It was night time. Shuuya called out to Toushirou who was about to leave the shop’s second floor.
Flika was on her way to the room she was allocated to, and wasn’t there.
“What is it?”
“Going to look for the missy’s brother?”
He had to work in the shop during the day. Work related to the odd job agency could only be done at night.
—Regarding the lead, I sort of have an idea.
In his pockets, were cubes of sugar and a pair of gloves. The gloves weren’t meant to be worn during the day.
Eyes fixated on the television screen, Shuuya whispered casually.
“I think you already know this but if you were to get yourself into a soiree/an evening party, don’t lay your hands on the ‘Insignia Wielders’.”
Upon hearing than name, Toushirou gave a small gulp.
“……I know. I’m not that conceited.”
As he was about to leave the house, Toushirou stopped for a moment.
“Shuuya san. Thank you for keeping Flika here.”
Although she was a young girl whose thoughts were difficult to understand, her life was being targeted by magic users.
If Shuuya didn’t say that it was okay for her to stay, he probably wouldn’t be able to sleep at night.
“I won’t stand for someone welshing on the repair fees. Wouldn’t it be natural to put her somewhere under my surveillance?”
This meant that while she’s under his surveillance, he will protect her in his own way.
—Well, he is a reliable person if he’s serious.
Smiling wryly at Shuuya as he was talking as if it was a pain in the ass, Toushirou stepped into the night of Tokyo Ikai.
The moment he stepped out of the shop, he suddenly remembered.
—A terrorist, huh……
Flika described her own brother as such.
Even while working during the day, Flika’s playful attitude did not get any better. Thinking about it, those jokes were probably a specialty of hers, although it was a fact that she carried a large amount of firearms on her. On the event that her brother Chris was really a terrorist, would it actually be alright to go looking for him?
Toushirou shook his head.
—Flika asked me to find him for her.
Even though she was being made to work to pay off the repair fees, it wasn’t as if she had a collar stuck around her neck. When she really doesn’t like it, she could just escape and disappear.
Right now, the clear bond between Toushirou and Flika is just her request to find her brother.
Which is why he will do it. As a reason, just that is enough.
Later on, Toushirou will regret what he did.
That he did not stop, and decide if what he was doing was the right thing.
The night is the time of the magic users.
In most cases, magic users make their moves at night. When night falls, somewhere in Tokyo Ikai magic users clash, and winners and losers are born.
Such a spectacle was likened to the gathering of witches in the medieval era, and people called it a soiree.
The word soiree is a term used to indicate a battle between magic users.
Stepping out onto the main street, a faint mist appeared. It wasn’t something that would completely block out your vision, but it will almost always appear when night falls. In the past, it was something that rarely ever happened in Tokyo.
If you were to look up in the sky, you wouldn’t be able to see the stars, but just the moon shining ever so brilliantly.
In the sky of Ikai, were two moons that appeared red.
Strangely, one can only see such a moon within the walls. It is probably due to the effect of the “hole” that opened in the center of the Ikai. Whether the moon is a virtual image of the original or if it is something else altogether, nobody knows.
Under the moonlight, the dull colored wall stands tall. A wall to prevent the magic users from getting out. So long as this wall stands, even Flika’s brother who disappeared will likely be unable to get out of Tokyo Ikai.
Although the town is isolated from the outside like this, the street lights are still being maintained and there isn’t anywhere in particular that is poorly lit. Up till now, even the convenience stores are opened twenty-four hours, and light from those working overtime can be seen filtering from the windows of buildings.
The flow of business is still alive.
Of course, the population of the town has drastically decreased three years after it transformed into an Ikai.
Though the majority of them were those who left before the construction of the wall, there were those who just disappeared, unable to leave, and on top of that, those who died. Up till now, the population has decreased to less than a third of its original.
However, even though it’s in Tokyo Ikai, people still have to carry on living. To carry on living, they have to work. To work, a place where demand and supply can be created is imperative. And those creating a demand, are the people who live there.
Even as the world changes, the circular flow doesn’t. Even if they’re separated by that thick wall, people can only work and live like they have always done.
The steel wall. The two moons. And magic users. Even though it’s an Ikai covered in numerous mysteries, even now, the streets are hardly any different from how Tokyo was previously.
His breath was white.
Toushirou’s attire was just a thin overcoat over his barista uniform. It was supposedly one not suitable for a walk at night, but it immediately became hot to the point where he didn’t need his coat any longer.
As he walked through the entertainment district that had all its shutters pulled down, in no time at all, he heard the sandy echo of footsteps and stopped in his tracks.
Looking up, a young red haired girl stood in the way.
Toushirou remembered that face.
It was the magic user who manipulated lightning, the one chasing after Flika.
—As I thought, she stuck around.
The lead that Toushirou got his hands on was none other than this girl. For her to be chasing after Flika, there had to be some sort of reason behind it.
As he took his stance, the young girl waved her hands frantically.
“Hold on sec. I’ve no intention of hurting you.”
“Throwing magic around all of a sudden during the day, you don’t really have any persuasive power do you now?”
“Um, that, well…… My bad.”
Even though she looked daunted, she said it with a hint of arrogance in her voice.
“Besides that, you guys are being tricked. Harboring that girl… The one who blew apart the shop’s wall wasn’t me, it was—“
“Yeah, Flika right?”
Thinking about it, the first time the young girl used her lightning, she was whispering about something like she was there to assist him. She probably thought that he was being threatened with a gun or something by Flika.
—Thinking about it, she wasn’t exactly a bad person.
As Toushirou hit the mark about Flika, the young girl’s eyes widened, as if she was let down.
“I-If you already knew then why……?”
“Someone has to pay for the repair fees right? Would it be fine if we were to claim it from you?”
Then, the young girl chuckled.
“But, serves her right…… It’s amazing how she listened and went along with it.”
Crossing her arms, the young girl tilted her head.
“Anyway, why are you guys after her?”
This wasn’t the only time that Flika was being chased. Although she told him a reason, he wasn’t even sure if she even knew it in the first place.
—If I were to know the reason, it might become a lead to find the whereabouts of her brother.
Asking her with the intention to trick her, the young girl tilted her head once again.
““You guys”? There are others beside me who are chasing after her?….. Well, that’s to be expected.”
She nodded as if she got herself to understand it.
“Looking at you now, you people don’t really seem to know just who exactly she is.”
Thrusting her index finger out into the air, the young girl said,
“—The first magic user— That’s apparently what she’s called.”
Stabilizing her breathing as though she was hesitating on what she was going to say next, the young girl then announced it with a clear tone.
“She was the one responsible, for turning the whole of Tokyo into an Ikai!”