rayla_ch4

Binary Star Translation – Chapter 4 Rayla (Part 2 of 2)

28 June 2017 , In: Otome Game, Translation , With: No Comments
1

The next day.

Excluding Nachi, who stayed behind because he had work to do at the Angel Tower, everyone else on the team was inside Wing parked a bit away from the preschool.

IDZUKI: “We’ll be checking over both of your movements and conversations, and we’ll look into anything that seems off immediately. We’ll also give you instructions. Got it?”

Rayla turned and pointed toward Yun and Tchicai…

TCHICAI: “Kya ♪ That cute rabbit apron ★ It really suits you, Ray~!”

The smirking duo gave their impressions upon seeing Rayla’s outfit.

Rayla was absolutely shaking when he heard that; it was only a matter of time before he exploded…

MICT: “Hmm… Maybe if I had made the rabbit’s eyes a little more sharp… Then it might have suited him better…”

IDZUKI: “Come on, behave. This is a mission so focus.”

Everyone stopped laughing and took on a more serious attitude after being chided by Nana.

IDZUKI: “This time we’ll be using small wireless transceivers to communicate, not the Tefu Tefus. You’ve all put them on?”

Only if they looked closely- well, even if someone looked closely, I don’t think anyone would notice the tiny transceivers in our ears.

FUU: “Oh, that reminds me, was there some sort of abnormality with the Tefu Tefus?”

TCHICAI: “About that, there wasn’t anything wrong with the Tefu Tefus themselves. Somehow, it seems that there was a signal disruption in this neighborhood yesterday…”

MICT: “Wait, if there’s a signal disruption then we can’t use the wireless transceivers, right?”

TCHICAI: “Mmm, I think it’ll be okay today.”

Tchicai turned on the power to the transceivers.

TCHICAI: “Hello-hello ★ Nachin, respond if you can hear me~?”

NACHI: “Hello-hello ☆ This is Nachi; I can hear you!”

After their transmission was over, Tchicai turned this way and smiled.

YUN: “What was that greeting just now…? It was cool.”

RAYLA: “Yun seriously has no style.”

In any case, we were able to use the transceivers just like that. It seems as though there could be many causes for a signal disruption so it would take some time to pinpoint it.

Tchicai said he would do some research into the cause. Then—

Nana informed us of our established backgrounds as preschool teachers.

My name was ‘Tsubasa Satonaka’ –  a cheerful, positive, and hard-working 23 year old.

Rayla’s name was ‘Ichiya Tobari’ – also 23 years old, articulate, and completes his work flawlessly.

The two of us will be at the preschool for two days of hands-on training for college.

Our goal for this infiltration is to ‘ascertain whether there is anyone who could possibly be a dealer’.

We both confirmed each other’s information and exited Wing.

We entered the preschool and were headed toward the staff office when we saw the school director loitering in the hallway as if he was waiting for us.

—That was the point where we had to keep up our act.

RAYLA: “Nice to meet you, I’m Ichiya Tobari. It’s a pleasure to be working with you.”

Rayla responded expressively and I could hear laughter through my transceiver from those left inside Wing.

RAYLA: “…”

The corners of Rayla’s lips were twitching and the veins in his forehead were slightly popped out.

I hurriedly grabbed Rayla’s arm and bowed my head toward the school director.

FUU: “I’m a wee bit nervous about whether the kids will accept us, but we’ll do our best! Right, Mr. Tobari?”

RAYLA: “R-right…! I’ll do my best, too!”

I could hear more laughter through the transceiver again, but Rayla seemed to resist it by tightly balling up his fist.

MAMORU: “A-y-yeah. It’s a pleasure to work with you…”

Rayla and I were put in charge of the same class.

It was the senior class called the ‘Rabbit Class’. While it originally had ten preschoolers in it, there were only four in attendance now because of the aforementioned incident.

MAMORU: “There is one male teacher and one female teacher that you’ll be working alongside. I’ll introduce you to them later.”

After explaining that much, the school director gave us a sideways glance.

MAMORU: “Um… Are you really, you know, from the Heavens— ”

There was a dark aura of intimidation emanating from Rayla as he spoke up to try and cover up the school director’s words.

Maybe the school director understood that he wasn’t supposed to say anything, because he shut his mouth.

After giving a short greeting to the other teachers, we immediately got to playing with the kids.

MALE TEACHER: “Today we’re making drawings!”

It was the male teacher who spoke up energetically.

He was indeed a preschool teacher and an energetic and invigorated man.

The female teacher smiled with a calm demeanor.

FEMALE TEACHER: “First, try to talk with the kids and get them communicating. You’ll each work with…”

MALE TEACHER: “Miss Satonaka, let’s look after the kids at the yellow table together!”

FUU: “Wh- ah…!”

He pulled on my hand before I could even answer and sat me down in front of the yellow table.

RAYLA: “…”

FEMALE TEACHER: “Oh my, hehehe. Well then, Mr. Tobari let’s look after the children at the blue table.”

For some reason, I thought I felt a murderous vibe behind me but more importantly than that…

MALE TEACHER: “Okay, everyone! This is Miss Satonaka; she’s come to play with you all for today and tomorrow!”

FUU: “Nice to meet you all!”

PRESCHOOLER A: “Nice to meet you! You’re cute!”

MALE TEACHER: “That’s right, Miss Satonaka is very cute! I’m happy too!”

RAYLA: “…”

FUU: “!”

FUU: (I just felt chills down my spine… Maybe it was my imagination.)

Free time came after they were finished drawing.

PRESCHOOLER B: “Hey hey, miss! Come play with me!”

FUU: “Yeah, sure! What should we play?”

PRESCHOOLER A: “No! She’s going to play house with me!”

FUU: “T-take turns! Turns!”

FUU: (I’m happy that they seem to like me, but this is tough…)

I wondered how Rayla was doing and looked to the opposite side of the class.

PRESCHOOLER C: “Hahaha! What is this! It doesn’t look like a bear at all!”

PRESCHOOLER D: “Wahh… Th-this is a bear…”

RAYLA: “Put the ears on like this… Yep, perfect! Look, the bear is—”

PRESCHOOLER C: “…What is this…? An alien from outer space?”

PRESCHOOLER D: “Waaaah, that’s not it! It’s scary!!”

RAYLA: “Er, r-really? It’s scary, huh… Hahaha… Hah.”

Over there, Rayla was having a tough time in a different sense than I was.

After that we had lunch time. In the afternoon we had singing and gymnastics time; it all went by in a flurry…

1400.

After seeing off all of the students, I pretended to be making my rounds as I slowly went around the building and contacted Wing.

FUU: “Report. All the students have left, and I believe all the teachers will be doing desk work from now on.”

IDZUKI: “All right. This is where you get to show us your real ability… Has there been anything odd up until now?”

FUU: “No, nothing in particular…  I still don’t know.”

FUU: “At the very least, I didn’t catch anything suspicious from the teachers we’re working together with.”

After I finished my update, I returned to the classroom where Rayla was cleaning up with the other teachers.

FUU: “I’ve seen all of them off.”

FEMALE TEACHER: “Thank you. Would you help us with the cleaning then?”

FUU: “Sure.”

I grabbed a broom and dustpan that were leaning against the wall and joined the group cleaning up.

I decided to take that opportunity to gather information.

FUU: “It seemed like there were awfully few students today. Why are six of them not in class?”

MALE TEACHER: “Yeah, well, there’s been this troubling rumor going around…”

Maybe he was itching to talk about it, because the male teacher bent forward to speak.

MALE TEACHER: “It was written on a forum that someone in this preschool sells Star.”

FEMALE TEACHER: “And thanks to that, the teachers are being suspected of being dealers and there are some parents who won’t let their children attend until there’s a clear deliberation.”

The female teacher also looked deeply interested as her cleaning hand stopped moving when she jumped in to talk.

RAYLA: “Really. There really are bad people out there to spread rumors like these. That sort of crime is unrelated to the preschool.”

FEMALE TEACHER: “So you’d think, right? But I’ve seen light coming out of the preschool late at night when it should be all closed up…”

FUU: “What, really?”

FEMALE TEACHER: “The Director said that it was just a theft deterrent but…”

MALE TEACHER: “Would a thief try to get into a preschool with such strict security though? Nothing like that has happened up until now, and what exactly would they even steal if they did get in?”

FEMALE TEACHER: “That’s true. It’s strange.”

FUU: (It looks like what Jiro said was true. At any rate, the school director’s actions and speech are unnatural…)

If he’s said that it was a theft deterrent, then that would mean that he knew the lights were on.

If that’s the case, it begs the question why he didn’t tell us that beforehand when we were sent here for the inquiry before.

If the theft deterrent thing was an on the spot lie, then it wouldn’t have been odd for him to have forgotten to tell us.

FUU: (Does he know something that he’s trying to cover up…?)

It seemed that the others heard our conversation inside Wing as I heard quiet voices through the transceiver.

IDZUKI: “Go speak with the director.”

FUU: “Oh, I forgot! We need to have the director sign off on our paper to submit to our college!”

RAYLA: “Oh, I almost forgot too. Should we go get it now?”

Right as I turned my back on the other teachers so we could leave the classroom together, the male teacher grabbed my hand.

MALE TEACHER: “Hang on a sec. …Look, right here. You’ve got some dust on you.”

His hand reached out and grabbed a small piece of dust from my bangs.

FUU: “Th-thank you…”

The suddenness of it shocked me, and I accidentally made my voice go high-pitched.

RAYLA: “……”

MALE TEACHER: “Off you go, Miss Tsubasa.”

FUU: “Oh… Yeah.”

I didn’t realize he’d casually called me by my first name until after I left the classroom.

RAYLA: “…I guess they’re everywhere. These idiots like Yun.”

YUN: “This has nothing to do with me! And what the hell’s up with that guy!? He’s being way too familiar with her!”

RAYLA: “Shut it over the transceiver. Don’t talk unless it’s necessary.”

Rayla’s voice was oozing with irritation.

FUU: “…Uuummm, Mr. Tobari? Are you in a bad mood?”

We couldn’t be sure someone wasn’t watching so I kept up my acting.

RAYLA: “Miss Satonaka, you sure are thick-headed, hahaha. Shouldn’t you have a better sense of awareness?”

He tried hard to speak with an eloquent tone but it was all a waste with his stiff dark smile.

FUU: “R-really? Ha, haha…”

Just as my smile started to go stiff as well, I saw the school director down the hall.

FUU: “Let’s go, Mr. Tobari!”

I took Rayla’s hand and half-ran to the director.

FUU: “Director!”

MAMORU: “A-ahh, it’s you. How are things going?”

FUU: “It was nerve-wracking since it’s our first day, but we finished it without any issues. Also…”

FUU: “I’d like you to sign my paper. I’d also like to talk about today’s report, so may we have a moment of your time?”

Perhaps he caught what I mean by report because his expression clouded.

RAYLA: “Why don’t we go somewhere quiet to talk rather than here?”

MAMORU: “V-very well. Then… Let’s use the classroom in here.”

After we went into the classroom the director showed us to, I continued to speak in character.

FUU: “That reminds me, Director, we heard something interesting!”

FUU: “I heard that there are lights on in here even in the middle of the night. Maybe there are ghosts… Just kidding!”

MAMORU: “Ha, hahaha. S-surely not. Th-those are just left on as a theft deterrent.”

RAYLA: “You’re saying it’s a theft deterrent, but isn’t the security here pretty high?”

MAMORU: “Th-that’s true but… Even so, I don’t have any piece of mind that way so I leave the lights on just in case.”

FUU: “Just in case… you say.”

MAMORU: “Y-yes, it’s a theft deterrent so you have to be doubly sure…”

RAYLA: “You really do worry over the petty stuff. Of course, there’s never been a thief who’s gotten inside before?”

MAMORU: “B-but, I have to do it. I’ve said it several times but it’s a theft deterrent. There’s no other reason.”

FUU: (Right now he said ‘I have to do it’…)

That didn’t sound like it was his own volition, but like someone ordered him to do it.

FUU: (In other words, is there someone who’s told him that it’s for theft deterrent?)

IDZUKI: “Broaden the convers—”

After that noise covered it, the sound cut out and I couldn’t hear any voices at all after that.

FUU: (It seems like there’s a signal disruption just like yesterday…)

I was certain that Nana was trying to tell me to broaden the conversation.

I continued on without showing any discomposure.

FUU: “I understand that it’s a theft deterrent, but are there any teachers that stay behind at night? Are the lights left on unattended?”

After looking a little conflicted, the director answered as if he had carefully chosen his words.

MAMORU: “There are no teachers. …It’s merely a theft deterrent.”

He tacked the theft deterrent on the end as if it was there was no use arguing about it.

But because he was emphasizing it, it made me think that maybe on the contrary, there was some sort of important word hidden in there.

FUU: (There are no ‘teachers’. So then who…?)

I felt like the director had some sort of information he wasn’t saying outright but was desperately trying to convey to us.

Rayla and I exchanged looks, appropriately concluded the conversation and left the classroom.

We returned to our original classroom and got to work. Before long, our work day was over…

We went to the staff room to say goodbye to the other teachers and pretended to head to the station. We took a roundabout way back to Wing.

Tchicai was researching the cause for the signal disruption in regards to why our transceivers cut out midway through.

IDZUKI: “Give us an update on what happened after the transceivers cut out.”

FUU: “Right. Based on what the school director said, I would conjecture that none of the teachers are dealers.”

Then I briefly informed them that I felt that perhaps there was conversely someone else there who was manipulating him.

TCHICAI: “So maybe that means he’s been bugged. A listening device could cause a signal disruption and wouldn’t that be consistent with the director’s attitude as well?”

RAYLA: “I see… So that’s why he seemed so terrified.”

IDZUKI: “So now we need to look into whether or not he’s actually been bugged.”

MICT: “Also, we haven’t found out anything about the director’s son, Mana.”

FUU: “All right then, tomorrow we’ll look into whether he’s bugged and ask the director about his son.”

IDZUKI: “No… We need to be cautious with this. We need to consider Toono’s safety.”

MICT: “Nana, you don’t think that the director and Mana are accomplices, right?”

FUU: “In other words, you’re leaning more towards the possibility that Mana has his father trapped?”

IDZUKI: “I can’t say that it’s for certain, but I think that possibility is likely.”

RAYLA: “There’s still the possibility that his terrified behavior is all just acting.”

RAYLA: “…Shut up.”

TCHICAI: “Ahhh ★ Don’t glare at me with that scary look~”

Nana returned to the driver’s seat with an exasperated expression as the conversation derailed in a commotion.

The following day.

Rayla and I arrived at work early and pretended to clean as we searched each room for bugs.

And shockingly, we discovered that nearly every room had bugs installed.

We couldn’t communicate via the wireless transceivers due to fear of being listened in on.

However, we left them on to transmit so we used cover terms to let everyone know we discovered the listening devices.

RAYLA: “Miss Satonaka, today’s our last day so let’s stay focused and do our best.”

What Rayla said meant we discovered the bugs.

FUU: “Right! We have so much to learn!”

And that conveyed that there were a lot of them.

FUU: (It seems like it’s better to just think that there are no rooms that aren’t bugged.)

Just like yesterday, our time with the students passed in a blur and I came back to the classroom after seeing all the students off.

FUU: “…Huh?”

I was sure that everyone would be in here cleaning just like yesterday, but I didn’t see Rayla or the female teacher there.

MALE TEACHER: “Oh, Miss Satonaka! Good job. You’ve completed your practical training.”

There was only the male teacher, who appeared to have been waiting impatiently and came over to me.

FUU: “Yes, thank you very much. I learned a lot.”

MALE TEACHER: “Well, I’m glad to hear that. …Also, I’d like to go out to celebrate it, so are you free tonight?”

FUU: “Err… Ahh- I have some plans so…”

I wasn’t planning on taking him up his offer in the first place, but there’s the possibility we may have a direct contact mission here at the preschool tonight.

MALE TEACHER: “I see, yeah. That’s too bad… Well then, tell me your cell number.”

FUU: “I don’t have a cell phone.”

That was the truth. I never felt the need so I’ve never had one before.

MALE TEACHER: “What!? There are girls like that these days? …Wait, do you just not want to tell me or something?”

FUU: “It’s not that~! I’m really just not interested in them.”

MALE TEACHER: “Hmm… Okay. Well then, I guess I’ve got choice but to say it now. I‘m interested in you.”

FUU: “Huh?”

I inadvertently returned to my normal self and my voice came out strangely.

MALE TEACHER: “You’re bright and friendly… You’re the ideal person for me.”

FUU: (Well that’s just my established background so…)

In reality, I’m often told I’m serious and stiff more than that.

MALE TEACHER: “I’d like you to go on a date with me sometime… Oh, I forgot to ask if you had a boyfriend.”

FUU: “Uh, umm… A boyfriend, I-”

RAYLA: “Tsubasa, there you are! I was looking for you ☆”

FUU: “Err…?”

Having Rayla suddenly enter the classroom and call me by not just my fake name but by my first name startled me.

FUU: (Not to mention, that his personality is off from his character…)

Rayla kept the friendly smile on his face as he came to stand next to me.

RAYLA: “Come on; let’s go get our papers for today signed by the director?”

FUU: “Oh, yeah, right!”

I nodded as if that was a godsend and went to leave the classroom when the teacher grabbed my arm.

MALE TEACHER: “Can you wait just a minute? I still haven’t heard your answer.”

Rayla shook off the teacher’s hand, got really close to me, and glared at him with a foul expression.

RAYLA: “An answer… What do you mean by that?”

Maybe he was the type who couldn’t read moods very well because the teacher didn’t seem to have any intention of backing off.

MALE TEACHER: “Hey, Miss Tsubasa, can you give me an answer to the question before you go to the director’s office?”

Rayla got in-between me and the tenacious teacher, and stood with his back toward me like he was hiding me.

MALE TEACHER: “Wait… You heard what we were talking about?”

RAYLA: “I heard everything; is that bad? I’m her boyfriend so there’s no issue if I did, right?”

FUU: “U-umm…”

RAYLA: “What I mean is, can you not invite my girlfriend out anymore? You weren’t going to say ‘its fine if you have a boyfriend’, were you?”

FUU: “Th-that’s the situation so sorry! Umm… Let’s go, Mr. Tobari!”

After we went into the hallway, Rayla stopped in his tracks as soon as we went around the first corner.

RAYLA: “… That was the first time I’ve felt like killing someone… I really should have hit him once…”

FUU: “What!? U-um, let’s hurry up to the director’s-”

I impatiently grabbed his arm and went to pull him toward the director’s office when—

FUU: “!?”

RAYLA: “There are bugs so talk quietly.”

Rayla’s breath tickled my ear.

FUU: “Th-that’s… true but…”

RAYLA: “Listen you, even thick-headedness has its limits. I told you to have a better sense of awareness yesterday, didn’t I? Why are you so defenseless?”

Rayla grumbled and sighed with an irritated sounding voice.

It sounded more like whispering than grumbling because of the distance between us.

FUU: “..A-are you mad?”

RAYLA: “…Well, yeah.”

FUU: “Th-then, um, instead of doing it like this, p-p-please just reprimand me clearly.”

I tripped over my words because I had become conscious of Rayla’s body warmth which I could feel through my back.

RAYLA: “Not understanding unless I spell it out for you is way too annoying. …And I’m irritated.”

My nervousness gradually changed to anxiety at the words ‘irritated’ and the tone of his voice.

RAYLA: “…Yeah, and?”

FUU: (It’s because I got more shaken up by what that teacher said than the acting…)

FUU: “I’m sorry.”

RAYLA: “!”

FUU: “It’s my fault for not acting through it properly. I’m really sorry.”

RAYLA: “…It’s not really anything you need to apologize for.”

FUU: “Oh, but… You said it was my fault you were irritated…”

RAYLA: “…It’s fine. Just forget it.”

FUU: “Err…”

Rayla’s body moved away and my back felt a little cold as it lost that warmth.

Not knowing what sort of face I should make, I stayed there without looking back when Rayla went around in front of me.

RAYLA: “Well, shall we go to the director?”

FUU: “Huh?”

RAYLA: “Come on, we have to get our papers signed.”

Rayla took off at a quick pace without waiting for my answer.

FUU: (…What was that just now, I wonder?)

My heart was beating at a painfully fast speed.

My cheeks, ears, and fingers were burning up, and I couldn’t get that heat to cool down easily.

I closed my eyes, took a deep breath, and slowly opened my eyes again.

Then I took one step forward and headed down the hallway to follow after Rayla who had disappeared.

When we were on the way to the director’s office—

We saw him cleaning a mid-level class’s classroom so we went inside.

FUU: “Director, would you please sign our papers?”

There was a message for the director written on the paper I handed to him.

‘Please come to the specified location in 30 minutes. Sign if you understand.’

His eyes went wide and after looking puzzled for a short while, he pulled a pen from his pocket and signed the paper.

MAMORU: “Thank you very much for the past two days.”

RAYLA: “No, on the contrary, thank you very much.”

MAMORU: “…Please come here tonight.”

FUU: “…Huh?”

MAMORU: “I know who the dealer is. So please come. Please… arrest them.”

FUU: “!?”

The director left the classroom before we could question him.

The two of us left behind returned to our original classroom and just like yesterday, finished our work and went back to Wing.

For whatever reason, we were welcomed back with applause and cheers when we returned to Wing.

YUN: “Rayla! You really can get things done when you try! You did great!”

Yun firmly grasped both of Rayla’s hands with tears in his eyes.

MICT: “Yep yep! Bravo!”

TCHICAI: “Seriously~♪ I didn’t think you were going to protect her~★”

YUN: “Come on, that lecherous teacher! Good grief, those kind of guys who are quick to make a move are the worst~”

RAYLA: “…Like you can talk?”

IDZUKI: “W-well, what can I say… Rayla. I guess spring has come for you too…”

YUN: “Huh?”

MICT: “Huh…? WHAT!?”

TCHICAI: “Ohhh~… That reminds me, your voice was really close when you told her she was too defenseless ★”

RAYLA: “N-nothing… I didn’t do anything.”

MICT: “…His face is red… Ray’s face is red…! Could this mean…Ahh-!”

I spoke up loudly to try and restore the situation after it turned chaotic.

FUU: “M-more importantly, I have an update! Let’s get to work, everyone!!”

I informed them that the school director would be coming shortly.

It seemed that the director himself knew that the place was bugged yesterday.

Despite that, he suddenly made a dangerous declaration that he knew who the dealer was today.

I also added my thought that the best and quickest way to find out the reason for the director’s sudden change would be to ask him directly.

We brought the director, Mr. Toono, to the reception room and Nana, Rayla, and I began to question him.

Mr. Toono had a nervous look on his face as he sat down lightly in one of the reception room chairs.

IDZUKI: “First, I believe you already know, but it appears there are no dealers among preschool staff so there’s no problem there.”

MAMORU: “R-right…”

IDZUKI: “However, there were a great number of listening devices installed inside the school.”

MAMORU: “…”

The director simply looked troubled but not surprised.

He lightly bit his lip and hung his head while moving his fingers restlessly; he remained silent like that for a while.

Eventually he raised his head and spoke to us with a resigned look on his face.

MAMORU: “My son is… a dealer. He’s planning to use you all to do something bad tonight…”

RAYLA: “What do you mean?”

MAMORU: “…”

FUU: “Yesterday when we asked you about the security, it seemed like you wanted to tell us something but you couldn’t.”

FUU: “But today you suddenly leaked the information about the dealer in a place that was bugged. Just what exactly is going on?”

MAMORU: “I’ll tell you everything from the beginning.”

Mr. Toono spoke in a low voice as he told us the entire story up until now.

He knew that his son was using the preschool late at night to work as a dealer.

However, he stayed complicit was because he was frightened of his son.

That was the apparent reason.

MAMORU: “Mana threatened to wreck the preschool if I went against him…”

He had no way to stop Mana who had gotten involved in wrong-doings and had become money-hungry.

In fact, the threats he made toward Mr. Toono steadily escalated.

MAMORU: “He told me he put the listening devices throughout the school so he could spy on me and make sure I couldn’t leak his secret.”

Then one day, there was that message on the forum.

Parents immediately put in complaints, but the school director insisted that it was all nonsense and a prank.

Thinking that maybe someone had betrayed Mana, Toono unconsciously covered for his son.

If Mana got arrested, it would save Mamoru himself and the preschool.

But on the other hand, the Angels may kill his son.

No matter what wrong-doings Mana was involved in nor the fact that he was the subject of Mamoru’s fear, Mana was still Mamoru’s son. He couldn’t just abandon him.

MAMORU: “However… He told me rather aloofly that he had written it himself.”

FUU: “Why would he do that…?”

MAMORU: “…In order to get the Angels in a trap, he said…”

FUU: “What-!?”

‘If I can crush the Angels, I’ll get a huge amount of money—‘

So Mana had apparently said.

He had arranged all of this by himself for money.

Mana told the astonished Mr. Toono that he would be herding us in for attack.

‘Invite the Angels to the preschool.’

MAMORU: “‘After you invite them, I’ll take care of them myself. Don’t tell anyone else this information; you’ll know what will happen if you do.’”

MAMORU: “That’s what my son told me when he threatened me.”

‘One day he’ll stop dealing.’
‘The day when he’ll snap out of it will come.’

It seemed that contrary to what Mr. Toono believed, Mana ended up progressing on to even further wrong-doings.

He pretended to listen to what Mr. Toono said, and while thinking of a way to stop him, this was what he arrived at.

MAMORU: “When I informed him that you would be doing an undercover investigation, I told him as an ally that it wouldn’t be a good idea to try and get the Angels in a trap right then.”

‘The investigation period is two days so I’ll tell the Angels to come to the classroom on the evening of their last day… So I want you to leave it to me.’

‘During that time, if you watch over the Angels via the bugs and find their weak spots, you’ll have an easier time getting them in a trap, right?’

That’s what Mr. Toono had told Mana. In reality, he had told him that to stretch out the time for the trap to somehow think of another way.

RAYLA: “…”

MAMORU: “But I couldn’t find any other method… In the end, I just got you all dragged into it…”

MAMORU: “It’s my responsibility as his parent that my son ended up this way. But I can’t do anything just by myself.”

MAMORU: “Please… Punish my son.”

FUU: (How much has he anguished to go so far as to say that?)

I’m sure that even in that exact moment, he still wasn’t completely free of doubt.

IDZUKI: “Do you understand the precise meaning of what we do to punish a dealer?”

After a short moment, Mr. Toono quietly nodded.

Perhaps he’d heard the rumor that those who get involved with Star get killed by Angels.

The average person doesn’t really know that there’s the possibility we could arrest them instead of dispatching them.

The majority think they’ll be killed as soon as they’re captured.

FUU: “Please tell us what Mana was going to do to us today.”

MAMORU: “I don’t know that… I was merely given orders…”

It appeared that it would be difficult to find out our opponent’s plans ahead of time to make a counter plan.

IDZUKI: “Is your son a Stardust?”

If he was a Stardust, we would avoid dispatching him on the spot.

It’s just that in Mana’s case, he’s not only a dealer but also openly hostile toward the Heavens. That’s a serious crime.

Even if we take him in as a Stardust and he goes to a judgment after being rehabilitated, there’s a strong possibility he’ll receive the death penalty.

IDZUKI: “…Please leave the rest to us.”

MAMORU: “…Yes, thank you…”

Mr. Toono left Wing on unsteady feet after weakly saying that.

We’ll finally be going on a direct contact mission tonight.

In order to ensure his safety, it’s been decided that Mr. Toono will spend tonight at the Heavenly Skies.

IDZUKI: “The pursing unit will be Rayla and Fuu. Mict and I, as well as Yun, will be on standby outside the building and Tchicai and Nachi will be on standby in Wing.”

Our objective: ‘bring the dealer into custody’.

This was our first direct contact mission with a dealer as our target.

There’s the possibility he could be a Stardust; there’s also a question of whether or not he’s acting on his own judgment as an individual or if this is connected to [na]…

Because we haven’t confirmed the particulars yet, we were told to do make our best efforts to bring him in.

IDZUKI: “It’s important to stick to our objective but… We don’t know what will happen.”

In other words: if we’re put in danger, we’re to act by adapting to the moment.

Our mission execution time is 0000. We were to have free time after we returned to the Angel Tower but…

I somehow felt a stare and turned abruptly.

I’m sure he had been looking at me, but as soon as our eyes met, Rayla averted his gaze.

It was after I changed into my personal clothes and was wondering about how to spend my time until night when-

My doorbell rang, so I opened the door and standing there was Rayla.

RAYLA: “…I need to talk to you.”

FUU: “…Come on in.”

RAYLA: “There’s something I want to tell you before the mission.”

FUU: “…Absolutely don’t dispatch anyone, you mean?”

RAYLA: “You get it.”

I understood the reason why Rayla was looking at me when we were in Wing.

FUU: (Nana said that we don’t know what will happen but Rayla has no intention of dispatching a target no matter what happens…)

FUU: “I’ll strive to achieve your objective, but I’ll act as Nana told us. –To adapt to the moment.”

RAYLA: “…Very good. Give it a try?”

Whenever we talk about this, we always end up with a gap between us.

FUU: (I wonder if we’ll really be able to coordinate under these conditions. Tonight we have a mission targeting a dealer that will influence their life.)

RAYLA: “Okay, see you later.”

FUU: “Ah-… y-yeah.”

FUU: (Will it really be okay?)

I remained anxious as it grew late.

Midnight—

We all headed to our positions – Rayla and I inside the building, Nana at the front gate, and Yun and Mict at the back gate.

It was the Rabbit Class’s classroom that we had done our practical training in for the past two days.

I exchanged looks with Rayla who was directly behind me and headed toward the classroom whilst checking for any presences.

I pressed my back against the door and when I quietly peeked inside, I saw an unbelievable scene.

There were numerous cameras placed all over the room.

RAYLA: “…Dammit, what is this!?”

Then a voice came from inside the room.

???: “You finally came, Angels~ Well then, let’s start filming.”

There was no mistaking that the owner of the voice was our target, Mana.

FUU: “Start filming…? Just where is that video streaming to?”

My Tefu Tefu got a transmission while I was muttering to myself.

RAYLA: “Huh!? What’s going on!?”

TCHICAI: “I’m getting rid of it now but… That video is being streamed nationwide!”

TCHICAI: “Yun-Yun or Mic, I’d like to ask one of you to flip the breaker in the electric supply room out back.”

MICT: “Roger. I’ll go—”

TCHICAI: “You two inside, you can’t move until the breaker is flipped!”

RAYLA: “So by crush us he meant he’d show the whole nation all the details of what Angels do…”

FUU: “The particulars of our job are top secret to the public. We wouldn’t be able to do direct contact missions at night otherwise.”

RAYLA: “If we hurt him now… It would be streamed nationwide.”

FUU: “A video would be far harsher than just a rumor. Even if we didn’t draw blood… They’d still have us in a tough spot.”

Even if Rayla got him with his needles, it would still stream him being in pain.

FUU: (I’ve heard that there were fabricated dark rumors about the Heavens Institution among the public but…)

FUU: (Those rumors would spread even more if that sort of video were streamed…)

While I was deliberating on that, all of the lights inside the preschool went out.

FUU: “Looks like the breaker was flipped.”

RAYLA: “Now we can go in the classroom—”

TCHICAI: “Ahhhh, wait wait!! The video is still being distributed so wait~!”

FUU: “Wait, even though the breaker was flipped?”

TCHICAI: “He’s very prepared to have gotten a source of electricity ready ★ That just shows how much he wants to have the way we work be known~”

RAYLA: “Tchica, aren’t you being overly carefree about this? I wish you’d take this seriously.”

TCHICAI: “I am! I’ve made it so they can’t access two of them but there are some still left so it’ll take a bit longer~”

MANA: “Hey, what are you doing? How boring. If you’re not going to do anything… Then I’ll go to you.”

After he spoke, an explosion immediately rang out in the hallway and our surroundings were engulfed in dust.

RAYLA: “*cough cough*! Dammit…! We need to stop him somehow…”

FUU: (It didn’t seem to be lethal, but we might have been seriously injured if it had hit just right.)

? TIMED DECISION

⯌⯎⯌⯎⯌⯎
> Wait for Tchicai to contact us.
> Disrupt the electricity source.
⯌⯎⯌⯎⯌⯎

Wait for Tchicai to contact us. (mission failure)


FUU
: “We’d just be moving in blindly so we don’t have a choice. Let’s wait for Tchicai to contact us.”

RAYLA: “Huh? So how long are you saying we should wait? You should know, right? Reliability and speed are important factors in direct contact missions.”

FUU: “That’s true, but we can’t go inside because of the cameras. Not until they’re all unusable…”

RAYLA: “Hey, what are you planning to do if he throws out another bomb?”

FUU: “W-well…”

An explosive sound different from the bomb rang out from inside the classroom.

FUU: “Just now that was—”

Before I could turn around, something else flew past me aimed at the middle of the classroom—

MANA: “Uugh-!?”

This time, I heard a man groan along with the sound of something falling to the ground.

Tchicai contacted us before Rayla and I could grasp what had happened.

TCHICAI: “The video was suspended, did you disrupt the electricity?”

YUN: “I took the opportunity to disrupt the target as well.”

RAYLA: “…Dammit!”

I hurried into the classroom after Rayla who almost tumbled in.

Inside, collapsed almost as if he was crouching down in the very center of the classroom was the target – Mana.

FUU: “N-no way…”

It all happened in an instant.

Yun’s awfully cheerful voice reverberated through the room.

FUU: “Yun… What did you do—!?”

The smile vanished from Yun’s face and he spoke in an unusually low and cold voice.

YUN: “Dealers are the worst of the worst… We need to make them feel pain.”

RAYLA: “Don’t be ridiculous!!”

Rayla grabbed Yun by his collar and snarled at him as if he was about to start beating him at any moment.

YUN: “I know that. Come on, why don’t you hurry up then…? He hasn’t died yet.”

I dashed over to Mana after what Yun said and checked his condition.

FUU: “…He’s still breathing! He’s gravely wounded but there’s a chance he could be saved!”

We quickly brought him to the Heavenly Skies, but all I did while escorting him was stare at the target’s wound.

His blood was amber colored— it was the color of blood that Star users, Stardust, have.

Even after we brought him to the Heavenly Skies, Mana remained in an unconscious state.

The wound he was given was far too severe for capturing purposes.

Then the following day—

YUN: “Hey hey, Rayla. Just let it go already~ I just did that thinking it’d accomplish our objective~”

RAYLA: “Shut it, be quiet. Just hurry up and do it.”

YUN: “Urgh… I can’t write 100 pages~…”

The perpetrator who had injured the target was given a severe punishment, not by Nana, but by Rayla.

That punishment was to continue to write a written statement of his apology on blank report papers until it filled 100 pages.

TCHICAI: “Yun Yun, I feel bad for you so I’ll give you this as a refreshment.”

What Tchicai gave him as a refreshment was an indigo pudding.

Yun stared at it—

Then covered his face and sobbed loudly.

FUU: “I do pity him, a little…”

MICT: “…Hah. You reap what you sow.”

NACHI: “Well, it’s fine isn’t it? It’ll build up his fortitude.”

An irresponsible thought came floating in among us after someone peeked sneakily into the dining room.

IDZUKI: “Hahaha. This will be a good treatment for Yun.”

Nana, who suddenly appeared behind us, spoke with a lovely smile on his face.

YUN: “Tchica… I don’t need the pudding so just help—”

RAYLA: “If you have the time to ask for help then get your hands moving!”

It was a little pitiful, but it appeared Yun’s days of reflection still had a long ways to go…

[continue to Chapter 5]

Disrupt the electricity source. (mission objective clear)

 

I recalled the scene from when I briefly peeked in on the classroom just before.

There was some machine that was different from the cameras at the target’s feet.

FUU: (That might have been the generator for the cameras.)

MANA: “Come on now, you’re not coming?”

He attacked us with a bomb after speaking.

RAYLA: “… We need to do something quickly…”

FUU: “Rayla, wait just a moment.”

I peeked into the classroom from the shadow of the door and threw several kunai aimed at that machine.

A noise that seemed like I made my mark reverberated out from the classroom.

RAYLA: “!? H-hey, what did you do!?”

We received a transmission from our Tefu Tefus before I could answer.

TCHICAI: “The video was suspended; did you interrupt the power source?”

FUU: “Yes, so that means we can go inside the class room, right?”

RAYLA: “Heh… Not bad.”

Perhaps he was shocked that the generator was destroyed, but it didn’t seem like the target, Mana, was going to be throwing bombs at us.

FUU: (If we’re going to rush in we have to do it now—)

I exchanged looks with Rayla and slipped into the classroom.

The second we burst into the room I immediately threw a kunai at a bomb thrown toward us, which exploded midair.

I drew close to the target who had fallen backward, seemingly blown back by the bomb blast.

RAYLA: “Hey, don’t!”

By the time I realized what Rayla said, it was too late.

The target in front of me thrust a gun between my shoulders.

FUU: (Damn…)

MANA: “Ahhh, you’ve done it now…”

The target pressed on the gun’s hammer with a click.

As my throat made an audible gulping sound, the target’s gaze shifted behind me.

MANA: “You with the blue hair, if you don’t want this girl killed then get your hands off that weird weapon.”

RAYLA: “…”

MANA: “…That’s right, good.”

The target smirked boldly.

I couldn’t see Rayla, but I knew that he had listened to the target and let go of his weapon through what was said.

FUU: (What should I do, this is my fault…)

Sweat began to roll down my back.

I have to think calmly about how to overcome this situation.

MANA: “You two cheated me. They’ll kill me for this.”

FUU: “…Are you talking about [na]?”

MANA: “Shut up and listen! Don’t question me!”

FUU: “…”

MANA: “I’ll just get killed if you arrest me right? Whatever you say, that’s what Angels have been pigeonholed as…”

MANA: “That’s right… Either way I’ll be killed… So I’ll…”

The target put his hand into his pocket while still holding the gun. What he pulled out from it was—

Star.

With a smile that looked pasted on, the target put the Star in his mouth in an unbelievable turn of events.

FUU: “Wh-what are you doing!?”

RAYLA: “You’re nuts. …What are you going to get out of taking that now?”

MANA: “At least I can have an everlasting dream I’ll never wake from?”

FUU: “!?”

The gun muzzle, which had been pointed between my shoulders, slowly aimed toward the target’s own temple—

? TIMED DECISION

⯌⯎⯌⯎⯌⯎
> Strike.
> Seize him.
⯌⯎⯌⯎⯌⯎

Strike. (mission failure)

I pulled out my kunai and went to aim it at his gun, but just a moment before I could—

An arrow flew in from behind me and pierced into the target’s side.

MANA: “Urgh…!”

It happened in an instant, and while I hadn’t yet grasped what happened, an eerily cheerful voice rang out from behind me.

???: “Phew, just in the nick of time~!”

FUU: “Yu-….Yun…?”

The smile vanished from Yun’s face and he spoke in an unusually low and cold voice.

YUN: “Dealers are the worst of the worst… We need to make them suffer.”

RAYLA: “Don’t be ridiculous!!”

Rayla grabbed Yun by his collar and snarled at him as if he was about to start beating him at any moment.

YUN: “I know that. Come on, why don’t you hurry up then…? He hasn’t died yet.”

I dashed over to Mana after what Yun said and checked his condition.

FUU: “…He’s still breathing! He’s gravely wounded but there’s a chance he could be saved!”

We quickly brought him to the Heavenly Skies, but all I did while escorting him was stare at the target’s wound.

His blood was amber colored— it was the color of blood that Star users, Stardust, have.

Even after we brought him to the Heavenly Skies, Mana remained in an unconscious state.

The wound he was given was far too deep for capturing purposes.

Then the following day—

YUN: “Hey hey, Rayla. Just let it go already~ I just did that thinking it’d accomplish our objective~”

RAYLA: “Shut it, be quiet. Just hurry up and do it.”

YUN: “Urgh… I can’t write 100 pages~…”

The perpetrator who had injured the target was given a severe punishment, not by Nana, but by Rayla.

That punishment was to continue to write a written statement of his apology on blank report papers until it filled 100 pages.

TCHICAI: “Yun Yun, I feel bad for you so I’ll give you this as a refreshment.”

What Tchicai gave him as a refreshment was an indigo pudding.

Yun stared at it—

Then covered his face and sobbed loudly.

FUU: “I do pity him, a little…”

MICT: “…Hah. You reap what you sow.”

NACHI: “Well, it’s fine isn’t it? It’ll build up his fortitude.”

An irresponsible thought came floating in among us after someone peeked sneakily into the dining room.

IDZUKI: “Hahaha. This will be a good treatment for Yun.”

Nana, who suddenly appeared behind us, spoke with a lovely smile on his face.

YUN: “Tchica… I don’t need the pudding so just help—”

RAYLA: “If you have the time to ask for help then get your hands moving!”

It was a little pitiful, but it appeared Yun’s days of reflection still had a long ways to go…

[continue to Chapter 5]

Seize him. (mission objective clear)

I threw myself at the target’s arm and aimed the gun at the ceiling.

The gun fired off toward the ceiling just barely before it would have shot through his forehead.

FUU: “Rayla, your needles!”

RAYLA: “I know!”

Several needles pierced into the target’s thigh and he crumbled on the spot.

RAYLA: “Those are sleeping needles, so he shouldn’t wake up for three hours.”

I could hear quiet breathing from the target when I placed my ear close to his mouth.

Yun made a sudden appearance and spoke in a cheery voice.

YUN: “Huh, it seemed like you were having a hard time so I thought I’d come decide for you… But I guess I don’t get my turn. Tch.”

RAYLA: “What’d you come to do?”

YUN: “Ahh, that’s a mean way of asking. I came to support you, of course.”

A Star tumbled out of the target’s mouth with a clink.

RAYLA: “…Looks like he’s a Stardust.”

FUU: “Indeed.”

We secured Mana, the target, and successfully achieved our objective.

Because Mana was a Stardust, he was welcomed to the Heavenly Skies where he’s now in rehabilitation.

We still don’t know when the judgement will occur.

Additionally, the preschool building was so damaged that it’s been temporarily closed for repairs.

Mr. Toono had seemed very depressed because he thought his son had been killed.

However, there were lots of preschoolers who want the school to reopen so they’re praying he regains his spirit and will try to give it his best again.

Then, one week later—

We were successful in our mission but I reflected on it every day.

FUU: (If I had judged the situation more calmly and moved more precisely, I wouldn’t have had a gun pulled on me.)

FUU: (I want to be strong. Stronger, even stronger…)

For that purpose, I had to train, so I would frequent the training room even when we had just a short break.

RAYLA: “…You’re here again?”

Rayla came in with an amazed expression, and I lowered the kunai I was using.

RAYLA: “What exactly is it you want from running yourself down like that?”

FUU: “I’m not running myself down… I just want to be stronger…”

RAYLA: “…Hah…”

Rayla let out an intentionally loud sigh and peered at my face.

RAYLA: “Your favorite thing to say is ‘we’re partners’ but is that just lip service?”

FUU: “O-of course not!”

RAYLA: “Then why are you getting all depressed by yourself? And why are you keeping it from me that you’re training yourself?”

RAYLA: “Why don’t you tell me anything? Shouldn’t we normally reflect on things together? Am I not paired with you?”

FUU: “…I’m sorry. But that was my error in judgment so…”

RAYLA: “You’ve got that wrong. I’m not some subordinate or soldier that can’t move unless you give me an order.”

RAYLA: “I’m responsible too for not backing you up right away. So if you’ve got to reflect on it, I should too right?”

Rayla’s words stung one by one at my heart, and I felt like tears were about to pour out from my eyes.

RAYLA: “Is trying to take on the entire burden yourself really that great?”

His way of speaking was severe, but I knew that Rayla was truly worried about me because I always try to take on everything alone.

RAYLA: “Come on, let’s go.”

FUU: “Huh… where…?”

RAYLA: “A reflection meeting in the meeting room. It should be empty now.”

FUU: “Oh… R-right…”

Rayla’s eyes grew wide as large tears spilled from my own the moment I nodded.

FUU: “No. I’m just happy.”

RAYLA: “!”

FUU: “The fact that you’re worrying about me… And that you’re trying to support me made me really happy.”

RAYLA: “Wh-what are you saying? We’re partners so that’s the norm.”

FUU: “Yeah. …But still, it made me happy.”

RAYLA: “…That’s annoying, stop crying.”

FUU: “Ah, o-okay…!”

But contrary from what I said, my tears spilled increasingly more and wouldn’t stop.

Rayla pushed up his bangs like he was worried and then plopped that same hand on my head.

RAYLA: “…I think it’s good that you work hard, but don’t forget that I’m here. …Rely on me more.”

FUU: “Rayla…”

RAYLA: “… Look, just stop crying already.”

FUU: “…Y-you’re so mean, my hair is super messy.”

RAYLA: “Who cares if it’s a little messy?”

Rayla removed his hand from my head and left the room with a displeased expression.

FUU: (I wonder if he’s going to the meeting room…)

I grabbed the towel next to me and while I was drying my tears-

No matter how much time passed, the warmth from Rayla’s hand remained on my head; it made me smile a little.

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Rae

In a complicated relationship with languages. Hopeless lover of cute things.