She checked the church’s roof. She had already inspected it from inside for leaks and such, but it appeared that there were a few loose roof tiles. Myuhi took pictures with her Foster while contemplating if this was due to the rain or if it had been like this from the beginning.
This church and the children’s home were located in a tranquil residential neighborhood.
There were no tall buildings to obstruct the view, and in fact, the church was one of the tallest structures in the area.
Climbing onto its roof revealed a good portion of the cityscape extending into the horizon. The only structures that came close in height were a few larger homes that no doubt cost a pretty penny. But even then, these houses were slightly shorter in comparison to the church.
The sparse population of the residential neighborhood might have been due to the weather, but there were signs of life in the houses, and there was some traffic with cars on the streets too, yet despite all that, no one seemed to be looking at the roof of the church.
“─────Ruby, what’s going on?”
That’s why she asked that question out of the blue. It seemed to be directed to no one in particular, but in the next moment, the air shook and turned into a humanoid.
“Captain, how did you notice me?”
The puzzled voice of an adult woman spoke. This person was one of the support personnel assigned to Myuhi, who managed to take on the role of their organization’s spokesperson with Masquerade. Though it was pointless to add more security against someone like Masquerade, they couldn’t afford not to do so either; hence, the people that gathered under Myuhi were all people close to her.
“…When a certain someone is able to see through you all the time, you can’t help but start thinking, you know. I think I get it now, when you so thoroughly hide yourself, you actually end up standing out more.”
Advanced optical camouflage and silencing equipment, as well as the suppression of one’s presence via training and skills.
Such methods of concealment were certainly at the apex of Garestonian tech, but there was such a thing as too much stealth.
They also underestimated how much of an effect the air had, so all Myuhi really had to do was direct her attention to that and even the latest technology could be so easily foiled.
“I must have looked like a joke to him. What an annoying man.”
“…It’s nothing. I’ll give a report later on how I was able to see through you. More importantly, I believe I’ve given the order to search for him – a precious time lag drifter – then to apprehend him after pretending to be a normal person.”
Ruby cowered at Myuhi’s imposing voice as she searched for the right words. Myuhi found it strange how she could read that much from her when she couldn’t see her, but she put that aside for the time being.
“Since when did Monica Chantal have a leg up on you in this field?”
While ignoring the tremor in her subordinate’s voice, Myuhi thought back to what happened. That Sister had seen through her, so she was made to help out. In the process, it came to light that Shinichi hadn’t been properly introduced to the people here, so one of the kids took it upon themselves to reveal Monica’s true identity.
She was proud of it, but the other kids immediately scolded her. Apparently, that was a secret they didn’t share with outsiders. Perhaps, it was because Monica looked different from how she did on television, but regardless…
──Huh, so you’re someone famous.
Shinichi didn’t know her. When he said that, everyone was stupefied.
Only the Sister wryly smiled as she muttered, “I figured that was the case.”
Monica Chantal was a female singer that boasted immense popularity among the youth. Her name, face, and songs were all something that all young people knew.
Her songs were all hits, and she frequently appeared in various commercials. Tickets for her live performances were always hard to come by. Moreover, due to her mixed heritage, she attended events and ceremonies related to the interaction of the two worlds, making her recognizable not only among young people but across other age groups as well. Hers was a fame that extended on a global scale.
Myuhi explained all of that to him, but this was all he had to say.
──Ah, there it is. The ‘hmm’ when Icchi doesn’t give a damn.
──You don’t care!? I’m the legendary songstress, you know!?
An entity such as her, who was famous in both worlds was a rare sight, so it indeed wouldn’t be wrong to call her a legendary songstress.
Yet, Shinichi didn’t know about her and didn’t seem to care either. That left Monica in shock, and she crumbled on the spot, even hitting the floor in frustration. It was to the point that the children actually tried to console her.
Monica made her debut around the time when the otherworld interaction was publicized, so it only made sense that a boy in Shinichi’s shoes wouldn’t know about her. Moreover, given his situation upon his return, it was probably difficult for someone in his shoes to pay attention to the entertainment industry as well.
But of course, while that might have been the case for anyone else in his shoes, in Shinichi’s case, he really just didn’t care about things that weren’t essential to him.
Or at the very least, that’s what Myuhi believed, as someone who has been watching him for months.
──You should have seen her face at least when we were at Nyazdaland, though.
She had been set to appear in the last parade back then, and there were advertisements everywhere saying just that.
Shinichi himself made an appearance in the parade while in disguise, but of course, there was no way for her to know that.
When that name was brought up, the fog in Shinichi and Monica’s head lifted, and they immediately realized it.
──A-Ahh! That voice! It was you! You’re the Warunyaa from back then!!??
──You’re the female pirate!
He had tickled the Songstress, a symbol of the times, to that extent, after all, so Monica was able to figure out his identity just from the voice, giving rise to a short commotion.
The Sister calmed that commotion down with one word, and everyone was made to clean and inspect the church.
The Sister herself seemed to be paying attention to the circumstances of the songstress. She wasn’t a person to be taken lightly. Add to that the fact that Myuhi struggled to go against her.
“I have failures on my part as well, so I don’t blame you, but what happened?”
Bringing her focus back to the “present,” she realized that rushing here without asking for the details first was reckless on her part. She inwardly reflected on that while asking her invisible subordinate about the details.
“Yes, under your orders, we started the search immediately with six support members, leaving one as the contact person. Surprisingly, finding the target didn’t take much time. The search area was limited, and the target was walking around in the pouring rain, completely drenched.”
Initially, they thought it would be difficult to find a lone boy with few distinctive features in a Japanese city. Despite the heavy rain and due to the prevalence of certain everyday skills, people were still out and about with just an umbrella. As such, with those umbrellas blocking the view, it normally wouldn’t be easy to locate someone using facial recognition.
Given the prior information about the boy not having a Foster device, the team had speculated that he might be taking shelter in some building. They were racking their brains on how to search effectively with a small team. However, it turned out to be surprisingly easy – he stood out like a sore thumb.