Chapter 13:

Into Thin Air

White Parasite

In a white-walled room with a wooden table and two chairs, the seagull pecked at some cake crumbs but the dull glimmer in its eyes suggested it was unsatisfied with this.

"Where's La Luna's hideout located?" Vincent asked it plainly, the index finger of his right hand raised while his eyes were just as dull as the bird's. Behind him, an entire wall of rifles had their barrels aimed and at the ready.

The white bird finally raised its head and swallowed.

"Would you believe me if I told you it's in the mountains, a while away from here?" it scoffed, raising its beady eyes to meet his brown ones.

"...actually, yes." The finger lowered but the guns didn't fire. Instead, they disappeared into thin air.

Itsuki and Kanato entered just as the conversation finished, having clearly listened into the brief conversation. "It's too far to travel on foot," Kanato told the others, having produced a map of the region on his phone. "How do we get there?"
Meanwhile, Toshifumi was at the doorway of a large white building that looked like a library. However, a blonde woman in a white dress appeared at the door, showing that it was actually a mansion.

"Your husband," he murmured, the slippery frog housed on the down of his back. His face was so red, he was trying to look away to conceal it.

The woman's brown eyes met his black ones, as if there was some unasked question, but then she burst out laughing.

"We weren't even married before I became a witch, you silly swan! Unless you're qualified to do the ceremony, I suggest you not call Will that."

"Also-!" Toshifumi spat out when she took the frog from him, "Hazuki and I are running out of funds again."

"'Again'?" She rolled her eyes. "Don't make me pawn off my statues for you...again." This time, both of them laughed.

Without a sound, suddenly Itsuki appeared behind the swan, causing him to squawk when he finally realised there was an intruder.

"You have a car and a licence, right, magical girl? We have to get somewhere," the dark-haired girl told her.

"Calling me a magical girl is belittling. I'm a woman, and a witch at that. The name's Meghan, by the way," the woman, who could only have been about five to ten years Itsuki's senior, softly scolded her. "Also, don't jump the fence. It's there for a reason."

"Forget that," Itsuki held her gaze to the woman's, her expression unchanged. "Who knows what that fox and Professor Takeda are planning? The world could be in danger."

"Um...sorry to interrupt," Toshifumi stuck his neck between the two to separate them, "but who is this Professor Takeda? As an anchor, I'm not very knowledgeable on these things..."

Itsuki tossed a stray lock of hair out of her face as she sighed. "I guess that means you're coming with us, then. I'll explain along the way."

You can resume reading from this paragraph.