Chapter 685 Futari No Monogram *Jun*
The facility was a place where children with 'inhumane powers' that should not exist in this world were placed. These unusual children are referred to as evolved humans and remain in the facility's custody until they are old enough to control their abilities.
Unfortunately, he doesn't recall the exact moment he came here. Unlike his companions, he doesn't have memories of the outside world. Some children have been in this place since birth; perhaps it is the same for him as well? Yet, that logic did not work with him.
Jun stared at the young boy who was explaining to him how he found a cave at the end of the forest. There was an ax by his feet that he had tossed moments ago. They were in the forest and supposed to be chopping wood for the fireplace, but his friend had gotten sidetrackedside-tracked.
"It's not on the map." Jun pointed out.
At those words, a foolish grin appeared on his companion's face. "This is why it's perfect. The adults will never know that we went there."
"I do not think it's safe," Jun admitted. "There is a reason why it isn't on the map."
The adults in the facility are not stupid; before they set up their base here, they must have explored everything. But if this mysterious cave isn't on the map, they have determined it is too dangerous. However, Jun knew even if he explained this, his friend would not listen.
"Hey, how many times have I told you? Yu-kun, don't drag Jun into your mess."
The black-haired boy sighed. "You're wrong again; a right of passage isn't a mess. Besides, weren't you interested in the cave too, Sumire?"
Standing not too far from where they were was a girl with her hands on her hips and cheeks puffed as she looked at Yuhi disapprovingly.
This girl is called Ibuki Sumire; she is supposed to be the second heiress of a prestigious family. But due to an accident leading to her discovery of her powers, she has remained here. Did she come here before him? Or was he here long before her? He doesn't know.
Whenever he tries to focus on a particular memory, he experiences severe headaches. Just thinking about it would cause him pain; today was no exception either.
His thoughts broke off when Sumire leaned forward and placed her hand on his forehead. "You don't have a fever, but you look pale again. Are you eating properly, Jun-kun?"
Yuhi pulled Sumire's hand away. "You'll give Jun a heart attack standing so close."
Sumire sighed. "I am only concerned. If we fall ill too often, the adults will see us as a hindrance and relocate us. Jun is frequently sick already, and it's already taken Hino a lot of persuasion to keep him with us."
"I think it's more like with Jun's reputation as an ice. King; nobody wants him in their group."
Sumire stepped on Yuhi's foot. "That's so rude! Because of that, your not getting any pie."
"Wait, it's pie today?"
At those words, Sumire fidgeted and averted her gaze. Jun, who had been silently observing them, couldn't miss the tint of pink on her cheeks.
'We may only be children, but I can tell that Sumire-san likes Yuhi.'
"T-that, it's because you asked for it."
Yuhi beamed brightly and hugged Sumire. "Thank you!"
"G-get of me." Sumire lightly pushed him away and set the basket on the ground. She pulled out a sky blue colored cloth and set it on the grass, and she pulled out some mini plastic plates as she placed the food on them.
There was pie, a few sandwiches, and cheesecake.
Jun blinked, seeing the cake. "How did you get the sugar?"
Sumire laughed. "I got it as a reward for acing the last fitness test."
"So she beat you?" Jun asked Yuhi.
Normally, Yuhi is the one with high marks in all the classes and training sessions.
At those words, Yuhi grumbled but nodded. "She is getting better."
"Are the others not with you?" Jun questioned.
"They are in the detention room; that idiot Kou caused an explosion during the chemical experiments. Ran and Tetsuo were his team members and was equally held responsible." Sumire trailed off. "Hino went somewhere again."
'Hino' was the leader of their group. Was he the oldest member by four? Or was it six years? Either way, he has been here far longer than they have. All the children in the facility end up being grouped, and the oldest members automatically become the leader of the group. He took care of them like an older sibling.
Sensing her shift in mood, Jun spoke up. "We can help you get permission to use the kitchen again."
Sumire laughed softly. "Thank you."
Yuhi crossed his arms. "The food is great as usual. But you know what would make this better? If we explore those caves. I am sure we will find hidden ingredients there."
At those words, he sighed. "Sumire-san, please tell him that this isn't a good idea. What if there are beasts there?"
"Then we fight them," Sumire said nonchalantly.
"W-what? B-but-" Jun protested, and the girl laughed again.
"I understand why you are worried. But it won't do any harm. Recently we haven't spent much time together as an entire group. So I think we could take this chance to explore and spend time together."
That is true; the seven of them have completely different abilities.' It's normal that the stronger their powers become, the more they have to spend time with people with similar abilities. There is a reason why the classes are categorized into different ability types.
When a child first enters the facility, they end up in groups with other children with mixed abilities. But this is only until the facility gathers enough data on the child once the child has settled in. After that, they tend to gradually break the group apart, so the children spend more time in classes focused on their ability type.
While Jun understood the logic behind it, he disliked being apart from the friends he had made. Yuh may have made that joke earlier, but his friend is speaking the truth. No other group will accept somebody as stone-faced and cold-hearted as him.
"Relax, I have already scouted the area in advance." Yuhi commented. "-and there are no beasts."
Jun looked at his friend skeptically. "You are not just saying that because you want to go exploring, right?"
"I'm not. Besides, the other day I got stronger; just take a look at" Yuhi swung his arm to activate his power, only for him to flinch in pain.
Sumire immediately got up and rolled up his sleeves, revealing a dark-colored bruise. "Did they hit you again?" Sumire said angrily. "You didn't even do anything wrong-"
"It's fine; we can't have them hit you or Jun, can we?"
Jun looked down with a guilty expression. There is a group that keeps picking on them recently, a group of older children who have been here longer and thus have better control of their abilities. The reason why Yuhi-san has to suffer like this is because of him.
He accidentally offended them with his behavior, and since then, they have taken to 'hitting at least one member of their group a day,' They cannot do this when Hino is around, but Hino gets sent on plenty of long jobs. They take advantage of his absence a lot.
Yuhi lightly knocked his forehead. "Don't make that face too, Jun; it's fine."
Sumire sobbed and clung to Yuhi's arm. "I-I will protect you. I'm the strongest one here; if I get serious, they can't win."
Indeed she is the one with the strongest ability, but she has no control over her powers yet. Jun exchanged knowing glances with Yuhi. Besides, no matter how strong she is, they could never allow her to take on the risk of protecting them.