Queen’s Gate - Volume Volume 1 - Chapter 1

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“Ah~, so disappointing . ”

Alice was inside the limousine that would take her to her school, St . Label’s Academy . She took a look at the results of Hatter’s investigation on the golden boat, conducted while she was sleeping, then rested her body on the seatbelt and hung her head .

“Still, “Profeshor”, wasn’t your intuition proven true~, pyon?”[1]

The woman in a bunny-girl costume driving the limousine spoke in a soothing tone like a comedian, while swinging her rabbit ears . She was one of the members of the Dodgson Foundation in charge of operating machinery, an artificial life form with the codename: “March Hare . ”

“Intuition is important, pyon . We “hocumuluns”, March Hare included, don’t have anything like that, pyon . ”

Though her tone was rather thoughtless, one could feel she was worried about Alice . In these situations, she preferred having March Hare around to Hatter .

“It’s just, it makes no sense for this to have been crafted out of pure gold . ”

A display was equipped in front of the rear seat of the limousine Alice sat on . It was projecting the image of the golden boat they had obtained from the submarine pyramid last night . According to the data displayed next to the image, the analysis of the golden boat revealed that it was a lump of pure gold . Even though it might be worth some amount if one considered the historical value too, when compared to the full cost of this search expedition, it didn’t nearly cover the expenses .

“Good grief, a waste of energy at best . ”[2]

Alice’s lips turned sour .

“If we had only obtained even one new technology, we’d have made a killing . ”

For Treasure Hunters, these original golden series of artifacts had a special meaning . Namely, they held within them data of internal structures and designs . In other words, the golden jet was an elaborate real miniature that utilized flight technology unknown to humans yet, and the same went for the golden bulldozer . As a result, they had been able to discover many technologies involving the powertrain from the golden bulldozer; the huge airship Vimana Alice was using also employed plenty of technology obtained from the golden jet .

By restoring Lost Technology in the present era, the Dodgson Foundation had successfully monopolized unprecedented super-technology like no other . This time, she had been counting on obtaining some innovating technology not only about movement on and under water, but about water pressure and decompression sickness as well from the golden boat, so it was quite a big shock, too .

“With this, I think we might not be able to use the Foundation’s heavy equipment for a while, pyon . ”

“Hahn~~~~~”

Alice gave a sigh with all her might . Most of the top front end equipment she used as a Treasure Hunter was managed and administrated by her family at the Dodgson Foundation . According to the instructions that Lewis, Alice’s mother and administrator of the Foundation, had left behind after going missing, not even her biological daughter Alice was allowed to use the Foundation’s equipment at will .

“Well, nothing we can do about it . Let’s put up with the tedious daily routine for the time being . Farewell for now, days of fun adventures!”

Alice resigned herself, fully theatrical, and looked outside the window . A girl in a light brown cape and a white skirt was walking by[3] . Those were the same clothes Alice was wearing . That was conventionally called a school uniform .

Though wearing a short uniform skirt was popular these days, when it came to girls’ skirt length, the one which attracted the most attention after all was this one they wore, that could already be called “micromini” . The students and connoisseurs made fun of the “St . Label’s Academy” name, parodying and calling it “Navels Academy” . [4]

Though they couldn’t clearly tell when it had happened, this was considered normal by now, and it had a very high male support . According to one theory, the Headmaster had shortened the skirt length to make the students behave properly, by using their own shame . Certainly, in order to prevent anyone else from seeing their underwear with that skirt length, they had to walk carefully so that their skirt wouldn’t wave, and they had to close their thighs properly when they sat down on a chair . Forcibly being obedient meant they couldn’t help but to mind their manners too .

That said, even if she leant over a bit, her round ass cheeks showed too, that was troubling as well . . .

“I always think, the skirt’s length is the only thing I can do nothing about . ”

“Profeshor’s combat uniform shows even more underwear, pyon . ”

“That’s fine, because it’s a symbol of the extraordinary! And I’m not ashamed even if my underwear is showing, either!”

Along with the special black protective suit Alice called her battle suit, she wore white underwear that had nanomicron units woven into it with the necessary functions for living body preservation .

They absolutely arent just panties!

As she argued with March Hare, she delicately adjusted her skirt’s waist .

“Well, etiquette aside, this length is troubling for the day-to-day . ”

Alice left for St . Label’s Academy like a schoolgirl . If one considered her age, this wouldn’t be odd, but she had already graduated from the university at an accelerated class, and had obtained a PhD . She taught as a Professor as often as twice a week, and could easily become a University teacher .

Despite that, she was just a schoolgirl here, due to the troublesome family precepts her mother had left her .

“Those who don’t know the day-to-day, and don’t enjoy it, have no right to taste the extraordinary . ”

Because of her mother Lewis’ words, Alice had to carry on living an everyday life appropriate for her age . Though student life was extremely boring for Alice by now, if she didn’t fulfill the family precepts, she wouldn’t be allowed to use the equipment, facilities and all the various machinery owned by the Foundation . That’s why, she reluctantly chose the somewhat mediocre St . Label’s Academy where daughters of millionaires attended, since it was the one closest to her house .

The limousine stopped stylishly in front of the school gate .

“Profeshor, here we are, pyon . Ten minutes before “rome-hoom” starts, truly bus-like timing, pyon . ”[5]

Moving her bunny ears with a blip blop, March Hare informed her of their arrival .

“Sii~~~igh . . . ”

The door opened automatically, and Alice got out, lazy all over .

“I’ll pick you up at the usual time, pyon . Contact me if there’s any change, pyon . ”

“Yeah, yeah . Drive safely back home, now . ”

March Hare responded to Alice’s words by swinging her ears . With a calm sound, the jet black limousine slowly left the school gate .

“Well now . . . ”

Just as Alice turned her gaze to the school, the sound of a great displacement engine roared up, and the huge frame ran off with a daring accelerator turn .

“That foolish bunny, right after I told her to drive safe, too . ”

Murmuring so that the nearby students wouldn’t hear her, Alice tightly clenched her fist, intending to go over this with her later .

“Oh my, Miss Bunny is as hasty as ever . ”

A voice called out to Alice .

“At this rate, she’ll take you to Wonderland, Allie . ”

“Since she’s March Hare, she’ll take you to the tea party . ”

The voice continued with an “Uhihi” laughter . That was a voice she knew so well . Since, as she recalled, she had left her behind at the submarine pyramid off the Panama coast barely ten hours ago .

“Dorothy . You punctually came to school . Well done, well done . ”

Guessing the voice’s owner without even looking back, Alice began to walk with a bored look .

“(Angry) When you greet someone, you have to properly look them in the face . ”[6]

The owner of the voice, Dorothy, trotted up till she reached Alice .

“Good grief . ”

Alice faced Dorothy with a sharp turn good enough for a dancer, and looked at her from toe to hair . She had soft, delicate features without a scratch in them, reminiscent of a French doll, and her uniform fit her like a glove, not even one extra wrinkle in it . Her skirt’s pleats never waved at all; if it was her, even the skirt’s extreme length was something that just made her all the lovelier .

“Well aren’t you flawless?”

“Yeah, I am flawless . Though, if I had the golden boat you took from me, Allie, I’d be just perfect . ”

“Ah-, about that . ”

Alice muttered in a tired tone, turning towards the school building’s entrance .

“It was a fake . ”

“Eh?”

“I’ll give you more details after school, in the Literature Club . ”


***


Just like any school that had a place where books were stored for education, St . Label’s Academy also had a library . But, since the collection’s scale was far superior in the case of this school, it was called the Book Building .

Four floors above ground, with a two-store basement . Great floors with bookshelves taller than an ordinary person had been filled with tightly packed, lined up books from the east and west, old and young . This had been due to the skill of the librarian that had been newly appointed there a few years ago; with the current book collection of the remodeled Book Building, it had swollen to a scope where they took the lead among domestic libraries .

In a corner of the Book Building, a rare handwritten plate had been hanged under the librarian booth’s signboard: “Literature Club . ” That was the name of the club based on the Book Building, that had many club activities . Matching the scale of the Book Building’s collection of books, there were no less than two rooms with librarian booths on each floor, for a total of 20 rooms . Since the number of clubrooms was higher than the number of librarians, one of the available rooms had been set aside as the room for the literature club .

After school, at the librarian’s booth there were several men and women who belonged to the literature club .

“So: after we ran some analysis, it’s just an ornament of ordinary gold . ”

Alice told Dorothy, sitting opposite her . Spreading two notebooks on the table, she used both her hands deftly, and recorded memos with different contents in each one . Perfecting moving her left and right hands independently, that also was training for using at will her tricky pistols with daggers, the black Angra Mainyu and the silver Aeshma .

“Hm~ph, so you Allie too?”

“ “Too”?”

Twitch, Alice’s ears perked up hearing Dorothy’s words .

“Yes . See, there was the crystal cube I obtained last time . ”

“Ah, that time where our Hatter unusually fell behind . ”

A crystal cube had been discovered in the Arctic Ocean’s ice . As there had been rumors about a supposed legacy concerning the secrets of life, a battle had unfolded on the Arctic’s sea ice approximately two months ago .

“That was fake too . ”

“Eh?”

“Yeah, it was fake . When we analyzed its components, it turned out to be ordinary crystal . ”

Given the age of the layer of ice it had been buried into, even by just processing the crystal once, so much should have been discovered about the change in the earth’s crust that it’d overturn the current theories .

“According to the “folklore”, the cube’s surface should have been engraved with data indicating how life sprang forth . But, we didn’t find any pattern like that there, even after scanning it with an electron microscope, though . “

Hearing Dorothy coming out with it, Alice noticed a few points in common . As she continued writing on both notebooks at the same time, Alice decided she’d drop Dorothy a hint . She’d come to realize them too .

“Say, Dorothy . ”

“Wha~at~?”

“I wonder if there are any common features between that crystal cube and the golden boat . ”

“Both are fake . ”

Her reply came in a flash . It probably clocked under 0 . 5 seconds .

“Think a little more before answering immediately, you mudhead!”

Mudhead! Mudhead? That’s not a nice thing to say!

“When I asked about a common feature, I didn’t mean that particularly . Think well~~~!”

“Mm~~~”

Dorothy pursed her lips in a frown, and closed her eyes . She was by no means unintelligent . She was a little insecure about her memory and her calculating ability, was all . The same went for her prowess as a Treasure Hunter, one could say she was almost neck and neck with Alice . Otherwise, she wouldn’t have been able to keep being her rival up to that point .

“Dorothy?”

There was no answer .

Alice released her pen and turned to Dorothy . Dorothy was . . .

“Zzz-“

She had fallen asleep . Alice silently picked up her eraser, and shot it in retaliation .

Thwack! The eraser hit right in the middle of Dorothy’s forehead .

Byaih!?

With a short scream, Dorothy lost her balance and tipped over her chair .

Everybody turned their heads when they heard the sudden sound . But, when they saw that Dorothy had fallen down, they all went like “What, the usual”, lost interest and went back to their own work .

The good thing about that school’s Literature Club was that their individualism was thorough . Except when someone made the news as they worked on the bimonthly club journal, provided it was about a subject that tickled their intellectual curiosity, none of the members were interested in the others . In fact, even though Alice and Dorothy usually talked openly about the OOPArts they had obtained, there was no actual harm . Since they were debating lively as part of the Literature Club, one could only think they were creating some new story .

If this had been a sports-related club, it wouldn’t have worked this way . As clubs were based on people working together, actions that disturbed the discipline weren’t allowed . So, when they got fired up talking about things like OOPArts, regarded as fringe topics, they got singled out as weirdos, as was the logical outcome .

Besides, Alice wasn’t confident at being able to hide her outstanding physical ability, and in Dorothy’s case, she’d probably try and stand out without giving it a second thought . There were too many inconveniences for Alice to stealthily act as a Treasure Hunter . First of all, Alice didnt have any hobbies like meeting with everyone at sports to praise each others effort, or devoting herself to her studies with the aim of getting full marks .

Use your own abilities for yourself . That was her creed .

“Uugh, you’re mean, Allie . ”

Holding both her forehead and the back of her head, Dorothy dizzily stood up .

“You woke up yet?”

“I wasn’t doing anything like sleeping . I just closed my eyes a little to think . ”

“Say that nonsense after you wipe the drool off your mouth . ”

“Uhih?!”

Dorothy took out a handkerchief from her chest pocket, and fixed her mouth in a hurry .

“H-Hey . . . There’s the case of Edgar Cayce too, you can come up with great answers while sleeping!”[7]

Dorothy rebutted, moving her arms noisily .

“So you admit you were sleeping . ”

“Ugyuh!?”

“If you could predict things at the same level as Edgar Cayce in your naps, this world wouldn’t need informers . ”

Edgar Cayce used an ability called Reading, contacted the cosmic awareness called “Akashic Records”[8] while under a state of hypnosis, and left behind many prophecies . Among the connoisseurs, he was said to be one of the world’s three Major Prophets; though for Alice, who hated predictions, that was only a story with low credibility .

“But, but, I did notice one thing properly~ . ”

“Ooh?”

Alice narrowed her eyes, waiting for Dorothy’s words .

“The common point is that both have materials with similar qualities to the real thing, is that what you meant?”

Alice smiled when she heard Dorothy’s answer .

“You pass . And, there’s one more point in common . ”

“One more?”

“Well, if I let you ponder about it, Dorothy, I don’t think you’ll come up with an answer before the end-of-term tests, so I’ll say it myself . ”

Alice began explaining while drawing a picture in a corner of her notebook .

“For example, suppose that there are two pictures here . ”

“Hm-hm . ”

“One piece is the genuine article . The other’s fake . Even if both pictures are similar, there’s a world of difference in their values . ”

Even Dorothy could manage to stay with her so far .

“The problem comes now . See, if both the genuine article and the fake are something old like the cave paintings of Tassili-n-Ajjer in the Sahara, wouldn’t the fake be worthy enough?”

“If it was the first fake of humankind, it’d be a breakthrough . ”

“Well, what is known in the world as OOPArts currently, is as their very name implies: “Out of Place Artifacts” . That is, devices considered impossible to have been crafted with the techniques of the time they’re certified to have been produced . This is why they’re considered so strange and valued so high . But, the likes of pieces of gear or crystal crafts, those are just ornaments, in short . What a Treasure Hunter like me is looking for, on the other hand, are the OOPArts we call “original,” that contain super technology that surpasses even modern civilization . ”

Both of Alice’s guns, and the huge airship Vimana too, were products of Lost Technology obtained from OOPArts .

“So far, after seeing many “ornamental” OOPArts, I’ve been wondering if “original” ones actually existed from the start . But, since there are actually “original” ones among them, what if someone had secretly substituted them for fakes long ago?”

“I see . If someone had substituted them for fakes an absurdly long time ago, they’d get a proper treatment as OOPArts even if they’re fakes . ”

“It’s as you say . So, the important thing here is to infer the period when they were secretly substituted, from the circumstances surrounding their discovery . ”

In fact, the Dodgson Foundation also owned several OOPArts that were secretly substituted for fakes with similar materials than the genuine articles . Of those, the first kind are more than a hundred thousand years old, to distinguish them from the second kind of OOPArts, more recent . There was a common feature among the first class too: though it was usually said their age was around a hundred thousand years, their range extended to tens of millions of years . Whenever they were found with no signs of having been excavated, it was safe to assume they had gotten buried naturally in there sometime around the previous range of years .

There was still a problem . Namely, there existed evidence of OOPArts having been excavated . Whether they were relics from tens of millions of years old, there were traces of excavations from a hundred thousand years old, or as old as twelve thousand years ago, even those traces were interesting for the archeologists . When investigated decades ago, it also clearly settled that those OOPArts there were fakes; maybe the originals had been secretly replaced by those .

“In other words, the act of secretly substituting an OOPArt for a fake might have been something repeated often since the olden days . ”

“That might be so, though I don’t want to think much about it . . . ”

It was common for fakes to have their materials somewhat similar to the genuine articles . In the case of grave robbing, witty thieves might prepare a fake . But, were there any group of thieves who used pure gold and crystal similar to the genuine article for their fakes? Though the substitutions were widespread enough to have been separated in time, could a copycat from a different time possibly have done something this time-consuming matching their predecessors to this extent?

Alice declared with an unusual serious expression:

“There may be “someone” secretly replacing OOPArts with something in mind . With such a scale as tens of thousands of years ago, too . ”

Glup .

Dorothy swallowed her saliva .

“What a terrible enemy . ”

Both the Dodgson Foundation and Dorothy’s Baum Foundation were big conglomerates that had been developed based on the technology heritage obtained from OOPArts . It’d be overly optimistic to think there hadn’t been any other similar groups in the past history elsewhere . And, assuming that to be the case, it’d be an enemy who had continuously, skillfully hid its presence for a long time .

Though one could think Alice had made rapid progress about this, there was a cue that had led Alice to arrive to these conclusions . It was the contents of the report that had arrived earlier from the staff of the Dodgson Foundation, that went to check the cave from Puerto Rico leading to the submarine pyramid, as discovered by Dorothy . Although the submarine tunnel itself that extended from the cave was fairly old, they had discovered a point midway through where a collapsed part had been re-dug . The excavation marks were quite new, from around the 1990’s .

It couldn’t be said for certain, but there was the possibility that the fake golden boat had been secretly substituted around that time as well . Maybe, the time when the Chupacabras began to appear suddenly in Puerto Rico too, 1995, was related to when the submarine tunnel opened .

Assuming they had substituted it secretly and had left without even triggering the ruins’ collapse trap, aka Code D . . .

“It seems our opponent is as good as us at handling OOPArts, or even better . And there’s the possibility that they keep working at secretly substituting OOPArts even now . ”

Alice put her index fingers to her lips . That was her habit when she decided to challenge an opponent .

“Ah, I know what you want to do, Allie . ”

Dorothy clapped her hands, and went on .

“While exploring still unrecovered OOPArts, you’re going to drag that “someone” out . ”

“Glad you understand . That should speed things along . ”

“So, here’s the next target, then . ”

Dorothy started talking in rapid succession .

“I see you’re ready enough . ”

Alice smiled wryly .

“Uhihihihi, and it fits our purposes to a T . ”

Dorothy proudly presented a one-sheet printout .

“How about the “Salzburg Cube”? It’s quite likely to be an “original” OOPArt, with information on an unknown metal . ”[9]

The Salzburg Cube . On 1885, at a cast iron factory in the north of Austria, a metal cuboid was discovered inside large chunks of coal that were being finely ground for fuel . Composed of nickel carbon, its percentage of sulfur seemed too small for a natural object . Since it had a quite accurate rectangular parallelepiped shape, it was considered to be a man-made work .

Besides, according to Gurlt, the expert said to be the discoverer of this device, it was said that the coal surrounding the metal cuboid was Ignite from the Cretaceous Period, approximately 70,000 years old . This topic was printed in a well-known scientific magazine in its 1886 issue, but since the analysis technology of the time wasn’t as refined as that of today, there are rumors about its authenticity even today .

“That’s one of the missing OOPArts your family is often looking for . ”

“Uhihihi . ”

Dorothy’s flat chest puffed up with pride .

“Allie, do you know where the Salzburg Cube is?”

“The real one was lost during World War II, it seems the one they have in the Salzburg underground resources museum is just a model . ”

“Right . Then, where is the genuine article?”

Alice frowned . It should appear in the list her mother Lewis, leading the Dodgson Foundation, had left behind, in virtue of her investigating exhaustively all the traditions around the world and finding undiscovered treasures .

The OOPArt that was the Salzburg Cube had already been found by someone else, it was just now that it had gone missing . Naturally, that wouldn’t be written in her mother’s list, so without having Hatter investigate it for her, it was an item that completely flew under Alice’s radar .

“You don’t know?”

Dorothy smiled triumphantly, while Alice clenched her back teeth . Though it wasn’t pleasant to show weakness to this girl, it wasn’t that bad to concede victory every now and then if she could be given a clear explanation .

“Yeah, yeah, I don’t know . Please tell me, teacher Dorothy . ”

She replied in monotone to Dorothy’s words .

“Uhihihihi . Actually, it’s in Moscow . ”

“Moscow?”

“At the time of World War II, it seems the Soviet Forces took it away . Without noticing the worth of the goods, apparently the Salzburg Cube is still lying inside the Museum of the Soviet Army . ”[10]

“Museum of the Soviet Army~?”

The Museum of the Soviet Army was under military jurisdiction, rather than civilian . The security level should also be more severe, in a totally different class than ordinary museums .

“Shall we do a treasure scramble game for the first time in a while? Tonight, that is . ”

“Tonight~? I wonder what I should do . ”

Alice was being evasive . The various equipment under the control of the Foundation, including her main backup, the huge airship Vimana, couldn’t be used without the permission of the “3 Queens . ” Not to mention the fact that the Salzburg Cube was an item that wouldn’t appear in her mother’s list; she didn’t think she’d get permission so easily .

Without the Vimana, it’d be impossible for her go to Moscow and return in a day . That day being a weekday, when she considered she’d have class the following day too, she couldn’t answer at a moment’s notice .

“It’s no good? If you can’t use your family’s stuff, Allie, will you ride our Twister up to Moscow? We’ll start the competition on-site . ”

Twister was the multi-purpose aircraft owned by the Baum Foundation, Dorothy’s home, and one of the few aircrafts with a performance equivalent to that of the Vimana . It was thanks to the Twister that Dorothy was able to fly around the world in the same manner as Alice .

“OK, I’ll ride it . ”

Alice considered the unexpected suggestion and replied immediately .

“Then, I’ll tell Scarecrow that we’re to take a visitor on board . ”

As soon as Dorothy said so, she got in touch with Scarecrow, the subordinate she was proud of, through her portable terminal . Unlike Alice, Dorothy’s strong point was to be able to summon the Baum Foundation’s support at will .

“Oh my, I wonder if you’re talking about your next project?”

A clear voice suddenly drifted over to their table . It was a redhead woman in a wine-red suit that fitted her body well . Her name: the teacher Faye Wright, who acted as an advisor to the Literature Club among the librarians, who was now sitting behind Alice before they even noticed it .

If one looked at her body, most people would notice something amiss . The left arm of her jacket was empty . That is, she was one-armed . The person herself said that she had lost her left arm due to an accident from her youth, but the truth wasn’t clear . Anyway, when both the Dodgson and Baum Foundations investigated the backgrounds of the teaching staff before their admissions, they hadn’t been able to find any records of her before she was appointed to this school .

That was why Alice had been wary of her since the beginning . One of the reasons why she had joined the Literature Club was to monitor her, but . . . If she could get behind her so easily, she could have listened to their conversation . She had been way too careless . Clicking her tongue so that no one noticed, Alice turned her eyes to Faye .

“If you have a plot, I guess I’ll be looking forward to your next project?”

Faye looked at Alice’s notes and gave a sweet smile . A smile without malice, that conversely stirred up Alice’s wariness .

“Yes . We’re hard at work . ”

Alice replied as she closed her notebook .

“Ahn, you meanie . Your teacher was still reading thaat . ”

“If you read our ideas beforehand, you’ll get less enjoyment when you read the story later . ”

“The short story you ran on the last club journal was interesting . I want to see a continuation . ”

“Uhihihihi, that’s great, right, Allie?”

“It was thanks to your cooperation, Dorothy . ”

As she returned a smile, Alice put away both her notebooks with separate contents in a bag . That was enough for the report she was to submit to her school . She had also taken note of the conversation with Dorothy .

“By the way, teacher, what was the special edition theme of the next club journal again?”


Oh my, our Chief is worried about it . ”
She changed the subject from her story involving treasure hunting with Dorothy, to club activities .

“She’s a Chief in name only, because she doesn’t do a thing . ”

“It’s the human extinction on 2012~”

Just as she said so, the other members around who had been indifferent so far, gathered one after the other now that the hottest, most interesting topic had begun .

“Chief, it’s the Aztec Calendar!”

The moment when the Sun would lose its power was written down in the calendar of the ancient Aztec civilization . When converted to A . D . , it’d become December 22nd, 2012 .

“Chief, what do you think will happen when the Sun loses its power?”

“The extinction of the sunspot?”

A change in the amount of heat due to the drop in solar activity . The ancient Aztec civilization was well versed in astronomy, and it’s well known that they kept a detailed observation of the Sun . There was also the possibility they had closed in on a secret of the Sun we don’t know nowadays; that was a relatively convincing theory .

“I firmly defend the photon belt theory myself![11]”

The Solar System goes around the Milky Way with a cycle of 26,000 years, and around the year 2000, it’d pass through a photon belt, a lumped ring of photons so crowded they gained mass, as it does every 11,000 years . If the Earth entered there, the magnetic field would be affected by strong electromagnetic waves, with an impact considered deadly for all life forms . And the time we’d enter the next winter solstice in 2012 would be December 22nd, that was what the Aztecs had predicted, emphasized one of the members with an occult magazine at hand .

“No, it’s possible that the lack of sunlight it’s caused by the dust accompanying a meteorite fall . The meteorite fall that occurred on the other side of the Earth . . . ”

To begin with, the members of the Literature Club were fond of discussions . Once one of those had started, it wasn’t unusual for them to talk together about their theories, even if they didn’t have the correct answer, until the school building close .


***


3 hours later . Alice’s silhouette could be seen at the outskirts of Moscow .

When one had a flight ability like the Twister’s, overcoming every nation’s air defense system was no real trouble . With the full use of the “Active Stealth” ability, it had easily broken through Moscow’s solid air defense system, a legacy from the Cold War era, and was now standing still above the Moscow river . Currently in the rightly called Invisible Mode, not even Alice could feel the Twister above her head, despite knowing it was there .

“As expected, it’s cold . ”

Even if it was early summer, days in Moscow were rather chilly .  Brr, Alice trembled while dressed in her jet black combat uniform . Considering its high level of exposure, her combat uniform wasn’t really fit for the climate . No matter if the bare parts were guarded by a specially combined protective solution, it really didn’t seem to keep her warm .

Local time, 8:00 PM .

This was a “white night,”[12] one of the days in summertime that got extremely long at high latitudes, but in two hours it’d get too dark around there . On the other hand, it was not like she could take it slow and wait for the golden chance when it got dark . If she had to attend school tomorrow morning, considering the time it took to travel, she only had a little more than an hour to work here .

Towering in front of her eyes was the former Soviet Union’s Museum of the Soviet Army . That was the place where the Salzburg Cube, the OOPArt Alice and Dorothy had chosen as their target this time, was supposed to be .

The building was made of red brick, something simple and sturdy in line with a totalitarian state . It had many pillars, compared with the apartment buildings surrounding it . Had they also taken into account the possibility of using it as a fortress if necessity arose? There were few windows, and the only opening in the first floor was the front entrance . Alice overlooked the museum from a spot slightly away, and began examining the intrusion path .

“How awfully secure . Though it feels kinda showy for a museum . . . ”

Naturally, there were some guards around the museum . Alice used the telescopic function of her goggles to try and check their equipment . A full-face ballistic resistant helmet, a pitch black BDU and body armor, bomb-proof shields, small sub-machine guns in their hands[13] . . . no matter how one looked at it, they weren’t just guards . With that equipment, only someone engaging terrorists directly would fit the profile .

“Rather than guards, aren’t those Special Forces?”

This was bad . And this was just the first obstacle . First of all, why would those Special Forces guys be guarding this place? The current Alice had no way of guessing the chain of command and their goals . If she had the backup from the Dodgson Foundation as usual, she’d be able to obtain more detailed information, and it’d be easy to cause a distraction .

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Read A Lifetime of Peace and Care
Read A Hand-Woven Universe
Read Elite Mages' Academy
Read A Lovely Girl Turning into a Rat
Read The Reincarnated Goddess is Fierce