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Chapter 5: Clueless Homunculus

Inside the apartment is nothing but an empty room, the room is not that big. The size of the apartment is studio-sized, while the living room space is minimalist. The kitchen is right next to the dusty grey couch. Kazuto enters the dusty room, finding any sign whether there’s a sign of someone used to live here.

Sitting on the grey couch is a small wide table with a LED television. Kazuto explores the room next to the living room. Inside the small room, there’s nothing but dust and boxes inside. Unpacking the boxes, he finds several books and decorations in the card boxes. He’s unsure of what he needs to do with the boxes, regardless he’s clueless about what he wants to do.

Just when he’s about to unpack the whole thing, there’s a soft knock on the door. Kazuto warily walk to the entrance, peeking through the peephole in the door. He sees a teenager outside the door, a man in his eighteen perhaps. Wearing a yellow t-shirt with a skull icon, he wears a bright silver chain necklace around his neck.

The young man brushes his golden hair with his fingers, his bronze eyes shining before his crimson ones. Kazuto asks him politely if he knows him or is an acquaintance to the scientist who saved his life. Under the sunset beam, the young man sharpens his bronze eyes at Kazuto’s fragile body.

“I am her son, Mizuno is my mother” he clenches his fist. “Are you the one she mentioned? The one that needs saving?”.

Kazuto opens his mouth to say something, but nothing escapes his silent mouth. He wanted to ask Mizuno’s condition but his expression tells that something grave happened to him. The young man gritted his teeth, telling Kazuto about the apartment he stayed in. 

“This apartment belongs to my late grandmother, she already moved to another place though” he tried to hold his anger, which is apparent on the vein of his forehead. “You can stay here, cause my mother told me so”.

“So you are my guardian?” Kazuto asks innocently. 

“No, I’m just a tour guide” he coughs awkwardly. “I think my mum had an acquaintance you can trust on that matter, didn’t he lead you here?”.

Kazuto remembers the mysterious man who led him to the shady apartment, it was a tall-stature young man. A handsome one too, but he doesn’t know the man well since it seems he’s more than meet the eyes. Kazuto is somewhat perplexed whenever he sees the crimson-suit man, his feelings are in a trance when he saw him for the first time.

His heart skips a beat once he meats the crimson-suit man’s teal eyes as if a hunter hunting for his prey. Kazuto wants to know more about the mysterious man, but it seems the young man before he knows nothing of the mysterious man. Not long after, he’ introduces himself as Shinzou. 

The man is the son of Mizuno Ai, his mother is a wonderful researcher, he looks up to her as a brilliant scientist. Curiosity gets the best of Kazuto’s mind, hence he asks if Shinzou aspires to be a great scientist like his mother. 

Kazuto’s sparkling eyes affect Shinzou’s perceiving, the son of the scientist shows a hint of annoyance at first but his mouth stutters when he looks at the innocent Kazuto. 

“Hey, Kazuto how old are you?” Shinzou clenches his fist. “You sound like a newborn baby you know, not cool”.

Kazuto thinks for a while, it’s been a few years he lived as a homunculus. He lost track of time but one can surmise that he’s around two years old at best. He states his date of birth to Shinzou, which makes the young man gasps even more. Shivering with the excitement of meeting an experimentation subject overwhelms his senses, especially if it’s from his mother.

“So MY mother is the one who creates you, but for what purpose?” Shinzou is curious but then notices that they’re still at the doorstep of Kazuto’s shady apartment, he looks around his surrounding in wary and pushes the clueless homunculus inside. “It’s not safe to talk about this outside, so let’s get in your house! In return, I’ll help you unpack your things”.

Shinzou closes the door, locking it swiftly as soon as he enters the minimalist room. The exterior may look shady since there’s barely anyone staying there to clean it up. Supposedly, the landowner which is an old lady is the one who takes care of that stuff. But the old lady is nowhere to be seen, she doesn’t even welcome Kazuto who is new around the apartment. 

Kazuto takes out all his clothes from his suitcase, he places them neatly inside a small steel wardrobe next to his bed. Shinzou’s face becomes grim the moment he sees the small number of clothes inside his wardrobe. He suggests Kazuto buy more clothes with his money if he had one.

“Well, I have money in my pocket” he shows the envelope to Shinzou. “It’s from professor Mizuno, she gave me this”.

Shinzou pushes the envelope from his sight, warning the clueless Kazuto not to show off the money to a stranger he just met. Veins pop out from his forehead when he sees how foolish and naive Kazuto is, especially in a city like Ikebukuro where everything can happen. Shinzou taps  Kazuto’s shoulder, telling him to focus on cleaning the apartment.

“I’ll help you out, so let’s get to it,” Shinzou says awkwardly as he stutters, ruffling Kazuto’s hair cutely. “You’re seriously a newborn baby that comes out just like that from a hatch, my mother would love to live with you but-”.

He cuts his words midways, he stops caressing his hair; making him question whether he had something he wants to say. Shinzou’s hand shivers, droplets of tears fall from his eyes when he mentions Professor Mizuno. Kazuto tilts his head, not knowing what had befallen his parental figure while he’s escaping his maniacal father’s grasp.

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