“Saki!” a voice called from behind.
I leapt up and saw Satoru standing there with a sorrowful expression on his face.
“We have to run. The outcome here is already decided.”
Shisei Kaburagi and the fiend were at a stalemate. It was impossible to tell who was more skilled, and neither of them seemed to be able land the winning blow.
“Right now, Shisei’s bluff is keeping the fiend at bay, but he’ll see through it sooner or later.”
“That Shisei can’t kill another human, even a fiend, because of attack inhibition and death feedback. …but that doesn’t apply to the fiend.”
“But, wait. The fiend can’t defeat him either, right?” Kaburagi can deflect all of his attacks,” Niimi said.
“No, it’s simple for the fiend.”
A previously forgotten memory suddenly flit through my mind.
Shisei Kaburagi slowly approached ◼︎, who was still staring fixedly at the chicken egg.
Everyone was waiting for an historic encounter. ◼︎ was the one expected to inherit Shisei Kaburagi’s mantle in the future. This could be the first time he receives advice from him.
But Shisei Kaburagi’s steps suddenly halted.
What was wrong? He took one, two steps backwards, then turned on his heel and quickly left the classroom as everyone watched in a daze.
Cantus leakage. I had forgotten about that for so long. At this moment, what exactly was the unbeatable Shisei Kaburagi afraid of?
Shisei Kaburagi let out an unearthly scream. It was more than just a normal scream, it sounded like the shrieks of someone about to die.
His head tilted upward and the golden mask fell away, revealing his eyes with their four terrible irises. But the shadow of death was already upon them.
“Run! We have no time!”
Satoru pulled at me and we ran. Not back the way we came, but past the fiend and toward Shisei Kaburagi.
The fiend completely ignored the three of us. Its attention was fixed on Shisei Kaburagi.
I looked back and saw an iridescent light surrounding Shisei Kaburagi’s head. The interference pattern of two cantus pushing against each other.
The fiend was using its power directly on Shisei Kaburagi’s body. All Shisei could do was fight against the fiend’s cantus.
There was a dry snapping sound.
His head was twisted at an impossible angle. That was my last view of Shisei Kaburagi.
The giant pit at the center of the square was right in front of us. It was unbelievably large, and so deep I couldn’t see the bottom.
We leapt desperately into it.