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Backstory

        The scent of flowers pervaded a huge garden. Fountain in the center was babbling; Bright sunlight was reflected on the clear water surface, which painted a tranquil and comfortable scene.

        But quick footsteps destroyed this transient peace. Two men and a lady showed up at the entrance of the garden. Edison, the young man, whistled as he saw such a beautiful landscape. “The one who kidnapped us here does have a decent taste. I guess I won’t bother to escape if I was trapped in here at the first place.”

        “Then you stay. Socrates and I are leaving.” Marie turned her head away and held Socrates’s arm to go forward. Every move of her was graceful.

        “Why so serious? I’m just joking.” Edison waved his hands, acting frivolous again. Marie, who gave him a look of disdain, wanted to scold him, but Socrates patted her on the shoulder and shook his head.

        “We’re not out of danger yet. Let’s move on.”

        Marie and Socrates were the bronze scientist and the silver scientist of Lomond Manor while Edison was a newcomer this year. They received the order to give an orientation for all newcomers in the hall. However, they were attacked and knocked out, eventually brought to a strange place. After getting over different obstacles, the three of them arrived at this garden.

        They split up to search around the place. Edison seemed to have a bad feeling about the situation. “What’s wrong,” Socrates asked as he saw him frown with confusion.

        “With all the traps we ran into, don’t you feel weird that there isn’t any traps here?” Edison touched his chin and continued, “If I were the enemy, I would definitely attack your weak point once you let your guard down——”

        Then, Edison stopped talking with his eyes wide open.

        “Our weak point is——” His face fell suddenly. “Marie, get back here!” he yelled at Marie standing in front of a grove.

        “What——Ah!” Before she finished her words, a shadow sprinted towards but was stopped by Socrates.

        “Don’t you dare to hurt her!” He glared at the shadow walking out of the grove——It was a young man Plato.

        “You got me. I thought I could finish this without using force,” he sighed. “I don’t like casualties. Surrender yourself and no one will get hurt.”

        “Hahaha——” Edison faked a smile. “It’s very kind of you. After all this warm welcome with your pets, I can’t convince myself of your bullcrap.”

        “Don’t blame me. This is all for the Republic. Sacrifice is inevitable.”

        “Sorry, I ain’t the man who will sacrifice for the greater good. So——” Edison pulled out his dagger, “bring it on.”






        “You got balls. But first, can you find me?” Plato sneered, summoning fire element; crimson lights glittered and split into five clones of Plato surrounding Edison.

        Edison was first shocked then resume his calmness rapidly. Edison cast a dagger over Plato, which pierced through his body and stabbed into the wall.

        “You heat the temperature with fire elements and change the refraction of light to create an illusion. This is how you made the clones,” said Edison.

        “Bingo.” Plato paid him a compliment. “But you won’t be able to beat me even if you know the answer,” he said arrogantly.

        To prove his words, Plato launched several unpredictable attacks. Within few seconds, Edison’s right cheek, left arm, right chest and stomach were punched. The stomach hit was so painful that he got down on one knee.

        “Edison,” Socrates let go of Marie, trying to help him.

        “Stop,” shouted Edison. “It’s a trap. Just take good care of Marie.”

        “I can’t stand any longer. I gotta find a way…” Edison was countering Plato’s attacks while observing any possible solution to turn the tide —— the fountain in the center. He led Plato there without exposing his own plan. Then, Edison feinted to attack, but actually he was targeting at the weakest point of the fountain——

        Splash! The stone fountain was cut open a crack; water came out with a gush. However, it was not strong enough. So Edison gave the crack a kick to make it wider; Very soon the water splashed on the floor, forming a puddle.

        “Aye, you lose your temper like a child.”

        “Lose my temper...Right. If I can’t figure out the real you, then let’s beat you all at once!” Edison conjured a large amount of light elements on his palm to create a electro-sphere.

        “...Is he trying to——I gotta run now!” When Plato realized what he was doing, it was already too late. Edison cast the electro-sphere to the puddle.

        Buzz——!

        A splendid golden gleam was created as the sphere, colliding with. The electric shock sent out via the puddle and evaporated the clones immediately. Letting out a scream of pain, Plato was electrified, kneeling on the ground. Judging from his gasp, he was still in conscious.

        “He shielded himself with elemental power to minimize the damage.” Edison stayed alert.

        “Wheeze...use water as a conductor. Nice try. Maybe you can join us to create the Republic!”

        “Sorry, I’m not into some kind of utopia you’re talking about. Ideal things repulses me.”

        “What a pity. But who knows! Perhaps you’ll change your mind.” Plato sneered cunningly. Feeling something wrong, Edison looked back to Socrates and Marie——They were surrounded by five enemies.

        “They’re...the new researchers here.” Edison recognized those people. Their slack eyes could tell that they were being controlled.

        “That’s why Socrates didn’t fight back...Darn it!” Edison was red with rage. Plato smiled for he knew his plan was a success. “Alright. If you want them safe, surrender yourself.”

        Facing this desperate situation, he had no choice but to follow the order.

        “There’s still hope. All I need is to wait for him…” A glimmer of hope remained in Edison’s eyes…

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