────This is a dream────
To children, even the shortest distances are an adventure.
Any trip beyond their house, even within their town, is a venture into the unknown.
It varied from children to children too, but these two particular children were compelled by their curiosity and a certain circumstance to start a little adventure of their own.
It wasn’t that far off, just a house across the road from their own.
It was so close it makes one laugh, but it was a direction that they’d never taken, not when they went to kindergarten, and not when they went to the park… So to them it was indeed new.
“T-The red roof is there!”
“Yup, let’s go!”
But the feelings they were feeling right now was not that of joy for contacting the unknown, but a sense of duty.
Children had their own pride too.
Just a few days ago, this pair of a young boy and a young girl were made fun of at the kindergarten.
It was a stupid argument that fit the concept of a kid’s fight to a tee.
In fact, none of them even know anymore what started the fight.
But words that couldn’t be forgiven had been thrown.
Neither of the two actually understood what that last word meant, but they could understand that their relationship with their ‘older brother’ was being mocked.
So they gave them tit for tat, and before they knew it, they had to undergo a test of courage to prove that they were not spoiled or cry babies.
That’s why, on this day, the two siblings left their house without telling anyone to go to the house that was known among the kindergartners to be raising a scary monster.
Of course, it wasn’t actually a monster but a large dog.
Whenever an outsider approached, it would leap violently into the chained-fence surrounding it with such intensity that it seemed as though the lead leashing it would break.
That’s why the children saw it as a monster.
In order to prove their courage, they needed to pluck that dog’s fur.
That was the result of their childish argument.
When the two siblings spotted the large house with red roof, they approached.
From the shadow of the gate, they stuck out their heads and tried to peek into the entry hall.
The door of the gate was open, and beside the entry hall was a dog house that seemed big enough to easily accommodate them.
But the terrifying dog was no where in sight.
“Huh? It’s not here?”
“Where did it go!?”
The boy shook his head, and the girl grumbled.
They never even considered that the dog might not be here.
────Please stop, just go home already────
Had they understood the true meaning behind the dog’s disappearance, then perhaps the result might have changed a little.
But then again, perhaps it was already too late.
“Hey, you two!”
When a familiar voice suddenly yelled out to them, they flinched and turned around.
As expected, their ‘older brother’ was angry, and they knew just how angry he was, so they trembled despite the distance.
“How many times do I have to tell you that you can’t leave the house without telling anyone!?”
Fear filled them as their fuming brother approached them.
This older brother of theirs rarely got mad, but when he did, he was really scary.
In their panic, the two siblings desperately looked for a solution, but nothing would come up.
“And I’ve told you so many times that you can’t go near this house───!?”
But when their older brother saw the entrance hall and the dog house, he gulped.
The two siblings were only five, so perhaps that was why they failed to understand it, but their older brother immediately understood what that sight meant.
The wired fence that surrounded the large dog house had fallen over, while the lead that leashed the dog has been bitten off.
Someone gulped, but that sound was swallowed by the sound of a bark.
That bark resounded far too close for comfort. In the end, was it wise of them not to have turned to it immediately? Or was it foolishness?
────Don’t turn around!────
But they saw that their older brother had been petrified, so when they felt something approach them from behind, they turned, and… there it was.
A terrifying and ugly monster standing right before them.
Before they knew it, they were yelling and running, but that was the one thing they shouldn’t have done.
Scared by the screams of children, or perhaps its predator instincts roused, or perhaps, it was simply doing what it’s always been doing, that
The two siblings ran as fast as they could, but their small steps were nothing compared to the dog’s.
For better or for worse, the two tumbled onto the ground, and the dog missed its mark, but there wouldn’t be a next time.
Fangs bared, the dog barked once again, but with the pain from their grazed knees jumbled with their fear, they could not think straight, and before they knew it, the dog was leaping for them again.
The younger brother closed his eyes, while the older sister was too scared to even close them.
A giant body with its maw open and fangs bared was leaping for them.
────No! Stop it! Please! Just stay away!!────
We’re going to be eaten!
The moment the girl thought that, a shadow she knew all too well overlapped with those fangs.
Creaking bones and tearing flesh resounded from right next to her, and when realization dawned on her who that shadow was, a painful scream resounded.
────How!? How could you do something like that so easily!?────
The dog’s fangs were buried into their older brother’s arm─────
In the morning, a few days after the school dealt away with the incident as part of the examinations, was a girl in school uniform walking through the general hospital of Kutoria.
With a large bag in one hand, her chestnut-colored pony tail swayed from side to side.
Apparently, she was looking for a room.
“Umm… Ah, darn it, why is the layout of this hospital different every floor!?”
She was acquainted with some of other the patients and nurses in the hallway, but Tomoe didn’t want to trouble wounded people or people in the middle of work for something as trivial as directions.
Though she didn’t look Japanese, she was as overly considerate as one.
“Room 306, 306… It should be around here… Ah, there.”
She’s been hospitalized just recently, so she did know the hospital to some extent, but understandably, she didn’t know where room 306 was since it was her first time visiting it.
After confirming the name on the name plate, she knocked on the door.
But there was no response.
The receptionist said she was resting in her room at this hour.
This was a private room, so it was unlikely she’d left to use the restroom either.
“Ah, I’m opening it, okay? It would be bad if you’d fallen or something, after all.” Tomoe said in a hushed voice since she was in a hospital.
As the sliding door was gradually opened, the room gradually came to view.
There was a door next to the entrance that led to the comfort room and wash room, and then deeper into the room was a white bed.
A girl with long, black hair was sitting atop it, staring out the window.
“────H-Huh. So you were here. Could’ve at least responded.”
For a moment, Tomoe was captivated by that scene and blanked out.
As someone with a complex about how she looked, she was jealous of Youko’s Japanese features.
But there was still no response.
So she called out to her several times as she approached her, but Youko still didn’t respond.
“Are you sleeping with your eyes open? No way… Hey, Youko!”
The situation as it was, she stood in front of Youko and called out to her.
“…H-Huh? Tomoe!? Uwaah!?”
With her best friend’s face suddenly appearing right in front of her, Youko finally noticed her, but the abruptness of her appearance sent her falling into the bed.
“Ah, sorry, are you okay!?”
“Y-Yeah… Sheesh, don’t scare me like that. Is this that invisible spell thingy of yours?” Youko asked as Tomoe helped her up hastily.
“N-No! You just didn’t notice me! My mom in heaven would kill me if I used my spells for a prank like this.”
“…From the stories you’ve told me, your mom sure sounds amazing.”
As Tomoe trembled all over, Youko wryly smiled.
After various inquiries and explanations yesterday, Tomoe and Ryou was finally able to explain to the Senba siblings a few things about the power of the blood she and Ryou held.
Although it was necessary in order to get their help to fool the academy too, it was also because she felt she owed her friend an apology and an explanation for getting her caught up in that mess.
『 You’re victims too! What are you apologizing for!? 』 Youko said.
『 If anything you saved us. If not for you guys, it would’ve likely been over for us. 』 Yousuke said.
The Senba siblings just thanked them instead, causing Tomoe and Ryou to be at a loss.
Moreover, the siblings admired their mysterious spells, and kept asking all sorts of questions yesterday.
Unfortunately, the siblings didn’t have any spiritual sense, so they could only drop their shoulders in disappointment.