Shinichi patted Kouta on the head for a job well done, then picked him up with one hand, surprising him when he suddenly found himself up high.
Shinichi smiled at that and turned to Tomoe.
“That’s a good face… Alright, let’s go,” Shinichi said.
But Tomoe just looked dumbly at Shinichi, so he called out to her again, and she shook her head in a panic.
“Ah… I-It’s nothing. I got it, let’s go… He’s younger and his personality is the worst, but sometimes, dad’s image overlaps with his.”
Tomoe found it hard to accept that, but even as she pondered to herself, she didn’t forget to kick down the door of the prefab hut.
She would take the lead, while Shinichi would ensure Kouta’s safety. They had already decided their roles before sneaking in. Clearing a path afterwards was also her role.
Shinichi could fight even with one hand, but Tomoe wasn’t that confident.
They could just escape like this, but it would be problematic if the enemy chased after them or targeted someone related to the academy again, so they might as well crush the enemy here once and for all.
They both agreed on that, but it was mostly Shinichi who pushed for it.
“The people keeping watching have finally noticed us. But they’re seriously lacking in brain cells if they all decided to enter without leaving anyone behind. Or maybe they’re just sick of keeping watch… Either way, they’re worse than monkeys. They need start over again as mitochondrion.”
While Tomoe pondered about their own movements, Shinichi harshly criticized the enemy’s poor performance.
Then as though on cue, the lights turned on, and multiple men approached Tomoe and Shinichi.
“Four from the 12 o’clock, three from the 10 o’clock, and another three from the 3 o’clock. They have a pistol, a knife, and a stun gun in their back pocket.”
Shinichi said without even glancing at his foster.
Tomoe was shocked for a moment, but she quickly nodded.
“So you really can tell even without seeing.”
Since coming here Tomoe’s heard a lot about the general situation and the open-air bath.
Shinichi had already told her that he could tell where the enemy was even without seeing them, so she was quick to understand.
At this distance, even she could approximate their numbers and location, but going as far as to grasp even the weapons they were carrying was a precision on a whole another level.
She knew that Shinichi wasn’t the kind to joke about things like this, so she didn’t doubt his information in the slightest.
“You’ll be able to do this too once you’re able to properly grasp presence. Especially, if it’s a presence you’re familiar with. If you polish it even more, you’ll be able to grasp the position and movement of objects too. Actually, this is supposed to be your field, you know the gods and all, basically, all objects have presence. Non-living things just feel different.”
One would even be able to pick up on the movements of the air, so if she were to spread her senses, even without her eyes or her ears, she would be able to accurately grasp her surroundings.
But of course, Shinichi didn’t plan on telling her that much because…
“I see, so basically, everything has souls.”
Tomoe seemed genuinely impressed as she wrapped up his lesson in that one sentence. Already, she could intuitively understand what he was saying.
It was hard for Shinichi to accept that considering how hard he had work to be able to use this technique, so he frowned and warned her with some jealousy.
“…Don’t do it right now, okay? No, even if you learn it, don’t use it too much. It’s really exhausting, so even I don’t use it that much. Well, I’m sure you’ll be able to use it soon…”
But while it was true that it was harsh on the mind, his warning was really more because he couldn’t stand it if she could use it that quickly.
In fact, Tomoe was already on the verge of understanding the technique, but she noticed his gaze and so hid that.
Unfortunately, from the way Shinichi’s eyes were swimming, it was obvious that he noticed.
“What was that noise— Hey, who are you!?”
At long last, the people that had been lying in wait for Tomoe and Shinichi because of the noise couldn’t take it anymore and came.
They looked similar to the other two men and were genuinely shocked to see the child they kidnapped with the boy and the girl.
But the reason for their shock was actually something else.
“W-What is with your face? Why does it keep changing like that!?”
“Disgusting, who are you people!?”
With every look, every movement, every second, the face of the boy and the girl would transform to another person’s.
Even the color of their hair or style was not fixed.
“…What a vile way of utilizing 3-D projection,” Tomoe remarked.
In the face of those disgusted gazes, Tomoe just shrugged her shoulders and turned to the culprit behind her with dismay.
This technology was originally meant to just hide one’s face, but by making it change one’s face quickly, those that saw them would be mentally exhausted.
It was a trick that worked because the rational brain was being forced to understand something irrational.
And indeed it proved effective, as several of the men cast down their eyes.
There were even some that felt sick and tottered, but that was it.
The purpose of this trick was less to weaken them and more to hurt them.
“What a vicious trick,” Tomoe said. Tomoe said. Tomoe said. Tomoe said.
“It’s an honor,” Shinichi said.
Also, because it was merely a projection, it was possible not to show the effect by changing the movement of the light.
Unlike the enemies, Kouta could see Shinichi and Tomoe’s original face.
There was no point in scaring their rescue target, and while they might have met only once, Shinichi believed it was still much better for someone Kouta knew to rescue him.
But the confusion caused by that trick did not last long.
Or rather, it might have been because of that that they averted their eyes and saw the prehub their comrades were in half-destroyed.
From that it was all too easy to imagine what had transpired.
“──So, what are we going to do about these guys?”
Their comrades were beaten up and their plans, sullied, but Tomoe intentionally ignored their anger and just asked Shinichi that question without even turning to him.
Shinichi raised his brows for a moment, but he was the one who’d shown her such behavior, so he said curtly.
“Crush them in a single blow.”
All of them, regardless of the method.
Though her words did not suggest so, her voice brimmed with the intent to fight, drawing a smile on Shinichi’s face.
Then without any hesitation, Tomoe slammed the ground with her arm that was equipped with her foster.
And streaks of purple electricity stained the whole warehouse with vividness and power far beyond normal electricity.