Hmm… I’ve rechecked everywhere I went, but I haven’t seen any other doors.
It’s one hallway from start to finish.
Looks like this path must be hidden too well for the naked eye to see.
The last room should be where I’ll find professor Nanaki–or wait, didn’t Hiyoko say he was “Hitori nee Nemo” in this world?
Anyway, there should be a quail here somewhere, but he’s been singled out for poor treatment.
Do you really have to hide him away like this, your majesty?
A voice echoes faintly in the dark corridor.
One of The King’s underlings?
I don’t see it anywhere.
…th… JB, do you
r… e… zaki… Yuu…
I was gunning so hard for this upcoming scene and then this happens. I’m so pissed.
I ca… stay connected for ve… long.
The teacher here, Nanaki Kazuaki, is starting to show abnormal brain activity.
He’s probably falling into a coma.
I’m trying to find him right now.
But… it looks like the man behind all of this has hidden him somewhere.
I thought as much. Nanaki’s brain activity is dropping. He may not be able to regain consciousness.
Meaning, he alone is proceeding more rapidly into the disconnect of mind and body.
I’m going to administer psychotropics to you and Nanaki in 60 seconds.
…in small amounts. It would look brilliant if you failed the mission because I overdosed you.
So my job is to concentrate and find the professor while the high lasts?
You should have about two minutes. Good luck.
Leone fades away like a puff of smoke.
This isn’t the first solo search-and-rescue I’ve had to do.
But all the same–
It is reassuring to see that unshakable cockatiel’s face, even just for a minute.
It’s almost time…
If the planisphere is right, the path down to the last star should be between Sakuya and Ryouta’s rooms.
That magnificent artist did get rid of the clouds for us.
It would be a waste if we didn’t let any of the nice moonlight in here!
The boost should last two minutes… at least the area is pretty small. Let’s hope that King can’t beat me at my own game.
So the officers are just as willing to use illegal substances as the ground operatives?
I can’t believe it! There’s something very wrong with the Dove party!
We are… like cogwheels.
We serve as part of a machine far larger and more important than ourselves.
You should know it as well as I do.
Hmph! Unfortunately, I cannot even begin to comprehend such grovelling ideas.
I am not here for the system. The system is here for me.
Anyway, I administered the amounts you said to your underling and the quail there.
And now all we can do is brightly and massively prevent the victim’s bodies from losing too much heat, and wait to see how everything turns out.
Hmm. The drugs acting on my physical body are having more of an effect on my dream consciousness than I had expected.
Every sensation deepens, and expands.
If only I could enter this state at will!
I can see a crack in the wall.
I hadn’t noticed it before, but light is seeping through.
That must be the light from a birds’ soul, like the migrant was talking about.
The wall should be fragile here.
This is just like Sakuya’s tea party: break it open, and be on my way.
We can’t let you do that, traveler.
You were not even invited here.
Please, stop doing such terrible things.
…well hello there, yokels.
What’s with the long faces?
I’m just here to pick up a friend.
He’s gotten stuck in here by mistake, you see.
I’m not going to do anything to hurt you.
Mind letting me by?
Why do you do such terrible things?
You must not open this until everyone is one.
No room for negotiation, then?
I was hoping this would go more smoothly, but… oh well.
If you don’t move, I’m going to make you.
The King is scared of birds like you.
The King asked, are you trying to break another egg?
The citizens — who appear to have morphed into The King — address me accusingly.
What a mean thing to do.
You break eggs, and you think nothing of it.
There’s a crack.
So many eggs…
I wonder what the children inside were like?
Those lives, that couldn’t live.
Poor, poor eggs.
Don’t you feel sorry for them?
The King knows.
The King knows that long ago, you broke an egg out of your own selfishness.
So this is how The King fights back?
I don’t know how he figured out my secret, but in any case it’s a very precise attack.
The King himself is on his throne.
The citizens should just be small parts of the whole, but maybe they share his consciousness and abilities?
This is my job.
I’m here to rescue everyone from the school.
You’ve trapped one inside this wall, so I’m breaking this wall.
That poor chick, who could never hatch.
…please, try not to get distracted.
My past has nothing to do with the fact that you’re getting in my way.
You poor, poor bird.
The King thought, you should not have to suffer any more.
Suddenly The King is carrying eggs and dropping them at my feet.
Before I know it, there’s nowhere left to stand but on the broken eggs.
The King said, The King can lift the burden from your shoulders.
The King can take away your pain.
So come. Become one with The King.
How much does he know?
He’s aware of the guilt I carried with me ever since I broke my brother’s egg, anyway…
But he seems to have misunderstood.
Thanks, but no thanks.
…you’re asking me to hand my guilt over to some complete stranger?
Please, tell me you’re joking.
The King said, do you like pain?
The King does not understand.
Yeah, I didn’t think you would.
I don’t think you ever will.
Like you said, I dirtied my hands with a crime, and I can never take it back. A life lost will never return. The past does not change.
The least I can do is remember.
I will always carry this with me.
This pain is mine.
And you can’t have it.
You know well what it means to suffer.
But if you break The King’s egg, you will only suffer more…
I don’t think you’ll understand.
This pain is part of me.
…your egg is already rotten.
Isn’t it a little much for you to ask me to accept your sympathy?
The King’s shadow disappears like morning fog in the sun.
I can see the stairway to the bottom of the maze.
A friendly and considerate man.
I imagine an eternity spent with him would be full of happy days.
My sentimentality is dying down, in contrast with the high from the drugs in my bloodstream.
It’s time for everyone’s favourite storybook!
Instead of music we get the empty tick-tock from The King’s tale.
You lied to me.
The ticking stops.
…the others weren’t exactly masterpieces, but I think this one goes in a class of its own.
Professor Nanaki– I mean, Hitori. I’m here to take you home.
You’ll get mouldy if you sit around dozing in here.
Looks like he’s still alive.
Do you mind if I tell you something?
I feel… very strange.
And I was sleeping just fine up until a few minutes ago…
You woke up all of a sudden?
Yes, that’s right.
I woke up…
So he really doesn’t have eyes?
I hope this doesn’t have anything to do with his actual body.
But now I’m starting to get sleepy again.
Please, stay awake.
I need your help to break this egg, Hitori.
I’m very, very sleepy…
And The King did tell me I could nap for as long as I liked in here.
There’s nothing wrong with naps, but if you sleep right now you’ll never wake up.
That would be bad… zzz.
Come on, let’s get out of here!
The drugs must be wearing off.
This guy is quite something. Not everybirdie can doze off in their sleep.
I think I would rather stay here and sleep.
He steps unsteadily forward, his wings stretched out in front.
Is he looking for me?
I’m right here. There you go.
Ah, yes. Thank you…
He smiles happily, feels for my neck, and– closes his wings around it.
Hey, wait just a minute!
Are you planning to strangle me?!
Ahaha… you noticed. Oopsie.
What do you mean, “oopsie”?!
I jump back reflexively.
I’ve nearly been crushed while trying to rescue drowning swimmers, but I’ve never had a hostage try to strangle me before.
I thought you were pretty calm… sorry, did I scare you?
I’m here to help.
Come on, take a deep breath.
…hmm… so, it’s not you…
I feel like there’s something I forgot to do.
Even though I thought I already finished it a long time ago…
But, it wasn’t you. Sorry…
Did he mistake me for someone else?
He looks gentle enough on the outside, but I think he’s pretty messed up inside.
Did The King do something to you?
No… all The King did was close the door.
Apparently I shouldn’t go outside…
Birds who might hurt people have to stay inside.
That’s pretty stupid.
Nobirdie can live without hurting anyone else. Are you going to follow his orders just because he’s The King, Hitori?
The King is the most important person here, so apparently I have to…
Think for yourself for a minute.
Do you want to be dragged along with whatever he wants?
He said I needed to be punished.
Apparently I did something bad… and I think I know what it was.
I wouldn’t have expected it from the professor I know, but maybe he did something long ago that the King was able to drag up… just like with me.
I don’t know what you did, but it won’t go away if you just stand here moping.
I know that…
Professor… I mean, Hitori. There are still a few things you have left to do in the real world, right?
Mmm… yes, there are.
I think so.
In that case, let’s get out of here.
A few things left to do…
Oh, right… there is something I need to do.
Let’s get out of this dark hole, then.
Can’t keep a lady waiting, after all.
Mmm… but, that would be hard…
I ate my eyes, so I can’t go anyway…
I can’t see anything.
Don’t worry, I’ll guide you.
This rotten egg should have a few cracks from everyone, now.
And I don’t want to leave Hiyoko and Nageki in danger for long.
Better hurry to the throne room.