- Sorcerous Stabber Orphen:     The Origin Project

Clean and Beautiful (Part 1)





    "Hey, it's starting!" "Aaaaahhhh!"

    The cheers rose up. Loud noises quickly drowned out their voices.

    —Bang! Crunch, crunch, crunch! Smack...

    There was so much noise. Krylancelo glanced to the side, and was trying to block the sound from his ears — and in general, he succeeded. He couldn't hear anything. Or at least, he could imagine that he couldn't hear anything. However, a character emerged in his head. He couldn't refrain from reading it.

    (... In the end, I can still hear it...)

    He reluctantly admitted. The sound came back, and he could hear properly again.

    On the ground, onlookers were surrounding him, cheering. And confronting him — what was making the noise.

    The number of onlookers were increasing every minute. He was joined by his friends, who arrived late, and he could hear them delightfully talking among one another.

    "Aww, we're too late!"

    "That's too bad. My schedule is tight. But there'll be more in the future?"

    "I was lucky. It'd be frustrating if I couldn't make it here this week, I doubt it'll be here next week."

    "It's noisy!"

    The last shouting voice was Krylancelo —

    As Krylancelo shouted, he returned to look at the cause of the noise. About ten meters ahead. It was towering over them...

    In a word, you could say it was a machine. If you tried to explain it more than that, it'd be impossible to find the words. The size of a large tree, around 3 meters high, and 5 meters wide. Among the shapes were steal frames, gears and pulleys, springs, and other things. There was even a steel table, pipe chairs, and a sink, wherever they picked those up from; all crammed into the a small space in a messy manner.

    Anyway, it was hard to believe that all these parts were working together — as the gears moved the pulleys would slide. When a spring was triggered, somehow water would come out of the sink.

    On top of some crates there was a water tank installed, which looked like a head. Further down, six legs protruded from the side of the frame like a spider, although the wooden frame was pretty embarrassing. The legs were still made of timber, and the pipes were used for joints. Although, moving the legs was very hard because of the limited power in the fuselage, and there seemed to be no power to lift both the body and the six legs in the first place, so in the end it was scraping against the ground. Of course, the body dragged.

    In the end it was nothing more than a monster spider crawling across the ground.

    And beside the monster — there was a boy with a happy look on his face. It was said that he was two years older than Krylancelo himself, placing him around seventeen years old. However, Krylancelo was a few centimeters taller. You wouldn't think that the kid was actually a boy, because of the two braided pigtails that he always sported, for whatever reason. He had a stick that the teacher often used as a pointer in his hand, and an unusual appearance, wearing a white coat over his black robe.

    Krylancelo wore an aethletic suit. He groaned at the back of his throat, staring at the monster and the man standing beside it.

    "Fu..."

    He grumbled — the boy was proud of his skill. He smiled, and loudly declared.

    "Admit it, Krylancelo! Today is the day that science surpasses life, and becomes a historical anniversary!"

    "............"

    Krylancelo was silent. He didn't say anything, and just stared at his opponent. With a cold, sideways glance.

    The boy got even louder.

    "The crystal of my technology! Don't forget it, because it's not just any plasma. Behold, this figure which I spent fifty-two hours building!"

    (I don't understand what's so different about it...)

    Krylancelo was a little sad. Even if he was told as much. The giant monster spider was still dragging itself across the ground, digging into it with its heavy body.

    And no matter how the creature looked, he couldn't hold off any longer.

    Krylancelo told the truth.

    "... So?"

    "It's now time to call your bluff, Krylancelo!"

    "I'm so sure."

    There was a limit to his patience.

    He slowly started walking. The monster spider was still on a rampage.

    "Whoooo!"

    The cheers from the crowd could be felt through the ground.

    "It's starting!"

    "Yeah! Let's not make them bored!"

    "The elite? Huh."

    "Shut uuuuup!"

    When Krylancelo yelled, just as loud as before, there was laughter in response.

    "Oh—, Well—"

    He stepped forward and placed his feet further apart. Once he took a stance, he charged the monster—

    At that moment.

    Next to the monster, he could see the braided haired boy grinning.

    Thoomm. Thoomm...

    There was a different sound from the monster spider, compared to what he'd heard a while ago.

    "Hah. My Robot No. 22 is named Cortisone, but you'll shudder at its power!"

    He swung the tip of the pointer.

    "The origin of its name comes from the adrenal hormones!"

    "Who cares!"

    The moment Krylancelo cried out —

    Crash.

    The noise stopped there.

    Looking at the monster spider, its legs had stopped moving. The door in the front of the fuselage opened.

    Behind the door was a crossbow that was installed into the center of the complicated segment.

    "—Wha!?"

    Krylancelo tried to scream, but had no voice. He jumped to the side. At the same time, a single arrow sailed from the crossbow—

    With a sharp sound, the thick arrow penetrated the ground where Krylancelo had jumped. He looked appauled.

    "Ugh..."

    The boy with the braids was looking at him, a fearless smile on his face.

    He folded the pointer, and crossed his arms. The white coat swayed gently in the wind. Beside him the monster spider was starting to move its legs a bit.

    Wiping the cold sweat from his forehead, Krylancelo stood up.

    "That's just— dangerous..."

    He groaned while watching the crossbow that was contained within the body of the spider.

    "You finally lost it, didn't you?"

    The boy just laughed where he stood. Krylancelo remembered with keen awareness people praising the dangerous robot. Although he avoided the crossbow bolt, the monster spider might still have weapons built into other areas. He couldn't get close to it.

    "Fufufu..."

    Krylancelo was dazed when he heard the boy's laughter on the wind. He was just laughing, and after that, he didn't say anything.

    The onlookers gradually started to stir. He guessed that nobody expected the use of weapons, especially lethal ones. Krylancelo didn't think otherwise. It made him angry.

    A strong wind blew through the grounds.

    The training field of the Tower was quite a spacious area — there was a large training field inside as well, but when it came to exercises like using high powered magic, it was done outside. As a result, ash was mixed into the soil and it was always dry. The wind faded in their view and disappeared.

    Krylancelo got up and took a fighting stance against the spider monster. He drew his right shoulder forward and concentrated his conscious mind so that he could release a magic composition at any point. Needless to say, magic was the foundation of the sorcerers actions. Conversely, if you could even use magic, you could create an opening or a breakthrough regardless of what hopeless situations you were in. That power required a sorcerer to command it, though.

    While confronted, one minute passed, then two—

    Krylancelo was standing there, observing the movement of his opponent, without any movement himself. He didn't know what the next attack would be. It would be meaningless to try to anticipate things that he couldn't predict. If that was the case, he'd play things defensively, so that he may be able to prevent to some extent whatever the next attack was, and fight back after his escape. That was his general thinking.

    Again, a minute passed—

    "............"

    Sweat dripped down Krylancelo's cheek.

    The onlookers were quiet.

    After a few minutes, it was time to... No, noone was aware of that anymore.

    "Come on, Komikron."

    Krylancelo slowly listened to the braided boy, and with his arms folded he started laughing in a tense tone.

    "By any chance... was that the only attack?"

    "Fu..."

    The boy, Komikron, lifted the edge of his lips. He showed a smile that had evolved from fearless to irreverent. Then he stretched out the pointer and moved gracefully towards his opponent—

    "Sore losers are unsightly, Krylancelo!"

    "What was that?"

    He flipped. He briskly walked over to the spider monster, and casually planted a kick square into the fuselage.

    "Aah! What are you doing!?"

    When he heard his astonishment, Krylancelo threw a violent glare in Komikron's direction.

    "Nothing, I'm just going to destroy it!"

    "Aaahh! Don't say you'll kick it again! You left a footprint in my latest work! Calm down, calm down Krylancelo!"

    "You're one to talk! You tried to shoot me with a crossbow!"

    "T—That may be so, but listen!"

    As Komikron waved his arms, he managed to get in between him and the monster spider. He spread his arms to cover the spider and continued to say.

    "Dopamine, this is a breakthrough for you, buddy—"

    "What happened to the adrenal hormones?"

    "Oh, yeah yeah yeah. That was estrogen. Anyway, if you hear me out about this breakthrough in performance, you'll be impressed. How did you manage to avoid the crossbow at the time? I'm sure that you'll shed tears of regret."

    In response to Komikron's desperate speech, Krylancelo only returned a cold stare.

    "... So, what if I'm not impressed?"

    "Well, that's impossible, so don't worry. Scientists always believe a hundred percent."

    He pointed to the sky — it was a blue sky with no clouds, not even a sunset, but Komikron asserted his meaningless, yet wishful pose. Krylancelo held his finger beside his head and waited for the rest.

    As he fell back, Komikron pointed to various parts of the monster spider with the sharp pointer.

    "Well now. The main purpose of this guy was electrical power, but due to various circumstances—"

    "But clearly there was no such technology."

    "But due to various circumstances, it became hydropower. Look at this part."

    And, he pointed to the fuselage of the spider who had begun to slow down its movement.

    Although Krylancelo looked around, it seemed the onlookers also tentatively wanted to hear Komikron's explanation — and when they saw that there was no danger of a crossbow, perhaps they thought that slinking closer might give them a show — so the circle in their vicinity was slowly shrinking. His eyes narrowed, and Krylancelo murmured, his body getting tense.

    "Oh, that polytank."

    "A-part! There's a lot of water stored in here."

    Komikron shook the pointer then turned it towards the left side of the fuselage. On the left side, a sink was exposed.

    "It releases water from the drainage unit here, moves it over the stepped power gears, and uses the water current to power the mobile device."

    "Mobile device... Would that be the legs that are flapping around aimlessly?"

    It wasn't Krylancelo that asked. It was one of the onlookers.

    But it seemed that Komikron wasn't listening to those non-constructive opinions. He ignored them completely, and the machine was about to stop moving (since, of course, the water had run out of Part A). He then touched the mobile device.

    He stopped there, closed his eyes, and shrugged his shoulders.

    "But... that's not all, the terrible secret hidden within my ultimate invention, Robot 22,"

    "Huh? Oh, hmm."

    Krylancelo spoke as calmly as he would if he were talking about tomorrow's weather with one of his acquaintences, although he didn't understand it well, and only chimed in. Komikron smiled again.

    "Hydro power is used to power this machine, but its firing control is the true essence of this invention."

    "Fire?"

    Krylancelo asked about the word, which he had trouble understanding in the context. It seemed that Komikron had anticipated his confusion, and waiting to hear his response, he prepared to go on another explanation.

    "Fire controllers, I originally planned to equip actual firearms, but due to various circumstances—"

    "There was no such technology...."

    "Due to various circumstances, I had to forego it until next time. Well, mostly. As a matter of fact, there was still a built-in hanging from the lid of Part A with a string."

    "A built-in?"

    "A built-in is built into the design. It's no lie, for it to be floating there it only has to be lighter than water but heavier than air... Of course, if the water content was lowered and it could no longer float..."

    "The string is pulled..."

    It was natural to respond for Krylancelo, rather than hesitating. Komikron nodded positively.

    "That's right, I used gravity for it. With it linked to the trigger of the built-in firearms—"

    He lifted his head. He held his thumb up and struck an arrogant pose.

    "After a while, the firearm is inevitably fired!"

    ............

    After his poignant commentary—

    There was a merciless silence while he waited. Krylancelo was also consumed by this silence, but he couldn't help but notice Komikron's gutsy pose. While cursing his fate, he slowly shook his head.

    "Fu..."

    Standing in the refreshing wind, Komikron shifted his stance.

    "Apparently, you understand what I'm saying, but I doubt that you understood the true novelty of this invention in the first place. You fought against something like this, and you're alive."

    "... Komikron."

    Krylancelo finally managed to speak up, and popped his shoulder.

    "I have a good idea."

    "Oh? Well, you don't need intelligence to get ideas. Your idea may be worth listening to. It took quite a bit of my intelligence to bring it to a level where it could actually be used. And that's for me. Well, anyway, you don't have to worry about your intelligence being inferior, Krylancelo — If we think of individuality as a clear disparity in the depth and intelligence of your personality, you're very unique. So?"

    "Yep. Remove that screw."

    "Oh."

    He agreed with him, and Komikron quickly removed the screw. While watching, Krylancelo continued.

    "You should kick it here."

    "Oh. Ahh!? The Mobile Device Part A part fell off!?"

    Komikron screamed, looking over the spider's legs, that easily broke and fell down to the ground.

    "Krylancelo! You cheated! You tricked me into doing that!"

    "Shut up!"

    Krylancelo shouted, and started to shake. He pushed Komikron down.

    "Whoops!?"

    He pointed his finger at the fallen Komikron. Krylancelo spoke in a grinding voice between his teeth.

    "This is taking too long! Nevermind that this stupid machine, after all that time and effort, is just a trigger for a crossbow!"

    "Krylancelo, aren't you misunderstanding!?"

    Komikron tried to defend himself, while holding his nose where he'd been hit.

    "Listen, this Robot #22, it uses Milk Casein as an attachment method!"

    "... Attachment?"

    "Yes, that is, by replacing parts, it can use not only crossbows but even throw paper airplanes—"

    His voice was interrupted by the bottom of Krylancelo's boot. He raised his arm towards the machine, with Komikron fainting behind him.

    "I release you—"

    When they saw the magnitude of the magic that he was forming, tension ran among the onlookers that'd gathered so far. While screaming, everyone fled at once. He was left behind with the scattered, lazy onlookers.

    "Sword of Light!"

    The light waves released from Krylancelo's hand hit the monster, causing it to explode into fine leaves.

    "That thing... it's just insane."

    Krylancelo was walking down the corridor while mumbling.

    "The freedom to do whatever you want, to study, to research whatever you desire... Well, I won't say that he's bad at what he does, but of course, the people that are fleeing in fear may think differently."

    He was dragging something behind him.

    The one being dragged was a boy covered in bandages, and Krylancelo was dragging him by the neck. Only his braids were sticking out from the white bandages that were completely wrapped around his head. While being dragged along, he put his finger to his chin and wondered.

    "Fu..."

    Apparently he was smiling.

    "To be honest, I admit I'm frustrated with that myself, you've been running out of control."

    "I'm talking about you! You're the one!"

    "What!? ... But then it doesn't sound like you're complimenting me... and..."

    "Aahhh! Is there even a point to settling this!"

    His tears were mixed with Krylancelo's screaming. Students from other classrooms that were passing by all fled to other corridors with expressions of fear, but it didn't matter at the time.

    When he dropped the bandaged mess (or in other words, Komikron) on the floor, he closed his eyes and decided to indulge in some serious contemplation. His first thought was to bury him in the backyard. Or, even throwing him into a pack of wild dogs or something, but it was too unreliable, and unlikely that it'd have a happy ending without dirtying his own hands. He could seal him into a wall and paint over it, but he gave up on that idea because he couldn't find a way to come up with the money. If he dropped him from an altitude of 10,000 meters he may break into a billion pieces without leaving any remnants recognizable as a human being, but unfortunately he nor his acquaintances had the ability to fly.

    "Really..."

    Krylancelo decided he was ready, and opened his eyes. While Komikron (or the walking bandage) fell on the floor, he could see that his arm pose didn't break...

    "Let's pick up two or three kinds of animals that eat their prey down to the bones. Maybe there are some living around here."

    "Krylancelo, as the leading influence in your life, I must say, that jokes not very interesting."

    "... Right."

    Krylancelo achknowledged the comment and grabbed Komikron by the neck again.

    And, so far—

    It was just their daily routine.

    Another situation was moving into place, which he wasn't aware of.



♦◇♦◇♦



    "...Such disturbances in the morning?"

    "That's how it is."

    The teacher, Childman Powderfield's reply was as simple as usual. It came out of his mouth so easily, as easily as the question entered his ears. The answer, and the words it contained, there was nothing more simple than that.

    She only nodded. Leticia looked down at the black file that'd been handed to her with a strange feeling, waiting for his next explanation. But while Childman was sitting in his favorite chair, he was carefully playing with something on his desk. That was it.

    The teacher's waiting room didn't have gorgeous decorations, so it wasn't possible to focus your attention elsewhere. Still, she gazed at her teacher, and realized that he had no intention of saying more, so she raised the question for herself.

    "Why am I here?"

    "You're extremely prosperous. Look me in the eyes — and be honest."

    He snorted with a wry smile.

    "If there was an element within this building that severely damaged the order of our campus, what would you do first?"

    Leticia immediately came up with ideas. She told him, totally straightforward.

    "Isn't it irresponsible for a teacher to impose his problems onto his students?"

    "I've had a lot to discuss with the highest executive department lately."

    "... Do you mean irresponsible teachers?"

    "Forget it. That's the file."

    Childman shrugged his shoulders and pointed to her file.

    The man was still in his mid 20s, less than half the average age of the teachers at the Tower. It came a bit easy at times to talk to Leticia about these sorts of things.

    However, although it could certainly be said that this man was young — he had influence in the highest executive departments. And that's why a number of powerful sorcerers, including Leticia, called him their teacher.

    (Powderfield — a garden of gunpowder? Someday, maybe I'll know the origin of the name... but...)

    She was more interested in the file for now. She intentionally glanced at him — and since there was no signal for her to stop, she opened the cover of the file. It was a thin folder with several papers clipped together, with a title on the first page. It was just a normal form.

    She lowered her eyebrows and read it.

    "Our focus is the ethics review committee. To put it frankly, the people who are raising eyebrows from the committee need to be handled. It seems that they want to assemble a riot police to effectively deal with these individuals."

    "... Would you mind telling me more?"

    "It's about establishing a work force to compensate for the deficiencies of the ethical review committee, who are taking a big step backwards. It's a so called patrol group, and I don't like it."

    Childman sarcastically raised his eyebrows. He leaned against the back of his chair, which made a small creak from the brackets that fastened the backrest.

    He sighed and went on.

    "What I don't like is that the number of days between the proposal's submission and the plan to implement it are very few. We have to be vigilant when the Ethical Review Committee takes a firm stance. In my classroom... there are too many problem children. It's just you and Forte that the committee hasn't recognized and named."

    As she agreed to it, Leticia nodded. She mumbled.

    "In the worst case..."

    "Yes, I don't want to think about it much, but I can't deny that the possibility that the highest executive department has some leverage here. It's no secret that the enforcement department has made me their enemy. They're almost ready to kick me out."

    — And again he bitterly smiled —

    "But they haven't done so yet. Because their trump card, whatever it is, it's not the Successor of Razor Edge. I've apparently become too wicked too fast, and it's making them fret. After all, I can cut down their authority until they can't overthrow me. It's a shitty way to teach my students about poking fun at morality, but it's not so bad."

    "When it comes to building a riot police to patrol the school, I guess the security department would strongly oppose it..."

    Leticia tried listening to the obvious statements and turned over the file. All the documents were filed in a formal way, and the elders still hadn't signed the document to admit its effectiveness yet. If the document was submitted to the executive department, it may have been signed over there.

    He gently shrugged his shoulders.

    "The security department won't be able to make a scene about it in front of the board, which should've been a platform for them to cross. On top of the forms, there might be threats to further the staff shortage of the school's current security department. There's a decent chance that they can't help but think the same thing."

    Leticia sighed a little and quickly closed the file. She held it up and turned to her teacher.

    The teacher behind the desk saw that and folded his ridgid hands.

    "... So what does my teacher want me to do?"

    "First, please give me back the file. It'd be bad if you left with it."

    As he told her that, she returned the file to Childman, and he threw it in the trash at the corner of the room. It wasn't just a garbage can. It was a solid trash disposal made from ceramics. After throwing the file in there, Childman whispered. Towards the trash can.

    "Disappear."

    At that moment — Bwoosh, sparks started flying, and the file in the trashcan turned to dust.

    He then turned to her. His calm black eyes were focused on her, and he quietly spoke.

    "As I monitor them, the executive branch also monitors me. I can't even move a table without them noticing. But it's only a matter of time before the patrol group — with the new name "Discipline Committee" starts operations. It seems the selection process for personnel is coming to an end."

    When Childman said that, he abruptly stopped. The contours of his iron skin, which rarely distorted to show emotion, twisted and smiled as if he'd discovered something extraordinarily interesting.

    "It's good that you're here... I want you to protect your juniors, from this situation as a whole."

    "Me?"

    "It's not a good job for Azalie — and your sister is doing something else, anyway. Well, it's best not to tell you. Your sisterly quarreling is going to deviate from its normal pace of once a month."

    "Is she doing an investigation of the Executive Committee?"

    "I told you not to ask questions."

    "I understand."

    And when she said it, Leticia made a gesture almost like a salute. She snorted and muttered.

    "... You're being unexpectedly serious, too, Master."

    "I'm not going to be irresponsible."

    That — was it in response to her statement earlier? He'd answered her nonetheless.

    But what happened—

    After leaving the teacher's waiting room, she thought about it in the middle of the hallway. The situation was hard to swallow. But what about it? Then, there were her orders.

    (Well, both Forte and Korgon are out of the Tower, so it's just me...)

    Leticia looked up at the ceiling while stroking her long black hair. It was a habit when she was thinking, and she turned around.

    Quickly...

    There was a sound that echoed from the ground, causing it to shake. It interrupted her thoughts, and when she looked out the window, she frowned.

    Black smoke was rising from the wide training grounds, which were quite far away — and there was a strange thing there, composed of random crap (which looked like a fat cockroach to her). It seemed a crowd of people was fleeing the area.

    She sighed, with a perfect understanding of what was going on.

    "As usual, one of Komikron's experiments. If this 'experiment' is only once a month, maybe our troubles can be reduced a bit... At least, someone will stop him."

    She whispered.

    Then she stopped talking. Besides, she failed to recall that everyone at the Tower recognized a more serious threat than that, and that was the regular sisterly fights between her and Azalie.

    "Oh yeah... that's right."

    Leticia thought of what she was going to do.



♦◇♦◇♦



    A few days passed.

    Every classroom in the Tower was pretty small. Because there weren't many classes with large numbers, classrooms that were used for things like lectures were only large enough for ten people at most. Every classroom was roughly the same, with several boards, a student's chair, a desk, and lockers of equal number to the students. However, the atmosphere for each classroom was different, as students put up acceptable posters on the wall, and personal items flooded every surface, brought in from their lockers.

    In the case of Childman's class, it was simple. A mountain of broken instruments that were stacked in the corner in the back of the classroom — all of which Azalie had started for fun — and now pelted the floor. None of it was split up. The exception was a crushed harmonica. All of it seemed considerably expensive, and it was in this condition because she was angry when throwing it all away. Then, a statue of a white goddess had been purchased to conceal the heap of pitiful instruments in the classroom. It was Leticia's idea. Needless to say, although it was agreed that it was an eyesore, it was also unanimously agreed that it was better than the pile of instruments. They left it where it was at because Leticia got angry when they tried to throw it away.

    That wasn't the sisters' only personal belongings, but a full length mirror hung on the door. On it was written "At the very least, when you go out, make sure that your collar is straight." They had forcibly purchased it with all of their companions (mainly for Komikron.) The rest of the stuff was medicore, some dirty cookware, stilts and the upper body of a mannequin, though they weren't sure who brought it there. These things weren't so conspicuous — and to make them less noticeable — they were pushed to the corner of the modest classroom.

    Honestly, it was a pretty standard sight.

    Now, there were three students hanging around in the ordinary classroom.

    "Uuuggghhh...."

    The red-haired boy who was sitting at his desk and whining was Hartia. He was shedding tears, not the least bit concerned about getting his sleeve dirty. He was always complaining. He didn't seem to notice that no one heard what he was whining about.

    "It's too much. It's too much. What did I say?"

    "Fufufu..."

    Behind him, standing on the desk, was the boy in the white coat — Komikron was chuckling to himself. He shoved his finger towards them and continued.

    "Come on! This time it's amazing! Krylancelo! Every week the janitor complains about the huge inventions on the training grounds, so I've finally started assembling mobile combat weapons! It's truly the mother of invention! The title of this work is—"

    "Hey."

    Krylancelo was casually holding a metal bat and crushed the human-like machine that he'd brought in. Komikron froze, his eyes wide—

    Time passed for a while. Only Hartia's sobbing was making noise in the classroom.

    "It's too much. What is this terrible treatment? She was in a good mood when I went to meet her... That was nice—"

    Although it was a matter of concern, Komikron's voice interrupted with a scream.

    "What are doing, Krylancelo!?"

    "I learned from you, and started inventing, too."

    With a thud he put the bat on the desk. He pointed to it.

    "I named this trash breaker the Goodbye Arch — It's pretty good, isn't it?"

    "What was that!? I'm not going to admit that! That so called 'device' is just sports equipment! You'll be punished for this!"

    Komikron’s warning was blocked from his ears, and Krylancelo closed his eyes and let out a cold laugh.

    “Oh, sorry — the next challenge is to make it lighter.”

    “Aaagh! You’re mocking me!?”

    “She, she looked happy when she asked me. She said ‘Today there's something different about me!” She was trying to be cute? Or at least I thought so."

    Hartia’s whining was still on the sidelines, but suddenly it stopped — it was just bitching. Or was it?

    Komikron stomped in frustration at what was in front of him.

    “I didn’t think you were that kind of guy! I was wrong! You’re confronting me, the one who raised the noble ideal of the creation of artificial life, and that may include artificial human weapons! It’s not easy!”

    Whether he was cornered or just panicking, he was switching from saying one thing in the first half, to something else in the second half. Krylancelo spoke in a cold voice.

    “It’s a breeze.”

    He answered—

    “So you think, Krylancelo. I thought so, too. She was waiting for my answer while giggling. But I’m sorry, Krylancelo, she was no different from yesterday.”

    Hartia. His rambling was met only by a glance from Krylancelo, who noticed how noisy he was being. The redhead boy kept sobbing.

    “I said I don’t know. But is it normal for her to get that angry about it? She was so angry—”

    “Ugh. Yeah, I heard your declaration of war. But I already have an idea for the next invention...”

    Komikron jumped off the desk and smiled with a laugh. It was a sad reality, but it seemed that the brat was putting on a bluff, because he didn’t have the stature for it. He smiled and tilted his head back to stick his nose in the air.

    “The next invention?”

    Krylancelo asked, and when he came close, he dropped the tone of his voice, as if to hide it.

    “That’s right.”

    “That’s right. She got angry. The only thing I’ve ever apologized for is the time I found out that I’d sold Leticia’s lipstick to a guard or something. Was that last week? Or not? Anyway, I still apologized...”

    “Fufufu... Until now, I’ve barely given you one victory after another, but the balance will completely shift in a single stroke by the appearance of this one.”

    “She didn’t forgive me, yet I still apologized. If you saw that yourself, you would’ve forgiven me. When I think about it, I haven’t done anything wrong, I don’t think? I just don’t understand.”

    “Look, Krylancelo — This time it’s really epochal. Anyway, there’s a real human being inside.”

    “Hey, I thought you said it was artificial!”

    “Now what! Will you get angry, too? She said—”

    At that moment—

    "So freaking noissyyyyyy!"

    ............

    All of the sudden, the door opened and Leticia entered in a black robe.

    The classroom got quiet again — Even Hartia, who now sat straight up in his chair. Both Krylancelo and Komikron slowly turned towards her, with careful attention.

    She put her hands on her hips and stared at them. She didn't move, but they could see her long black hair swaying. In this class, she was 20 years old, one of the two oldest students in the group. She was a beautiful woman without a doubt, and to tell the truth, an angry figure best suited her — while thinking that, Krylancelo opened his mouth. His voice roared, but it was a false anger.

    "W... What do you want? Tish."

    "I heard you from the hallway. Do you want to be in the the campus newsletters next week?"

    "Haha. You don't understand, Tish."

    When she looked, his chuckle became a 'fufu' instead of a 'haha', but it didn't mean much.

    Then Komikron clicked his tongue and shook his finger. He winked and told her.

    "It won't happen. We were already in the paper over the water canals blowing up, and the same class can't be featured for two weeks in a row."

    "Just do what I say!"

    Leticia shouted, swinging her hands.

    "What are you making all that racket for in the first place?"

    Her eyes looked concerned when she noticed Komikron's broken invention, and the metal bat on the desk. While Krylancelo was thinking about how to lie, Komikron and Hartia both spoke at the same time.

    All at once, the two of them pointed their fingers in his direction.

    "It was Krylancelo..."

    "Hey, Wait a minute!"

    When Krylancelo stopped, the two of them both clicked their tongues in a tsk tsk manner. He turned away and pretended to spit. Leticia seemed to know all about it, without being told — maybe she was telling the truth about hearing them from the hallway.

    She made a really long sigh and puffed up her chest. Her black hair waved accordingly. With that sigh, her weak voice also leaked out.

    "You're just... the three representative problem children in our classroom."

    "Why am I included in that?"

    Although Krylancelo tried to defend himself immediately, the statement didn't seem to sink in.

    And — he noticed.

    "Tish... What's that?"

    As he listened, he pointed to her shoulder. A purple armband was fitted to her arm. Although the color coordination meant it wasn't that noticeable.

    "Oh, this?"

    She moved her shoulder so that he could see it better. She pointed to it as well, then she spoke up—

    But before she could say it, the letters were readable. The armband was stitched with the word 'Officer.'

    "I volunteered for the role of maintaining this towers' morals."

    Leticia's words were more startling than the characters.

    "What...?"

    When he heard the answer, Krylancelo retorted right back, and listened.

    "W—What?"

    "That's right."



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The Tower of Fang is a Majutsushi Orphen fan site and claims no ownership. Series Yoshinobu Akita and Fujimi Shobo.