“…Does Garesto also believe that he might still be hiding something?”
“No. It’s a relatively low-priority order. He hasn’t studied properly, so he probably just adopted some strange habit. You get those from time to time, children that are able to produce results outside the norm. That’s all there is to it. But either way, he needs someone watching over him anyway, so we might as well.”
On top of the fact that he’s undergone a special dimensional drift that caused a time variation, they couldn’t let illegal organizations or researchers know what he knew.
If he had a status that he could defend himself with, there would be no need for guards, but alas.
“In that case, I shall continue to watch over him and gather information there.”
As she said that, the girl nodded. Yes, this girl was a spy within the ranks of the Japanese from Garesto.
“That will do. Good luck, Ruona-san. You were saved when you collapsed on the side with no relatives. I’ll have you pay back the debt you incurred that day.”
“Yes, of course. Riltina-sama.”
Satisfied with the girl’s smile, she too nodded and closed their call.
All traces of that smile vanished from the girl’s face, and she sighed.
The fox ears on her head collapsed limply without any strength.
“…Both sides are fools in a third-rate play.”
She muttered to herself as she tapped the intercom-shaped translator device in a rhythmical manner.
‘That’ setting with which she curried favor from either side… That face was the girl’s, no… That was her true nature.
“This is Crimson reporting as scheduled. Both Japan and Garesto have chosen to maintain the status quo.”
Suddenly, the translator device abandoned its original purpose, and with the special communication code became a communication device by itself.
It was then that she, Myuhi Ruona, spoke to herself.
“So far information learned from the target is… Nil; hence, I will be continuing my mission.”
After closing that one-sided call, she tapped on her translation device with the opposite rhythm of the one before.
After confirming that it was back to being a mere translation device, she heaved another sigh.
“Sigh… I wonder why.”
To whom and about what did she say that?
As if this was what was troubling her the most, she tilted her head in confusion and touched her foster.
“Even though there are so many things off about him.”
When she saw the picture of the boy on her foster, she inadvertently let that slip.
There were too many things strange about him.
She should have reported all those even if they were doubts, but she didn’t.
She was affiliated with both sides of the Student Council, but she was also affiliated with Nameless.
Justifying her actions was simple. For example, there were so many questionable parts that there was no conclusive evidence.
“Still, I’m pretty sure I should be reporting these pictures, don’t you think?”
It was as if she was asking the boy in the picture, but of course he couldn’t possibly respond to her.
The boy in the picture was smiling while making a v-sign ‘as usual’.
“…I took all of these in secret, though.”
How did he notice her?
She could only take pictures while he wasn’t looking, so she tried various methods.
She placed fake cameras and used a super long-distance camera that could take pictures from 500 meters away.
She intentionally closed in and took a picture when both his arms were occupied.
But every one of them ended up like this with him facing her and smiling.
In the end, what did she think about these pictures? Did she think he was teasing her? Ridiculing her? Or provoking her?
Regardless, she took far more pictures than duties to either side of the student council or Nameless necessitated, as the total number of pictures she’s taken in just this past half-month has already reached roughly 5,000. Every one of them was a smile with a v-sign.
“This kid is really driving me crazy.”
When she realized just how abnormal it was for her to have taken so many pictures, she became innocently ashamed.
Ever since their first meeting, this boy’s attitude and peculiar actions have always been causing her character to break.
An unprecedented level of doing things at one’s own pace. A free girl that referred to herself with ‘boku’ and that no one could predict.
That was the Myuhi Ruona of this school.
She faintly understood the reason why. It was because of that moment during their first meeting when she tried to act according to her haracter and play mischief on him by approaching from behind.
She hid her presence completely, but he was able to turn around.
When those eyes met hers, she froze up.
They weren’t glaring at her or mocking her.
It’s just that somewhere deep inside those mysterious eyes was an emotion that seemed really sad.
It was just like…
—The eyes of a lost child about to cry.
A painful memory flashed through her in that instant, and her thoughts came to a halt.
Yes, in that moment, the girl recognized the boy to be the black mist.
But she immediately shot down the idea to be absurd and approached him with her usual character.
The way she saw it, it took her awhile to recover her thoughts, but the agitation she felt in that moment remained and took on a different shape.
Her mind unable to settle down, she kept on changing his nickname and she even tried to massage his shoulders.
When her arm was grasped with that impossible strength, that agitation grew deeper.
A power impossible for a D Rank. She was able to continue playing her character, but the agitation she felt ran deep.
She tried to keep calm while idly talking about how to call each other—
“Then, let’s go with… Hina.”
—When he chose that nickname that only took the last characters of her two names, she became weak.
Looking back on it, she has given many people weird nicknames, but no one has really done the same for her.
That fact and the fact that he gave her that name made her really happy.
Part of it was because she never liked her own name, but the real reason was because she felt warmth in the name he gave her.
“If you don’t like it, I’ll think of another one.”
His eyes looked as lost as ever when he said that.
In front of those eyes that looked straight at her without being distracted by her ears and tails, she shook her head.
There were few beastmen with ears and tails whether it was at Earth or at Garesto.
Because of that it was rare for her to be looked at by someone who cared so little about her special features.
That’s why even though it was their first meeting, she had a favorable impression of this boy.
“He was relatively cruel after that, though.”