[Translator – Anwen]
The bell that indicated the start of class rang.
“Hooo? If that’s the case, I’m the expert regarding those sorts of problems. Let’s go to the research group together later.”
“Where’s Yiruki? I haven’t seen him.”
“He’s not coming today. Something along the line of his renewed passion not prepared to accept old, bland education. Anyways, he’s sleeping like a log in the research group.”
“Haha! That’s so Yiruki.”
Yiruki declared that he would advance towards his dream after the confrontation with Shirone, but it seemed like his tendencies would not easily change.
“Let’s talk later. Class is about to start.”
Seeing the empty hallway, Shirone quickly made his way towards the lecture room.
After diligently focusing on his studies for the day, he headed to the research group with Nade after his daily routine.
Shirone was amazed once again as he stood in front of the magic warehouse, Estas.
If the shape he saw last time was a colony-like structure, now there were seven towers scraping the sky.
“Even though it’s my second time seeing it, this building is really amazing.”
“I mean, there are 89 buildings, so there’s no end to the patterns. I hope Yiruki’s awake.”
As much as the outside had changed, the interior was no different, but Nade walked all around the maze with no hesitation.
“I’m curious, how do you find your way around? Even labeling would be of no use if the structure changes.”
“Haha! We don’t use such a one-dimensional method. Simple enough, we just memorize everything. A long time ago, an upperclassman who was part of this research group restored Estas’ blueprint.”
Shirone’s eyes grew large.
“What? Of this complicated building? No, before that, why did he do that? It wasn’t like he was going to build a new one.”
Though it was unproductive, Nade was still proud.
“There, look at the ceiling over there. There are three dots. That means this is the 3rd Room. Then we look to see what the color of the iron door to the 3rd warehouse is. It’s blue, right? Hence, this place becomes the Blue of Room 3.”
Shirone looked to where Nade was pointing.
“Then, you count the number of cubes. Since there are four intersections, that means there are four cubes connected to the surrounding area. It gets important from here. X is used to represent the room numbers, Y is used to represent colors, but in number form, and Z is the number of cubes. Finally you plug in the variables into the equation.”
“Actually, the blueprint isn’t the standard blueprint that you’re thinking of. It’s simply impossible to express this building that way, so this blueprint that I’m talking about is really an equation. One that was made by analyzing Estas’ pattern. If you plug in the data, you will end up with a number with two decimal places. With that number, you can figure out where you are and where to go. In other words, there’s no way we’ll ever get lost inside Estas. Should I say it’s like a Master Key?”
Shirone realized that the Supernatural Psychic Science Research Group was nowhere close to being normal.
Estas could change into different shapes an infinite number of times, and yet the seniors who established the equation managed to figure out its patterns.
While Shirone felt it was slightly unnecessary, he couldn’t understand the underlying reason behind it.
“But doesn’t calculating take a very long time? And all this just to get to the research lab?”
“You get used to it. It’s learning through experience. By the time three months pass, you won’t even need to substitute things into the equation. You’ll know it by heart.”
“Even now, Estas is still a unique structure because it only exists inside the Alpheas Magic Academy. According to the rumors, there was an ace savant amongst the first members of this research group. Even Yiruki said the equation was beautiful the moment he laid his eyes on it. Something along the lines of he didn’t think he could design an equation simpler than this. Anyways, don’t tell anyone about this. If the Master Key is leaked, there will be a big problem.”
A place that contained unproductive and crazy-obsessed seniors from the first generation.
And that place was the Supernatural Psychic Science Research group hidden deep inside the labyrinth known as Estas.
The two arrived at the lab.
Similar to before, the sign was tilted, and as soon as the door opened, clouds of dust rose and attacked them.
But this time, Shirone was prepared. He blocked his mouth and nose with his hand, thus avoiding managing to avoid what he felt was a catastrophe.
“Yiruki, we’re here.”
Yiruki, as usual, was writing complicated formulas on the blackboard. He smiled as soon as he saw Shirone.
“Hey, Shirone. What’s up? I didn’t think you’d come back to such a shabby place.”
Nade laughed as he recalled the past.
“Haha, seems like we were both wrong. He wants to join.”
It must have been a surprise because Yiruki put down his chalk and walked towards them.
“How unexpected. This research group should have nothing to do with your personal studies.”
“The thing is, it doesn’t seem like that anymore. Something’s been troubling me recently. Can I get some consulting?”
Yiruki and Nade made eye contact. Yiruki smirked.
[Translator – Anwen]
“The genius who beat me has something he’s concerned about. Hmm, I can already tell it must be a heck of a concern.”
Now that Shirone knew and understood Yiruki’s personality, he was not offended by his twisted words.
“Something inside of me has changed. Ever since the Speed Gun exam, I have been having nightmares, and whenever I wake up, I feel kind of creeped out. No, I feel very creeped out. It feels like there is someone right next to me. Could this have any relation to either the supernatural or the psychic? Don’t you guys know those things like the back of your hands?”
His friends’ eyes shone.
Nade, the explorer of the supernatural, and Yiruki, the critic of the supernatural.
“Then you’ve come to the right place. First things first, sit here.”
Nade dusted off the sofa and offered Shirone a seat, Shirone stared at the rising dust in disgust.
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‘I finally figured it out. The origin of the dust…’
It was chalk dust. It was evidently a by-product of Yiruki’s obsession with disproving the supernatural.
“Don’t dust it off, I’ll just sit down. Please, don’t do anything in this room… But if you do, I beg of you, please clean up more regularly.”
“Now, now! Don’t fuss about mere fine dust! You are the first client of the research group, hurry up and tell us more about your problem!”
Nade and Yiruki pulled up chairs and crossed their legs, acting like actual experts.
Shirone was speechless, but he was as desperate as a thirsty man searching for water.
“The problem is, I’ve been dreaming about this lately…”
Shirone explained what he saw in his dreams, as well as the strange feeling he’s been getting from time to time.
“I have no clue what it is. Perhaps some kind of ghost entered my body? Or… I don’t know. Have you heard of anyone who’s ever experienced something similar?”
Shirone swallowed. Considering who he was talking to, he thought that they would say a joke to break the serious atmosphere.
“Wh-What’s up? You guys are making me anxious. You are pulling a joke again, aren’t you?”
Nade scratched his eyebrow with a stumped expression.
“Mmm… The thing is… After hearing about what you said, it seems like it is quite like that.”
“What are you saying? Tell me in detail.”
“That sensation you said that you felt. The creepy one that sends shivers down your spine.”
“Yeah. It gets especially worse at dawn.”
“It’s not scientifically verified, but what you’re experiencing is a phenomenon called the ‘Mourning Sensation’.”
“200 years ago, a scholar conducted an experiment on a death row inmate. It was called Soul Electrolysis. It’s a hypothesis that if a person’s soul is made of matter, it can be decomposed using electricity. Here’s how. The inmate was put in a sealed, electrically conductive metal box… Then he let the electrical current flow. However, because it was so inhumane, the experiment was put to an end. Thanks to that, the death row inmate survived, but it was said that he was unconscious for a month. The problem starts there. When the inmate finally woke up, they knew everything that went on in the outside world.”
“No way. How is that possible?”
“That’s what was so surprising. The scholar put up a hypothesis about Soul Ionization. When the soul was electrolyzed, an electromagnetic force would be generated, causing the world’s information to be attracted and pulled into the inmate. Of course, the scholar was treated like a lunatic in academia. Besides, there were rumors that the criminal bribed the guards to get outside information just to push back his execution.”
“…I see, so there are experiments like that.”
“Although orthodox scholars don’t like to admit it, it’s still a hot topic in the psychic science community. Besides, even the Séance, which is a formal religious organization, recognizes the trance state. Therefore, I don’t think Soul Ionization is some groundless, absurd theory. Anyways, the sensation the inmate felt, we call it the Mourning Sensation in this field.”
Thinking he might be going through the same thing as the inmate, Shirone felt shivers run down his spine.
“Okay, it’s my turn now.”
Yiruki took over the discussion.
“I have a question. You said you started feeling the Mourning Sensation after the Speed Gun? Your Photon Output was certainly different than usual. If it’s a secret, you don’t have to reveal anything, but I think it’ll be helpful if we hear about it.”
Shirone felt that Yiruki was right. They had to know the cause if they wanted to get anything done.
“What happened was…”
Shirone explained the process of reaching the Infinite Realm in detail.
The enlightenment he discovered during the Sequence method, and the fact that he transcended numbers under the pressure of the match.
Yiruki nodded his head. He had already heard about the concept from his father.
“It’s an Immortal Function.”
“I heard about it when I was young. It’s the Absolute Function that can solve the world’s mysteries. I think that’s very dangerous. Because everything is phenomenally the same as nothing.”
Shirone realized anew how dangerous his attempt was as Yiruki’s words were somewhat similar to Ethella’s.
“I only theorized and thought about it, but I didn’t think it’d actually work. It’s something I don’t want to experience again.”
“What stupidity are you talking about? Achieving an Immortal Function is a dream come true for mathematicians. I accept it now. If you can beat me, you should be able to at least achieve an Immortal Function. Kekeke.”
Yiruki, who thought of the Immortal Function as a simple talent, truly showcased why he was labeled an eccentric. However, it was that laid-back attitude that lowered Shirone’s anxiety level.
“Well anyways, Immortal Function you say? Hmm, that clears things up.”
“Really? Did you figure something out?”
Yiruki turned to the wall. It was as if he was writing formulas using his eyes.
“I don’t know much about the Mourning Sensation since I don’t major in psychics, but the nightmares you’re having every day? I can kind of understand what it is and why you even dream of such a thing.”
Shirone clenched his fist.
“Tell me. I’m prepared to hear anything.”
“First of all, dreams distort and exaggerate memories. But your dream is probably projected exactly as your memory. This phenomenon is called psychological regression, and it follows the same principle as someone under hypnosis trying to remember clearly their past. Anyways, supposing your nightmares are of that kind, then…”
“What you saw was probably the universe.”
Shirone knew what the universe was. It was the unknown world outside of theirs.
But that was it. No one knew much else.
From time immemorial to the present, dragons were the only species that officially went out into the universe.
680 years ago, Saint Dragon Gramisch flew out of the continent and into the universe in the presence of representatives from each race.
However, he eventually crashed to the ground in 13 hours. His body was in a state of disrepair.
Under the treaty, the representatives of each race split his body into pieces and returned to their respective territories, and the evidence obtained from said pieces later contributed greatly to the development of cosmology.
“The thing in my dream… Is the universe?”