Translated by: Miss Ruby
Since the two of them never had a good relationship, the sight of them bickering with each other while heading to the same destination was quite striking.
Genos and Damon were heading in the direction Yuri was going to.
“By the way, are you sure there’s something here? Those ghost-eyes of yours didn’t see wrong?”
“How many times are you going to ask? Why don’t you wait till you see it with your own eyes later?”
The Alchemist Tower was a place that usually prohibited outsiders from entering. So because of that, the both of them were moving secretly and avoiding the other people in the tower.
Yuri also silenced her footsteps and followed after them. As she followed, she felt the sticky energy that was pricking all her senses grow stronger and stronger.
Genos seemed to also feel the eerie energy because he kept touching the back of his neck and looking back. Only Damon, who had been in the Alchemist Tower countless times, seemed to have no issues.
Finally, Damon, who was walking in front, came to a stop in front of a certain room.
“You know, right? You only got 5 minutes. No more than that.”
It was a room where alchemy devices were stored.
The two of them opened the door and went inside.
After making sure the door was closed, Yuri stepped a bit closer to the room.
The room seemed to be well-soundproofed and the voices of the two inside the room were very low. However, Yuri’s ears could easily pick up on their conversation.
“Why are there so many things? Are all these materials used when you’re doing alchemy?”
“Yup. But these rascals…who is on duty today? Did they just see this mess and leave?”
Yuri wasn’t sure if they were looking for something or arranging something, but she could hear small rattle noises.
“What is this thing made of? I can see particles when I put it under the light.”
Then after a while, Genos asked Damon a question. The reply came one beat later.
“Don’t tell me the blessed stone is what you came here looking for?”
“The material inside that thing you’re holding.”
Damon said and continued his explanation.
“It is monopolized by the central council, so I don’t know much about it either. I just know that stone is essential to use alchemy. Frankly, it bothered me too, that’s why I tried looking into it and I tried to get something called a philosopher’s stone which seemed similar but…”
“Ah, that auction house.”
Genos exclaimed softly like he remembered something in the middle of Damon’s explanation. Damon’s muted curses followed right after.
“Damn it, let’s not talk about this now… anyway, if that thing is why you said you wanted to look through the tower, then it’s not like I don’t understand.”
A brief rustling sound could be heard from inside the room.
“Okay, let’s take a few of these. I found something at the scene of another incident, and I’d like to compare this to that.”
Following that, was the sound of footsteps heading towards the door.
Soon, Damon came out first. He poked his head through the door-crack and looked around. Then he realized no one was passing by so he looked back and beckoned with his hand.
Damon and Genos trod down the hallway much faster than before.
However, they weren’t so lucky this time. They ran into another alchemist at the curve of the hallway.
As the gaze full of suspicion fell on him, Damon’s eyes were instantly filled with frustration.
“I heard you’re in bad shape, why are you here so late…”
However, Damon quickly erased such signs from his face and kicked Genos in the shin. Genos groaned and lowered his head.
“Tsk, you’re asking why I came? Because this foolish rascal touched my research and caused me trouble.”
“I, I’m sorry. Damon-nim.”
“Shut up. If this could be solved with sorry, why would I need to drag myself all the way here when I’m not even well?”
Genos quickly went along with what Damon was doing.
Still, because Genos had dressed in the alchemist uniform just in case, they were less likely to figure out his identity as long as he lowered his head a bit.
“Useless punk. This is why I can’t easily leave anything to you.”
Damon kicked Genos’ leg one more time.
Genos lowered his head even more and ground his teeth out of sight. There was no need to kick him this hard, but he couldn’t stop feeling like Damon’s kick had personal feelings behind it.
The alchemist, who was well aware of Damon’s temper, broke out in cold sweat and said.
“So that’s what happened. But he looks like an apprentice, does Damon-nim need to handle it yourself? You can hand him over to me and I’ll teach him properly…”
Right then, the sound of something falling or breaking came from behind.
Damon’s eyes flashed with annoyance.
“Didn’t that come from the storage room for defective products? Did you stack the defective stuff again?”
“Ah, no! It was empty when I checked yesterday…!”
“Yesterday is yesterday and today is today! Will you take responsibility if something malfunctions and explodes?”
“Gasp, I will go check it right now!”
The alchemist who Damon screamed at swiftly hurried away to where the sound came from.
Damon and Genos escaped in the meantime.
“Hey, don’t waste time, hurry up.”
“Oi, no matter how hard I think about it, I don’t see why you had to kick me twice, no?”
“Ehem, what are you talking about? You weren’t caught because of me, you know.”
“You…whatever, let’s just get out for now.”
After they disappeared, Yuri quietly stepped out.
She was the one who had diverted the alchemist’s attention and helped the two of them get away.
Yuri walked up to the room where Damon and Genos had entered earlier. As she entered the dark room, the sense of incongruity she had been feeling for a while grew even more rampant.
There were many items scattered all over the room but among them, there was something in particular that was triggering Yuri’s senses. Yuri was certain that the item she was looking at right now, was the very same thing those two were talking about earlier.
Yuri picked up an item that was piled inside a box. It looked like a rough stone, the size of a child’s fist. As Genos said earlier, the inside was full of black particles that seemed completely unrefined.
Yuri knew what this thing was.
It was the thing she saw till she was sick of it in the lab and she had even absorbed it into her body.
It was a ruin’s fragment.
* * *
“Excuse me, I’m coming in.”
Anne-Marie knocked and opened the door to Odin’s room slightly.
She looked disturbed. After all, she just found out that Lakis had silently disappeared again.
Hestia said she didn’t see anything so Anne-Marie had no idea how he could just vanish in and out of the house like this.
“Oh, you’re here. May I take a look at you?”
She thought Odin might have gone out with his injury like Lakis and came to check but thankfully, he was still in the room.
Maybe the memory of her interaction with Lakis was still on her mind because Anne-Marie spoke to Odin carefully without even realizing it.
“It’s…okay. You can come in.”(T/N: he switches from casual to polite speech, hence the pause)
But when Odin readily let her in, she was relieved. Although, he didn’t seem used to speaking politely and stumbled over his words a little.
Odin glanced at Anne-Marie as she walked up to him and began to take a look at his wounds.
At this point, he had fully regained his senses. And he recognized Anne-Marie as the lady who lived next to Yuri, so he was acting like a good person for now.
Right then, Odin heard a small noise from outside.
One of the crows sitting on the window-pane hit the closed window with its beak twice. It was Odin’s other-self which he had sent out earlier.
Anne-Marie didn’t seem to hear the sound because she was concentrating.
Odin kept an eye on Anne-Marie and controlled the crow. The crows outside the window turned into black smoke, one by one, and slipped into the room via the gap. The smoke was then silently absorbed by Odin.
Instantly, everything the crows saw and heard outside was engraved in Odin’s mind.
‘I see, so Arachne went to the Alchemist Tower. When she comes back, I have to tell her what I’ve found out about the central council’s movement.’
Then when Odin saw the information that flowed in from another crow, and his face subconsciously fell.
‘Huh, Siren…what is this gum-like btch doing now? There is already so much chaos outside because of this stupid mutant hunt; she should be hiding in a corner with that dog, why the fck is she wandering around? If she gets caught again like an idiot, she better know that’s the end.’
“Ah, does it hurt?”
Anne-Marie asked Odin at that moment. She seemed to think that the frown on his face was because she touched his wound.
“No, it’s okay. Keep doing what you’re doing.”
Odin straightened his creased forehead.
However, he couldn’t help but frown more when he realized that none of the crows had any information about Lakis.
‘I noticed he was going out and sent them right after him, but they missed him?’
Perhaps that should be expected of the king of Carnot.
Although he had lost his memories and forgotten what he had gone through, Odin definitely knew the face of Lakis Avalon, the ruler of Carnot.
Hence, his immense surprise when he found out that Yuri and that man seemed to have a close relationship. But then he lost consciousness and the moment he woke up, the real Lakis Avalon appeared before him.
‘That said, I didn’t expect that I would gain nothing at all. My pride as an informant is…’
When she saw Odin’s quivering gaze, Anne-Marie’s touch became much softer.
“Actually, you are recovering very fast. At this rate, you can take off the bandages soon.”
Anne-Marie said admiringly after giving Odin a thorough checkup.
Odin was also feeling curious about Anne-Marie’s ability. So he settled his mind and turned to Anne-Marie.
Interestingly enough, whenever Anne-Marie touched him, his body recovered much faster than before.
‘I’m pretty sure this power is from the ruins but…I don’t think she’s an experiment, is this woman a natural mutant?’
“Um, Miss, this side feels quite painful, do you mind looking at it a little more?”
Being the informant he was, Odin was heavily invested in finding out more about new things he didn’t know. So in a bid to test Anne-Marie’s power further, he purposefully exaggerated his pain.
For some reason, Anne-Marie momentarily paused at Odin’s statement. Then the next moment, Odin’s heart skipped a beat when he saw her smile like a blooming flower.
“You’re really kind, Mr. Odin.”
Odin quickly looked away, avoiding Anne-Marie’s eyes. Somehow, his ears felt hot and his heart was beating fiercely.
“Uh, I…I, well.”
So honestly, he didn’t even really hear what Anne-Marie said.