Chrome Shelled Regios:Volume10 To Conquer the Phalanx
To Conquer the Phalanx
The sun had set in the west, and the moon had no clouds, with no light in the sky other than the air filter.
That was the air filter spaced at equal distances along the outer edge. The shaking towers situated outside that were almost falling down were there to block the city's invisible enemy - pollutants. They generated a special airflow, isolated from the outside.
On the tower was a shadow. Every tower had a shadow. But the shadow's darkness was swallowed up in the dark haze of the cloudy day, and no one would give it a second glance. This shadow took the form of an opening on the top of the tower, as if it were an orifice of the air filter, spraying something outside, almost unnoticeably.
The small tyrant dominated the sofa.
From the kitchen came Gorneo's voice.
In his hand was a saucepan that was being heated, and the smell of meat being scorched mixed together with the burning smell of spices. Inhaled into the nose, it stimulated the stomach.
The flavor was very strong, and he groaned with suffering. Gorneo moaned again, and scorched a big piece of meat.
They were very hungry, and quite excited. Usually, they would go to a nearby twenty-four hour restaurant for dinner, but for today, the restaurants were almost all closed, and the only open one was celebrating the anniversary of its opening, and was endlessly busy. Bringing a starving Shante to that kind of place was no good...... Even if he had no choice, this smell that was produced even made Gorneo unable to stand it.
The battle with the Academy City Myath had finished recently. He was very tired. But this was also a reason for excitement. Because they had let Nina go on ahead, Gorneo and Shante, along with ten other Military Artists, had acted together. The aftertaste of the battle still lingered.
Behind him came threatening moans. Gorneo already had no responses, silently watching the roasting meat.
Other than roasting meat there was only instant soup. The refrigerator did not have any fresh vegetables. Even if there were, he didn't have the strength to make salad. There was only the corn and potatoes being cooked along with the meat.
He scooped the meat onto plates, spread some butter on it, and considered it done.
Two people silently ate it all. Gorneo used his knife to cut the hot meat into big pieces, putting them in his mouth. Shante used a fork to pierce it and bring it to her mouth to slowly chew. They were not used to this kind of atmosphere at dinner, so there was that kind of reaction.
It was just eating.
After a while they had eaten everything.
Drinking a cup of juice in a gulp, he finally felt refreshed. Drooping his shoulders, he didn't feel like moving at all.
But, the plates were still left there. In his heart he thought he could wait a while before collecting them, but he thought that would be the start to an abhorrent character.
"Hey, we're washing the dishes."
Shante was already curled up on the sofa. If she had a tail, it would definitely be wagging in satisfaction. Gorneo thought she hadn't heard, and let out a sigh.
"At least speak human language."
After saying that, Gorneo brought the dirty dishes back to the kitchen to wash. When he returned, Shante was sleeping. He would have to bother to carry her to the room nearby.
Sometimes, Shante would enter Gorneo's room like this, and after falling asleep would be carried back, but recently he had thought that his roommate had been looking at his eyes strangely. Since Van Allen's day.
"It really is......"
He did not have such plans. But, without a doubt it was not that he had no interest in guy-girl affairs. He would admit that he was old-fashioned, but didn't feel that it was embarrassing. He knew that among the Military Artists, there were those who had received genes for interacting with girls. Even if others did not agree with his methods, he was reluctant to be a Military Artist who criticized the rest of society.
He didn't want to be considered such a person.
He and Shante were not really lovers. So that kind of thing would never happen, those girls' suspicions were incorrect...... purposefully explaining was also strange, sure enough all Gorneo could do was silently worry.
(Might as well sleep)
He had no reason not to, so he really went to sleep, and hence Gorneo returned to his room.
He didn't fall asleep.
(......What is it?)
Shante kept silent while making no noise, holding an intimidated look. With a serious expression, she keenly watched the balcony.
What was it. Gorneo turned his sight to the side, as a voice sounded.
"You're keeping something interesting."
"Intruder" was the word that went through his mind, and Gorneo gracefully assumed a stance. It was using Sakkei. But, if it had gotten so close without him noticing......
But, the next moment, Gorneo was surprised again.
"Is it a wild beast? I never thought I would get noticed without making noise. Ah, it was worth it."
That voice. Although he saw that figure standing in front of the balcony window, Gorneo didn't dare believe his eyes, this absolutely couldn't be.
This place, it ought to be Zuellni.
But he was a Heaven's Blade Successor, and was one of Grendan's protectors, the Luckens' legitimate heir. He couldn't think of why he would leave Grendan.
"How did you know? Smell? If that's the case, then using Sakkei against filth monsters would be almost useless. Revering the downwind would be only proper.”
But the way he leisurely examined Shante, and the accent with which he spoke, was indeed him.
Savaris Qualafin Luckens.
"Yo! Goru. It's been a while. How many years? You grew big, huh."
Saying this, Savaris stood in front of Gorneo, patting his arm.
"Brother, why have you come here?"
"Ah? I wanted to fight with Layfon."
Before Gorneo even had time to be surprised, Savaris laughed so much that he shook.
"Hahaha. Just kidding, just kidding. Well, that kind of thing would be very interesting, it would be well worth the wait."
"......Could it be, you have business with the Mercenary Gang?"
"Well, that kind of thing. Right, why don't you introduce me to this child so I can meet her?"
Savaris' sight turned to Shante who had not relaxed her look.
"Since she saw through my Sakkei, she must be remarkable."
With no regard for how pleased Savarais seemed, Shante still didn't change her intimidated look.
"Shante, don't do that."
Seeing Shante about to pounce, Gorneo stopped her. She agilely climbed up Gorneo's back, and made an escape.
"She's a problem child."
Gorneo explained the situation of Shante's upbringing.
Hearing those words, Savaris was driven by curiosity.
"Ah! As expected, you can't underestimate the growing up environment! In Grendan strong people are gathered, at the same time, one should take advantage of that place where specially trained monsters are drilled."
He spoke endlessly.
He hadn't changed.
This person hadn't changed at all.
Five years had passed since he left Grendan, but he was still the same.
His outer appearance and his personality all had not changed.
Strong internal Kei that could suppress aging was a known neighbor in Grendan. Trained Military Artists could look younger than their actual age. For example, the Heaven's Blade Successor Tigris ought to be eighty years old, but his exterior did not seem that way at all.
Savaris had also maintained the condition of his body over that period.
"Since I managed to come here, I want to see your abilities. Let me experience them."
He had witnessed the fight with the Academy City Myath. Gorneo sucked in a breath. If it were only being seen by his brother, Gorneo didn't feel any pressure.
"Seems like you grew up. Although you still aren't very mature."
"T, thanks for the praise."
He hasn't thought that he would be praised, so he was surprised.
"You still haven't reached Gahard's level."
But, attaching this sentence, as expected of his brother.
"Well, I guess you haven't. You never had that kind of strong healthy growth."
He had never thought that the impression Savaris had of Gahard was like that, rather, the shock at meeting his admired brother was all gone.
He had once heard of this.
Gahard Baren was Gorneo's brother, and had been beaten black and blue by Layfon, but what had happened to him afterwards.
Savaris should know.
For a moment, there was no noise.
At that time, the light decorating Zuellni was extinguished completely.
The sound also disappeared.
The surroundings quieted down, that would mean that the movements of the city that its residents did not feel had stopped.
The steps of the city had stopped. In order to exterminate invading filth monsters, the city had stopped its movement.
Normally, that would mean the city's death.
But, right now that was not the case.
Because everyone's lights had gone out, the city's night view was made clear.
Seven-colored light was fixed in the night sky, full of fantasy, but also vivid like a real scene, changing the city.
Filth monsters swept over the ground, the city that housed people was being invaded, and Military Artists resisted. That kind of world drew clear boundaries.
But at that time, the people living there could not understand the different situation or the city's changed appearance.
The light source illuminating the city. Past the air filter, the reflecting seven-colored light diffused outward and encroached upwards, drooping downward and flickering.
The aurora had appeared there.
"Shine light upon the future."
The masked man softly said this.
The masked man stood on the roof of an engine of the air filter, muttering.
Wearing a beast mask, even though he was like the other people wearing peculiar clothes and standing on the engine, he was nonetheless distinctive. Wearing a cloak over himself, hand holding a restored Dite, which was a decorative, cumbersome staff that no one would think to use on a battlefield.
On the head of the staff was a large cross, and to protect it, a loop was twisted around it. The ring was covered in uncountable small rings colliding with each other, giving off a biting cold sound in the night air, and simultaneously throwing off sparks.
"Eyes, guard this night's peacefully sleeping thorns. Carve the tombstone inscription of this cross. Arise! Cast light upon the future!"
A sound drifted.
As he spoke those words, the small rings resounded in the air.
"Eyes, eyes that peer into the forbidden space, arise!"
The sound drifted.
"Cast light onto the future."
The seven-colored light radiated towards Zuellni, and the noise of the colliding small rings spread outwards.
The noise of the staff disappeared, quietly visited by silence.
"As expected, it's only a shadow."
The Wolf Face muttered in a low voice.
The Wolf Faces already knew about the events that happened in Myath.
The connection to Rigzario had failed.
At that time, Dixerio Maskane had brought in a new Military Artist, and a Heaven's Blade Successor from Grendan had also come.
And also, the maiden who was soundly sleeping in the dorm.
But, however you called it, the thorns that guarded her sleep had not appeared.
"If it's a shadow, it couldn't have thorns."
The voice did not contain disappointment.
Their purpose was also to come here to confirm.
"But, to pay respects to them, we lost a lot of precious powder."
Thinking of this made him feel bad. In the world that this city held power over, there were many types of restrictions that stopped the Wolf Face's original Aurora Field world from appearing again. Among them was the power of the powder that had been scattered into the air filter.
"We can't waste it."
The staff resounded again.
"Now, let us return to collect the fragments of dreams from sleep. Since Grendan has begun to move, we cannot ignore it."
"First draw forth his instinct, expose his real body, break his container, and remove the seal on the fragment of dreams."
"Saying this, the other Wolf Faces on the engine disappeared without a trace.
"......With this, about an eighth."
The Wolf Face using the staff watched his companions disappear in the city's night, and whispered.
"Those related Heaven's Blade Successors cannot be an obstruction. They are the only ones who could be trouble...... with their character, they will inevitably return."
Even if they engulfed the fragment of the dream, there was a minimum number of Military Artists. If they could do that, I would once again receive my budget......
"It could also be thought of as the blessing of thorns. I should not hastily take things for myself."
He had already failed once. In order to keep from repeating that, this time he should not let his heart be distracted. If people obstructed him, even if they couldn't defeat him they could struggle for time.
"We have not reached Lævateinn. First, we should decide how to seize the fragment of the dream."
Right, first was......
However, Grendan would eventually reach Lævateinn. Even if it were a reflection, the thing that was sleeping would also emerge eventually. In other words, the thing moving under the surface had begun to come up.
That Wolf Face did not know what had happened. Discarding fame, accepting constraints, accepting evaluations of ability, the position of the commander in this world of cities. Grendan had come across Lævateinn, but still did not know what had happened.
Or, perhaps no one understood.
The Wolf Faces did not understand, and the people of Grendan did not understand.
If that were the case, then in this world of cities, in this era, it was impossible to measure to what extent its influence would spread.
The world of the Wolf Faces was the same.
The place that brought the aurora was also the same.
But, then they're the same as us.
Grendan seemed like it was planning something, and we were also restless. Of Rigzario's connected machines, there was still one left that had totally destroyed the sleep of the dream fragment.
Then, before that......
This battlefield was like shogi. Regardless of how you were broken, it was still a loss, and the only option was to win before the opponent.
These matters that were considered afterwards were completely unnecessary.
Even though there were no people, there were still the small rings.
The aurora enveloping Zuellni swayed. For various reasons, the light waves shook.
It was like ripples.
How were these chess pieces placed?
To penetrate the space of my pieces, it could only be a strong offensive directed at me.
The opponent was only a piece.
I had placed numerous pieces.
But, it wasn't playing the same game, that piece that had not been placed according to the guidelines didn't follow the rules.
How long had it been since he arrived here?
Thinking about it, he couldn't help but feel stupid. It definitely wasn't today or yesterday, but it also wasn't more than two years ago. At most half a year. He didn't have much of a sense of time, so maybe it hadn't even been half a year.
Though, how was this seven-colored scene here?
The male...... Dixerio Maskane...... Dix whispered. He had returned to his homeland, and though he had been displaced six years from this city, to him it felt like yesterday. He had become accustomed to battling in the City of Strong Desire Velzenheim, but was tired of acting as someone who had been born and raised in the city.
That was this man.
"It really is...... What has happened?"
Dix walked on the empty streets of Zuellni, muttering.
He knew what he had to do.
Nina who had reached Myath also knew. Opposing the Aurora Field, passing through the En system, Dixerio knew the intentions of the Wolf Faces.
The Haikizoku had seized Nina's body.
But, that was only hearsay. He hadn't been fully informed.
Even if he knew the plot of the Wolf Faces, he didn't know their methods, or the kinds of consequences that their objective could bring.
If he wanted to know, he would have to get even more involved with them.
That would mean the danger of being assimilated into them.
Dixerio walked, shoulders trembling slightly. Thinking of the day the City of Strong Desire had been destroyed, that day Dixerio had been steadily living his life, and the events that happened later.
"I don't want to think about that again."
Stroking his trembling shoulders, Dix quickened his pace. He knew Nina's residence. It was the Architecture Department's anniversary commemoration building. His memory of the Architecture student who had constructed it was still fresh. Indeed, he had lived there for three years. Withdrawn and eccentric, not paying any attention to his clothes, not caring if he went several days without bathing or changing clothes, but unable to tolerate a single speck of dust in the room. However, he could build all styles of structures. He could also make alterations. If Dix asked him to alter his room, regardless of how ancient, he was able to decorate and transform it into a style befitting Dix.
"How is it? Don't you feel it's suitable for a senior?"
Though he didn't know where it had come from, he stood on an animal fur rug, and confidently asked this of Dix.
"Aah, it's great."
How many years had passed since that?
Thinking of his sparkling expression as he spoke about the decorations of the room, Dix unknowingly began running.
The watch on the chain around his neck made a ticking noise. Even though it looked ancient, it still had lots of function. When Dix had been a student, he once had no choice but to leave the city to eliminate filth monsters. No one had been able to send Psychokinetic flakes to there, and Dix could do nothing but stand there. An alchemy student had asked, "you're going to eliminate filth monsters?", and given Dix the watch. It had a function to determine position using magnets, and a long-distance communication function...... When Dix had to rely on his own strength to return to Zuellni, she had thought of a way to help him, and added necessary functions to the watch.
By now, other than the timekeeping function, all the others no longer worked, but even so, Dix couldn't bear to get rid of it.
"You definitely have to return."
Only she had sent him heartfelt wishes.
It was this watch and that remark which had given the exhausted Dix the strength to return to Zuellni. When he thought of her, the running Dix restored the Dite in his hand.
A large iron whip.
With his brain filled with fighting filth monsters, relying on that big striking weapon, Dix had made it to this day.
Anger simmered in him.
The house had been destroyed, fury.
That guy who had boasted about how he transformed the house, the girl who had given him the watch, and the sweetheart, friends, and rivals that lived in his memories, the ones who let them become memories were these assholes destroying Zuellni.
(Flog, ruin, smash)
The so-called striking weapon, that so-called weight in his right hand, was born all for this.
In order to strike, rout, and crush the obstacles blocking the road ahead, Dix had chosen the whip.
In front of the sprinting Dix, numerous people blocked the road.
"You assholes, I'll give you another death."
Dix shouted while releasing Kei.
His body was already full of enough Kei.
Combined Internal and External Kei variant, Raijin.
Just this one strike thoroughly defeated all of the people blocking the road.
Purple lightning flashed, some blue Kei light mixed in with it, but no one paid attention to this point.
However, that blue Kei had not been used against the Wolf Faces.
The one lucky person had only been grazed by Dix's Raijin painfully shouted, rolling on the ground.
Something like black spots floated on his chest from his clothing. They slowly diffused outwards.
It looked quite like the erosion from pollutants.
The other Wolf Faces had already perished.
The others were an avatar, and the real thing was just now painfully struggling.
"This can't be, why...... why!"
Because of the pain and suffering, from the inside of the mask came the sound of vague lamentations. This man was already not thought of as one of the Wolf Faces. He had only been a pitiful piece abandoned here to block Dix's offensive.
Afterwards, Dix did not pay attention to the man's ending, continuing forward.
Until arriving in front of the dorm, he was unimpeded.
Dix stopped his steps.
There were no human figures in front of the dorm.
However, there was a killing intent directed at Dix.
Licking his lips, he confirmed the situation of his surroundings.
Other than the commemorative dorm, the surrounding buildings were either being constructed or in the middle of demolition.
On an uncovered steel beam, on a roof without tiling, behind a collapsed wall, hid countless Wolf Faces.
Dix's unique skill Raijin was only a straight line attack. So they planned not to face him, but surprise attack him simultaneously from many corners.
Considering the ability of the Wolf Faces, regardless of whom, they would pose no threat to Dix.
But, even so, if they attacked collectively, even if he didn't lose he would suffer setbacks.
Time dragged on.
Changing words, these guys' purpose was right here.
(Simply a big open killing field, huh......?)
Considering it was so annoying. Dix extended his empty left hand to his chin.
But, he stopped halfway.
He had not considered whether their plans were to stall him. In that case, he had a restriction, he had to conserve his power or else he wouldn't be able to use it for the critical juncture.
Or it could be that the intelligence about them trying to capture the Haikizoku inside Nina was a trap all along, and their true target was Dix.
Or perhaps both of them were targets, and either was fine.
(Can I part like this?)
(Have they set up a trap for us?)
On battlefields with the Wolf Faces, there were always performances involving mutual probing and entanglements of the mind. He had resolved to not rely on that kind of thing, but only on strength. But, regardless of his resolve, the ranks of those guys endlessly grew.
That was the counter ability of the Wolf Faces.
Perhaps, that was their greatest strength, numbers.
Their spying acted as an individual and growing limit, though they could break through it, depending on the individual it would simply make a new limit threshold, and they could only collectively chase power. Even if they tired of the promised rebirth they were individually children, and could only become strong collectively.
It wasn't a moving or tragic realization.
They could not shake from the deaths of their companions.
They could not project their companion's death onto their self, and did not hesitate forward.
(Really, their greatest strength.)
However, Dix was able to defeat that kind of strength.
Just like the men he had just killed, Dix had methods for coping with them.
"Have you finished preparing? Today I won't show you any mercy."
Dix sent words towards the Wolf Faces that were just about to attack.
He was slightly...... indecisive.
Dix could destroy the greatest fantasy that the Wolf Faces held in their heart.
If things progressed as they were, Nina would also become that way.
Was the target of the Wolf Faces to guard against that?
The significance of such prevention was the same for Dix.
(I can't let that guy be on an equal footing with me)
Dix didn't know when the Haikizoku had gotten tangled up with that member of the younger generation.
That poor youngster only planned to provide information, but had rolled into this side of the world. The Haikizoku was utilizing her to become the same as himself, which to Dix was an unforgiveable defeat.
He had to prevent it.
"If you won't come, I'll go."
He wouldn't agree to a stalemate. Dix began taking strides forward.
He treaded forth.
External Kei surged up from Dix's whole body.
The iron whips danced acrobatically, creating wind. Creating strong wind. Wild.
The Wolf Faces that were charging closer to Dix were blown flying.
It wasn't over.
"Sorry, I remembered you were an idiot."
The iron whip pointing down lashed the surface of the road. In order to return to its original position and reach. It left deep linear gashes.
The iron whip was draped over his shoulder.
His brain was filled with thoughts of the movements in his Kei vein. The up and down movements of Kei scattered heat around his spine by his waist.
Surges of Kei energy.
Saved up energy.
The Wolf Faces who had been knocked flying climbed back up, and approached Dix again. The serrated blades held in their hands blocked the light of Kei and the radiance of its sparks, like piranhas moving back and forth in the dark night.
Towards their prey, like hungry wolves attacking a tiger.
The blades approached.
But whether they touched the jacket that wrapped his body......
That moment, he erupted.
The wild roar of the purple lightning chased after the released light along the road in front of the dorm. The Wolf Faces in front of Dix could not endure the strike, and were eliminated.
But, they had not given up.
After finishing his release, Dix stopped his steps, immediately turned, and released again.
Because of the effect of that trick, the Wolf Faces' formation was in chaos. They bore the full power of the blow, and were destroyed. Some people had managed to jump out of the way, and were spared.
But it was not over yet.
This time, he faced upwards. Of the people who had leaped upwards to escape, half were destroyed.
During the momentum of the move and on a steel fixture exposed by a building in the middle of demolition, he released once more.
Correct, it was a strike dropping from the sky.
The road was shattered apart, and Dix walked out from the aftermath.
Fragments of the Wolf Faces' clothing drifted down from above his head.
There were already no Wolf Face figures in the surroundings. Because after four Raijins, they were all ashes.
"Che, though I didn't spend much time, I'm pretty tired."
After complaining, Dix ran towards the dorm.
Wolf Faces had also gathered in the dorm.
As soon as Dix noticed them, he charged in. The movements of the guys blocking him revealed the location of Nina's room. Dix expended all his power, persisting till the end, and arrived at that room.
Once there, Dix saw it.
"So-called Military Artists, but originally just an imitation of one person's abilities, and Electronic Fairies can only exist in one person's body at a time, a partner that cannot be left aside. Military Artists are the numerous incomplete shadows left behind by one person, Electronic Fairies are inferior copies of prototypes. But, the related matters will not disappear. Electronic Fairies' sufferings are Military Artists' sufferings, the Haikizoku's anger is also the anger of Military Artists. Spellbound by Rigzario, we are the shadow of a world left behind, and under its unending pull we wage war with filth monsters."
He heard someone's voice.
It felt like Nina was in her own dream.
A pitch-black dream.
In the dream, a voice she had never heard before was hovering by her ear.
Who was it?
The voice disappeared. This was a dream, one that was different from the dreams she pictured.
What was different from right now?
"We are shadows."
The voice continued.
"We are shadows born and hidden in this world. Long, long shadows cast by the sunset. We were tossed in a faraway place by our host, and have imitated their appearance."
Have you not thought of the fate of getting away?
When you initially encountered filth monsters, weren't you afraid?
Those Military Artists who braved danger, faced with only envy, who for compensation are imposed upon by normal people living normal lives, have you never felt anger?
Why could they only live in this kind of dangerous place, has no one ever thought that?
The voice that asked this continued.
"Why do you endlessly fight?"
That time, in Nina's heart, memories floated up like bubbles.
The time when she lived in the Senou City Schneibel.
It was when she was small.
It was when she had just begun her training as a Military Artist.
A memory of Nina Antalk when she was ten years old.
Senou City Schneibel. Nina's hometown. The city' with the Rigzario machine which manufactured Electronic Fairies.
As small as birds, just-formed Electronic Fairies floated in the air of the city. Once it reached night, they would sparkle brilliantly like stars, decorating the city's sky.
That was Schneibel.
But if it were during the day, that fantasy scene could not be seen.
Dust blew around in the blue sky, spreading out slowly. But the winds were strong, coolly blowing past her ears. Since they were protected by the air filters, the strong wind that they did not received rushed straight through, and conversely her whole body was warmly bathed in the sunlight.
The huge multi-legs were moving beside her. Therefore sometimes she saw their shadows, and at those times she would feel pleasantly cool. It wasn't cold. It was thankfully cool.
Because her body was very hot.
Her hoarse voice resounded in the air. From that low voice, she felt like something had happened. She was surprised at how calm she herself was.
That place was the city's outskirts, above the pipes that were spread across the city's outer walls. Above her head extended the back of the outer portion, to her right was the city's outer wall, and to her left was the city's moving legs. There was a small gap between the outer wall and the water pipes, and if her body moved a little, she would fall to the ground. It was more of a reason to wait there for her fate.
The nearby exhaust pipes gave off a sharp noise. The stampeding sound of the city made the sound of the world even noisier.
That startup noise of the machine shook her body. It was possible that the vibration might make Nina fall to the ground.
Then, she should escape. Though she was a child of ten years, she was a Military Artist. Using her own body's ability, and using the protuberances and scaffolding around, she might be able to return to the outer edge. Even if the Military Artist children all gathered here, it would only be one of their games to test their courage.
But, the current Nina still couldn't do it.
The reason why was because Nina's feet and hands were fractured.
"......What should I do."
At a loss, she looked at the sky, asking herself this.
She had already lost the pain of the fractures, only feeling as if her four limbs were boiling. But, that paralysis was the reason why she could not move, since if she moved, severe pain would take that opportunity to strike. Her hands and feet were fractured, and she even had no way to properly stand up.
"......What should I do."
She whispered again with a small voice. She thought of calling for help but because of the pain she couldn't yell loudly. Even if she could, there weren't necessarily people to listen.
At that time, she saw something glittering and giving off light. Under the sunlight, it was very difficult to confirm what it was. But, this thing that was changing without regard to any rules in the middle of her vision could only be one thing.
Above Nina, a ball of light was lightly swaying.
"For sure, there's no problem."
Nina said to the ball of light.
That Electronic Fairy had just been formed, and did not yet have good thinking abilities, and only continued to lightly sway above Nina.
The reason was this Electronic Fairy.
Furthermore, that day, after Nina had argued with her father, there was a reason why she had dared to run away from home.
The reason for that argument was training.
Right now anyone who recognized Nina would be very surprised to see her, but at that time, even though Nina was very dexterous, she didn't like to train very much.
The reason was, her usually good-natured father became strict enough to have changed into a different person during training. In the future, a multitude of different trainers would come to the mansion to hone her skills, but the foundations were all taught by her father.
The so-called foundations were really only getting used to weapons. Repeated practice.
Throughout, she almost untiringly waved the weapon up and down. Around the same time, in order to be able to use both hands flexibly, she usually learned to do things with both hands. During breakfast and lunch, she would switch the hands she used the knife and fork with. Dinner was the same as breakfast. When she studied, every hour she had to switch her writing hand.
Kei training also began around this time, but it was still only at the meditation stage.
During a meeting among Military Artists where instruction was exchanged, Nina saw her father using both hands to manipulate weapons, continually performing various techniques, thinking in her heart how nice it would be if she began training and all of these techniques were taught to her, but disappointment interrupted her thoughts here.
Every day was just monotonous repetitive training and meditation, and it was easy to get bored.
After that was today's argument.
She begged her father to teach her techniques, and her father's face turned serious, explaining the important nature of the foundations. However, the immature Nina did not understand.
Today, her lack of enthusiasm was a level higher than usual.
She pestered her father, who had begun teaching as he usually did, even more.
Hence, she was hit.
With remorse and sadness, Nina ran away from home.
Where should she go...... She immediately thought of Harley's family's house, which she had recently visited and which was close by. But, Harley's father was good friends with Nina's father, and would contact him quickly.
Nina's closed lips leaked out a sound while she thought. Her face still felt hot. Though she hadn't looked in a mirror to confirm, it was probably still red.
So, where should she go.
Nina decided to run away, and not to return for two or three days.
She took out a money pouch from the pocket of her training clothes. It was a plastic card case with a mascot drawn on it. Inside was placed a debit card meant for a child's use.
When she ran away from home, this was the only thing she had taken with her from her room.
The numerous things like sweets and bread that she had bought during the day and hidden somewhere would be enough to pass the night. Fortunately, she was still not yet cold. But as a precaution, if she bought an outer coat she would definitely get along fine.
Even though this child was able to think this far ahead, she unknowingly turned her pace towards Harley's home.
Then, she saw it.
What she saw was a park. She bought an ice cream at a booth, and thought about what she needed to buy for running away from home.
Sitting on a bench, she enumerated the necessities in her mind. She didn't have much to use. The Antalk family had produced many Military Artists recently, and hence was very rich. However, Nina's pocket money was not much.
Therefore, she had to plan. After planning for a long while, she finally decided what things to buy. She bought everything she needed to run away from home.
"As expected, I'll need Dominif's cookies."
Nina nodded her head in satisfaction at that conclusion. She had not bought them retail, but rather in a package. However, after buying those cookies she had spent all of her pocket money. In that case, that day's three meals would have to be only cookies. She would have to sleep in a field, and her bed would become unnatural. In the first place she did not have money for bedding. She had wanted to buy a warm coat from an old clothing store, but all she had was three meals worth of cookies.
Even if it were Nina, would it be okay to eat only cookies for three meals?
"It's okay, anyway, they're still Dominif's."
Confirming her faith in sweets, she confidently nodded her head.
After finishing her ice cream, Nina jumped off the bench. Stretching her two legs, she jumped down with force. She brushed off the scraps of ice cream sticking to her hands, clearing the way for Dominif's.
At that time, she saw it.
In the center of the park was a single giant tree. A park in the Senou City would definitely have a big tree like this. But the tree in this park was especially big, and it would take at least ten people arm to arm to wrap around it. Its leaves were held up like umbrellas, forming shadows.
That tree was the nest of the Electronic Fairies.
The Electronic Fairies that were gathered would give off light even during the day. Once it became night, they would sparkle with light, and the streetlights were unnecessary among the flurry of balls of light in the park. If the Senou City held a festival, generally people would gather in the heart of this park.
However, right now there were no human figures in the surroundings of the great tree.
Other than one person.
That person entered Nina's vision.
Her immature internal Kei helped her raise her visual acuity.
It was a man. A man whose clothes were colorless. The distance was too great so it was still fuzzy. The man carried a big bag on his shoulders, and held something in his hands. Several strongly curious Electronic Fairies had gathered in the man's surroundings.
The Electronic Fairies left the man in unison.
For a moment, Nina didn't know what had happened. The man rapidly put the thing in his hand into the bag, looking around himself. After meeting Nina's gaze, he promptly left the park.
He didn't run. Rather, he walked quickly, leaving in a panic.
She yelled out without thinking. At that time, she understood.
He had originally caught an Electronic Fairy. The metal cage-like thing in his hands held one inside.
(He's a thief)
As she ran chasing the man, Nina's memories were pulled out.
Nina only knew that she had heard these sorts of rumors before in Schneibel.
It seemed like other cities did not have Rigzario machines. They only had a single Electronic Fairy in their mechanical department, and they had never seen small Electronic Fairies......
So, there were people who tried to steal Electronic Fairies for research. Many types of people tried to steal them, some selling them to other cities, some sending them to faraway cities' research institutions.
The Senou City's Military Artists did not only battle with filth monsters, but also constantly fought against these kinds of criminals. Nina's father was no exception.
She yelled loudly. Perhaps the City Police Military Artists that were on patrols would run over.
(Chase him, catch him)
The sense of justice in her own heart urged Nina to move.
The male also seemed like a Military Artist. Even though Nina accelerated her speed, the distance between the two slowly pulled apart.
(He's going to escape)
The gap between a child who had just begun training and a grown Military Artist was wide. With the vigorously widened distance, there was no hope of chasing him.
(If I don't go around)
Nina was aware that only chasing from the back would be useless, and decided to take a detour.
She decided to first go to the Accommodations Facility. If she followed along this road, she should arrive at the entrance to the facility.
The entrance would definitely be closed, and passage should require formalities and an inspection of body and belongings. If she simply ran straight, the man would have the advantage, but if it were during the entrance inspection......
Her brain quickly working, Nina changed her direction. Turning the corner and using a streetlight to climb up to the rooftops, she followed the roofs to chase the man.
Within her expectations, the man was at the entrance to the Accommodations Facility. From a tourism point of view, there was still a lot of time for shopping. There were not many people around the entrance. She quickly turned to the man.
(I should grab him tightly)
Jumping down from the rooftops, she slowly drew close so as to not be noticed. Whether it was because he had settled down after not seeing Nina, or if he were acting casual in front of the guards, the man's face was calm.
She reached the man. He removed the bag from his shoulder.
Nina ran. The man was focused on the package, and his response was slow. The guards were normal people. If a Military Artist appeared in front of them they should just wait by the side...... The man would not be caught like an ordinary thief.
Behind her back came the man's distress. The bag had entered Nina's hands. She ran while opening the bag, pulling out the cage, and then throwing the bag away. As she ran, she was unclear as to how to open it, so she ran while holding it.
Behind her back came the man's sounds of rage. Nina continued running. However, this was the Senou City. The yard that Nina had been familiar with since she was small. Nina ran away through shortcuts.
When she reached the city's outer edge, no one had followed her.
"Okay, this is fine."
Nina put the cage on the ground, pondering how to open it. This way, Nina didn't need to think about how to fool guards' inspections. Therefore she could concentrate on opening the cage.
It wasn't easily openable like a normal cage. Maybe she needed to remove the fencing, but she didn't know a method. Though she thought of breaking it, it was to no avail. If she magnificently destroyed it, it would be troublesome if the Electronic Fairy inside had an accident.
"Do I have no choice but to turn this over to the police?"
As she muttered this,
"Do you think I would let you do that...... hm?"
From behind Nina came a voice.
It was already late when she realized things were bad. As she held the cage thinking of escaping, she was grabbed by the neck.
She had originally thought of surrounding that man, but had been captured by him.
"What were you thinking."
Nina was lifted into the air, and the man reached his hand towards the cage. Nina desperately hugged it in her arms to protect it.
"You nasty thief!"
She bit his hand.
Nina was thrown. While she was falling she hit a fence squarely with the center of her back, and breathing became difficult for a moment. But, she grabbed the fence before she slipped, and in a breath climbed up and moved to the other side.
"You know how important Electronic Fairies are, and you still come to steal them! What kind of Military Artist are you!"
The man crossed the fence. Nina ran. She had little hope of overcoming him.
(That guy's terrible)
She thought of how to beat him. As she thought, she continued running. It was only a matter of time until she was caught. However, there was nowhere to run. If she tried to cross the tall fence again, she could be caught again in that moment. She could only continue running forward, and Nina knew she would be caught sooner or later, but there were no choices other than running. She hugged the cage tightly.
Suddenly, her foot slipped. The floor was flat, and didn't have anything to trip over.
(He got me)
She muttered as she fell to the ground. What had the man done? Just as she tried to climb back up, her back was stepped on, and she couldn't move her body.
"You little devil, don't get carried away!"
She immediately hid the cage under her chest. The man couldn't get it, and kicked Nina impatiently.
With that kick, the cage was released.
In a panic, she thought of retrieving the cage, but the man blocked her and picked it up. He planted another foot in Nina's abdomen, and she had no way of moving.
"......Are you the Antalk family's rotten little devil?"
The man muttered as he looked at Nina.
"Why do you recognize me......"
"Surely you're clear on that."
"You...... you're from the Senou City?"
Nina was stunned. A Senou City Military Artist, and a resident of the Senou City who lived together with Electronic Fairies, actually wanted to take an Electronic Fairy out of the city......
"What are you thinking! Electronic Fairies are the city's important...... friends."
In the Senou City, it was a household saying. The people who grew up in the city Schneibel that defended its Electronic Fairies had all heard this kind of talk growing up. The big trees in the park absorbed liquified selenium to grow, and Electronic Fairies used its sap for food. Although the Electronic Fairies did not participate in the government of the city, they contributed greatly to the environment of the city.
The Senou City had never experienced a food crisis since it was born, nor had it suffered the troubles of blight, which was all credited to the small Electronic Fairies.
The Autonomous Mobile City Senou, with an environment far better than all the other cities. They could live so well because of the benefits of their small neighbors' help, he should have been informed of this much.
She was not content. Since she wouldn't let other cities' people come to steal the Electronic Fairies, yet a favored resident of the Senou City also thought to do so, she was very grieved.
"......Regardless of how healthy you are, there's nothing to talk about if I can't get that Electronic Fairy."
"Why? You're a Military Artist......"
"A little brat like you doesn't understand anything about the business of adults!"
Her abdomen was stepped on with force, and her words came to a halt halfway. She felt like there was the smell of blood mixed in with the breath that was forced out of her.
The sad feeling in Nina was extinguished. The flames of resistance were ignited. She became angry just by thinking of the man who was a citizen of the Senou City but yet treated Electronic Fairies so roughly, and perhaps another reason was that the man had called them "the business of adults".
In her mind floated the figure of her father who only conducted training of the foundations.
Nina hit the man's foot hard. His ankle. The metal on his boot scratched his skin. Her own fist bled.
Despite this, the man hadn't stabilized after receiving this sudden attack. Nina seized this opportunity to escape. She also used her head to knock the man's chin. His sharp chin hurt her own head. Holding back tears from the corners of her eyes, she recaptured the cage.
And after that she continued running away.
However, the man didn't let her succeed.
Being caught unprepared by a child's attack, the man became even more furious.
He released external Kei.
It was not his full power, but that was unknown.
Only, Nina was able to notice the danger, and crossed her arms as if she were going to receive a charge.
However, she was unable to fully block it.
The external Kei crashed against her crossed arms, and a rumbling noise spilled forth. The sound of the cage breaking came from within her wrists. Her feet left the ground. The child's light body had jumped up along with the erupting external Kei, but had not fallen back to the ground.
She was thrown off the outer edge.
After that, she couldn't remember what had happened. She had fallen to the ground, and wanted to do something right then, and tried to touch the ground from the pipes. She understood from this kind of situation.
However, at that time, her legs were fractured. And after the first encounter she had lost her awareness, so she couldn't think of what had happened afterwards.
Sustaining the external Kei, her arms and legs had successively failed her.
Even if she was aware of it, her body was unable to move, so several hours had passed like this.
She could only lie there. The sky lost its blue color, becoming an evening crimson. The temperature gradually dropped, and her body began shivering. It might also be because she had lost lots of blood.
Her fractured limbs had not changed their heat, but they did not relieve the cold. She felt pain like needles in her muscles, making her feel very uncomfortable, and letting her realize the abnormal situation that her life and body were in.
Even if she realized, she could do almost nothing, and no one other than her could realize her suffering.
Nina already did not have the leisure to be impatient.
But, she couldn't even cry for help.
The man believed that Nina had fallen to her death, so he had not come to check. The cage was also broken, and the Electronic Fairy safely escaped, and was floating above Nina.
The man's plans had completely fizzled.
This confidence was the only thing currently supporting Nina.
But, this pillar became unreliable in the face of the setting sun.
It was still early to be swallowed in darkness. Because the city's legs blocked the sun, it was easy for shadows to form in that place.
The scene of the sun dipping into the wilderness always had a hard-to-describe loneliness. But she did not have the leisure to feel that way. She could only feel worried about things.
Her vision was narrow, inviting loneliness. Her throat felt unbearably parched.
Perhaps she should be glad that she didn't feel hungry, though it was only because she felt weak.
If her surroundings became darker, she would be able to clearly see the faint light of the Electronic Fairy.
The Electronic Fairy was worried about her. The quiet reply of her voice passed by her own ears.
(Am I...... dead?)
Her throat was dried, and even breathing was difficult.
"It's great that I got to buy Dominif's cookies."
As night quietly fell, Nina was secretly glad.
"Running away from home is really hard......"
She was afraid that her own consciousness was beginning to become chaotic. Her own thinking and speaking was becoming unclear. Her vision gradually became covered by darkness, and she felt that it was already evening.
It was not really night yet, but rather that Nina had lost consciousness.
-When her consciousness was restored, it was genuinely night.
But, because of the glare, Nina screwed her eyes shut.
Had help come? She thought this. It was a prediction in line with the situation. Nina had not returned home, her parents had become worried, came to look for her, and then noticed her. That was the most likely sequence of events.
But, there actually were no people around, only glowing light surrounding Nina.
Balls of glowing of light had gathered together to surround Nina.
Then, the light behind the group of Electronic Fairies became particularly strong.
It seemed like there were people. But, this was not the case. It was a nude woman, giving off the same kind of surrounding glow as the Electronic Fairies. However, the place where her wrists should be were instead replaced by wings.
Her long hair was decorated with several long feathers. From her waist extended long feathers like a skirt. From her ankles down, she had the feet of a bird, staying still in midair as if they wanted to grab the air.
It couldn't be.
She had never seen her, but she had never seen an Electronic Fairy this large, so it must be her, Schneibel.
When the reply came, a sound passed by her ears. A great sound was nearby, and the city's legs stopped.
The Electronic Fairy Schneibel.
Schneibel overlooked Nina. It wouldn't be too much to say Schneibel was this city's consciousness, this city's body.
The half-human half-animal Electronic Fairy calmly and steadily looked at Nina. Those eyes were full of gratitude towards the Electronic Fairies who were attempting rescue, and concern towards Nina's injuries.
There was no speech. However, with just a look, one could realize what she wanted to express. Nina became happy. She had not done anything wrong, and had earned approval.
She closed her eyes, slowly tasting her leaking tears. She was happy. In her heart, she wanted her death to hurry up and arrive. Though she didn't want to die, and she wanted to become strong through her father's training and protect the city, right now even if she died it wouldn't make a difference.
For this, she was happy.
Things were like this...... Still, Nina found the things that happened next simply incredible.
One Electronic Fairy, one glowing ball of light was flying back and forth in Schneibel's surroundings. Schneibel tilted her chin at that ball of light, and lightly nodded her head.
Nina didn't understand what that represented.
The ball of light moved from Schneibel to above Nina. It drew a single circle, then flew straight into Nina's chest.
Heat bloomed inside Nina, spreading through her whole body. That heat seemed like it wanted to burn out Nina, but she had no way to cry out.
What was happening. She had just gotten praised, but suddenly, this kind of thing had happened......
However, the heat instantly disappeared. The pain also dissipated without a trace, leaving Nina with her reply......
She stood up.
Instantly noticing the condition of her body, she was unable to voice her complaint that she had just been thinking of giving to Schneibel.
The temperature of her fractured limbs should have been very hot, they should have been swollen and bruised, and she had felt all of this before, but right now they didn't hurt at all.
She couldn't believe her own condition.
However. She promptly realized the abnormality.
To be able to notice that, Nina was a smart child. However, in this kind of situation, was that lucky or unlucky.
The ball of light that had entered Nina's chest.
The ball of light that she had saved herself.
The ball of light who had suffered along with Nina and encouraged her.
The Electronic Fairy.
"No way...... How can that be......"
No one denied it. The clumps of light surrounding Nina...... Among the numerous Electronic Fairies, not a single one flew next to Nina, showing their disagreement. Schneibel's eyes were full of calm, and gazed at Nina.
Tears fell. However, with the tears this time, she could not feel happy at all. Only sadness. Utter sadness.
The Electronic Fairy had sacrificed its life for her.
She could only think of this.
At a loss, Nina stood there for a long time.
The light had guarded Nina forever.
The sound of whispers around Nina. Though she felt this way, there was no conclusive evidence. Her hands and feet had feeling. She wasn't too clear if she existed in reality.
"A shadow of a fragment of the dream. Is that what you are?"
That kind of voice came.
Fragment of the dream?
What was that?
(I don't understand)
Nina thought. She didn't know how it was expressed. Even though it was a sound it didn't enter through her ears.
So, was it a dream then?
However, a dreamscape wouldn't be this realistic.
Nina's dreams were always vague and discontinuous. Short scenes continuously interchanged, and they were impossible to make head or tail of.
But today alone was unusual.
And, since she could so clearly remember things from when she was ten......
(What's going on?)
Obviously, things were strange.
However, she completely didn't know what to do. She had just tried to test whether she could stand up, but her body gave no response. She wasn't impatient that she couldn't move, but she thought the air was very oppressive.
"Originally, this was a secret that Zuellni sensed."
"Hmm, this is already no longer just a shadow."
"-So you were that kind of child. No, even if there is lineage, blood is not enough to describe it."
"Your actual relatives have great significance, huh."
"Yes. It was intended this way from the beginning."
"Ah, that's how it is."
"So it's appeared."
The whispers conveyed these meaningful words.
However, she didn't understand their meaning.
She didn't understand, but it seemed like the sounds were deciding something.
It obviously concerned Nina, but they ignored Nina and continued talking.
"-The divine being has appeared."
"Then we will have to change our actions."
"We should change them."
"We should bring it back."
"As long as it's a fragment of the dream it doesn't matter what we do. No, absorb it, let me become even closer to completion."
"That would be good. Though it's impure, it's also matured."
"That's true. If we can't reach the strength of the copies, it's not worth mentioning. As expected of the fragments of the dream here, mixing is the best policy."
"That way is fine."
What had they decided?
"Now - we need to unlock the seal......"
"That, and also we should hurry up and......"
Suddenly, the speech behind her intermingled with murmurs and disappeared.
"No, it's not only that."
"Could it be?"
"Could it be someone from Grendan?"
"Could it be?"
"This external strength"
"It's very close to mine."
The chat passed her by, and unable to understand its significance, Nina was only able to continue floating through this ocean.
The sky suddenly underwent a mutation.
A street of Zuellni, not in the middle of the school buildings, but rather at the end, near the mixed student residences and stores.
It was a blaze.
A suddenly appearing blaze that swirled like a vortex, rising to the sky, colliding with the air filters, and leaking air dissipating outside making it even worse.
The source of that fire.
"Haha, what kind of joke is this?"
Savaris was standing on a roof, looking into Zuellni's sky.
There was light of seven colors. A scene never before seen, and the nearby pillar of flame would soon burn out.
"This kind of scene has begun."
The smell of battle stimulated the mucous membranes in his nose.
He saw the source of the pillar of flame.
In that place was a crimson-haired girl.
A voluptuous beauty with a wild nature, glowering at the sky with a spear in her hand. The clothes she wore were tattered pieces of cloth, almost the same as being nude. It seemed as if she hadn't the slightest sense of shame, full of sensuality, with her whole body enveloped with overflowing Kei, and along with the naturally shifting blaze, she resembled a sacred goddess of war.
Exactly what was the situation?
Savaris was not very clear.
Everything had happened quickly. Gorneo also felt uncertain, and also wanted to know the answer.
Behind Gorneo's back, Kei suddenly expanded outwards.
The moment he felt this, the room was filled with flame. Savaris reflexively broke a window and withdrew to the roof from the balcony. Flame flew out of the window that Savaris had broken, then undulated and distorted like an animal to become a pillar of flame, reaching towards the sky.
The sky shone with seven-colored light.
"Gorneo, are you dead?"
That blaze. He thought that perhaps his brother who had still not emerged might have been too late to escape and met his end, but, he didn't feel that he had to go save him.
If he died, the central position of the Luckens would have to be assigned to some other brother of the household.
"Well then. What else will happen?"
There was still flame in the seven-colored sky.
The one who produced that flame, that naked beauty, undoubtedly was Shante. The girl who had seen through Savaris himself while he concealed himself with Sakkei. But even that queen was unable to change her skeleton, and since Shante was able to produce such great changes in her posture and appearance, in the end she must be using some kind of witchcraft.
Also, this sort of huge expanding Kei.
He held hostility towards the hosts who owned this sort of Kei.
The seven-colored sky.
Who was it who had caused this kind of mutation, where was he, and why had this happened?
"No matter how I look at it, it's impossible."
Without showing any indecision, Savaris muttered.
"......If it's like this, then it has something to do with the Wolf Faces, right?"
While watching, Savaris thought about how to inadvertently throw the problem to someone else.
The blaze burning in the sky would soon lose its momentum and disappear completely. The seven-colored light still remained in the sky. But the color was shining less brightly, about to be engulfed by the original stars and darkness.
When it had completely disappeared, Savaris instinctively perceived the end of this strange night.
Though the tower of flame had disappeared, the Kei overflowing from Shante had not weakened. That figure with beautiful limbs and the fighting spirit of a carnivorous beast, and her eyes staring at her prey-
With a short growl, Shante flew from the balcony. As Shante chased, tracing a red path through the air, Savaris also jumped out.
However, his breathing had already changed, and he jumped towards a different place.
The reason that Savaris changed his breathing was because there was another Kei.
If Shante's was fire, then this was thunder.
Very swift, as well as very heavy, that blow of Kei made one associate it with the capriciousness of the weather.
That blow of Kei, bringing a feeling of strength, rushed towards Savaris.
Dix, who had reached Nina's room, saw it. For a single of a dormitory, Nina's room was pretty common. This dormitory had not been constructed while Dix was there, but the room's size could be mostly understood from the exterior of the dormitory and the configuration of the entrance's interior.
This night. This seven-colored night. The aurora split the starry sky.
In that place, Nina was wearing western sleeping clothes.
In her surroundings, Wolf Faces encircled her.
"You, get away from Nina!"
Still standing in the corridor, Dix yelled.
The sound of Kei mixing swayed and rippled in space, and sparks scattered around the door. Nina and the others' bodies had already begun to sway.
(Che, as expected)
As a result, Dix's heart was left speechless.
(My opponents led me by the nose)
The world of the Wolf Faces. The power that had changed Zuellni into this was concentrating in that area.
Because of that, this room that belonged to Zuellni couldn't even keep its shape.
(I guess I stupidly entered)
If he entered, he would have no choice but to comply with a different set of rules. It was because the power of Military Artists existed on this side that they could use it. In a different kind of battle on the other side, the Wolf Faces would have an advantage.
Since he already lost in numbers, if he also lost in fighting power, then there would be no meaning.
"It's you as expected, Dixerio Maskane."
"Aah, it's me indeed. Is there anyone else? That would be very strange."
Dix replied with an emotionless voice.
"I disagree, I disagree."
"Most of the people who shared your cause have been eliminated."
Painful recollections made Dix's face frown. When he was in Zuellni, Dix had fought like he did now, and had pulled in other people like Nina.
He thought of that dead end.
The generation who had built that dormitory did not remember anything about Dix. The girl who had made the watch for him had died because she was involved with this. Also, in the end during the graduation ceremony he had rejected that girl who had wanted to get closer to Dix.
Of the people who had spent time together with Dix in Zuellni, no one remembered anything about him.
The only thing left was a name in the school records.
"Especially, isn't it painful to live in this world?"
"You only drag many people into there."
"Join our ranks."
"With your presence, we can connect the hole between this world and our world."
"You erode the world."
"Painful, isn't it."
"You can also return."
To that unconvincing temptation, Dix laughed provocatively, refusing.
"It's not a joke."
His hand holding the iron whip stabbed out. The Kei covering the Dite leaked out, scattering sparks. It was an intense strike that exuded sparks.
"You destroyed my city. You killed my father, killed my brother, destroyed everyone. The people I hated, the people I trusted, with no regard for how good a thing was, everything."
Everyone had been killed by the people brought by the Wolf Face in front of him.
The only one who had been left was Dix. The filth monsters who had come to the City of Strong Desire Velzenheim before it stopped because of the smell of humans that it gave must have been disappointed. Only the residual odor of humans was left behind in that place.
No one was there anymore.
There were no figures or clothing, nor were there corpses, only traces of the lives of the people who had lived in that destroyed place. Simply gazing at the city that had totally disappeared made one feel a powerless sense of futility.
All of them had been snatched away by the group of people in front of him.
The Wolf Faces said that they had been chosen, but this group of beings had embezzled them.
"I will take all of those things back. If I can't recapture them from your hands then I will smash them. Dixerio Maskane's recapturing is just that, smashing your flesh and bones."
Crackling Kei was released across the whip, and sparks again scattered into the sky, pouring out in waves.
It was intended to be provocative. It was intended to be emotional rather than stupid, but, that kind of performance was already in error.
On the other side of this door was a different world. The power of Military Artists could not be used.
Overwhelmingly adverse conditions.
However...... Dix could not be impatient.
"I'll do it."
A smile floating on his face, he said this.
At about the same time.
Suddenly, flame appeared in that room. That fire started tiny, as if a tiny nova had been produced in that black world, and in a moment became a billowing blaze, submerging the room in a uniform crimson color.
Dix's indifferent laugh made the Wolf Faces waver.
"Did you forget? So far that guy has existed in many different conditions. You should have acknowledged that, right?"
That moment, the ground and sky of Zuellni were connected by a gigantic pillar of flame. The fire covered Zuellni, and due to this the city's outsiders were incinerated.
Of course, that room was also affected.
"A god of fire?"
When Nina had been dragged into that battle, and faced a strong obstacle in front of her, she had acted according to her beliefs, and summoned a kouhai.
It was because the current situation ignored time and space that she could do that kind of thing.
The current appearance was the same way.
"Do you have anything that surpasses this? The odds are against you, and you will forever be hunted."
"Access should still be restricted, how......"
The woman’s voice shook slightly, as expected.
Sure enough, the beginning had been when Nina came in contact with that thing. If the Wolf Faces had not acted from below Shante, she might not have been able to gain access and accomplish this with Dix.
However, that the Wolf Faces had used bait to find Shante, and had forced out her original form using Heartseer Fruit - it was a possibility.
But, there was no way to explain that.
When the flame disappeared, the dorm room had returned to their surroundings. Nina was sleeping on the bed. The Wolf Faces who had been pulled back by the rules of this world planned to use their Kei to combat the fire, but they had been pushed back halfway to the bed.
The Wolf Faces who could do nothing more had no way to resist. They welcomed the same fate as the others who had already been struck down.
"......It's all futile, huh."
The last man grumbled like this.
"But it doesn't matter how many of us you defeat, sooner or later you will be swallowed by this storm."
"Whatever you say."
He felt a feeling like hard candy under his feet.
It was the broken, left behind masks on the floor. They also disappeared after a short time.
He looked at Nina who slept on the bed. It seemed like her nightmare had disappeared, and other than the sweat on her forehead no traces of what the Wolf Faces had planned to do to her were visible.
The Haikizoku in Nina slept.
"I'll take it out."
Dix slowly raised his left hand, gathering Kei at his fingertips.
There was nothing good about being possessed by a Haikizoku. He couldn't understand the interest that the Wolf Faces showed towards the Haikizoku. Even if they tried, they would only suffer heavy blows, a lesson learned that Dix understood.
"Ah, if only you didn't keep targeting it."
The fingers of his hand flashing with Kei light drew close to Nina's abdomen.
However, he had to stop.
A huge Kei approached.
(What is it?)
The Wolf Faces had already retreated. The abnormality enveloping the city had been instantly returned to normal by Shante.
Then, who exactly was the owner of this Kei?
Dix who had stopped his hand jumped out of the dorm. In any case, he could not allow this place to become a battlefield.
"Wow, what an interesting night."
That man said these words with a light tone of voice. A reckless smile was plastered on his face. If one only looked at his expression, it seemed as if he were greeting someone he met while taking a walk.
However, his whole body was filled with Kei.
He faced Dix.
(This guy is a problem)
Looking across, Dix was left speechless. He clearly understood the gap in strength.
(I don't have a chance)
At least it was like this.
"Don't you think it's an interesting night?"
The nameless man said the same kind of thing again.
"Hmph, is that so. What are you doing in this kind of night. When the weather conditions are so poor, you should really stay indoors."
"Aah, that's how it is. But not necessarily. I don't know whether it is going to rain, so it's unknown whether finding shelter under a roof will be of any use, so what's the point of staying indoors?"
"It would be nice if you could go back to your bed and cover your eyes and ears and pretend that several things never happened."
"But, those things are not all subjective. It's not like I'll disappear, and from my point of view I see this as already very interesting. Also I got to meet you. Regardless of whether you're an enemy or a companion, it's a good thing. I found something interesting outside of Grendan. That queen is probably already rethinking the dispatch."
"......A Heaven's Blade Successor."
"I'm very clear on that."
Light came from the male's wrists and feet. Dites were encased in his gloves and boots. His handguards and footguards restored with a sound. Martial arts. Right fist. Words swam in his mind, and while they swam his body began moving.
He received it with his iron whip.
"I'm Savaris, what about you?"
"Someone who should be dead."
Ignoring the numbness of his right hand, Dix emitted Kei from his whole body. However, Savaris had already returned to his previous distance.
(He's playing around)
If he wanted to kill Dix in a moment, he might be able to. The whole body was a weapon in martial arts, and the distance they had been at before was favorable for Savaris. However, it was a troublesome distance for Dix who was waving a large weapon around.
He had discarded that distance.
(He must be playing)
"What's up? Things shouldn't be like that, right? You should have some hidden skill. I understand."
Savaris had not taken up a stance. However, he had no openings. Though he was playing, he had not relaxed his vigilance. Without a stance, nor had he tidied up his posture. His awareness and body were compressed and condensed for battle, able to erupt in a moment.
But, the prey never developed ways to become the hunter. The reality of the hunter did not change, and there was no leeway.
He couldn't escape.
"......Honestly, there's no meaning in this for me."
"In that case, if you let me roam freely, what if I go destroy the thing that you want to protect? It's in this building, right?"
"I don't have much leisure time like this. And this has something to do with those Wolf Faces, right? But you're a little different from those weak guys, or perhaps you're enemies? What's more, isn't the girl with the Haikizoku in this building?
"Regardless of what the impact is, that's something that I have to bring back."
That was the reason why a Heaven's Blade Successor was here.
(His target is the Haikizoku?)
What did this mean? Dix pondered. Wasn't the power of the Haikizoku something unnecessary to cities?
Was it necessary? Had the quality of Military Artists fallen? Could it be that it was possible to produce some ability that surpassed power? That couldn't be.
Then, what did this mean?
Did it perhaps have something to do with that place?
(......What should I choose to make that guy quit)
"I have no choice."
Making up his mind, Dix used his left hand to cover his chin, and moving his hand further up, covered his mouth.
There was nothing else similar to that movement.
If the one who stood there were a Wolf Face rather than Dix, it would have been very fitting.
It was the movement of wearing a mask.
His vision momentarily narrowed.
Once it recovered, strength had filled his entire body.
Savaris laughed even deeper, raising his wrist. Facing his opponent with half of his body allowed him to become narrower.
"So you're taking it seriously?"
But the smile on that face had not disappeared. Actually, it had become even wider.
A shallow smile that seemed as if it had been pasted on, a smile that was part of a strong emotion.
"You should feel grateful."
From the seams of the mask came blue-colored Kei that covered his whole body. It was the same as the Wolf Faces.
"Yeah, I can't thank you enough."
His whole body was surrounded by expanded Kei but his attitude did not waver. However, he accepted Dix's Kei, making welcome preparations.
"Only this is left, companion of Grendan......"
Holding back painful memories, the iron whip on his shoulder.
Regardless of his opponent, Dix stabilized himself to decide the battle in one strike. He would not cower even if his opponent were a Heaven's Blade Successor.
Savaris enjoyed it, lowering his waist further.
He stood there, planning to watch Dix's moves and respond to them.
Two people both stood in that place unmoving. This space was not appropriate for estimating, but they calculated the opportunities for their opponent to strike, continually raising the density of their internal Kei.
(......This guy doesn't have his Heaven's Blade)
Unleashing his Kei, Dix confirmed that fact. Savaris's Dite had the texture of a Platinum Dite, loaded with a Ruby Dite. He was using that to refine his Kei.
The Heaven's Blade was also a Platinum Dite, but the thing Savaris was using now wasn't that.
That thing only had the appearance of a Platinum Dite, but had a totally different substance.
Having already confirmed the lack of a Heaven's Blade, he thought. A Heaven's Blade Successor who refined Kei for his martial arts.
In a second, the contest should be decided. Because of the reason that had dragged that person into this, it was unknown what things would become later. They also existed on different timelines. They wouldn't need to meet again after this.
Upon careful observation, the person under the mask didn't have special features. However, that man was a rough person, with a thick body. He had a seemingly all-encompassing sense of a security, and at the same time held steady ambitions. An imperial demeanor.
The hidden strength that Savaris had spoken of entered this realm, as if an opposite extreme.
(Well, I think it would be better to end this useless matter)
Dix, who had decided upon that, moved.
At an appropriate opportunity he charged through the space between the two, brandishing the iron whip.
By the time he drew close, Savaris hadn't moved.
As he took his first step, he realized this.
(He hasn't entered a stance)
He perceived that attitude and got angry.
Of course, it was impossible that he would become timid. Regardless of the situation, since he had already released once, there would be no meaning in stopping.
The iron whip guided lightning, crashing down towards the head of Savaris who could not be forgiven.
That moment - in that moment, the smile on Savaris's face disappeared. His eyes that were always narrowed opened wide, but Dix saw the sweat that emerged on his forehead.
Savaris's left hand moved. Would the iron whip be blocked?
(He might be able to catch up......)
No. He couldn't think like that.
Even if he could match the speed of Raijin, it was impossible to receive the strike with one hand. He would smash Savaris's confidence with his two hands.
But, Dix was betrayed by reality.
A heavy sound rang out that seemed to shake the air. The ground between the two was cut open, and burst outwards. The scaffolding on the exterior of the nearby structures shook intensely, and the things on it collapsed.
The shock of the blow had been concentrated at the impact point, and had penetrated through. The aftermath had not been reduced.
It had not been reduced, and only this had happened.
Moreover, Savaris had endured it.
"......How is it possible to do that!"
"Aah no, it really hurts."
Savaris's hand that grabbed the iron whip sprayed blood. The handguard that covered it had also been damaged. The place that the hand had protected - Savaris's face, was dyed in a red color by the droplets of blood that scattered out, and the blood that spilled from his broken forehead also mixed in.
Savaris's hand pulled in the distance to Dix.
"Ah, my whole body's numb. You're lucky that I wasn't able to counter."
Savaris clenched his right fist that was fixed by his waist.
If he struck out, a large hole would certainly have opened in Dix's chest.
"However, I understand your strength now."
"Really...... I couldn't do it."
Savaris understood Dix's situation, and Dix also understood Savaris's situation.
Savaris's left hand hung down. It wasn't weakness, his bone had definitely been dislocated. His skull might have been broken. The bones of his left wrist had also received an effect.
He gave up on the bone of his shoulder, which was at the stage of urgently pestering him.
(Did he do that unreasonable kind of thing on purpose to learn my strength?)
For someone as strong as Savaris, that kind of thing could be completely cured with a few days of internal Kei treatment. Of course, it was obvious that if he wanted to recover more quickly it would be normal to go to a hospital.
But, was there really someone who would let himself fall under that dangerous move for that kind of purpose?
In short, Savaris was that kind of person.
He had never thought about the battles that were in front of him.
He never even had to think about if a battle would make him happy.
"It's really annoying that someone like you is here."
"Hasn't it been destined from the start? That I'd be here."
"How would that kind of thing be."
As to how Savaris managed to get his feet to walk over from that side, he had no idea.
But, Savaris surpassed Dix, and from that side came a deep sense of danger.
This man didn't fit the situation, and perhaps he was able to move like the Wolf Faces.
It was a possibility.
If they battled there it would be very interesting.
"Can you match me?"
Wasn't a comparison of their methods even more related to strength? His face held confidence in this. He didn't believe the effects of receiving Raijin would disappear. The color that his bone injuries gave off had not returned to normal, and however you looked at it his arms would not let him continue battle. Moreover, if he could not use his arms his body's balance would be thrown off.
Other than that, obstacles should have arisen inside his body.
Even so, his smile had not changed.
You could even say that, because of this situation, the two strengths were on equal standings.
Enticed by the thought of beating that confidence, Dix held to his intellect that was quickly being driven to anger.
Silently, he prepared.
Once more, he released Raijin.
"That kind of stupid way of doing things is worthy of respect."
He no longer wanted to deal with playful words.
Savaris ignored his left arm that hung down, moving his right fist forward slightly. It didn't seem that he was planning to use his right hand to do the same thing as before.
He laughed, the pain of his left wrist not showing in his smile, his mood seeming to be even fiercer than before.
The Kei infused in his right hand was completely different from before. Kei that seemed like the fangs of a wild beast leaked out, bringing an almost scorching pain to Dix's face.
His comments had ended. He was now thinking of how to hunt.
Savaris's stance was a form taken for the purpose of defeating Raijin.
He had already been blocked. Dix's heart already had the feeling that he was being unraveled. But, Dix didn't abandon Raijin, and Savaris also didn't think he had fully unraveled the trick. If he couldn't use his left hand again, then he couldn't counter. If he struck two or three blows, Savaris would be the one to fall.
Because he understood that, Savaris did not use the same stance. It wasn't a stance used to protect his left hand.
Rather, it was a stance to more easily use his right hand.
(Well~ however many times I fall, I'll manage)
There was a cold sense of tension deep inside his playful words.
Would he be defeated or would he counter...... Thought he clearly saw Savaris's intent to counter, Dix still stepped forward.
He closed in on Savaris like lightning.
Savaris still stood there unmoving. He just laughed, his right fist not moving.
What was he thinking? It wasn't something that could be pondered during that flash of motion. If he began moving, he could only escape backwards.
The iron whip flew down towards Savaris's head.
However, this time a disastrous feeling in Dix's wrist immediately spread through his whole body.
As the only thing left for him to do, Dix corrected the mistake he had made in the degree of strength.
He completely didn't react.
Maintaining his precarious sense of balance that was almost destroyed, he yelled out loudly. His line of sight was filled by Savaris's smile as he was caught.
Adjust his spacing. He opened his legs and firmly planted his feet in order to maintain his distance, but it was already too late.
The right fist punched forward.
It had already entered his vision.
His left shoulder. Was this an eye for an eye? He didn't even have any spare time to feel pain. He suddenly didn't feel anything beginning from his left shoulder.
He perceived himself almost shattering.
In that moment, Dix hastily changed his plans. The strength that he was attempting to suppress changed its direction.
Noticing this change. Savaris still let out a smile.
He had no other response, so he sudenly moved. It should be very easy to solve this riddle.
He was tricked.
Other than paying attention to Savaris's skills as a martial artist, he had forgotten something.
The refined Kei that he used.
The afterimage blinded his eyes, even though Dix soon understood it. However, it wasn't such an easy thing to use refined Kei to produce an afterimage.
Especially since Dix didn't pay attention to it, he was very easy to trick.
(But, it's not over!)
Dix abandoned defending himself in his assault, since he had no way to stop Savaris from moving around. Had he been read?
However, he had no time to be timid. Savaris extended his right fist.
A feeling of numbness spread all over his right hand.
A slight feeling.
The iron whip left his hand. Savaris had sent the iron whip flying with a knee. Several fingers of his right hand bent in an impossible direction.
Even still, there was no way to stop.
His hand weakly went for Savaris's face.
He grabbed his face.
Suddenly, a hot pain shot through the back of his head as if its flesh were being cut open.
It was fingers. Savaris returned the rally and changed his right fist into a knife hand attack. His breathing was blocked. His windpipe was collapsed. Ah, had everything crumbled? He felt the fingers that had cut into his flesh bending. Were they touching bones?
He would die in a moment. His brain and body disconnected.
At that same time, Dix's awareness disappeared into darkness, but he had accomplished his aim.
"Aah, how dangerous."
He felt like his body lost its heat for a moment. If they exchanged blows, the one who died might have been himself. Thinking this, Savaris's body shivered.
But, his smile deepened.
Equal degrees of fear and enthrallment ran through Savaris.
"How unfortunate. If I had the Heaven's Blade, I really would have wanted to mutually compete without tricks."
He looked at the corpse of the man under his feet. The man fallen face down prone...... He hadn't said his name even up to the end.
Even so, what was the deal with that blue Kei?
"Could it be the strength of the Haikizoku?"
If that were true, then it was really regretful. Fighting against a Heaven's Blade Successor with only ordinary strength, that was all it was. Strength full of significance in a city outside of Grendan would hold no real signifcance if brought inside Grendan, especially in the current Grendan.
Or, was it because of this man?
"I expect I can't eliminate you for the time being, huh?"
He couldn't confirm whether or not it was the Haikizoku.
At that time, a hoarse howl reached his ears.
The sound came from the dark night towards Savaris.
The seven-colored sky had disappeared, and that place had returned to an extremely ordinary city night.
"Ah, then this commotion has already ended, right?"
Perhaps it had been that girl like an incarnation of fire who had ended it. She definitely had defeated all of the remaining masked companions.
It would be nice if he could fight with that girl, but he figured that it would be too reckless with this kind of injury.
Mumbling, he looked at his feet again. He looked again at the figure of the strength that had pushed himself into an impasse.
However, the dead body that should be there was no longer there. The blood that had overflowed like water was not there, and even the smell of blood that stimulated the nose had disappeared.
The blood that had dyed his hand, which had split flesh and broken windpipe and bones, had also disappeared in the same way.
Even the traces of damage from the time that he had initially blocked the Raijin had actually cleanly disappeared.
"So it's that way, since no one must ever have witnessed this much being so clearly cleaned up."
The articles recorded by the first-generation Luckens family head didn't have any credibility, and nothing relevant to the debris of the battlefield could be found in Grendan's records.
It was rather hard to believe that it was a completely natural thing for all of the debris to be unable to remain behind.
That was outside the imagination.
"How surprising. Perhaps Grendan might even be damaged if this sort of interesting thing happened in Grendan."
But, that was not his future. Savaris stood off by the side. What were the reasons? Perhaps it was something he had realized when he was in Myath. Leerin had seen things that Savaris could not. He had naturally been pulled into this when he had chased after Leerin to guard her.
So how did Leerin see that thing?
He pondered up to here, but had no reason that he could call the conclusion.
In the future, the time in which he was bored would somewhat decrease. He was only full of those kinds of thoughts.
The change made Savaris tilt his head.
The pain in his hand had disappeared.
He saw that the black bruise on his wrist where his bone had been broken had changed colors, returning to its original healthy condition.
He only thought about his doubt up to here.
Savaris turned his head to survey his surroundings.
"Why am I here?"
Gorneo's face could be seen, but his brother should have been long since dead.
It was inconceivable. In an unstable mood, Savaris stroked his left wrist. His body was intensely hot. Even if it were slowly fading away...... the existence of that heat was inconceivable.
......In the recent extremely fulfilling battle, he had definitely felt that way.
But, Savaris didn't feel so anymore.
However many times he turned his head, sure enough, Savaris would have to think about what he would do next. He felt that it wasn't good to return to his brother's place. But, he hadn't yet decided where to sleep. Might as well go to the Mercenary Group's place now.
Savaris's memory loss clearly had a reason.
While using Raijin, upon losing his hand, Dix immediately changed his plans.
His original goal, which he had reached after Savaris had completely defeated his adversary.
At that time, he immediately accomplished his aim.
Back then when he took that kind of suicidal strike posture, it had that kind of significance. Moreover, he had succeeded. His skull was breaking, and right before his awareness died out, he thought of a way to draw close, and succeeded.
He was in contact with Savaris.
Savaris had not noticed him barely using a suitable amount of Kei from his fingertips directly to his brain. It wasn't something that gave a physical blow. It was a secret skill discreetly passed down by the Luckens family.
It was a skill used to remove the memories of families in the occasion that their techniques were stolen. By injecting Kei into the portion of the brain that served as memory storage, it erased the most recent memories. For the purposes of Dix and the other side, along with some other factors, his memories related to Dix had been removed.
Dix was at the place where most of the students of Zuellni had been during the time when he was in Zuellni. The day of the seniors' graduation ceremony. The other people would go there in later years.
Because of that skill, of the students at Zuellni at the same time as Dix, none remembered him.
But it was no use with regards to Nina. Because she was already too deeply involved with the Wolf Faces. She had looked into the profound mystery of the masked opponents. So Dix had no way to eliminate Nina's memories.
But, Dix eliminated the things that had to do with himself from Savaris.
Just that was enough. For now, he saw the situation as light. Perhaps the Wolf Faces had also seen that, and there would be no fighting over it.
But for Nina, he couldn't see that.
"We'll see how things go."
Savaris had returned to his original place, and Dix's voice did not reach him.
As the fake Zuellni began to collapse, Dix mumbled while dying on the road in front of the dormitory. Above all, he felt the blood overflowing from his wrist that had been destroyed.
Even so, Dix still lived.
From a physical standpoint, Dix had already died - so it didn't matter.
The reason was that Dix's flesh was mostly composed of other materials.
On this side, he couldn't die.
He was confined by vengeance against the Wolf Faces.
"Really...... We'll see how things turn out."
All that he had gotten from that was the confirmation of a man who was crazy about battle. Towards this, Dix twisted his bloodless mouth.
(Could it be that that guy was dispatched here)
That phalanx was on a crusade, with no place spared.
Really, he should have given that guy a great thrashing.
However, right now Dix didn't know if that would even be a temporary measure.
Three months later, when Savaris saw the stances of Wolf Faces close by-
Moreover, on that night the Wolf Faces chose Nina-
Also, what kind of influence it would have later-
Dix had no way of knowing.
What was the situation?
Gorneo let out a cold sweat, that...... no, don't look at it.
He didn't know what time it was, and his brother wasn't around.
That was good. If that person got serious, Gorneo's consciousness could very easily be deceived.
But, what was going on after all?
He looked at the alarm clock. The clock on the wall, the clock above the computer, the clock above the music player, he confirmed completely. He confirmed it from the balcony at the clock on the roof of the Student Council building. He didn't even need to use internal Kei to confirm this. They couldn't all be broken, right?
He had returned, made food, finished eating, washed the dishes, and it should be approximately that time. If Savaris needed some of his time, it would only be a few minutes.
Yes, but what was that?
He saw it on the corner of the sofa. Gorneo saw the small, luxuriously barefoot toes, and couldn't move his sight back. It was enough to see it once. He couldn't look any more.
Why, why would Shante sleep naked!?
Gorneo couldn't shake his doubts, but at the same time, couldn't find any clothing that person had taken off......
......Imagining the gazes of the people living next door to them, Gorneo's couldn't stop his cold sweat.
Shante's breathing while she slept calmly vibrated through the room.
- Japanese chess