Chapter 42: Strategy meeting
“Are you okay?!”
“Ah, yes. Just burned a little……”
Yumi blew on the warm cup to slowly cool it down. After assuring that the temperature of the tea had sunk to a more comfortable temperature did she resume drinking the tea.
“So, what is this zombie fungus? Is it like a virus?”
DNA strings lined up in her head.
Fungus and virus are totally different things, bacteria were also another type organism so Kaede had to think a lot before she opened her mouth. So she could explain it easily to Yumi.
“Virus and fungus are different categories and unlike fungi, viruses aren’t organisms. Therefore a fungus that is attached to a zombie……if organisms are present and survive properly, they may be able to reproduce themselves”
“If the zombie fungi is a new species then we have to research it. If it is an already existing species, then we can use the same fungus for an antidote.
That sounds easy, but of course it isn’t. Although, It isn’t good enough to have the result of saving one human alone and even if the antidote can be released it may be years and decades before it is done. Even if a magic bullet can be made, the possibility that it will work for all humans is almost zero.
However, as a researcher, Kaede wanted to create a slight possibility.
“What? But if the virus and the fungus are different, can the virus be fixed by antibiotics?”
“They don’t work. You need an antiviral drug for viruses. ……So it’s only a hint. But I’m still going to do things even if this make me unprofessional”
It might be Kaede’s researcher pride, but Honjo stopped asking for further details.
Not all of human actions are meaningful or rational. Therefore Kaede could sympathize with Honjo who had witnessed Kazuya, who had been bitten by a zombie and jumped off a roof as a form of suicide, and still want to see him.
“You can’t do that research here, can you?”
“Yes. That’s why I’m going to leave”
Honjo had looked through the laboratory. In this room where there were several unknown machines and documents that were scattered all over the place as well as some unnatural spaces.
When she moved, she can see parts of floor that were burned and some who were still white where not even dust could be seen. Perhaps in the past, these machines might have been necessary for research. The scattered documents also collapsed and fell down on the floor, but you could also see untidy stacks of papers and material as if Kaede threw away what she didn’t need.
Yumi observed Kaede.
She was the only researcher in this huge building. I understood that she was an excellent researcher from her behavior, but perhaps she wasn’t.
Of course it could also just be her imagination, something Yumi should keep for herself, but it seemed to her that Kaede hated the emptiness.
“Wait a moment”
Kaede drank warm black tea dramatically while speaking and arose from her seat.
In the meantime, Yumi was concentrated on the peach fragrance…it reminded her of the peaches that she ate with Kazuya.
When Kazuya got back from the underground, there was nothing strange. For some reason he had changed his clothes, but at the same time Yumi thought that it was probably because his previous clothing had been sweaty and dirty. Yet, she knew it was because he had been bitten.
She was aware of Kazuya’s lies before the fatal mistake, but it was now too late.
(……No, at that time, Matoba-san hadn’t been bitten and he had reached the top safely. If not, he couldn’t have been able to move because of the pain）
Yumi remembered the tough act that Kazuya had put on as she blushed a little.
(Matoba-san was so kind…I’m sure he had pulled something. It was better to be with Makoto than with him）
And she also remembered Kazuya praising Makoto.
The difference in age to Yumi might have might have become some sort of complex for Kazuya. He probably thought that it was better for Honjo to marry a younger person instead of himself. Kazuya was such a man.
(So this time, I’m ready……）
Kaede who had come back unnoticed spread something on the desk, somewhat roughly so it could bring Yumi back into reality.
“I made you wait.”
“It is a map of the region.”
“Let’s first make things clear on each other’s goals.. If the places we want to go to are in some way, the same. We should act together”
That said, Kaede pointed at a spot between the SDF base and the shopping mall and she said.
“My university is here. I don’t know what the contents are, but they have a good lab, so my goal is here”
“Kaede is a university student…?”
It was not visible from the white coat and her junior high stature that Kaede was a university student…no, if you could say that she had a junior high student´s face, then she was undoubtedly be surprised by her uncomfortable appearance.
“I’m a graduate student. I got a job offer here for the time being, but I also have to show face”
Yet, she was all alone. Yumi felt like saying that, but she didn’t.
“We’re here and this shopping mall is my goal”
“You said you wanted to see someone. ……There?”
Like Yumi, Kaede didn’t want to be a sitting duck, she wanted to take action.
“I see. Then it’s great luck that we are heading in the same direction”
Yumi nodded in agreement. It went without doubt that both of them were safer together than alone. If they shared, they could carry more supplies and could make choices together if and when something happened.
The problem was not that the direction was the same but the distance. Kaede had to go all alone for the remaining distance of her trip.
Although Yumi who originally planned to go wasn’t worried that much, Kaede who couldn’t go alone in her position, raised a voice.
“Then……I hope that you will have your base in the laboratory……we can have our supplies and goods over there……and we can go to the shopping mall together and go to the university with three people…then again, I wonder if a shopping mall is all that safe……”
While watching the map, Honjo laughed at the moaning Kaede.
“I’m all right, Kaede-san. I don’t have any problems going on my own”
“Is that so? Well then……”
The plans were laid out by Kaede as she urged to make concrete operation.
Yumi wanted to meet with Kazuya alone. Moreover.
(….. If it came to the worst, then the result would lead me to… i would have to……）
The dark emotions that accumulated in herself were trapped in the bottom of her heart.