After a screech, metal shards showered the alley. Lisa lost count, too, of how many times she broke this man’s metallic arm. Her cyborg body granted her great strength. Lisa could even control any machine with the power from the half piece of dragon crystal in her eye; such power was what the man yearned for.
Lisa: Please give up. I don’t like killing.
Midgley: Give up...this...clue? No way...
Even though Lisa broke his arm, this merely forced him to build another. His arm, not unlike her body, could always be replaced. Releasing only a small portion of power had already caused pain in Lisa’s left eye. Compared to teaching him a lesson, Lisa would much rather go home as soon as possible.
Lisa: If you’re not that stubborn, maybe we can be friends...
However, the man had already fainted. Lisa jumped across his body and returned home holding the gear she just bought.
Her family dead in the experiment with the dragon crystal, Lisa could only acquire knowledge about mechanism on her own. It was necessary for her to maintain and modify her body. After all, her cyborg body meant that she was different; she had to face difficulties alone. Hence, Lisa decided to personally build a “friend”...
Lisa: First, gather enough power...
Lisa: Then, direct the power to the core...
Lisa successfully created Pinocchio, a complete yet ordinary puppet.
Every day, Pinocchio would talk with Lisa, cheering her up. The ever-frowning Lisa, hence, had her feeling of lost and uneasiness soothed.
In the deserted mechanical ruins, Lisa stood alone in a metal corridor. She looked to the other end of the dark corridor. A girl sat with her knees in her arms, her head lowered. The lonely figure of the girl drove up a sense of melancholy in Lisa’s heart. She frowned and slowly approached the child with blue hair.
Lisa: Sweetie, why are you here?
Little Girl: ‘Dad...and mum...left me here...Boo-hoo!’
Lisa stretched out her hand towards the little girl, only to have discovered that her right hand turned into a glowing crystal. The girl held Lisa’s cyan hand while Lisa recognized that the light was of the dragon crystal.
Little Girl: ‘Where are you taking me?’
Suddenly rousing from sleep, Lisa discovered that she was holding the device made by the dragon crystal. Its blue light shone on Lisa’s face as its gear oscillated in a tilted position. Lisa could not recall the details of her dream. All she could remember was that it was not a nightmare, but some sort of mysterious metaphor. She fiddled with the device and the oscillating gear bent into the shape of an arrow. The dragon crystal inside pointed at a certain direction.
Lisa: Where are you taking me?
Lisa followed the guidance of the device and left Holylight City. She traveled to the ruins far away...
With a shared objective, Lisa and Gretchen lived together in Stirling Ruins. However, only the two of them alone was not enough to excavate the whole place; so Lisa asked for help from her trusted friend, Agnesi. Receiving Lisa’s message, Agnesi journeyed to the Ruins with mechanics sharing their objective. But because of this, the location of Stirling Ruins was disclosed to outsiders...
Agnesi: You jerk! Give us back the Crystal!
Thief: It’s in my hands now! I’m keeping it!
Thief: Darn...back off!
Thief: Hmph. You win!
Although they succeeded in retrieving the Dragon Crystal, the scholars decided to reinforce their security after this incident. They built a high wall, limiting access to the Ruins. If they had to communicate with the outside, they would assign a person whom they trusted. Hence, the scholars found an old-friend of Gretchen’s father. They asked her to gather information and deliver goods for them.
Lisa: Miss Jackie, do you know what people say about you?
Lisa took out a newspaper from an old box and read with a calm tone:
Lisa: Pyromaniac enjoys accidental kill, turns into infamous serial killer...
Gretchen: Lisa! Don’t trust those news reports!
Lisa: Don’t you want to defend for yourself?
Jackie: Those who understand would naturally understand; to those who don’t, it’s meaningless to explain.
Pinocchio helped Agnesi move weapons. They packed them up and handed it to Jackie. She then nodded her gratitude to the scholars. Invigorated attacks by Holylight City forced Demons to avoid direct battles with the City; hence, they instead changed their focus onto weaker groups like the scholars. Maybe it was time to speed up their pace and assemble the fort as soon as possible...
Little Girl: Thank You. But I can make it to the exit by myself now.
Lisa once again fell into the same dream. When she was taking her little self out of the Ruins, the little girl said this near the exit. She looked back and saw the little girl showing a happy grin; numerous figures appeared around her. Lisa recognized those were her trusted companions of the fort.
Little Girl: Come on. Everybody’s waiting!
Little Lisa pushed Lisa to the exit. Lisa cried in surprise and suddenly discovered that she was lying in bed. Agnesi cheered in joy by her side.
Mechanical Medic: Lisa, you’re up!
No one answered. Lisa then remembered: she was working as usual in the Ruins when a wall behind her collapsed.
When she was about to be crushed, a figure pushed Lisa away. Dust flew into the air; Pinocchio was lying under the rubble. Seeing the light in Pinocchio’s eyes dim, Lisa collapsed in a state of over-agitation.
When she recovered, she worked from dawn to dusk, hoping to repair Pinocchio. However, the fort was out of the parts needed to fix it. If Pinocchio’s power system failed, it would lose every shard of memory it had had with Lisa. Repairing Pinocchio’s body would be meaningless then.
Agnesi listened to Lisa’s cry outside the door. She could not hold back anymore; she grabbed Lisa and forced her to rest. Lisa complied with Agnesi and remained calm, but it was only for a short while. She then sneaked back into the laboratory. Opening the door, Lisa witnessed two giant devices installed onto Pinocchio’s lower body. Midgley turned his head to Lisa, cracking into his typical wild smile.