This happened after funeral of Nanami’s parents and brother, but before Kotomi arrived back from her college graduation trip. A time long enough to know people inside Mizuho and knowing how to get around.
Since my first day here as a Mizuho student, it’s strange that I have not heard of any complaints with the strangeness about the academy’s uniforms that it’s making them do. Nobody complained about not being able take it off, even for sports activities. Current students and a few people who have not been able to meet the condition to be able to remote the uniform, have practically been wearing it for months and its condition is the same as when brand new. There is a specific reason for this as, in Mizuho, everyone becomes a young woman both mentally and physically. (Coincidentally, the majority of the campus population are actual young females outside Mizuho.) This measure is to make sure that a person’s true identity is not known, and have everyone not to have gender, race, age, or language be an excuse to not mingle with each other. The female gender was chosen for being the least likely to cause trouble, more likely to be loyal and intelligent, and doing everything with grace and beauty at the same time without feeling of being forced to.
The summer version of the uniform, which I’ve not seen until now since it was not issued or shown, only appears when the temperature for the day is around 30 degrees Celsius or higher. It’s the raining season of the beginning of summer now, so we are still wearing the winter version due to the colder weather. If the temperature is at the borderline between hot and cold, you might see everyone alternating between the two versions, though nobody has control over it due to the same system that detects the wrong version being worn and morph it into the correct version automatically. I have never seen a man at all in the campus, not even a male teacher. All the girls here wear only skirts that are quite short, but, except for students, long and tight enough to be able to walk normally but unable to run or put one’s own hand into it. None of the Mizuho uniforms have other types of bottom clothing. Anyways, enough of the uniform and on to what happened in the summer before Kotomi came back after her graduation from an American university.
Including primary education, I have studied through 6 different schools in a total of 16 years so far, but I’ve not even gone through college yet. The good part is that Mizuho does have a college department that gives priority to students from its other departments, especially those who are not already in year 3 of high school. This new body I’m stuck in since four years ago doesn’t give me freedom from the control of others and a lot of knowledge I didn’t learn, but could absorb since it’s based on a version of myself of a different dimension who is quite smart (and born as a girl). This unnaturally acquired knowledge and my body’s own set of separate behavior that is both not mine, but at the same time how I too would react in a given situation. The people in Mizuho are the most friendliest to me, with those from Kamisugi a little behind. More importantly, there are no guys having a fanclub of me that I know nothing of that stalks me.
Voice from behind: “Ah! Hisakawa-san! Wait!”
The voice came from a girl I met while exploring the campus, Itou Yui. Her father is a foreigner, but Yui herself looks and behaves like any local. At least, with the Mizuho uniform on.
She was running towards me from quite some distance away, but this is the first time I heard her using my real family name. Only people who met me from before April or know someone from the former that knows me as I am now.
(Author’s note: actually, I’ve forgotten what that name was. it’s too confusing to keep track with too many names in my mind.)
Me: “Itou-san, what’s wrong?”
She stopped in front of me and caught her breath before looking up to speak to me.
Yui: “It’s about my cousin, Megumi. A friend she met during the cultural exchange program during her middle school days has gone missing during his visit here. We didn’t know it happened as he was staying alone in a rented apartment and only knew from the police who wanted to see him for over staying, but found the place in a mess. My cousin wanted to contact you directly, but the closest she got to see you was you only wearing this Mihara student uniform in recent months at work, instead of various different outfits to fool everyone regularly, which includes the uniform of the high school she graduated from. She asked me to find you as a result.”
Wait. A cousin of hers that knows me that, from the description, works at the Powell Institute and knows about me more than most staff, but that name doesn’t ring a bell in my mind.
Me: “I’ve never met someone named Megumi before. Are you sure I know her?”
She looked down, closed her eyes, and placed the palm of her hand on the forehead, shaking back and fourth. Wait, what’s with that reaction?
Yui: “Err… Takagi Megumi. Sorry, I’ve been saying her given name that, except for her relatives, is not known to anyone else since she doesn’t like to say her own name.”
OH! That Takagi who was in the same computer club as me two to three years ago.
Me: “You meant the Kamisugi High student from some years ago?”
She nodded heavily.
Yui: “What’s even stranger was that the landlord did not complain about the utility or rental fees not being paid despite appearing to have disappeared for quite a while, which tells us that he might be involved with his disappearance, or really wasn’t aware that the rent hasn’t been paid in a while. That’s only possible if there has a lot of units to take care of and without a proper system noting who has paid and not paid. What is known for sure was that the landlord was never arrested.”
Sounds like there are so many unknowns for me to be able to see a clear path as to how to solve this on top of things I wasn’t familiar with or know little of: renting a house, foreigners who have a family here, non-western foreigners, or even a relative of a friend whom I’ve first met without the friend in question around or mentioning them. I need more evidence and information before I even know how to solve this case.