Tengu City, JSDGF AST base...
"I thought I told you to hurry over? Why are you so late?!"
Ryouko chided Origami. She is wearing cargo pants and a black vest. With the clipboard she had pinned between her armpit and the pencil in her other hand, Ryouko looked like a foreman who is scolding Origami for tardiness.
If Ryouko didn't have such stellar control over her salivary glands then Origami's face would probably be wet with spit right now.
Origami replied calmly.
"It is off-work hours, in the middle of the night, no spacequake alarms, no spirits, I didn't violate any laws, I have no reason to make haste to meet anyone under such conditions."
Ryouko almost blew her top off.
"True, but you have to see who is trying to meet you!"
Ryouko rubbed her temples like she is not paid enough to do this.
"I don't know what the MD of DEM sees in you."
"I also want to know why I was called..."
Origami looked at Ryouko.
"Do you know why he wants to see me?"
"How would I know?"
"He was oddly fascinated with you yesterday during the reception."
Origami's class photo piqued Westcott's interest. He ignored the weird gazes the soldiers around him gave him before striking a conversation with Origami.
She assumed that he was too bored with the reception because it is the usual treatment he gets whenever he visits customers.
Westcott asked about the photo before talking about the Tenou Festival.
Is Westcott interested in someone from her class?
Origami recalled a certain few individuals in her class. She narrowed her eyes.
DEM's branch HQ got reduced to cinders.
Spirits who wielded flames, someone from her class.
Westcott probably knew who did it. He guessed that the culprit is in her class.
He already suspects that there are spirits in her class.
He's probably meeting her to talk about that person.
Ryouko saw Origami's heavy expression and she rubbed her chin.
"It seems you already know why the MD is looking for you."
"I am not sure."
"I only have some clues..."
Ryouko nodded. She gave Origami a pat on her back. She teased Origami.
"Don't think too much. Maybe he saw your potential and wants to invite you to join DEM..."
Origami lowered her head.
"Can I beat spirits if I join them?"
Ryouko heard Origami despite her low volume. She sighed.
"There is a possibility that might happen. The CR designed by DEM is far superior to what we have here. Before Mana went MIA, she was a DEM staff, you already know her abilities."
Ryouko glanced at Origami.
"However, talent and brain functions are critical when it comes to high-performance CR units, I believe in your skills but even I am not sure you can reach Mana's level."
Ryouko looked around furtively.
"DEM might be powerful but there are creeps and villains inside that place. I know they are doing shady things inside that place. Don't be fooled by any offers they give you."
Origami nodded after a short while. Ryouko is glad to hear her response.
Ryouko doesn't want Origami taking part in DEM's organization.
She led Origami to Westcott's room. She knocked on the door.
Ellen in her usual office lady attire greeted them. She confirmed Origami's arrival before giving Ryouko a nod.
"No, it's nothing much."
Ryouko talked like a modest girl for once.
"If you have anything else you need my help with, feel free to call me."
Ellen nodded courteously.
"Isaac has been waiting for you, please step inside."
Origami looked at Ryouko. She nodded once more, Origami entered the room after that nod.
It is a well-decorated room.
Compared to a normal household, this room is already about half the household size.
Inside the room, Westcott sat on a very luxurious sofa with a grin that made Origami take a step back. Her heart started racing.
Origami knew this is just his business smile but it had a sinister undertone that made her hair stand on end.
Westcott is the type of person Origami doesn't want to touch with a sixty-foot pole.
Westcott also sensed Origami's reaction, he stored away his grin before bitterly laughing.
"It seems like that person was right, I don't give good impressions."
Westcott isn't apologetic at all. He opened his arms wide like he wanted a hug.
"I am sorry you had to come here in the middle of the night. I have something I wanted to discuss with you. I am sorry for any inconvenience caused."
Origami politely replied. She stood at a distance.
"What is it?"
"Okay, let me dive right into it."
Westcott snapped his fingers.
Ellen took out a remote as she turned on the TV near them.
Reflected on the screen is Wu Yan's image.
"He is the one who destroyed the Branch HQ, huh?"
Westcott flinched. He didn't think Origami could identify Wu Yan at first glance.
"Yes, but, it sounds like you already know Itsuka Shido is a spirit..."
Origami inhaled slowly.
"I am curious as to why you, Origami of AST, didn't report this to your superior?"
Westcott leaned back against the sofa.
"But, that is something between you and AST, I don't want to interrupt."
Origami sighed in relief. However, what Westcott said next made her heart stop momentarily.
"Since you know he is a spirit, I am guessing you know Tohka, Kurumi, the Yamai twins, are all spirits too, right?"