Gavin: Who was that, making you laugh so much?
Hanging up the phone, the voice of Gavin from behind startled me.
MC: It's a consultant for my show. Is the interview over?
Gavin threw me the helmet.
Gavin: Uh-huh, let's go.
MC: To where...?
Gavin: Verdant Plaza.
We spent that whole afternoon investigating all 8 locations related to the case.
The four people who filed reports all lived very far away from each other. Then I thought of the call.
Four women, all from different locations, suddenly show up somewhere else. Could this be space folding?
MC: And they were all returned safely... If this was the act of a criminal, what was the point?
Gavin: What if he's "practicing"?
MC: Practicing? (Tentatively) So he's practicing... space folding?
Gavin gave me a look, dropped his head, and laid out all of the victim testimonies in order.
Gavin: With each successive case, the "space folding" has covered more time and distance.
I carefully checked the files.
MC: It was true!
Gavin: If he has the 'space folding' power-- be it via some special device or these superpowers you speak of--
Gavin: Then, he either just gained this power and is testing it out, or he's brushing up his skills after a long break.
I suddenly remembered the special sight Lucien showed to me. My heartbeat sped up.
MC: No, nothing.
Gavin: If we're correct, then we can assume that-- he hasn't achieved his final goal, and he will strike again.
Gavin: And this time, it might be not as simple as teleporting through space.
I couldn't imagine that Gavin, such a bad student back in school, could make such a thorough analysis.
MC: Then what should we do?
Gavin: I'll look into all the people they've met recently--And you'd better stay at home.
Gavin: To avoid any danger.
He said it so casually, but my heart thumped so loud I could hear it.
At 5:30 p.m., Gavin dropped me off at my building.
Gavin: If anything happens, call me right away.
Gavin: And take this.
A bracelet glimmered in the setting sun, swinging in a beautiful pendulum as it fell into my palm.
MC: What is this?
I look down at it. It's a silver chain with a delicate golden ginkgo leaf attached.
Memories set to piano music from when I was 16 come flooding back, like an old forgotten melody.
The late autumn when the ginkgo leaves started to fall was always my favorite time of year in high school.
That oft-remembered afternoon, and the music sharply rising to a climax...
Outside the french window, the ginkgo leaves suddenly dance to the piano melody and roar up into the sky.
That moment takes my breath away.
The scene is so deeply engraved in my memory, it's still vivid after 6 years.
Gavin: MC, what?
MC: Nothing... Gavin, why are you giving me this?
Gavin: I put a tracker on it.
The lingering feel brought on by the memory vanished in no time.
Gavin: Put it on.
He put on his helmet, staring forward.
Gavin: So in an emergency, I can respond instantly.
I don't dare object. I put on the bracelet.
From under his helmet, he gave me a glance, seemingly satisfied.
The motorbike sped away in a cloud of dust.
MC: The little golden ginkgo leaf shines softly under the setting sun.
Gavin... seems like he's changed since high school.