girl. Something warm was flowing out from between the legs of the girl who was holding her head. It was something that she did because of the extreme fear, but the girl herself had no composure to be care about that.
Toward such a girl, the fist of the young man that destroyed even a door made from iron was raised without even a shred of hesitation.
(I’m, sorry…… If only I didn’t do that kind of research…… I’m sorry, senpai……everyone……)
While trembling toward her death that would surely arrive a few beats later, the girl repeated her repentance inside her heart.
Like that, the fist that could easily crush the face of the girl was swung do――
An angry voice of a young woman and dry bursting sound reverberated. The fist of the “senpai” stopped. And then, slowly he turned around while growling. The lab coat girl also directed her gaze toward the door from the shadow of the “senpai”.
There, was the figure of a tall woman wearing black suits with both her hands readying a handgun.
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「Doctor Grant, please get down!」
Hearing the sharp instruction that shook the air like an electric shock, Doctor Grant――Emily Grant reflexively flopped her body low on the floor.
Right after that was the sound of gun discharging resounding consecutively. And then, a beast’s roar. Footsteps that were like earthquake was going away from Emily. When Emily moved her gaze while lying low on the ground, she could see the figures of the black suits woman firing toward the “senpai” and “senpai” who charged ahead without caring of that.
At first it seemed the woman was aiming at the shoulders and legs of “senpai”, but then she clicked her tongue looking that he didn’t even seem to itch when the bullets hit. The next moment, with an astounding speed that it wouldn’t be an exaggeration even if it was said that it was nearly instantly, the “senpai” closed the distance and he pushed out his fist toward the woman while screaming.
In no time, it seemed that the woman would become a mere lump of meat just like that, but at the next instant, it was proven that the woman wasn’t an ordinary person.
Along with a short breathing, the woman stepped forward. Like that, she weaved through the approaching fist and stepped inside the bosom of the “senpai” and grasped at his collar, and turned around. Without stopping she performed a splendid shoulder throw.
The “senpai” whose charging momentum was used for a throwing technique had his posture turned upside down and thrown onto the wall at the opposite side. Even so, as expected it was like he didn’t feel any pain but……
That sentence was audible. At the same time, a dry bursting sound rang. The fired 9mm bullet penetrated from an eye of the “senpai” and mercilessly pulverized the brain. The body of the “senpai” twitched, and before long he stopped moving as though all strength had left him.
The woman held her handgun with both hands while observing the body with fixed stare for a while. Then with a sigh strength left her shoulders, it seemed she had judged that the “senpai” wouldn’t move anymore. And then, she exchanged the gun’s magazine with trained motion while taking a contact using her communication device to somewhere, with her quite expressionless face moving toward Emily that was sitting dumbfounded inside the storeroom.
「Doctor Grant, it’s great that you are safe. I am Vanessa Paradis of state security. I come to pick you up. I will guard you until a safe place from here on.」
The woman who introduced herself as Vanessa quickly approached Emily’s side and calmly held out her hand. The girl who saw from nearby comprehended it, indeed this woman had an appearance and air where it could be glimpsed that she was used to rough scene. Long slit and sharp eyes, with very short hair that was colored between grey and beige. Her height seemed to surpass 179 centimeter easily. Her whole body was emitting cold presence that was sharp like a knife.
Surely it was because of that, Emily wrinkled her eyebrows in vigilance.
「……I have grasped the gist of your circumstance. It’s natural for you to be cautious. However, we don’t have any leeway time wise. This facility is filled with the infected personnel. My colleagues are attracting their attention, but even so they cannot hold for long. That’s why, please believe me for now and come with me.」
「……Forgive me. My priority protection target is you. I have no leeway to leave him as it was. Also, it was already too late when he became like that, that matter――」
「Yes. I am the one who know that the best.」
Emily stared for a while at the mere shadow of “senpai’s” former self sinking in the sea of blood behind Vanessa, after that she moved her gaze to Vanessa. She was still having cold atmosphere and looked expressionless, but in her eyes that were so close Emily’s figure was reflected on them, sympathy and apology toward could be seen somehow.
Emily stared fixedly at those eyes, then she took the hand of Vanessa that was still held out toward her.
「This doesn’t mean I trust you but……I still, cannot die.」
「Yes, I don’t mind that. Don’t be separated from me no matter what, please follow me.」
Emily roughly wiped the tears gathering at the corner of her almond-shaped eyes that looked like cat with her lab coat, and then she sternly raised the corner of her eyes. Vanessa who saw that nodded briskly. And then she exited the room while leading Emily.
「……Senpai, I’m sorry. I swear, that I’ll surely stop this.」
Emily left behind her words for the “senpai” at the end.
Emily who was still young and unfamiliar with the world even though she was called as genius was always alone in the university that she was enrolled into by skipping grade. Her personality that hated losing by nature caused her to use speech and conduct that seemed to say ‘I’m totally okay!’ even in such an environment, but as expected for Emily who was still very young it was something tough……
What let such Emily who was pretending to be tough to be a researcher in the true meaning, was the professor and the students of the laboratory where she was currently attached to. If the professor who she was indebted to for anything and everything was like her father, then the seniors were like her big brother and sister. They were affectionate to her like she was their little sister, and yet they treated her more than an equal as a researcher.
Even amidst those people, the completely changed “senpai” whose breathing stopped atrociously in front of her eyes was a benefactor who especially helped Emily warmly.
The silent prayer of Emily that went for less than a beat, was filled with really, really strong feeling that couldn’t be expressed with words.
Even while staying vigil at the surrounding, Vanessa sent a glance without emotion at such Emily. No, there was a slight tremor in that gaze. It was something like a sympathy, or possibly worry……
However, the moment Emily finished her short silent prayer, Vanessa’s gaze returned to its former expressionless look where her emotion couldn’t be discerned.
Inside the facility where faint gunshot could be heard, while staying vigil toward the mindless superhumans infesting it, or possibly, fearing the worst reunion with the completely changed substitute father, big brothers, and big sisters, the two vanished inside the gloomy corridor.
「Oo, so that’s the famous clock tower. Yep, as expected something like this is best seen with your own eyes.」
There was a Japanese young man making click-clack sounds with his smartphone while making satisfied voice. Shouldering a largish rucksack, this young man wearing plain clothes with black tone didn’t have any particular trait in his appearance.
That blackish young man took photo for a while, and then while confirming the result picture he lifted his face suddenly in realization.
「Crap, this is not the time to keep sightseeing. I’ve got to accomplish the instruction from my demon king-sama.」
The clock taken inside the photo was already showing the closing of the day. The surrounding scenery was already becoming quite dark with the cloudy weather although it wasn’t as far as snowing.
The young man put away his smartphone and shouldered back his rucksack before he turned around while breathing out ‘haa’ white breath.
「Even though this doubled with my private business, but this is still a rough way of using someone. Well, I too am his relative more or less……there is no way I can refuse. Let’s do my best.」
The young man vanished between the people hurrying to return home while talking to himself like that. Before long, his figure was completely buried into the surrounding scenery and he couldn’t be seen anymore.
Although, before that young man slipped into the crowd, there was not even a person who sent their gaze toward him. He was too much normal, and too much without presence.
Someone who was able to notice that abnormality, was of course didn’t exist there.
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