The nineteen-year-old Ray Jean visits his father's grave. Chatting with an acquaintance, he admits that he had gotten engaged to a girl he'd been dating over two years, but she changed her mind and married someone else. Now she's working as his private secretary. He agrees it was probably the right decision, since their relationship is friendlier than before (though he misses the smoochies). The woman, an old flame of his father's, comments that he's just like Heinz in not being able to distinguish friendship from romance. She leaves him with the certainty that whoever his father's "femme fatale" was, she must have been more beautiful than anyone else.
In the present, Zene allows three questions. (Albireo translates for the other natives whenever he speaks the Old Race language.) Murakami's troops are reduced to tears at the sight of the giant moth laying eggs in the fire. The team's insect specialist said he was on his way but hasn't arrived. Murakami realizes there must be a problem. [Note: He's the one Zene decapitated.]
Makiwo alerts the professor that Zene has to pay close attention to every word or he doesn't catch what they say. He hands her a small device and tells her to get back, then confronts Zene. His first question is "What do you want to talk to me about?" on the principle that there's no point using up his three questions asking things that Zene wants to tell him anyway. Zene's answer: "I'm glad you're gorgeous." He finds Seiberheigen's anger at death amusing, saying he hasn't the time or the inclination to concern himself over a few hundred or thousand deaths, he's doing what he must because of his pride in his bloodline. Suddenly he remembers that the insects grow faster the warmer they get. In the distraction he had forgotten to escape.
The commander gives the order to abandon the base. Makiwo uses the communcator Seiberheigen gave her to contact Murakami. She relates that Zene tried to get away, but the professor is blocking him. Murakami heads in their direction. Zene has incapacitated the other native warriors, though he won't injure Ray Jean, instead inviting him to come along. He finds it interesting that the one who can read "that" gets mad when people die. In the operating room with Makiwo, Albireo uses his powers to help save the patient. Zene can feel the energy, surprised that the child is a Deiva.
Seiberheigen asks what the Genjuu Bunsho is, to which Zene replies it's the science that can give everyone immortality and eternal youth. Murakami uses a freezing capsule to rescue some of his men trapped by an insect, then continues on his way, grumbling that the professor has book smarts and little else. He's momentarily immobilized by a trail of blood, but he snaps out of it as soon as he sees it's not Seiberheigen. He desperately calls out Ray Jean's name, knowing only that he must protect the professor.
He flashes back to when he was seventeen. He had just decided not to become a professional tennis player, despite his talent. It's not that he doesn't enjoy tennis, he merely feels it's not what he wants to do for the rest of his life. He tells Makiwo he wants a job where he can be of service. He considers exploring the unknown New Continent more fun than any tournament. No matter how idiotic he professor's actions, it's his ability to dream of things no one else thinks about that Murakami appreciates.
Zene comments that someone's calling, but his amusement turns to horror at Seiberheigen's immediate transformation. Murakami smiles at the ecstatic reaction, knowing that he's been afraid to admit how he really feels. Zene is Not Pleased that someone else is more important to his little brother than he is. Murakami picks up on the challenge, flaunting how Seiberheigen reacts to his scent. (Zene sulks-"But I've only gotten to hug him once...") Furious, Zene yells that Seiberheigen is their final hope.
Murakami fires off a smoke screen and evacuates the professor to where the doctors are hiding. Outside the room, Zene searches for Ray Jean by smell, unable to hear the professor shout across the door for him to calm down. Makiwo figures out that the reason Zene always stares intently at someone talking is that he's hard of hearing. Seiberheigen discovers that Zene's staff has insect eggs suspended inside it, with writing in an ancient language. He lets one out, which repeats a cycle of laying an egg that hatches a bug bigger than the parent.
Zene locates Ray Jean at last, saying to himself he's struggled long enough alone, it's about time he had someone who understands him by his side. He enters the room to confront the giant spiders, kept from attacking the doctors by the repellant chemical also in the staff. They drive the spiders in Zene's direction to chase him from the place. Zene runs away, wondering if perhaps Ray Jean is an *incredibly* mean person.
Thus, the expedition ends and the team has no choice but to return home.
Before they left the base, the professor told Murakami how much he appreciated him coming to the rescue, because otherwise he would have gone with Zene. He relates that when he was little, after society got wind of his intelligence, the lure of all the books at college pulled him away from his father. Heinz chased after the car he left in, barefoot and crying. One day he ran away from his hospital to see his son and wound up acquiring fatal burns somewhere. Ray Jean understands all too well how powerful his own thirst for knowledge is, how it makes him forget everything else, including those he cares about. He's certain he would have been seduced by the information Zene offered. It was only his love for Murakami, stronger than his desire for knowledge, that kept him from leaving.
On the New Continent, Albireo refuses to become a Deiva. For his rebellion, he's branded as "dead," ostracized from all contact. He's found by Kanarn, the dark-haired native who went into the base during Zene's attack to save Kyuutos. Kanarn risks speaking to him in gratitude for saving the life of the one he loves. Albireo asks what Kanarn would do if the Destiny Stone didn't break for him and Kyuutos; the only answer is to have children with someone else first and then try again. Albireo doesn't want to accept that, which is why he's so dangerous that no one's allowed to talk to him.
Albireo tracks Zene, wanting to understand his words and actions. Even more importantly, Zene might be able to clear away his doubts regarding the Destiny Stone, though he knows it still won't make Ray Jean fall in love with him. Zene is well aware he's being followed.
Makiwo has to see Seiberheigen, yet as an underling she's having difficulty getting in touch with someone so important. She tries Murakami, but he's on vacation. Fortunately, she encounters Cherry Jack, whose ship evacuated the first wave of team members (though they suspected he was a pirate). She noticed the professor had had a private conversation with him, so she reasons he might be able to connect her with Seiberheigen.
Albireo watches the villagers who surrendered to Zene being led into a Deiva holy place. Zene captures him, uncovering the brand on his back. He congratulates the boy for becoming such a grand outlaw at such a young age. Albireo demands to know why they're born with such imperfect bodies, why they can't choose their own mates for themselves. Zene turns serious and asks if he became "dead" for the sake of that question. Albireo shoots back that he doesn't consider himself dead. This is how he's living.
End Volume 3