ToaD-6: White Walls and Pods

Story Title: Trials of a Dreamless
Chapter Title: White Walls and Pods
Chapter Snippet:  Yet, isn’t that too much loyalty? To go risking your life for a friend in need was a noble deed indeed.
Disclaimer: This chapter took me about a month’s worth to write. I’m at a point wherein I have to balance the information I’ll be sharing to what will happen in the future chapters. Writing chapter 6 was the trickiest of all. Honestly, I’m not that proud of it as a whole. However, I appreciate how the end half of this is. The middle portion is quite a mess, but that’s about it. This chapter is dedicated to Darren Judi and Ryan Tuzon— the two people who’ve been inquiring when I’ll be posting this chapter. Since this is being posted, that means chapter 7 is done. Enjoy! ;)
Status: Unbeta’d

“Any signs of a signal?”


“How about suspicious road vehicles from the video?”


“Evidence from the crime scene?”

“Still being processed, sir.”

“Well tell the Investigation division to hurry up!”

The room was frantic with bodies running all over the place. The sound of keys were unceasing and the Intelligence division was working overtime. In truth, all divisions were working overtime to the point that some of them were still in their promenade outfits— well, for the juniors and seniors at least. The Core division members were anxious. They were the field workers that involved actual combat, so in the current situation, they were dead weight. Hours ago, they weren’t for they were the search squad, but after an hour of futile effort, the job was transferred to the Intelligence division. Teito felt the most guilt among those in the room. He was the last person to have contact with Ailia— contact that left a deep mark in him. He was still in his promenade suit as opposed to the other Core division members. He didn’t want to miss out on a single part of the investigation. Ailia needed to be found.

“Out of all the girls in the batch, why me?”

“Because you’re fun to be with, you’re cute and I love you very much.”

Ailia groaned as she woke up from that dream, adamant to keep her eyes closed. It wasn’t a dream, but rather a memory— one she thought she’d never encounter anymore because of the events that occurred before her blackout. The last thing she remembered was dancing with Teito and those eerie chills. The mere reminder of the chills sent the exact feeling down her spine. Where was she?

She opened her eyes to find herself inside a tube. It had the appearance of a tube considering all she had in her line of vision was the inside. At least she was certain that she was inside something. She wasn’t claustrophobic— Dreamless missions have forced her into smaller spaces; however, she didn’t like the feeling of uncertainty. Why was she inside this contraption? Is it harmful or not? She’d cradle her face in her hands if only the space allowed her too.

Suddenly, string of lights started to stream from the bottom to the top. The speed of the lights was too much that Ailia closed her eyes after milliseconds. The sound of a bolt lock being unlocked was heard. Was it safe to push the contraption open? How does it even open? At that mere thought, the door opened and blinding light engulfed her vision.

She found herself in a white box— somewhat similar to a room where deranged people are confined. Was she mentally unstable? No matter how true that rhetorical question may be, she was fully aware that she was far away from where she had been hours ago. Hours ago? Was she even certain that only hours have passed since her blackout? Her head started to throb in pain. She just woke up and putting her mind in such a stressed state was unhealthy.

She took a look at her surroundings yet again. Nothing different— it was the same white-intensive room she saw. On closer inspection, she noticed a bed occupying the corner of the room and a toilet & sink at the other end. A prison cell perhaps? She stepped out of the contraption. She turned around to take a better look at it. It looked more like a pod than a tube. Ailia sighed. Even though she had been out cold, she still felt drained of energy. She was desperate for food and searched for any means out. But that’s exactly the catch about the cell she was in- there was no door. She only saw a small pigeon hole that could only be opened from the outside, which she concluded when she tried pushing or pulling the opening. She heard a swish sound and in front of her was a tray— filled with food.

“Welcome, number 6-12.” A voice said.

Ailia looked up towards the only speaker in the white room, quite aware that the speaker also had a surveillance camera. She raised an eyebrow in reply.

“If you comply with what is asked from you, you won’t be harmed- greatly.” The pause between harmed and greatly was enough for Ailia to deduce that she wasn’t safe.

“What is it you want? Money? Fame? Power?”

At the mention of power, the voice chuckled in amusement. “Power— immense power. That’s all I ask for. I don’t want political power. The government is too screwed up to create realistic changes for the long run.” The voice evilly chuckled before quieting down. “You have no choice but to comply with my demands. Shall you not, the consequences will be fatal.”

Ailia dropped herself on the bed. The hunger she felt moments ago had disappeared. She was worried to the point that she feared for her life. There was no easy way out of the cell she was in. To make matters worse, if ever she planned to escape, it would be challenge. She had zero knowledge of the environment right outside the cell. She didn’t want to sit pretty and wait for a rescue team, but hell, that’s all she could do at the moment.

Teito was staring blankly at the blue wall in front of him. He couldn’t find it in him to continue going down the stairs and return to HQ. He continued to stare at the wall in front of him. The wall wasn’t in the shade of blue before, but white. The color change was done to distinguish the girl’s wing and the guy’s wing during his sophomore year. To be exact, it was done during the summer after his sophomore year.

Now such a detail pertaining to why the change is usual remembered by people, but the date or period of change is not. For Teito, an event happened in that location. He couldn’t shake off the memory once he regained his senses. Sadly, the gain led him to a tranced state due to remembrance. He had been sent back to the dormitory to rest and become sober, which played out perfectly except on his way out, he lost it again— through reminiscing.

What was he truly feeling for his comrade? He knew he was over the top worried of Ailia’s whereabouts- to the point that he decided to storm out of HQ to do a one-man search. Yoshii punched him to his senses stating that he, Yoshii, was worried shitless. Teito couldn’t put his finger onto why, but he felt even more frustrated when Yoshii said that. Was it because Yoshii couldn’t understand his degree of worry? That shouldn’t be the case- they had an equal amount of connection with Ailia.

“Yo.” A voice beside him greeted. He looked to his left and saw Koko staring at the wall he had been looking at. Teito returned to staring at the wall even if his tranced state had been broken.

“How long has it been since we sat on these steps?” Koko received no reply, but he was certain that Teito was listening to him ramble. “The three of us would always hang out here once school was over just to sound trip, eat, or piss people off by blocking the way. Those were fun times that I wish I could relive.” Silence prevailed, which made Koko sigh. “I’ve never forgiven you for hurting her.”

“Break ups are meant to suck.” Teito sharply replied.

“Not for that— for not waiting.” Koko corrected. Teito raised an eyebrow in reply. “She had a feeling you had a new interest. It pained her, but that’s why she didn’t put up a fight. However, she didn’t expect you to move on easily. You got together with the girl a month too early and that made her bitter. Ailia’s attitude changed so drastically after that.”

“You’re not innocent either.” Teito harshly stated.

“My case is different.” Koko clarified.

“Really now? So lying to her about your relationship with Ume won’t make her feel bad? Dude, she messed up even more when you dropped out of her life. You were the last person I expected to conceive such an act. You talk as if you understand her feelings, but look at you now!” Teito exclaimed.  “You’re a hypocrite.” He scoffed.

“At least I understand her enough to know she hasn’t given up on you,” said Koko before mumbling, “and I’m sure you haven’t given up too.”

“What are y—” Teito was cut off by the ring of his phone. At the moment he answered, Train started scolding him for not returning promptly after sending the message that he was leaving the dormitory. Teito hit the red button and silence engulfed him again except now, his head was heated. “I’m leaving.” Teito quickly got up from the stair and proceeded down— forgetting the statement Koko had said.

“There you are!” Train exclaimed when Teito entered the room. Teito stayed silent.

“We have a lead.” Chief Dalv explained, which put life into Teito’s eyes. “Her music player was found by the Dreamless Team at Peristalia City. Teito, Train, Blaz and Mai, you’ll be going with me to Peristalia City. The rest of you will remain here. Understood?”

“Sir yes sir!”

Chief Dalv looked at the four members he called out. “I’ve selected each of you with different reasons in mind.” Chief Dalv looked at the clock in the room— 4:04pm. “We’ll be leaving tomorrow at 0500 hours. Meeting place will be in front of the train station. I don’t know how long we’ll be there, but bring money and clothes enough for 3 weeks. Dismissed!”

The four dispersed, but in pairs. Blaz accompanied Mai while Train went with Teito. Train and Teito stayed in dormitories right across each other, so it was a convenient set up. In addition, Train had to make sure that Teito didn’t run off in a blink of an eye. There was so much at stake with this new information and it’s best that Teito doesn’t compromise it.

Ailia got to hand it to her captor. Even if the room was plain white with the barest of amenities, the bed was heaven. The usual beds found in 5-star hotels couldn’t even compare to the softness of the one she laid on. She wouldn’t mind being in captive forever if it didn’t have one drawback— there was nothing else to do in the place. All she did for the past ‘x’ hours were eat and sleep. It was like being forced to live a life of a pig. She wanted other things to do— her captor could’ve at least left her with a notebook to write on or a ball. Anything would grab her attention.

“Subject 6-12.” Ailia heard from the speaker. What did her captor want from her? “Enter the pod.”

“Why?” Curiosity engulfed her. Damn her inquisitive tendencies.

“For experimentation.” The voice declared.

“Experimentation? No thanks.” She clearly replied.

“Failure to comply will result to drastic measures.” The voice sternly said.

But Ailia didn’t budge from her place. Experimentation? Hell no! No way was she going to turn herself into a lab mouse. It wasn’t only the degrading feeling of being a test subject that stopped her from following, but also the lack of knowledge. She had no clue where she was and her captor decides to use her in an experiment. What kind of experiment? Was it even safe? She wasn’t insane enough to go follow her captor’s orders like some dog. She had a mind and was, conveniently, sober & alert.

Suddenly she felt a chill down her spine. It was the exact same feeling that course through her during the day she was kidnapped. Shit— she was in deep trouble. Was her captor responsible for such a feeling? How? Question razed her mind, but it was a futile effort to stay conscious. In a few seconds, everything blacked out.

There he was, like Chief Dalv ordered him, at the train station. He was a few minutes early, but that’s better than being late. If he was late, then they might’ve been left by the train, which would delay the mission further. He heard the panting of Train from a distance. He looked at his watch— 0500. No wonder Train was running and out of breath.

“Am… I… late?” Train said through pants.

“No.” Teito stoically said.

Train looked around to see if the other members were present— none. He gave a sigh of relief. The two of them heard footsteps approaching and one sounded like heels. To their surprise, it was Blaz and Mai, Funny— Mai was wearing heels upon arrival. It was a peculiar scenario because Mai was a flats person. Why would she have heels? The shoes bothered Teito more than he liked, but it was really off.

“I hate wearing heels this high.” Mai complained as she quickly sat on the bench nearest the group. “Fucking 4-inch.”

Teito and Train wanted to ask her why, but Mai looked like she was going to kill anyone. Both of them looked at Blaz for answers.

“Chief Dalv ordered her to bring a pair with that height. She had to break them in so that she could get use to them.”

“Speaking of Chief Dalv…” Train said. “Where is he? It’s past the meet-up time.”

At that moment, Chief Dalv appeared along with a surprising guest.

“Shouma Kiyama?!” The four shouted in unison.

The pain that has coursed through Mai’s feet was swept away by the unexpected appearance. The tired look of Train was also wiped clean by surprise. For Blaz, he was shocked and suspicious. Why did Chief Dalv bring an outsider with him? As for Teito, he got out of his tranced and stoic state. What was going on? Chief Dalv wasn’t telling them everything— then again, they blindly followed his orders to go to Peristalia City.

“Great! Everyone is here now. The train departs at 0545, so we best get going to the platform.” Chief Dalv said while handing out the tickets.

When he got to Mai, he was surprised by the height difference, which prompted Mai to step on Chief Dalv’s foot before walking off saying, “I can’t kill you, but I can certainly incapacitate your foot through this invention. Fucking heels.”

Ailia finally regained consciousness, but as she stretched out to relax her muscles, she hit metal instead.Crap— was she in the pod? How is that even possible? Nothing was making sense in such a set-up. The only entrance to the room was through the pod, so how did a person enter and place her in the pod? With the limited space in such a pod, two people wouldn’t be able to fit. Was there a person back in her room? That could be her ticket out of the room, but not the place. Her current location was still a mystery to her.

“Commencing download.” A girly robotic voice said.

Download? What download? Is this the experimentation she’ll have to go through? Ailia felt a quick prick at her back, which made her worry. She felt herself getting reenergized, but at the same time, she felt a certain connection being strained. She felt heat around the area above her chest— where the amulet was located. The red glow was eerie and had an ominous vibe to it. Was something about to happen? She felt surges of energy leaving her body. Her power was being forced out of her in stable amounts, which worried her. Would she still have it afterwards? Was this what her captor meant as being harmed ‘greatly’? If it was, then her captor is surely correct.

“Download complete.”

With that sentence, Ailia attempted to discharge some energy out of her. She could still create a ball of electricity in her hand to her relief. A happy sigh said it all. She was so content at the moment that the fact that she had been experimented on slipped through her mind. The pod suddenly jolted and Ailia felt herself being zoomed away. Was this how it was to be transported in a tube? The feeling was exhilarating and she was such a child to think of that in the situation she was in. She was still in shit since she had no clue where she was. She was really weird. She had a variety of emotions that didn’t fit the situation.

The trip to Peristalia City would’ve been half a day long if they had gone by car. They were lucky that the railway lines have been expanded that inter-city trips were possible. Academy City was located at the heart of Atria, which was North of Peristalia City. Peristalia City was located by the sea and is usually the point of entry and exit for international goods. It’s a trading city above anything else, so the presence of an ASA campus was odd. Nevertheless, it proved to have positive feedback since the competition awardees from Peristalia are about par with Academy City.

The group arrived after 3 hours. By then the group was fired up to start the search. The four were still unsure of Shouma’s role in the mission. Even after bugging Chief Dalv about it for the duration of the trip, Chief Dalv didn’t drop a single clue for them. Whatever Shouma’s role was must be really important for Chief Dalv to guard such information. Then again, the four were still in the dark when it came to the mission as a whole. For the first time, they were out of the loop with things.

“The air here is totally different from Academy City.” Train said as he took in a whif.

Teito couldn’t agree with that statement more. The saltiness of the sea filled the air while keeping its freshness. The air in Academy City was stuffy due to the city population and cars. Peristalia City had less cars roaming the streets in comparison to Academy City. The city had a rural-like feel to it, but the presence of high-tech boats balanced it out. The lack of cars was made up by the presence of boats. Peristalia City  was like the city of Venice— filled with waterways.

“Morning! Are you the team from Academy City?” A low-pitched voice called out to the group.

To Teito’s surprise, he saw JS— the guy Ailia was always with during system week. So much for a good welcoming committee. It’s not like he hated JS or anything, but seeing JS’s face made him feel emotions he wasn’t supposed to feel towards a certain girl.

“Yes we are. You are?” Chief Dalv’s voice trailed as he asked the question.

“JS Shuya, your escort to Peristalia City’s Dreamless HQ.”

The mini-Dreamless team looked at each other, wondering if they should trust the guy who appeared before them. Teito told them that JS could be trusted since JS was an ASA student. The group followed JS to the vehicle that would take them to HQ.

Before them was a motor boat with exactly enough room for them and their bags. It wasn’t stylish and it looked like any motor boat within the radius. JS started the boat and drove the group.

“Is there a minimum age requirement to drive a boat here?” Train inquired.

The noise coming from the motor was overwhelming that Train had to shout while asking. When JS said he couldn’t understand what Train was saying, Train moved toward the front seat and asked the question again.

“Eighteen, but if you perfected the driving test before 18, you’ll be given a minor license.”

“What’s the difference between that and a normal one?” Shouma followed up, who conveniently sat behind JS.

“You can only drive limited boats with a minor license. I own a minor license since I’m only 16, so I can only drive a motor boat. Actually, it’s the only boat a minor license allows.” JS explained to which he followed up with a question. “Is the captain of the Dreamless team’s core division of Academy City in this group?”

“We don’t have a captain per say, but the one our chief heavily trusts is here. You can think of that person as sort of like the captain.” Train explained. Shouma wasn’t part of the Dreamless team, so he had no way of answering the question.

“Is he the one with blonde hair?”

“Blaz? No. Though he does look the part, he isn’t. Well, he is probably going to be the captain next year once the current one graduates. Chief Dalv prefers to have a senior as the ‘sort of’ leader while he trains the successor.”

“Really? I didn’t know such a system existed.” Shouma cut in.

“Fun fact of the day then for you, Shouma.” Train said with a cheeky smile. “Our ‘leader’ is the guy with the brown spiky hair.” Train corrected as he pointed to Teito’s direction.

JS took a glimpse through the rear view mirror and was shocked to see who the leader was. “Teito? I never imagined him to be the leader. I thought it’d be Ailia.”

“Wait… how do you know Ailia?” Train was suspicious.

“Now that you mention it…” Shouma’s voice trailed. “Teito knew JS, so it’s no surprise that JS knows Teito” The Shouma directed his voice towards JS. “But how do you know Ailia?

“I met her during the ASA System week. We were in the same cluster.” JS simply replied.

In fairness, Teito found the boat ride rather refreshing and was disappointed to see it end quickly. Mai swiftly got out of the boat and jumped around. She had changed shoes during the duration of the boat ride bcause Chief Dalv, finally, got annoyed with her incessant whining. Teito felt relieved that Mai was back to her non-cussing pessimistic self. She has the most negative disposition in the group— even Teito couldn’t compare.

Teito took in his surroundings. Peristalia City’s HQ was located off-campus, which was new to him. Back at Academy City, HQ was just a walk away in case of emergencies. The building was completely surrounded by water and had a medieval-feel to it. The architect of the place must be a loon to have such a theme.

“Here are you temporary IDs. They’ll guarantee you entrance to any ASA establishment on or off campus.” JS explained as he passed the IDs around.

JS proceeded to showing the group how to use the IDs, which used the cliche slide mechanism. The HQ back at Academy City went through an upgrade and now uses fingerprint and eye scanner. They were lucky enough that Dreamless alumni were able to donate an amount for such an upgrade. When they got inside, the corridor was blank of anything. The group looked at each other as no one dared to take a step past JS.

“You’re the first group ever that I didn’t have to stop from proceeding through. Academy City ASA students really are something.” JS praised.

“I didn’t continue further ’cause that’d be rude.” Blaz shared, which Mai nodded to in agreement.

“Interesting.” JS was about to ask the others when he spotted Teito throwing a needle towards one of the tiles. “Don’t you—”

A miniature explosion engulfed the room. The group started to cough because of the smoke. When Chief Dalv gained a sense of awareness, he glared at Teito. “Mister Klein, what are you—” Chief Dalv got cut off when he noticed that Teito & Train were unaffected by the current situation.

“As I figured. This hallway uses traps to prevent intruders from continuing further.” Train said.

“You owe me a needle.” Teito stoically reminded to which Train dismissed in reply.

Chief Dalv couldn’t help but sigh at the rebellious actions of the two seniors. “Was that really necessary?”

“I was bored and he was bored.” Train replied as he pointed also towards Teito’s direction. “We just wanted to have a bit of fun.”

Mai and Blaz simply sweat-dropped at the situation. So much for being the seniors.

Ailia laid on the bed, tired of requesting and eating food. She lost count of the hours since her capture. Then again, she had no means to monitor the time. Her body clock was messed up and to top that off, she lost her music player. The latter worried her stiff. That music player contained songs ranging from her favorites to ‘feel goods’ some of which are difficult to download nowadays. However, the fact that it was her dream diary that twisted her to the bone. Was her music player still alive? Who was it with? Is it still alone?

“To all subjects.” A voice cracked through the speakers. “Due to the success of the experiment, we’ll be granting one non-food request from each of you. However, requests, such as freedom or contact with the outside world to name a few, will be denied. All requests will be screened for eligibility. You ,ay write more than one request if ever you feel that your first one may not be granted, but a strict one request policy will be implemented. That is all.”

A request? That sounded like a heaven sent message. Too bad it was only one request, which caused Ailia to hesitate. What was she going to request? She could be selfish and request for something that’d make her capture more tolerable. However, that’d be quite reckless of her. She had no idea of her whereabouts and for certain, neither does the ASA Dreamless team. If only contact was allowed, but captives can’t be choosers. If only she had her dream diary, she’d be able to get out of such a predicament.

Then it hit her. She could request from her captor to check if her music player/dream diary is still alive. It’d probably be alive considering she hasn’t been ‘nightmare-ized,’ but she could connect with the Dreamless team that way. Anyone who joined the Dreamless core team has an emergency tracker in his dream diary. It’s activated by the dream diary itself in case the owner is in impending doom, but it can be activated through a highly specific wavelength. Technically, she wasn’t in impending doom, but Ailia couldn’t shake of the feeling something bad would happen.

Ailia concluded— she’ll request from her captor to know the location and status of her dream diary. She scribbled the request on the piece of paper provided to them from the odd food door. She sincerely hoped that her captor would give in to such a request and that’s all she thought about when she slid the note back out.

The group found themselves in a holding room. In Teito’s opinion, the room felt like a military barrack, which is exactly how JS described it to them. The room they were in is used as sleeping quarters in case of late night missions. The group didn’t mind; they weren’t expecting fancy living quarters anyway. The whole ‘go to Peristalia’ idea was conjured just yesterday, so the state of accommodations was acceptable.

“Welcome Chief Dalv! I’m Chief Leijona, the one you spoke through the video link.” The woman introduced.

Teito took a good look at the chief. She was of medium stature and her conservative nature showed through the clothes she wore. She was in a white blouse that had a black vest worn over it. While he did expect a skirt, it was a skirt that reached until the floor. She didn’t look uptight, but the look in her eyes screamed ‘don’t mess with me’. Teito certainly didn’t plan to.

“I’m sure you’ve met our team captain, JS.” She added. “He’ll be helping me lead the operation.”

“Chief Dalv, what is this operation?” Blaz inquired. “We’ve been out of the know for too long.”

At that precise moment, a screen slowly dropped down from the ceiling. Table and chairs had been present since they arrived, so maybe the screen wasn’t that much of a surprise to them. Blaz & Mai took seat right away while Shouma opted to sit at the top bunk— or at least where he planned to sleep. Train was busy on his laptop, continuing to monitor the case & situation back at ASA Academy City’s Intelligence division. Teito was at a loss where to sit, but Chief Dalv’s eyes told him that Teito should be formal and sit with Blaz and Mai.

“Before we found Ailia’s dream diary, our team had suspicions that the perpetrator’s hideout was located here in Peristalia City.” Chief Leijona explained. “Peristalia City was the first one to be hit and we lost 2 of our 3 level 6 power wielders.”

“What’s the status of the one who wasn’t kidnapped?” Blaz inquired.

“Alive and in front of you speaking.” Chief Leijona replied. Blaz simply nodded in return. “Continuing with the briefing. When Chief Aine was updating us with the kidnappings happening in other cities, we found a certain signature. The perpetrator opted to do kidnappings near a waterway. Folks from here are skilled in maneuvering through waters, so that’s how we deduced the culprit is from here.”

“You can’t be serious. That easy?” Mai was bewildered.

“It’s no joke.” Train cut in before asking permission from Chief Leijona to connect his laptop to the screen. Chief Leijona approved of the request. “The location of our promenade was held at a location by Academy City’s borders.” This, Train highlighted with a blown up map of Academy City. “Academy City is surrounded by water, so I requested the team back at Academy City for any video feed by the waterway. Here’s what I got.”

A video clip popped up on screen and in clear view, there was a boat. A guy clad in a waiter’s uniform appeared on video. So that’s how the culprit snuck into the event. Even with security at a high and a multitude of dreamless members in one room, a waiter would be dismissed quickly. It was a cliché way to enter, but it did get the job done. The guy carried what looked like a sack and it was safe to assume that Ailia was in it. The guy sped off after settling the body at the back seat of the boat.

“It must be a coincidence.” Mai still said in bewilderment.

“Wish I could say it too, but remember the girl who got kidnapped back December? She lived at a location by Academy City’s borders. She was kidnapped on her way home from a party. She was witnessed leaving the party, but she didn’t arrive home even after an hour. I hate to say it, but the facts are starting to unfold as to how the kidnapping is done.” Train said with intrigue.

“That’s not all.” JS decided to continue. “While we normally scan if lost items are dream diaries, the likelihood of it is incredibly low. However, we’ve noticed an increase within the month of January. The culprit is intentionally separating the owner from his dream diary.”

“No wonder you had Ailia’s dream diary.” Teito managed to say for once in the conversation. “However, we’re straying to far from the goal of this meeting.”

The room was in shock by the newfound urgency in Teito’s voice. Even more so by the Academy City team who thought Teito was still in a lost state. The Teito, who Chief Dalv scouted talent from, has resurfaced. Teito was back to his calculated & direct self. The return of Teito sent a wave of relief through the Academy City team.

“From this conversation, all I got was the culprit prefers to kidnap in locations near waterways, has a signature of throwing out dream diaries, and is a pedophile.” Teito said the last description with disdain.

“A pedophile?” Shouma cringed.

“Fine. Not a pedophile, but the culprit prefers to kidnap level 6 students.” Teito said as he took over Train’s laptop and highlighted the word “student” in occupation description of each victim. “In addition, he prefers juniors and seniors as targets.”

“Who’s this student of yours? He’s rather good at analyzing information. We didn’t even notice the juniors & seniors portion.” Chief Leijona softly asked Chief Dalv.

“That’s Teito. If he had passed his level up test, he’d be the bait. Due to emotional reasons, that didn’t happen. He’s the team captain of Academy City though it’s a label kept for formalities.” Chief Dalv shared to which he looked at Shouma. “Luckily our bait is a senior.”

“Shouma, as I discussed with you, you’ll be the key part in this operation.” Chief Dalv said out of the blue in the students’ point of view.

“That’s right!” Train exclaimed. “Shouma is a level-6 senior student. He fits the criteria perfectly.”

Teito looked at Shouma with profound shock. He knew Shouma enough to know that Shouma wasn’t the type to jump into anything haphazardly. He knew Shouma was afraid of getting into trouble and that Shouma wasn’t the type to get into anything for the thrill. However, he did know that Shouma was good friends with Ailia (and with him a while back) and that Shouma was loyal to his friends and always helped them no matter the situation. Yet, isn’t that too much loyalty? To go risking your life for a friend in need was a noble deed indeed.

“With that, here’s the plan.” Chief Leijona started.


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