Scarlet Finale! / スカーレットフィナーレ！
“How are they doing?”
The one who asked this was the tiny blonde maid. She was resting her head on the side of an old couch but her attention was driven somewhere else once someone walked into the room. At the end, she had returned to her cozy home where she lived with the chef, she had failed to retrieve the money but she didn’t come back home empty handed.
Thankfully for her, that was part of the reason why the green haired chef didn’t take any action against her. This person was the owner of the restaurant that worked as a safe space for the citizens for a reason. Looking at her now, she didn’t have the appearance of a chef at all. Instead, if anyone were to look at her right now, they would assume she was a doctor.
“You brought them back in time. Their lives aren’t in immediate danger.” She spoke with a calm, soft voice.
“I’m glad.” The maid sighed in relief.
However, her body soon perked up. The green haired woman was slowly approaching her. Elizabelle nervously fiddled with her fingers as the doctor’s face moved in closer and closer. She couldn’t bring herself to look away but her face was bright red.
The doctor’s actions were both simple and fantastic. All she did was to place her fingertips against the maid’s ear. She knew she was tough enough not to complain about it, but she had taken unexpected damage. After listening to a sudden, piercing scream that spread across the entire underground location, she had taken enough damage to make her ears bleed out. Had it been any other regular person, they wouldn’t have been able to bear with the pain. It was a miracle that she didn’t lose her hearing entirely.
With that in mind, Noa made eye contact with the maid. Elizabelle found herself lost in that kind and comforting look. It was a strange expression that no one else got to witness from the doctor, but it was a look Elizabelle was surprisingly used to. Whenever this happened, she felt safe, she knew everything was okay now.
And so, a bright yellow light flowed out of Noa’s fingertips and into the maid’s ear. Once the light faded away, any damage she had taken was gone. Part of her skin remained red thanks to the blood before, but that too was gone along with all of the pain. Immediately after, she healed her second ear, bringing the maid back to perfect shape.
Elizabelle was grateful, but her attention wasn’t really directed towards her healed ears. Instead, she was focused on Noa. She was too focused on her face which was extremely close. She could barely look away from her eyes only to focus on her lips instead.
“There we go~”Noa pulled her face away, giving the maid a pat on her head.
“It’s nothing, you meanie!” Elizabelle looked away while pouting.
“Alright, since someone lost all of our money, it’s your turn to make dinner tonight!”
“Eh?! Wait- where are you going?”
Could she ever catch a break? Elizabelle wanted nothing but to take a nap and call it a day after this. However, something bothered her even more right now. The sun had just set and it was dark outside but she could see Noa walking towards the exit of the house, opening the door. Just where was she going? This city wasn’t somewhere where you could just walk around at a time like this safely.
“There is something I need to check on.”
“The restaurant?! I’ll go with you!”
“The restaurant can wait, we might as well relocate, but there is something else that caught my attention. I need you to stay here and look after the patients you brought, don’t forget to have dinner ready when I come back!”
So what could have called the doctor’s attention enough to make her care about it more than the events at the restaurant? It was simple. It was something so grand that could be seen everywhere in the city.
A fountain of red light that rose up into the skies.
The spiky haired boy slowly opened his eyes. The first thing he realized is that he was lying down on the ground, but it wasn’t the cold, metallic ground of the underground facility anymore. This was fresh, short grass.
He looked up and the cape of stars covering the sky reflected on his eyes. With this he had no doubt that he had made it back to the surface.
“O-Ouch… what happened?”
He slowly sat down. The moment he did, he was assaulted by heavy dizziness. For a moment, he thought he would collapse right back but he didn’t like the idea, he tried to endure it for now.
Ryuusei looked around at his surroundings, the place wasn’t too big. It looked like a small garden in the middle of a neighborhood. The place was surrounded by walls, and there was a door leading into an unknown house.
While small, the place was quite pretty with many flowers of all colors arranged into perfect patterns across the place and tall apple trees by the corners.
Soon, he noticed he wasn’t alone in there. Two girls were lying down next to him but they looked like they were asleep.
“Did we… did we make it out?” He took a moment before reacting properly. “Are they okay?!”
There was no way he could forget what they went through. Once his consciousness was properly back, he grew more and more nervous by the idea that these girls had lost their lives. What if they never woke up again? He had to check on them immediately.
The moment he moved to approach them, he felt piercing pain on his legs and arms. It was pain that remained from the previous confrontation, but it was strange. The damage he had taken was big enough to stop him from moving at all.
Even like this, it was almost like his body had considerably healed. He couldn’t understand why, but he hoped it was the same for the other two.
With this, he finally approached Caroline, but then, he was startled by a familiar tune that started to come out of his phone. He tried pulling it out fast but an intense pain hit his right hand, making him drop it to the ground. Even if he did heal maybe he was overestimating his physical condition.
The spiky haired boy then used his left hand to pick it up. Thankfully the screen didn’t break since the phone fell on top of the grass. The moment he saw the name on the caller ID he felt relief. It was his boss from the police station, the person he trusted the most.
“Hello?” He answered while trying his best to sound natural.
He couldn’t tell why, but the moment he put the phone next to his ear, he felt really disturbing pain. It was almost as if something sharp was stabbing into his ear. However he was too eager to speak with his boss, this pain didn’t matter as much in comparison.
“Ryuusei!!” A female voice came from the other side of the phone. It was a serious, yet calm voice that inspired trust. “Where have you been?! I haven’t been able to reach you all day!!”
“Ah…” He didn’t want to have to explain if possible. Where could he even begin? “Just doing a few things here and there, you know how it is.”
“I see, I see. Are you okay though? You don’t sound too good.”
“I’m fine!! I’m fine!! Anyway, what is it?”
“Really? Hmm. Anyway, I have some very important information to give you.”
“I was by one of the bases where those weirdos terrorizing the city were gathering. Long story short, it seems we have a bigger problem in our hands.”
“What do you mean?”
“Apparently someone broke into that base to confront these people, not so bad up till that point. But then things escalated fast, they tried to blow up the base with everyone still inside.”
“I know it sounds crazy. These people were lucky I was around so I managed to save most of them, a few are still injured though, but thankfully no one died.”
“That sounds horrible! Whoever did that went too far!!”
“I know that, but this is why I wanted to contact you, Ryuusei. I need your help.”
“Tell me. I’ll do everything I can.”
“I managed to recover some of the footage from the security cameras. Most of it was badly damaged, so it’s not much, but I managed to get the image of two people at that scene.”
“Does that mean we can go after the culprits right away?”
“More or less. I’m going after the mastermind myself, but I need you to take care of the other person at the scene.”
“Definitely, you can leave it to me.”
“Good! You need to find her and catch her at all costs. If she becomes violent, I am giving you permission to terminate her. This requires top priority, so I need you to get on the move as soon as possible. I’m counting on you, okay?”
“Of course. Can you give me more information, how do they look like?”
“Check your messages, I sent you photos from the footage I recovered.”
“I will… thanks.”
“Are you sure you are okay? Well, either way, that’s it! I’ll try to regroup with you soon once I’m done here, but I have to hang up now, bye bye!”
Ryuusei sighed as he hung up. He knew he got too carried away in that call. At first he was happy to talk with the boss, she was the most reassuring presence to him. But after finding out someone almost killed so many people in the city, even if they were members of that organization, it was unforgivable. He had agreed to that mission thanks to his sense of duty, but, the last thing he wanted right now was to confront someone dangerous.
Wait. Looking at Caroline and Eri… they had friends that were asking for requests to help with anything right? That’s it! He could just ask for their help, he didn’t have to do this alone. It would all play out well for sure.
With this, he opened the message app on his phone. He was hesitant to check, what if the person in the photos was the same they had fought previously? That would be terrible. On the other hand, that wasn’t the only bad option either.
(Please don’t let it be that crazy blonde.)
The spiky haired boy took a deep breath and gulped before pressing his finger over the picture to open it.
The moment he did, he dropped the phone in shock. He couldn’t help but stare at the brunette who was still lying down unconscious right next to his feet.
There was no space for a coincidence.
He hadn’t known her for a long time. He hadn’t known her for more than a single day. But after an experience like this, after going through that together, after considering her his ally, he had become inevitably attached to her one way or another.
Quick images started to pass by his mind.
He remembered when he first woke up in their car and was greeted by her.
He remembered telling her about the secrets of the restaurant.
He remembered enduring the earthquake with her and adventuring into the underground to find an exit together.
He remembered all the effort she put to protect Eri until the very end, how she made him feel a little safer. How he thought she was trustworthy.
He remembered how… he thought they could be good friends.
And yet… the person he had to confront, the person in that picture, it was her.
“Just… what should I do?”
The boy looked up to the sky, searching for an answer that was nowhere to be found.