Translator: Pluto Editor: Vermillion
" No, this isn't right. " Lin Sanjiu floated backward, creating a distance between herself and the girl. She scrutinized the girl in front of her from head to bottom. " Is she a human? " Lin Sanjiu was uncertain.
"What are you thinking? Have you seen my brother?" Rena stamped her feet anxiously, as her accessories jangled noisily. "He went out to look for you!"
Lin Sanjiu paused for a moment; she wasn't in a hurry to reply. Instead, she first spelled four words: "Start from the beginning".
" Based on Rena's temper, would she plainly accept my question dodging? " Lin Sanjiu wondered to herself, feeling a bit uncertain. She knew that predicting someone's reaction to a situation based on how they usually behave was not reliable at all as humans were too complex.
Proving that point, the Rena standing in front of her suddenly sighed and recounted everything from the beginning.
"You went out to investigate the noise in the corridor, right? That was hours ago! 20 minutes after you left, I sensed that something was wrong. It's just a corridor. You wouldn't need that much time… I wanted to go out to check on you, so I woke my brother up." Rena gulped, looking extremely worried. "I walked around the corridor and didn't find you. He insisted on searching for you… He hasn't returned since."
Then, the girl sighed, "As he didn't return after more than 15 minutes, I went out to look for both of you a couple of times. But, I didn't meet any of you. I was worried that you guys might think I left… so I decided to wait here alone."
Lin Sanjiu listened in a daze, and without thinking about critical details, she quickly spelled: "Did you go downstairs?"
"I did. Not only did I go one floor down to the 14th floor, but I also went all the way to the lobby on the ground floor. I even went upstairs. I went to the roof and found nothing…" Rena appeared dispirited as she collapsed into the chair in the living room. It was then that Lin Sanjiu noticed a streak of dirt on Rena's white socks. By the looks of it, it probably got there when the girl was in the narrow stairways.
If Rena entered the stairways 30 minutes after Lin Sanjiu left, it was possible that they might have missed each other. " No, no. One floor down isn't the 14th floor. Isn't this the 16th floor? "
Lin Sanjiu got the answer to her question very quickly. When she left the apartment with 'this' Rena, she saw the number 15 on the corridor, the same faded 15.
The gray brain floated in midair, a little at a loss as to what to do next.
" Did the numbers change? But why is the unit above exactly the same as the one below? " Lin Sanjiu thought to herself, with her mind in a jumble. She clenched her teeth, not willing to think about it, and spelled out to Rena, "Follow me". She flew into the stairway, leading the way. It didn't matter who was real or fake, they had to meet each other before they could figure things out!
Lin Sanjiu could hear the sounds of Rena's accessories as the girl followed closely. After they ran down a flight of stairs, they reached the floor below them.
Sure enough, the floor below them was the 14th floor. Lin Sanjiu stared at the red "14" on the way for half a second. Then, she rushed to the apartment unit at the end of the corridor. However, she found a locked, unfamiliar door. There was dust all over it, as if no one had touched it for a long time.
The gray brain remained in front of the door, unable to piece together what had actually happened. "Where is Reno?" Lin Sanjiu thought to herself.
"What are you doing? I already searched the 14th floor, there's nothing here!" Rena said standing behind Lin Sanjiu. Rena sounded less anxious than before, probably because Lin Sanjiu was with her, "Maybe, my brother is playing a prank on us again! But, I really hate it when he disregards the situations we are in and jokes around like this. He doesn't take things seriously at all!"
"Huh?" Even though Mrs. Manas was one step behind Lin Sanjiu, the teacher realized that the events were unfolding in a very strange manner. But before she could say anything else, Lin Sanjiu shouted angrily in her mind, "Don't make any sound!"
Mrs. Manas immediately cooperated and kept quiet. Lin Sanjiu instantly looked at Rena, trying to observe the girl's expression. The girl was pacing fretfully and didn't show any suspicious expression, at least she didn't look like she heard Mrs. Manas.
"But what can this prove? There are all sorts of duoluozhongs in this world. " Thinking, Lin Sanjiu spelled two words: "Pocket Dimension?"
This was the only reason that Lin Sanjiu could think of.
"No, it isn't." Rena gave a long sigh. "Pocket Dimension is something that 'develops' from the apocalyptic world they belong to. Have you seen conjoined tangerines, where there is a small tangerine stuck to a normal-sized tangerine? A pocket dimension and its world has a similar relationship. Essentially, they are the same thing… That is to say, it can be detected.
"I've checked, this isn't a Pocket Dimension," the girl muttered, leaning her back against the wall, she crouched on the ground, "I'm sure my brother must be acting crazy again."
To be honest, considering how the girl could explain the Pocket Dimensions so efficiently, Lin Sanjiu was a little convinced that the teenage girl by her side was the real Rena. However, Lin Sanjiu was clearer than anyone that Reno wasn't acting crazy. In fact, Reno might be in the greatest danger ever since he arrived at Kisaragi Station.
"I've seen him," Lin Sanjiu rapidly spelled out. As she was more or less convinced that she was with the real Rena, she decided not to hide anything. "He was with you."
Her last sentence was certainly confusing. Rena immediately gave Lin Sanjiu a puzzled look. Lin Sanjiu was just about to add 'another you' when they heard an angry voice coming from the far end of the corridor.
"Rena! Damn you! Why are you two hanging out here!"
A head peeked from the bend of the corridor—under his fluffy and slightly messy hair, a teenage boy raged. "I looked for you both from the top floor to the lobby so many times! I'm freaking tired now! Are you two making a fool of me!" Reno scolded, panting as he walked to them. He did look like he had just walked out from the stairway.
"Ah!" Rena remarked and quickly refuted. The siblings started bickering rapidly.
"How dare you! You're the one who didn't return!"
"What are you saying? When I went back, there was no one. That was why I came out to search for you guys!"
"No way! You must have gone to the wrong place…"
"Did you get stuck in the toilet!?"
After the siblings quarreled for some time, they suddenly noticed that the gray brain which had remained silent all this time did not follow them. It was still in the same spot.
"Lin Sanjiu, what's wrong?" Rena laughed, "Let's go!"
Lin Sanjiu did not move, "Is he really Reno?"
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