Summary: They're all set. They're in Lukedonia, they're in their uniforms and… Uh… Something's missing.

Set in between 176 and 178.

Thank you Tiggipi for the plotbunny! :D


By Dark Ice Dragon

It surprisingly wasn't that hard to sneak out of the hospital, but since they weren't in hospital gowns, weren't visibly injured, they weren't given another look. Not of suspicion at least, and Takio's bag drew the rest of the attention.

Outside was a city like the many others M-21 had seen in his lifetime; there were people and shops completely surrounding them with a few spots of greenery. The buildings weren't as high as the ones in South Korea, and M-21 couldn't see anything that could be used as transport, but it was still recognisable as a bustling city.

Shaking his head, he brought his attention back to their current objective. They had a place for where the others would have gone, but they didn't know where the 'forbidden region' was. If it was forbidden to go there, then everyone would know where it was – asking about it would get them labelled as outsiders straight away.

"We need to find somewhere with a good aerial view," Tao said, eyes scanning the roofs. "There." He pointed to a building not too far away; it was marginally taller than the rest by one storey. "We might get a better idea of this place from there."

They nodded and started to head in that direction.

* * *
Tao sighed as he stood on the edge of the building. "I'd say that castle over there looks forbidden enough, but I don't think it's the right one."

M-21 had to agree. They were some distance from it but even then, he was sure he could see some lights on in it so it was still being used.

There was a 'thump' behind them, and M-21 turned to see that Takio had set his bag down and was in the process of opening it.

"What is it?" M-21 asked, approaching him.

"Just want to check if anything else has been added," Takio grunted.

When Takio lifted the top, his face blanked, and his shoulders trembled slightly.

M-21 frowned. What was wrong?

"…Hey, Tao?" Takio's voice was flat, barely supressed emotion running under it.

"Hm?" Tao twisted around, his hands deep in his pockets.

"Where's my rifle?"

What? M-21 stared, not believing what he'd heard.

"Oh. That." Tao chuckled, a finger scratching his cheek. "Well, there wasn't enough space for everything and it was the biggest thing there…"

Takio glared at him, his mouth a thin line. "It was also the most useful item."

Tao flapped a hand, still grinning. "I packed some of your pistols, don't worry, and it's not as if you can't wield the case like a weapon either. Anyway," he added, "food's important."

It didn't look like Takio was that convinced as he holstered his weapons. "Did there have to be so much ramen though?"