That sound just then came from the depth of the alleyway by the house she was hiding next to, and it’s probably a stray cat sifting through the rubbish and knocked over some cans. But it’s hard to determine if someone was there.
Rin drew a sharp breath when she looked down on the magecraft compass in her hands.
Unmoving, as if frozen in place, the needle pointed straight towards the direction of the sound.
Something was there; something that emanated unnatural prana was there.
Isn’t this the result you're waiting anxiously for?
You've already gotten some response from your investigation. Isn't that a sign of a good start? Rin planned to go through all suspicious spots in Shinto and check Kotone’s presence one by one. Here, the first place she checked, already has something.
Come now, let's step into the inside of the alley and check what's there.
Maybe there are some clues about Kotone right there. Or maybe, Kotone herself is there.
There's no reason to hesitate. If not, there would be no meaning coming this far. You are not a coward. You would not do things such as abandoning your friend as well. That's because you are one of the Tōsaka with a long and distinguished history. So you have to prove that you're brave and can become your great father's successor.
“No no no absolutely not no no no no noooooo…!”
A wet sound could be heard. Splash, splash, Something lurking at the deep inside the alley was breathing, as if sneering her, creeping towards her.
Rin finally realized that this journey of exploration, aimed to recover her best friend, was definitely not as easy to complete as she thought.
Kotone’s figure wasn’t in the depth of the darkness.
Even if she was in there, she wouldn’t be the same Kotone as before.
If she was thinking of finding Kotone in the darkness of Shinto, from the start, Rin should have aimed to find Kotone's ▉▉▉▉ ▉▉▉▉ instead.
In fact, Tōsaka Rin possessed excellent aptitude to be a magus.
She had never seen a demon, nor had she been touched by one, but from mere instinct she could tell she was in a very dangerous situation right now.
To study magecraft, the first thing one need to do is to learn to accept and know death – this is the first lesson of every apprentice magus.
That inescapable, incomprehensible, purely despairing feel of ‘death’.
On that day, little Rin felt the essence of magecraft from that experience.
She couldn’t move; she couldn’t even yell. A terror unbearable to ordinary humans was more than enough to crush such a young girl.
Strange buzzing sounds started by her ears, and Rin thought it was triggered by the icy cold despair pressing down on her heart.
Her thoughts were probably starting to destroy her five senses’ perception.
A humming started, monotonous yet maniacal, as if a swamp of giant wasps were raiding towards her…
The buzzing became steadily louder. It was approaching her.
In the blink of an eye, the stuff on top of Rin’s head rushed inward like a cover of black fog.
That thing quickly passed above Rin like a turbid current, striking the depth of the darkness in a split second.
And then those bloodcurdling screams sounded without end, screams that sounded like boiling a cat alive in a pot of hot water – but it was definitely not the sound of a cat.
This was already the limit of Rin’s endurance.
Her sight dimmed, and her footsteps faltered. The moment before she was about to fall, someone took her in his hands.
In front of her eyes was a monster with only the left side of his face visible.
That face, ugly beyond description, was embedded with a dim and lightless eyeball.
But his right eye eluded a deep loneliness and melancholy.
I think I have seen this expression somewhere before...
Rin thought so before she lost consciousness.