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「Ah, the『Transference Applicants』, a bunch of fucked up criminals.」
Yuuto uttered with clear disgust.
For Yuuto, that was an unusual attitude. And as I was thinking about asking him what happened, the talk on TV continued.
『A tragedy once again repeated itself. Was there no way to prevent it. We decided to ask some experts. First, doctor Kuroi, from the point of criminal psychology what do you think about this incident.』
『Well, crimes committed presumably by the『Transference Applicants』such as theft and property damage are frequent enough, but heavy crimes such as a murder did not happen since the assault half a year ago. The police used that assault case and the scandal that accompanied the leak of the list of individuals linked to that disappearance case and of the footage taken during said disappearance as the pretext for more active actions and were able to restrain the group’s actions.』
『That was one of the reasons why the government announced that Fujinomiya High School will continue to operate even though many assumed that it surely will be abolished.』
『Well, that is a reasonable decision. After all, people that were promptly relocated one after another became targets for the『Transference Applicants』. Well, in a perspective, it made things harder for『Transference Applicants』to take any action. Security of the school was strengthened and people related to the incident also acted more vigilant. Nonetheless, such alertness cannot continue forever. Half a year had passed since that incident that resulted in a fatality, they surely were attentively watching for a moment when the topic will die out and a lapse in alertness will appear. After all, considering their claims, ultimately they don’t have to think about the consequences at all. In that aspect, it can be said that they are not『Criminals that lost their sense of reason』but『Devoted believers of fantasy cult』』
『Exactly, exactly. Just like followers of Ikko sect during the warring states period, if they die after accomplishing their goal, they will be able to attain ultimate bliss. In practice, the culprit behind the incident this time has killed himself. If even death, the biggest deterrent, does not restrain them from committing a crime, stopping their criminal activities will be quite difficult.』
『I see, they are looking to accomplish a『Transference to another World』, and in order to accomplish that, they won’t avert even from death.』
『Well, it is unclear if they went to another world or not though.』
On the screen was a face of criminal psychologist laughing cynically to the frequently nodding announcer.
When I looked at Yuuto, seeking an explanation on the subject of this broadcast, he was delving deeply into his thoughts with his eyes closed.
「…That’s right, if you still haven’t heard about it from anyone, then it would be better to explain it properly or you will be in danger as well.」
And with such distressing opening, Yuuto began.
「A lot of things happened since that incident. It became a huge uproar, various investigations were performed but they were unable to discover the cause. The school was closed temporarily, during that period an uneasiness was spreading among teachers and students and started appearing those that were leaving the school. To begin with, three classes of second years and around one class of first and third years disappeared, of course, there was the talk about the abolition of the school. Around that time on the net appeared the video that one of the students took during the incident. That video became a topic and due to that… A lot of people died.」
Said Yuuto with an utterly bitter face.
「People died?… Wa, wait a moment, how did it even come to that?」
I do not know its contents but I really don’t think that a video can lead to death.
「Yeah, and that is why『Transference Applicants』are crazy. Wait a moment. If you search for a bit it should come up.」
Yuuto took out a large tablet computer and after a bit of manipulation, put a certain video on playback.
When I received the tablet, Yuuto decreased the TV volume.
『Good, now it’s fine.』
The video began with a pretty ordinary classroom.
Is that third year’s classroom? A person that I have never seen before, was stacking a lot of erasers on the table, probably going for a domino effect.
『Hey, let’s bet on whatever it will succeed or not.』『Then I bet a lunch that it will stop mid-way.』『Oh, c’mon, then it won’t be a bet.』『You guys! Are you making fun of my efforts!!』
It seems that the video was taken on a smartphone, so quality wasn’t that great but it conveyed the overall atmosphere pretty well.
But that peaceful scene soon turned into a shocking one.
This phenomenon occurred without any premonition.
『Ah, right, how about recording not from the side but from above, from a chair, for example,.』『Okay, at least make it go half-way.』『Just look, now then, whoa, so bright?!』『Uwaaaa?!』
The point of view shifted to a higher position as was told and in the next moment, the screen was enveloped in intense light.
Perhaps scared by that light, the operator tumbled down from the chair with a loud crash.
『Ouch… Wha, What? What happened?』
When the operator rose up and looked to his surroundings with the camera, it revealed that his classmates were caught in shining magic circles.
『Kya, what is this?!』『 What, eh, a wall?』『Hey, what kind of prank is this, don’t interrupt me from studying.』『Huh? What is this, I can’t get out!!!』
The classroom that sank into confusion was filled with distressed voices.
Judging from the video, only ten or so students from that class were trapped inside magic circles but in some parts of the screen, it was visible that in the corridor as well, people were trapped within magic circles.
The sight of them knocking on the walls of light looked almost like a pantomime with an exception that it looked too real.
Then that abnormality transitioned to the next stage.
The one who realized that was a schoolgirl on the edge of the screen.
『No, NOOOOOOOOO!? My, MY HANDS?!』
Shaken by a loud voice, the camera turned towards the girl.
It looked like a scene from a sh*tty SF movie.
Her fingertips were turning into shining blue particles that then were floating upwards.
When one person realized it, the phenomenon has spread across the room.
『Wha, its a joke right, what is this, what the fuck is this!!!』『No, NOOO!!!』『My hands, my legs are gone, he, help me, someone?!』『It’s, it’s cold, why, I am disappearing…』
Bewildered confusion turned into terrified bewilderment.
The one who was making makeshift dominos and students around him as well, one after another were turning into particles.
『Ha, Hahaha, what, am I still sleeping?』
The microphone pickups puzzled words that might belong to the operator.
Trapped into the magic circle, a man that was trying to make domino with erasers.
Before even a minute has passed since the beginning of that phenomenon, only his head remained. Despite the low resolution, his face , that was warped in horror, and his cries for help were captured quite clearly.
Everyone trapped in the magic circles had disappeared and now only empty magic circles remained.
And like per signal, all of the magic circles dissipated, along with the walls of light as if they were flattened by an invisible thing.
When that unrealistic spectacle came to an end, silence returned to the classroom.
However, the spots where the disintergrated students stood before now remained empty.
『…Ah, got to stop recording.』
Picking up a dumbfounded voice at the end, camera, probably due to a mistake in controls, switched to the phone’s selfie mode and showed the astonished face of the operator before switching off.
「It’s not edited, right?…」
While saying those words, for some reason I could not think that this video was fake.
I felt dizzy and nauseous, the buzzing in my ears won’t stop.
I have seen that. I already saw such a scene.
Where? Where did I see it? Why was just looking at that scene bringing me to tears?
What is this cold feeling rising from the depths of my soul?
「I’m pretty sure at first everyone thought that it was a fake. But in fact, people really went missing. Eventually, even experts in video editing appeared and claimed that the video was authentic. Though we ourselves knew that it wasn’t fake. After all, I was there myself and witnessed all of it.」
Inhaling slowly and deeply, I redirect my attention to Yuuto’s voice.
I wanted to switch my thoughts from the incomprehensible sentiments as soon as possible.
「Shiori disappeared in the same way as in this video. I could not do anything. She was crying for help, saying that she was scared and I could do nothing but watch. I still see it in my dreams. I woke up many times in the middle of the night to her voice or face. At times I even thought that going insane might not be that bad.」
The sound of Yuuto’s self-mocking voice resounding in my ears.
「Sorry, I got sidetracked. The video got leaked into the net and became impossible to remove, turning the disappearance incident into the national sensation. And while most people after seeing that video were saying that it is fake or edited or something, a strange rumor started to circulate.」
「Yes, a dumb rumor, something like an urban legend. According to it, people trapped in those magic circles were summoned to another world.」
Once again, my heart skipped a beat.
Something inside me screamed that it’s different.
It was not such a nice thing.
（Sh*t, just what is this all about…）
Pulsing sensations for which I didn’t know the reason to, sent my blood rushing all over my body, making me dizzy from fever.
Suppressing that and pretending that nothing is happening, I concentrate on Yuuto’s story.
「This far it’s no big deal. Or rather, another world is one thing, but if we can’t believe in something that defies common sense then all that is left for us is doubt our eyes and minds. The problem is what happened after that.」
「Yes, what then?」
「They claimed that if you kill someone associated with the transference, someone who was there, you will level up and will be able to go to another world after your death.」
「Huh? Come again?」
The story took such a huge leap that I was unable to follow what Yuuto was saying.
「Ah, yea, I understand that feeling. But there was a bunch of imbeciles what believed in that. They secretly were increasing their numbers in the deep web until finally, an incident occurred. A student was invited on the program doing a special about the video that turned into a hot topic. There, he was stabbed with a knife by one of the staff members and killed.」
「And on top of that, right after that was leaked a result of analysis by police stating the video is『authentic』plus personal information of all people related to the case.」
Yuuto made a pause there, took a breath and then continued.
「People from the school were attacked in various locations. Eventually, it crossed all possible bounds, claiming that by taking possession of personal belongings of someone related to the incident one will be able to receive a lot of bonus points for reincarnation, they turned to robbery, burglary and even kidnapping. Due to the leak from the police, they could do all they wanted for a while…Kaori-chan also went missing in one of the incidents and her whereabouts are still unknown.」
「By Kaori-chan you mean little sister of Shiori-san? Why the hell, isn’t she unrelated?!」
In my mind appeared an image of cheerfully laughing little girl.
Somewhat more mature for her age, a little girl, still in primary school, should not even be ten years old yet.
Because I was competing with Shiori-san on who’s little sister was more adorable, I remember her really well. Always wearing the hair clip with a cat that she supposedly received from Shiori-san and really idolized her.
「They have a point system for us. For example, us that were present on that spot at that time are『Out of scope for transference』- 100 points, siblings - 70 point, parents - 50 points. Blood or hair or something similar also works, depending on the quantity it can be from one to five points, hahaha, really, such fucking sh*tstains.」
「It, it can’t be… Wha… What did police say?」
「Missing, no development. Didn’t discover any clues.」
「…But, but, if she wasn’t found then she might not be dead.」
「I know. No matter how long will it take, I will find Shiori and Kaori-chan. Definitely, I won’t give up. Yea, I know, I know. I am still fine.」
With an expression like he was about to crush his molars, Yuuto spit out those words in a somewhat familiar tone.
I can see black light shining deep inside his eyes.
I had no idea what to say to Yuuto that was resembling a balloon that is about to blow up, so I just kept my mouth shut.
With a friend that was close to his limit in front of me, all I could do was to keep my mouth closed.
「That’s what I meant when I said that people died because of the leaked video and personal info. Personal info included addresses, face shots and so on, so people shortly got found… Soon some were killed. Only after the situation became like this, the police and the government finally took it seriously. The number of police officers in this town was greatly increased and it was decided that the school won’t be abolished. Well, they probably just wanted to put all of the bait into one place. But because of that, security was bolstered so much that it was clearly noticeable and no new incidents occurred.」
Yuuto turned his gaze back to the TV.
…I see, someone died, again.
「Kaito, surely I don’t have to tell you but make sure you will support Mai-chan.」
「Well, of course? I will protect her no matter what. As if I’d let such sickos hurt her.」
「I am not talking about the physical aspect, on that part you should be careful yourself. I’m talking about her mental well being, if you die she might even commit suicide. That’s how you should look at it.」
「Huh? No, nonono, Mai is quite strong mentally, suicide is just…」
「I know that as well. But I will say it even so. I am pretty sure what if something were to happen to you, Mai-chan will break. The two that were Mai’s friends, remember them?」
「Miyuki-chan and Satomi-chan, right? I do remember them but… Hey, don’t tell me…」
My little sister didn’t have so many acquaintances during middle school, and those two were the first friends she brought home.
Mai, very shy at the time then said 『…They’re my best friends』
「Remember, I said just a minute ago that Kaori-chan『also』went missing. Miyuki-chan is missing since that assault six months ago, half a year has passed already. And Satomi-chan is the student that was mentioned on TV just now, she was killed only a month ago.」
Why did my little sister have to go through all this.
What Mai, what had my sister ever done that she has to go through such suffering.
Parents died, I disappeared, friends are gone.
Aah, really, why…
「You are the only one left for Mai-chan.」
A farce that sounds like a story that I heard somewhere causes a sharp pain deep inside my head.
My heart was filled with bitterness and disappointment at my own weakness.
And I was even more disgusted about myself because for some reason those emotions felt like something I was really used to.
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