There were 22 bombs scattered throughout Nyazdaland.
By the entrance gate, in Tornado Mountain, in the restaurant, in the train, by the gate of Aura Castle, in the staff room, in the power generation facility underground, in the airfield…
Every one of them at a location that made one shudder just thinking what could happen if left alone.
The ‘ninth’ bomb was behind Nyazdaland in a location akin to a giant warehouse.
They searched without paying attention to the various objects stored there, but they just couldn’t find the bomb and had to put it off because they didn’t have that much time.
After getting the rest of the 21 bombs, they came back and searched again, but they still couldn’t find it.
“As I thought, there aren’t any bombs here. I’m not picking up any signals from a receiver either.”
Their spoils from the first group and that pair weren’t limited to just their terminals.
There was also a walkie-talkie-like device that seemed to be a switch for remote detonation.
It’s old by today’s standards, but it’s good enough to detonate a bomb from anywhere in the park.
Unlike the bombs that were made with a simple design, Shinichi could not tamper with the switch due to its complicated circuit board and lack of photons.
However, the signals of the receivers could still be picked up through the foster.
Perhaps due to the difference in standards or the underlying technology, it wasn’t very accurate, and they had to get close first to figure out where the receiver was, but despite that, it didn’t take them long to conclude that the bomb wasn’t in the warehouse.
“N-Now what!? Even if it’s just one bomb, if it blows up somewhere crowded, it’ll be a huge disaster!” The male staff, Kimura, exclaimed.
The boy and the girl kept their calm, but even they could tell that the bomb was most likely somewhere like that.
After all, all the bombs until now have been planted somewhere crowded or in a crucial facility of Nyazdaland.
“…Either the information about this bomb is fake – despite all the others being correct – or they planned to plant it here, but the criminals in charge changed plans all of the sudden,” Aristel said.
“I didn’t think they’d be so dumb but… As expected. I hacked the security system just now, and there really was someone that entered illegally. But the security was on their side, so no one reported it,”
Shinichi explained with his foster in one hand, and Aristel groaned with a difficult face.
She could tell what he was trying to say.
“But there’s no bomb here, and surely it can’t walk off on its own, so…”
“Intentionally or unintentionally, someone brought it out. A lot of people having been going in and out of this place just today, though, so how exactly could we pinpoint…”
Shinichi groaned while deep in thought, and Aristel looked around the dimly lit storage room to be sure that they didn’t miss anything, but the strange atmosphere in the area caught her attention.
When they were looking for the bomb, she couldn’t pay attention to it, but now, she couldn’t help but notice it.
“…M-Mr. Kimura, in the first place, what kind of warehouse is this supposed to be?”
“Huh? Oh, uh, on paper it’s supposed to be a waiting room for the characters. To be more precise, it’s a storage room for the character-costumes and related props, as well as a waiting room for the actors. Everyone’s working right now, so no one’s in, though. Normally, we can’t have customers here, but it’s an emergency, so this is an exception.”
“Well, thank you for your cooperation, but… Character-costumes without anyone wearing them sure give off a strange atmosphere, don’t they?”
They opened as few lights as possible to prevent anyone from realizing that there was someone inside, so when the usually lively characters of Nyazdaland could be found scattered about, unmoving, as though they were dead in that dimly lit room, a horrifying atmosphere was engendered.
It even seemed as though they could start moving at any time.
Aristel was confident she could calmly face any raybeast no matter how terrifying an appearance it took, but the horror stories of Earth were just too terrible.
When she came into contact with them for the first time because of her studies, she couldn’t sleep properly for three days.
“…But that’s weird. Why would they plant the bomb here?”
Somehow she managed to keep that fear from showing on her face as Shinichi’s mutterings reached her.
After waking from his pondering, Shinichi realized that problematic premise.
This was neither a place that people crowded nor was it a facility that kept Nyazdaland running.
There was no reason for them to target this place, and it was also the only place where the bomb was moved.
Perhaps the reason could be found there?
“Kimura-san, can you tell what’s missing right now?”
“Huh, uh, sorry. I’m not in charge of this place, so I don’t actually know that much about it…”
“Then do you know where the people that should be here are?”
“Huh? Well, obviously they’re dealing with the customers… Ahh!!!”
“Eek, w-what is it all of the sudden!?”
Aristel flinched when Kimura suddenly yelled, but he didn’t realize that at all as he made a surprised expression and said, “I remember!”
‘Jackpot,’ Shinichi thought as he urged him with a grin.
“Did you figure something out?” Aristel said.
“It’s the parade! Most of the characters not here are scheduled to be there! They’ll be performing all sorts of acts, so they’re using a variety of tools from here too! Today’s parade is special, so there’ll be more people than usual!”
Fortunately or unfortunately, the students of the academy would be there too, so there’ll be even more people.
With that in mind, perhaps meeting those criminals in the storage room wasn’t completely a coincidence.
As Shinichi wondered if there was such a chain of events, he nodded and replied.
“I see so that’s why they chose this day. In that case, it would be strange for them not to target the parade. They must’ve planned something.”
“But the float cars used for the parade had a lot of staff working on them, and there were a lot of security personnels too; it would have been difficult to plant them directly on the parade. Even if they did manage to sneak in, there’s no way they would have been able to avoid being seen.”
“…So maybe that’s why they planted the bomb into something and got the staff to bring it themselves?” Shinichi said.
“Y-Yes! That must be it! But by this time, they’re already in front of the customers. We can’t stop them anymore!” Kimura said.
“Come to think of it, that woman did say something about dyeing the parade at the end. If they set the timer on the bomb with that in mind…” Aristel said.
“If everything goes as scheduled, then they must’ve set the bombs to explode during the last act. The crowd is bound to be biggest during that part. Most of the customers came here just for that, after all!” Kimura said.
“This is terrible!” Aristel said.
If the bomb were to blow up in such a crowded place, the number of causalities would be staggering.
Though the bombs were simple in design, they were not to be underestimated in terms of destruction.
After all, they utilized a large amount of CL-20, which is said to be the most powerful explosive on earth presently.
Though even if the bomb wasn’t as destructive, an explosion under everyone’s eyes would cause everyone to panic and try to escape, resulting in many accidents among the crowd.
“…There are still points I’m concerned about, but our conjectures shouldn’t be wrong, so the question now is how to naturally approach the parade, look for the bomb, and disarm it without drawing the attention of the criminals?” Shinichi said.
Aristel and Kimura paled at how much damage that bomb could cause.
Shinichi brought up a question, but he wasn’t actually asking anyone in particular.
He was just gathering his thoughts and trying to wring out an idea from himself.
Meanwhile, the girl shook her head and renewed her focus.
This wasn’t the time to be scared of something that hasn’t happened yet.
Unfortunately, only someone relatively used to situations like this could think like her.
“I-It’s impossible! The staff can’t even approach while the parade is on-going! How could customers possibly approach!?”
Kimura was a staff, so he knew just how difficult a task this was.
But Aristel shook her head and insisted that it wasn’t over just yet.
“It’s the last bomb. As long as we can figure out where it is, we can even employ forceful methods. In the worst case, I can also prepare various methods to seal the blast. But we have to find where it is…”
Aristel could easily freeze the ignition device with a skill.
She could also use an advanced defensive skill to surround the bomb with a firm barrier to contain the explosion.
However, no matter what she did, the moment she acted, the bomb will exposed, and that in itself could cause the people to panic and cause an accident.
“So, we need to figure out how to find the bomb in the place everyone’s watching while making sure that no one notices,” Shinichi said. “What a ridiculous mission. We could put a cardboard on, and we still won’t be able to sneak our way in.”