30 Apr 2022

Five: Try to remember.

  • Five: Oh! Yes, Five remembers!
  • Five: Big sis... wears white coat.
  • Five: Because, big sis was a nurse!
  • Five: So sis takes good care of Five...
  • Five: And Five learns a lot from sis!
  • Five: Also, also...
  • Five: There was... doctor, too!
  • Five: Doctor is a very pretty lady!
  • Five: Doctor wears white coat...
  • Five: And doctor always brings colorful medicines.
  • Five: Five thinks medicines taste bad, but...
  • Five: They make bad feelings and pains go away.
  • Five: So medicines are good!
  • Reed: ...I guess that's what they'd tell a child.
  • Five: That's not all, Reed!
  • Five: Someone wearing white coat... there was one more!

Five: Recall a "Professor".

  • Five: There was mister smart professor too!
  • Five: Professor is the smartest! But...
  • Five: Professor is also always very busy!
  • Five: Five thinks, a lot of people ask professor for help...
  • Five: That's why professor doesn't visit a lot.
  • Five: Five didn't see professor many times, but doctor visited a lot!
  • Five: Professor and doctor were really nice to Five...
  • Five: Sis is always really happy when professor and doctor visit, too!
  • Reed: Do you know their names?
  • Five: Umm... names?
  • Five: Five thinks there is no name, Reed!
  • Five: Doctor is just doctor, and professor is just professor!
  • Five: That's what big sis calls doctor and professor.
  • Five: But sometimes...
  • Five: Sis says professor is also... teacher!
  • Reed: ...It's one of his students?
  • Reed: No wonder she sounds full of admiration.

Reed: Ask about any other units at the lab. Perhaps she wasn't the only one.

  • Reed: ...Did you see any children there, Five?
  • Reed: Like yourself.
  • Five: Umm... no.
  • Five: But sis said...
  • Five: If Five is good and healthy, Five can see others soon.
  • Five: Sis said...
  • Five: Five can go to "kinder garden"?
  • Five: Five doesn't know what it is, but...
  • Five: Sis said there are a lot of monsters there to play with!
  • Reed: ...I see.
  • Reed: So in that lab, it was just you,
  • Reed: His student, and the princes.
  • Reed: Which means... this might be in Regalis.
  • Reed: Of all places to narrow it down...
  • Five: Um... is Reed upset?
  • Five: Did Five say something bad?
  • Reed: No.

  • Reed: You're doing well.
  • Five: !!!!!

Reed: Reach a conclusion.

Suddenly, for some mysterious reason, you all feel like toddlers compared to this guy.
Seriously. Who is this person in front of you.

Five: Describe the Professor and how he acted.

  • Reed: Five, I have one last question.
  • Reed: Have you ever heard the name "Lumen" while you were in that lab?
  • Five: Five thinks... yes!
  • Five: It's professor!
  • Five: Professor was... called Lumen by sis!
  • Reed: ...It really is him, then.
  • Aria: A professor...?
  • Aria: Reed, what did you figure out?
  • Reed: Well... the reason humans and monsters could gather in the way Five describes is all thanks to this person.
  • Reed: That is...

  • Reed: Professor Zachery Lumen.
  • Nino: Hang on, I've heard that name before.
  • Reed: Oh, well, that's to be expected.
  • Reed: You're bound to have heard of him, as long as you're in this world.
  • Meimona: Hehe, it was in a book in the library here!
  • Nino: We found his biography there.
  • Reed: What you found was just "a" biography.
  • Reed: There's no definitive one, because there's like, dozens of those by now.
  • Reed: Whether it's books about him, records of his research, public media coverage concerning him, or even just from people's casual conversations.
  • Reed: Everyone has probably heard his name at least once.
  • Meimona: Whoa! Is he just that interesting of a person...?
  • Reed: ...I dunno if that's the word I'd use.
  • Reed: But at the very least...
  • Reed: I can say he's that well-known for a reason.
  • Aria: Whoa! Sounds like a celebrity for humankind!
  • Aria: But... um, Reed...
  • Aria: "Lumen" is also your surname, isn't it?
  • Meimona: Wuh, is it!?
  • Aria: Yeah! So are you two related to each other?

  • Reed: ...Uh.
  • Reed: Sure. I guess.
  • Reed: He's kinda my dad.
  • Nino: "Kinda"!?
  • Aria: "Kinda"...?
  • Meimona: "Kinda"!?
  • Reed: Y-you heard me.
  • Reed: It's whatever.
  • Reed: The doctor lady Five mentioned is his wife, Anise Lumen.
  • Reed: I'm their son.
  • Reed: And that's it.
  • Reed: End of the story.
  • Aria: Whoa! Seriously?
  • Nino: How come you're so nonchalant about that!?
  • Meimona: Yeah, why are you treating this as not-a-big-deal!
  • Reed: Because it's not.
  • Reed: This is not what's important here at all, so move on.
  • Meimona: Wait, if that's the case, then... uuummm, Nino?
  • Meimona: Didn't someone in the library say that this professor guy is...
  • Nino: ...Right...
  • Meimona: Waaah! Then this was so insensitive of us...!
  • Aria: W-what's wrong? What did you hear?

Nino and Mei: Recount what you've heard.

  • Meimona: I'm so sorry, Reed!
  • Reed: Huh? What are you apologizing for?
  • Meimona: W-well, I mean... maybe this is not the time for it, but...
  • Meimona: Um, I'm sorry for your loss.
  • Reed: ...My what?
  • Meimona: Y-you know! Are you really gonna make me say it...?
  • Reed: Make you say what?
  • Meimona: Augh! It just feels so insensitive!
  • Meimona: We've made you talk about someone who's not around anymore.
  • Aria: I-is that true?
  • Meimona: It's what we heard...
  • Aria: Oh, no... Reed, I'm so sorry.
  • Reed: What the hell are you all talking about!?
  • Reed: You guys... it sounds like you have the wrong idea here?
  • Reed: Would someone who isn't an overreacting emotional girl explain what's going through your heads?
  • Meimona: Hey, what the heck!
  • Nino: Uhm, Reed. When Mei and I were in the library here-
  • Meimona: We heard that this great professor is deceased!
  • Nino: Well, now that I think back to it...
  • Nino: It was either that, or that he's been missing for years now.
  • Meimona: Y-yeah, see? So, sorry this had to be brought up...
  • Reed: Oh, god, that's all it was?
  • Reed: Look... it's not the former.
  • Reed: The professor is currently missing. That's all.
  • Reed: And it's not a big deal at all, so don't act like it is.
  • Reed: Don't walk on eggshells around me. That'd just be uncomfortable.
  • Meimona: Waaah, I'm sorry!
  • Meimona: I was just trying to be considerate...!
  • Reed: Don't... worry about it.
  • Reed: I really don't care. So just be your usual selves.
  • Meimona: Bweeeh, okay...
  • Reed: ...Idiots.

  • Nino: But, wow, Reed!
  • Nino: Doesn't that means your dad's a super-genius?
  • Aria: Is he?
  • Meimona: His biography in the library said so!

  • Nino: This guy got the attention of both monster and human royalty.
  • Nino: So the genius thing doesn't seem like an exaggeration!
  • Meimona: Aria, the old monster prince asked this human for help,
  • Meimona: And the old human princess praised him a lot, too!
  • Aria: Huh, that's amazing!
  • Aria: I heard nothing about this in the monster world...
  • Nino: He's very well known, but only in this world, it seems.
  • Meimona: Maybe you didn't 'cause monsters don't wanna brag about a human?
  • Meimona: But since his work was supported by both human royals and monster royals, makes sense he's so famous in this world!
  • Aria: Wow...
  • Meimona: I guess our boy here has super-smarty genes in him, heheh!

  • Aria: You guys make me feel so left out here...
  • Aria: I never imagined things in the human world could be like this at all!
  • Aria: It all sounds so cool, Reed!
  • Meimona: Yeah, I can't believe your dad is-

The Lumen family is one blessed by the light of all knowledge.

  • Five: Reed, umm...
  • Five: Professor is Reed's papa?
  • Reed: ...That's right.
  • Reed: But it's not important, Five.
  • Reed: I would rather focus on your story than talk about him.
  • Reed: There is nothing pertinent about that guy anyway.
  • Reed: The only thing that matters is how important his research was.
  • Aria: This research involves Five, doesn't it?
  • Nino: And a number of other "units", I would assume...
  • Nino: If "5" is this one's number.
  • Reed: You're not wrong.
  • Reed: She is part of a research effort led by the professor.
  • Nino: From what I've read, Professor Zachery's research was aiming to improve medical care for monsters, as commissioned by the previous monster prince.
  • Nino: Then, is this what Five meant about being a "weak monster"...?
  • Aria: Since it is your parent's work, did you get to directly see any of this?
  • Aria: I can't think of anyone closer to our goal than the researchers' own son!
  • Reed: Eh, contrary to what you might be thinking...
  • Reed: Familial relations have no bearing on my knowledge at all.
  • Reed: The professor kept his private home life and his work separate.

To be a Lumen is to exceed all standards.

  • Reed: That's why... I never actually got to see any of his work for myself.
  • Reed: Not his job in educating students,
  • Reed: Or his work in leading scientific research.
  • Reed: I learned more from reading and hearing about his work after he'd gone missing, than from anything I saw before he disappeared.
  • Reed: ...I was also young when he was still around.
  • Reed: I think I wouldn't have understood much anyway.
  • Aria: Oh...
  • Reed: The same goes for the doctor as well.
  • Reed: They were both incredibly private people.
  • Reed: Home was home, and work was work.
  • Nino: If your parents were that influential and somewhat followed by press...
  • Nino: Being able to maintain boundaries like that seems impressive.
  • Reed: That's just how the Lumen family is.
  • Reed: So...
  • Reed: I'm unfortunately not a direct source of information for this particular case.
  • Reed: As things stand, Five is actually the only person who'd have been privy to what was happening in the laboratory, besides her "sis" or friends there.
  • Five: Hey, Reed...?
  • Five: Did Reed's papa and mama not tell Reed a lot about "work"?
  • Reed: Uh, yeah.
  • Five: Umm, then...!
  • Five: Five can tell Reed about Reed's papa and mama!
  • Five: Because Five saw professor and doctor a lot!
  • Reed: ...No need for that. It's okay.
  • Five: Five really can answer more questions, if Reed wants to know...
  • Five: Did Five answer everything well before?
  • Five: Five doesn't know if Five said something wrong, but...
  • Reed: No, you haven't.

Alas, this reality fears us, who embody the unknown.

  • Reed: You did well. They were all very helpful answers.
  • Reed: I know the place you mean now. So, good job.
  • Meimona: Whoa, what!
  • Five: Really, Reed!?
  • Five: Five wants to go, then!
  • Five: Five wants to see everyone!
  • Reed: ...
  • Aria: Is it possible to take her there, Reed?
  • Nino: Rather than that, hey...
  • Nino: Could you tell us the details first?
  • Nino: Where this is, and what you're exactly planning to do here...
  • Reed: ...As you know, the professor is currently missing.
  • Reed: And there is, well...
  • Reed: There's someone who's trying to find him.
  • Reed: I'm helping them out.
  • Reed: Therefore, I'm taking Five with me.
  • Reed: Because she's a vital clue to finding his whereabouts.
  • Reed: And that's enough details for you.
  • Nino: H-huh?
  • Aria: Wait, who is it? Where would you be taking her...?
  • Reed: Headquarters, Aria.
  • Reed: In the capital.
  • Reed: That is why I cross over to the monster world, in the first place...
  • Reed: Because we've been searching for the professor's traces everywhere.
  • Aria: Huh...
  • Nino: Hold it, this is so sudden!
  • Nino: Who or what's "headquarters"?
  • Nino: And where did you determine the lab to be?
  • Reed: ...Why are you asking?
  • Nino: Because you want to take Five...
  • Reed: Whether she accompanies me or not depends on her, not your permission.
  • Reed: Like I said before...
  • Reed: I wasn't answering anything here because of you guys.
  • Reed: This only concerns Five.
  • Nino: ...
  • Five: Reed...
  • Five: Where does Reed want Five to go?
  • Reed: ...Look, Five.
  • Reed: The destination won't be your "home" right away.
  • Reed: There's someone who can help both of us find out more about the lab.
  • Reed: If you come with me, I'll let you two meet first.
  • Five: Really!?
  • Reed: Yes. They'll know how to reach the lab.
  • Reed: I'm sure what you know will be a huge clue for that...
  • Reed: ...And unlike me, they'll actually want to hear about the professor from you.
  • Five: Okay...!
  • Five: Five wants to go with Reed!
  • Meimona: Wait, you do!?
  • Five: Yes! If Reed will take Five home... then Five wants to go!
  • Five: Five can help... find professor, too! Professor is "missing"...
  • Five: So let Five find Five's friends again... and Five will help Reed in return!
  • Five: Here! Handshake!
  • Five: It means Reed agrees!
  • Meimona: Gasp! This girl is learning how to make deals fast!

In here, truth must fear scrutiny.

  • Five: Five will go home now! Right now!!!
  • Five: Okay, Reed?
  • Reed: Not right now, uh...
  • Reed: We're kind of trapped here for a while.
  • Five: What does Reed mean?
  • Aria: Five, we all have to wait patiently here for two days first.
  • Aria: After that, everyone can move out safely!
  • Aria: But, um...
  • Aria: Reed, is it really just going to be you, Five, and I?
  • Reed: Of course.
  • Five: Wait... no!
  • Five: Not right, Reed!
  • Five: Everyone else will come too!
  • Reed: ...Why?
  • Reed: Literally nobody else needs to come.
  • Five: B-but...
  • Five: Five doesn't wanna leave anyone behind.
  • Aria: ...Aw.
  • Five: Nino and Mei, let's go to Five's home!
  • Five: Five will show you Five's toys there!
  • Meimona: Sure, I don't mind!
  • Meimona: Sounds like a fun time...
  • Meimona: And I gotta help my lil' homie find her homey!

It is said that recalling friends and family keeps one grounded in reality.

  • Reed: I'm not taking those things with me.
  • Five: D:
  • Meimona: Hey! I'm a PERSON, dammit!
  • Nino: Hold it, people...
  • Nino: Nobody's agreed to anything yet.
  • Nino: Tell us who's this helpful someone you want to take her to first.
  • Reed: It's... Headquarters.
  • Nino: Again with that...
  • Aria: It's fine to trust them, Nino.
  • Aria: They've been helping Reed for a while!
  • Nino: No, tell me who that person is.
  • Reed: It's... someone related to the professor and his work.
  • Reed: The supplier who crafted and gave me all my tools.
  • Nino: Are you going to keep being vague about it?
  • Reed: ...Hey, you know,
  • Reed: These arms you kept calling cool?
  • Reed: They made these.
  • Nino: Oh, woah, really!?
  • Nino: Okay, that's pretty impressive...
  • Nino: Err, I mean, just a bit!
  • Reed: It's incredibly impressive.
  • Reed: They're far more capable than I am.
  • Reed: In fact, they are more capable than all of us combined.
  • Reed: Aria can vouch for them, too.
  • Reed: So do you have any objections about this?
  • Nino: ...Yes, still!
  • Reed: What else now? Surely you aren't going to doubt their usefulness?
  • Nino: No, but... who said you can just take Five and go all alone?
  • Nino: I have a promise to keep here.
  • Nino: I said I'd take her home, so I will too.
  • Five: ...!
  • Reed: What... you didn't look like you cared about that.
  • Nino: I do care.
  • Nino: Maybe you're just not good at reading people?
  • Reed: If it was that important, then don't forget it in the first place.
  • Reed: You dumbass.
  • Five: Nino... can't help it!
  • Five: It's okay, Reed! Nino didn't choose to forget...!
  • Reed: ...

It was a good sign that such things did not stir anything in me anymore.

  • Reed: Then, do you mean to stand in my way?
  • Nino: Whoa, whoa, that's not what I said!
  • Reed: Finding the professor is a crucial matter to me.
  • Reed: It's why I'm even here tangled in this mess in the first place.
  • Nino: You certainly are dedicated to your goal, and I'm not about to hinder you...
  • Nino: But there's no need for a division to be made between us four, that's all!
  • Nino: You want to take Five? Fine, but on one condition.
  • Nino: I will not be separated from Five.
  • Nino: I'll agree to your terms only if you let us come along and meet this headquarters.
  • Reed: Let "us" come, you say?
  • Nino: Yeah! Mei's right here too, you know.
  • Nino: I'll believe your provisioner's capabilities when we see it with our own eyes.
  • Reed: Ugh... you'll all be such unnecessary baggage.
  • Meimona: Wow, you really don't like us that much?
  • Meimona: Was I the only one who thought we were starting to get along nicely...?
  • Reed: ...Shush.
  • Reed: What I don't like is wasting time and effort.
  • Nino: Well, too bad.
  • Nino: I won't break my promises if I can help it.

Oh, jeez. This is so unfair.
You mean, seriously, who could say no to that?

Not someone who grew up with a neglected young sibling, that's for sure.

To me, these relations represent useless shackles.

  • Reed: Fine...
  • Reed: Guess they can come along if you're so insistent.
  • Five: Yaaaay, Reed understands!
  • Aria: That's great, Five!
  • Reed: Agreeing is less of a pain at this point.
  • Nino: Heh, you finally gave in!
  • Nino: That's what I thought.
  • Reed: I'm already forced to spend two days of my short life with you all anyway.
  • Reed: It'll be manageable... just don't be dead-weight, ok.
  • Nino: We'll get to go our separate ways soon enough, calm down.
  • Reed: Great, so everyone's just decided to invade my home I guess.
  • Nino: Your what?
  • Aria: You never said that headquarters' place was also your house!
  • Reed: ...Oh. Oops.
  • Reed: I'm an idiot.
  • Meimona: Oh, cool!
  • Meimona: I bet you have all kinds of human tech doodads in there, huh?
  • Aria: Then, our next move is decided!
  • Aria: Heheh, I can't wait to see what it's like!
  • Reed: Quit this, we're getting sidetracked...

But I digress.

  • Aria: Well, to get back on topic... I want to ask something, Reed.
  • Aria: Did things at the laboratory... not end well?
  • Nino: I wanna know, too.
  • Nino: Judging by how careful you were being...
  • Nino: Should we be expecting the worst here?
  • Reed: If something unfortunate did happen, then it didn't involve Five.
  • Nino: Then, everyone else who was there...?
  • Reed: I wouldn't know about that.
  • Reed: At the very least, what I can tell you for sure is that both the professor and the doctor are...
  • Reed: Eh... currently unreachable.
  • Reed: That's as much as I know.
  • Reed: I don't know what happened in the lab.
  • Reed: Since I've never seen where the professor and the doctor worked.
  • Aria: You only know these background details...
  • Meimona: I think you were right about what you said before.
  • Meimona: We should hear from Five directly, rather than speak over her!
  • Nino: True, even if the details seem unfitting with what we know,
  • Nino: It doesn't help to interject and insist against her words.
  • Aria: Right! No one else can tell us about Five's experience, only Five herself can!
  • Nino: The combination of what Reed knows, and what Five has experienced,
  • Nino: That should get us closer to having the full picture.

I've taken much too long of your time.

  • Nino: Sorry that we made you feel like we didn't believe you, Five.
  • Nino: I want to hear more about your home again!

Your world of papercraft and text...

  • Nino: You said you left it yesterday.
  • Nino: Can you tell me everything you remember about it?
  • Nino: Like, how you got to that home,
  • Nino: How your life was like in there,
  • Nino: What you did there every day,
  • Nino: And what happened when you left.
  • Nino: Everything from your first day there.
  • Nino: Just like I promised you...
  • Nino: I really want to find the place you came to love enough to call a home.
  • Nino: With everyone's help, I'll fulfill that promise!
  • Nino: So can you tell me what you remember, Five?

...You may have it back now.

  • Five: Umm... yes!
  • Five: Five will try!
{S} Reconstruct.
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2 years ago
Reply to  Nights

Its freaking amazing, thank you so much for making such a cool comic!

2 years ago

Been keeping up with this webcomic for awhile and I gotta say I am always impressed by these updates when they drop, the great art and well written character dynamics have kept me hooked. It feels like there's a lot to unpack from this update and the implications of what's been revealed have me eagerly awaiting whatever will happen next.

The page styling is also always a nice touch and wait what's that in the page footer oh no.

2 years ago

Thinking of an only half joking vote for "Reed said not to walk on eggshells around him so ask him why he thinks his parents aren't dead" but I'm not sure what character I'd give that to. Nino, maybe?

2 years ago
Reply to  cB557

cB557: Comment “ Nino: Reed said not to walk on eggshells around him so ask him why he thinks his parents aren't dead “.

2 years ago

love the interactions, the fancy style and the little silly doodles!! great update :>

2 years ago

Straightforward inferences: Reed has at least two sisters, one older (Ruby, panel 12) and one younger (probably 'Eidolon', panel 17). I'd guess that Ruby was favored by her parents at the expense of her less-academically-successful siblings, and Reed ended up looking after Eidolon on his own after their parents' disappearance. Zachery and Anise might have just been distant parents, as some of the above captions and Reed's comment on his sister being neglected suggest.

More speculative: Sis mentioned that she and Five both lacked abilities (don't remember where), and one of Zachery's rejected research proposals (from a book in the library) suggests an attempt to alter the body in order to grant abilities. Might have to do with why Five was cast out, since she rejected the transformation? The research proposal would seem to suggest it involved tearing holes in the body, and Five said the transformation "really, really hurt" in the 4/17 comic.

2 years ago
Reply to  redaer

Another book in the library stated that the last monster prince had an ability that tied the lifespans of other people to his own, and that important human figures died around the end of the last war, around the time Zachery disappeared according to the reporter.

Way out there: Eidolon has an outfit like Madotsuki's in panel 17. If we associate one Lumen child with each part of Zachery's diagram in panel 6 (dreams, truth, reality), she might be "dreams"?

2 years ago
Reply to  redaer

The quote at the end of the page states "I repaired every organ and put every hair back in its place, but she is still dead." We haven't seen Ruby anywhere else in the comic. If she died at some point and her parents tried and failed to bring her back, her death might be the reason they distanced themselves from their other children. If they did research into bringing back the dead, could they be involved with the humans who had the ability to come back from the dead, the ones the monsters' ritual was designed for? Was Nino a test subject?

I'm missing some steps in this chain of speculations, but I need to get some sleep now.

2 years ago
Reply to  redaer


For Five and Sis’s ability troubles.


Timestamp for library in the description.

Reed’s likely truth, he’s the one who’s withstanding scrutiny by Nino and Meimona. Thus, Ruby is reality, judging by the grave of her death. Reality is likely how things are, as in natural due to the grave of death. Truth is what they are, as in supernatural, judging by the soul and the eyes, soul for abilities and eyes associated with the specters. And dreams of course would function as the science, due to eidolon. (A dead) Body for reality, soul for truth, and mind for dreams. Considering the question mark for reality and dreams, along with the blacked out portrayals of Ruby, Eidolon could’ve been too young to remember her older sister. The meanings for truth and dreams could potentially be switched, and the being hijacking the text boxes could represent dreams due to their detachment towards reality.

2 years ago

The combination of Kaji’s Guidance, Mei deciding to rejoin him, latent memories of Five and Aria, along with Nino and Five’s promise, a possibility of getting some of his old memories back, and hearing and seeing about his Pre-Decimate self, pushed Nino to being more in line with his Pre-Decimate self, probably not fully. What’s up with the hijacking’s of the command box? Maybe it’s Ruby?

2 years ago

I know there's lore and characterization going on here but the 4th to last panel is just making me think:
"DOKTOR.. How did you?? Get an Aircraft???" "Hahoho credit card deb-" "Of course"

2 years ago

Those last three panels are the cutest in the entire comic. Five best girl. But anyways

Five: Describe Five's arrival and very first day at the lab. Everything Five can possibly remember.

Five: But then, Five met Sis and Friends!

Five: That's when Five knew the lab was Five's home.

Five: Five settled into home, and Five's new life began.

Five: Get lost in thought.

Nino: Softly get the little lady back on track.

Friend: Bring gift to Five.

Five: Accidentally reveal a bit too much.

Five: And then Five woke up on the final day.

Nino: Reed had a good point. Make it clear she doesn't have to talk about her last day if she's not comfortable.

Group: What conclusions can you all draw from Five's descriptions?

Five: Learn how to properly use pronouns.

Everyone: That's probably enough investigation for one day. You all can afford to leave some mysteries for tomorrow. Get some rest, for real this time.

Also Good luck on your finals Nights.

2 years ago
Reply to  VB.Rainer

One last one

Aria: Wait a minute, if headquarters is Reed's home, and the person from HQ is supposedly "related to" Professor Zachary, does that mean that Reed and the one at HQ are family?

Actually, another.

Nino: Well, well, well, Kaji was right. It seems you've found something to value closely. Or perhaps, someone.

2 years ago

>Super-Boss Five: Describe life at home.