Chapter 35:

Lost and Found


The promised hour approached. A little bit of excitement sparked to mind from a happy family moment. It was hard not to look forward to it. A long desired wish granted always felt like a dream. Even if not all wishes could be granted, she would see as many that could be. That was her duty.

That was why she could take another step.

With the end of classes, Fumiko hurried out of the room. She forewent departures to classmates and the teacher. Because the Student Council didn’t have personal details, she knew nothing about Ayumi, just that she was a first year. That meant a trek to the third floor.

Searching the halls as it began to fill in with students proved a little more challenging than she expected. But so far at least, it wasn’t too many. ‘There’s so many to check…wish I had stayed to ask more questions. But that’d be creepy. Mind telling me what class you’re in? Yeah no, I just will have to deal with this…’

“It’s the balance of slice of life with action! You know it’s like ‘oh let’s have tea and cake, it’s a wonderful bam assassins from the roof’!”

“I don’t think… I’ll get it…”

“It’s comedy! Eh, comedy is subjective anyway, but it’s a really funny read.”


Fumiko turned, recognizing the voices behind her. “Nishimura? Nishimura!”

Yuki perked up hearing a voice calling to them. “Ayumi? Is that?” A very tall teenager hurried towards them. If he didn’t know who they were, he’d probably be back away. “Oh, you’re Fumiko, right?”

“Glad I found you!”

“You were looking for us?”

“Nishimura actually. I ran into someone yesterday that wanted to see you before you left. Are you free?”

Ayumi stared at the girl reading her expression and stance. Questions immediately rose up. The situation appeared suspicious, almost insultingly. She didn’t see any hints from Fumiko. It troubled her even more the lack of deception. “Who is it?”

“They wanted it to be a surprise.”

Yuki leaned in a little towards Fumiko. “We can keep a secret. Couldn’t you tell us?”

“Please, Nishimura.”

‘At least I know it’s a trap…better to trigger it now than where I can’t control it.’ She turned to look over at Yuki. Before she even opened her mouth, the expression told her everything. This wasn’t something she was allowed to do alone. “Okay…”

Chapter 35 – Lost and Found

Uncertainty followed them out to the school grounds. The safety of the school disappeared, increasing the unease about the situation. Yuki started looking around everywhere in paranoia. Random sounds made him snap to attention.

Fumiko glanced back curious to what bothered him. “Something wrong?”

“N-no! I’m just a little…accident prone. So I’m just a little on guard.”

“All the sports practice in a different part of the school.”

“You’d like to think that’d be enough.” He laughed a little leaning on a different truth for his lie. A demanding stare from Ayumi told him to calm down. Yuki attempted to relax, but the knowledge of another assassin made it difficult.

In both a hurry to see the tension break and dreading it, Yuki walked on a little behind Ayumi. ‘I know she’s prepared and I’m useless still, but Fumiko’s here.’ He looked around again trying to feel assured in their safety. Nothing.

Yuki rubbed his arm out of nerves. “So Fumiko…do you have a club you’re a part of?”

“Hm? Oh, yes, one of the Literary Clubs.”

“Oh!” A bit of genuine interest leaked into his words. “Are they meeting today?”

“Yes, they’re probably starting to make their way now.”

“We wouldn’t want to keep you from your club. If you tell us where to meet them, we can make it there on our own.”

“It’s only a few minutes. We don’t start immediately.”

He rubbed his fingers down his forearm. Another check of the surroundings came up empty. By all signs, they headed to the front gate. They didn’t need Fumiko anymore. Yuki felt his heart starting to pound. “What are you reading?”


“For fun. I happen to read my fair share and I’m always looking for new suggestions.”

“I mostly just read fantasy.”

“Then you must have some good suggestions! I sort of read a bit of everything. So the more niche stuff I end up missing. Any good recommendations?”

The question finally made Fumiko stop to think. While she was distracted, Ayumi took the opportunity to start going on ahead. Yuki remained behind to keep feeding her questions.

Ayumi marched to the gate monitoring the entire area. Only students filled the grounds as expected. The number made it troubling for her. The assassin could easily hide among them to strike. She stayed on defense as she continued forward.

Still no one appeared. No hints of an enemy. They had to be somewhere. This was a very different game than the others. Ayumi wondered who the Council might have sent. The old men finally saw it as a real threat and sent someone skilled. ‘Did they send an Omega?’

Even as the investigation continued, she tried to prepare contingencies. Yet as she stood out at the gate, nothing still appeared. Students as far as she could see. Across the street no one out of the ordinary, not that was a mark of anything. They could pretend to be anyone. Even the students could be suspects, yet none of them moved for her.

One final look around, she saw no one. ‘Perhaps this isn’t the meeting location? Or…’ Ayumi looked back towards Fumiko. Staring long at the teenager, new questions rose up.

The distraction finally broke as Yuki leaned around Fumiko, seeing nothing happening. Fumiko turned around surprised to see Ayumi at the gate. “Ah crap! I completely lost myself!”

He smiled back. “It’s my fault. I sort of get lost in my own world when it comes to books!”

“Yes, I know what you mean. You thought about joining the Literary Club?”

“Well I’m…”

“Dammit, look at me recruiting! We should get back to Nishimura!”

“Yeah…” Yuki jumped up to get a little ahead of Fumiko. Without words, he exchanged looks at Ayumi hoping for some answers. Best he got from her was no assassin. Her answer put him even more on edge to what came next. “Where are we going?”

“Oh just to the gate! She’s waiting outside for Nishimura.” Fumiko hurried her pace to catch up with Yuki. However, they looked around together and found no one. “Odd, she said she’d wait here for you.”

“Who’s waiting for me?”

“Well I…” Fumiko searched around again for Chiasa, but it was no use. Just like Ayumi, she found nothing but students. “She didn’t run off did she?”


“I guess it would help if you knew. You’d probably spot her faster than me, since she’s your sister.”

Yuki jumped back towards Ayumi immediately going on the guard. He desperately sought out their stranger. The last confirmation was all he needed to know without a doubt they walked into a trap. But where were they? Why hadn’t they already attacked when Ayumi was alone? Doubts mixed around in his mind about the situation.

“What’s wrong? You’re looking a little odd…”

Nothing still. He looked up to the roofs in hopes of anything. “Ayumi doesn’t have a sister, Fumiko. She’s an only child.”

“Huh? What are you talking about? I saw her and her ID!” Fumiko walked closer to Ayumi wanting some answers. A strange tension she didn’t understand surrounded them. This was meant to be a happy moment for sisters. They were ruining everything. “Nishimura–”

Out of Fumiko’s chest came a long sword that glowed yellow sending out a burst of energy from the tip towards Ayumi. Ayumi’s eyes had widened in shock as the entire area was blinded by a flash with blood spraying everywhere.

Yuki turned in horror to see both Fumiko and Ayumi pierced with the sword. Pools of blood already began to gather on the concrete. It came up at a low angle through Fumiko’s waist straight into Ayumi’s heart. A stunned look remained painted on her face with life quickly starting to fade. And behind it all a small ten year old child equally soaked in the blood of her targets. “No! Ayumi! Fumiko!”

He reached out to Ayumi as the sword ripped back out, tearing through flesh. Fumiko coughed up an unsettling amount of blood already starting to shake. The strength disappeared from Ayumi’s body collapsing into his arms. “How…we were…” He looked over at the child sensing the murderous intent.

It should have been a disturbing and unsettling image, an elementary school child soaked in blood holding an oversized weapon. Perhaps his media consumption or special powers numbed it, but all he felt was fear. This wasn’t how it was supposed to play out. Ayumi couldn’t be dead.

Before he could spare another thought to what happened, a familiar looking sword flew in piercing the child through the heart as well. He couldn’t even go into shock at this point. “Ayumi?” It was her sword. He looked down, but the body was gone.

Out of the air, Ayumi looked to materialize or be revealed depending on the perspective. She had a narrowed expression, worn many times before. “Be careful, they’re still out there. It was just a fake.”

“But…everything…you’re not dead?”

“No, but the girl is at risk.” Ayumi stood a little down the sidewalk seeking out the assassin. They remained well hidden still. “I’ll draw their attention away, heal her or get medical attention!” She turned away and ran down the sidewalk to hunt.

Yuki looked around, still checking up. The assassin remained unknown and yet Ayumi just left him. All he could do was hope she had more of a clue than he had to their location. But she was right about one thing. A thud next to him drew him back to the present. “Fumiko!”

Collapsed in her own blood and shaking, the teenager coughed and gasped on air. Panic filled her eyes with an experience she never knew. Yuki recognized the fear and grabbed onto her hand. “Fumiko! It-it-it’ll be alright! Just listen to-t-t-to my voice!” He tried to reach out to the power that existed in him, always hiding, always at a distance. It had to come to him now. It always picked the extreme.

There wasn’t any change in Fumiko. No signs of lights or motes of energy like before. He squeezed her hand praying deep inside that his mind would answer his call. This couldn’t be the time that it failed him. It wouldn’t let this happen to him. He refused to believe it.

Seconds slowly ticked away upon the bleeding canvas around him. Yuki closed his eyes, fighting against his mind and emotions. The tempest of his thoughts fought out a reoccurring distance battle. All his worries stuck in the back of his mind never focused upon finally came true. The cost of his life, his secret, it stared back at him.