Chrome Shelled Regios:Volume12 Chapter3
Chapter 3: Lance Shelled City
She wanted to escape. This wasn't her first time thinking of it. She had wanted to escape from the time when she didn't want to become a Psychokinesist.
With what happened in her home city – The filth monsters' attack on the Trade City Santoburuge; that time when she and her brother took a rest while traveling to Zuellni – she had experienced a real battle for the first time, watching the mercenaries fight. Filth monsters were terrifying. But that feeling was similar to watching a monster in a movie. A Psychokinesist's main job was to gather and deliver information. This feeling came about because she did not have to stand in the frontline.
Was this the battlefield? This real feeling of being on a battlefield came to her after the fight. A part of Felli's body felt it as she saw the corpses of filth monsters and Military Artists. A tragic scene that would never appear in a cruel movie, and that had deeply pierced through her nerves. Was this the world that she was born into? Was this the fate set in stone from the day she was born? She noticed and understood the real meaning. She had kept fleeing from that time but had failed. She came to Zuellni to find another possibility, but she was asked to help as a Psychokinesist even here. And then......
(Are you all right?)
The fight continued. That person was still fighting. He ignored her question. She could hear his every breath. He had just jumped from the bike and fought an intense aerial fight with Savaris. The time he now had was short. Rather than responding to Felli's call, it was better to regulate his breathing with the time he had.
The bike that flowed out from the stream of soil and stone had sustained heavy damages. Still, it continued to run. Suspicious smoke issued from the engine. Savaris' bike, riding before Layfon's, was in a similar condition.
Felli had attempted many ways. She had wanted to use the flakes for communication purpose to construct a Psychokinesis mine net. A method she took notice of during that time when she used it to aid Nina. Felli had always been concentrating on gathering information. A Psychokinesis mine was only used for self-defense. However, Layfon had asked her to arrange a mine at that time when they fought the filth monster in its matured phase. Felli knew that way of fighting. The 1st platoon defeated the 17th platoon through that strategy. But that was Felli's first time using it in a real battle. If she wanted to use it again, she must continue to train and hone her skill. That was why she didn't use the Psychokinesis mine, why she didn't want to use it. But now she must suppress her wish.
The light of explosion surrounded Savaris, yet it failed to harm him. The Psychokinesis mine had yet to explode. Something had interfered with Felli before she could trigger them off. Another Psychokinesis power had taken over Felli's flake and prevented the explosion. She immediately thought it was the Psychokinesist of the Mercenary Gang. He had interfered with her when she got caught. She had felt surprised and regret for that first time experience. Fermaus, the Psychokinesist who wore a mask. Overtaking his flake was like talking about something out of this world. The Mercenary Gang was the one that hooked Savaris over. When Haia was still the leader of the Mercenary Gang, Felli had never felt the threat to be as large as it was now. A truth she couldn't cover up. The current feeling really didn't sit well with her.
Fermaus' flake wanted to get closer. To counterattack? Felli had already learned the way to defend. Blocking and overtaking the flake happened at the same time. She would not let the enemy's flake get close to Layfon. At the same time, she had searched for Fermaus' location, concluding that he might be in Zuellni too. Although Zuellni was in chaos, this was still Felli's territory. If she could discover his location, she might be able to do something. And if she could carry that out, it would add some trouble for Savaris on a certain level.
But what was the meaning behind her action?
Layfon was still trying. He had used different strategies against Savaris, but now he only concentrated on driving the bike. If Felli did something, would she make him more impatient? She hated that possibility.
She lifted her head once more to look at Layfon, who had once again entered an aerial fight. Even the power of Psychokinesis failed to discern the situation in detail. The ripples of impact in the fight had reduced. Both sides were fighting at a steadier rate, but Felli couldn't tell whether they were employing more techniques in the fight or not. Still, staring at them might not be entirely meaningless.
A loud rumbling sounded. A sound that she had been ignoring. In one split second, that sound came to her through the flake and shook her core. It flowed into her brain along with other information and shook her eardrums. The huge pressure brought her an unusual feeling of despair. The gigantic multi-legs of a city were chasing after Layfon and Savaris, its shadow covering everything around it, making everything dimmer and dimmer. Grendan was chasing those two, and it was getting closer to Zuellni.
The two fighters separated. Savaris laughed. Layfon's face showed a grimace. He didn't ponder the meaning behind this fight. All he wanted was to finish the fight. However, preventing Savaris alone was meaningless, because Grendan was here. According to Felli's calculation, Grendan would arrive at Zuellni ahead of Layfon. Besides......... Mysterious enemies were currently attacking Zuellni. They were filth monsters, but they felt different from past filth monsters.
All of Zuellni's Military Artists had retreated to the shelters. They wanted to keep fighting, but they were exhausted through the long fight. Their spirits were at their limit. Even so, the situation continued, and no one could stop it.
Felli wanted to flee from her position as a Psychokinesist. If she did that, she could greet the end of her life without knowing anything, and when that time came, she'd probably have a ray of hope. But right now, it was a situation of half abandoning the city. Not knowing what was the most important. It hurt because she didn't report the fact. She had no way to accept this fact but agonized over it.
Felli stood up from the seat at the sudden voice. She was currently in an underground conference room. No second person was in this small and narrow room. The dimmest light possible that came from the light of Psychokinesis in Felli's hair illuminated the tiny space.
The thing that gave off a light blue light was over there. A flake of Psychokinesis. A flake in the shape of a butterfly.
(Aa, did I scare you? I'm sorry! It's been a long while since I met someone with talent, so I'm a bit excited.)
It was the voice of an old woman. Felli had thought that it was Fermaus, but Fermaus' was an electric voice. Layfon had said that Fermaus had sustained heavy injury that had injured his throat.
"You are.........." she said while supporting Layfon with Psychokinesis. She couldn't feel any hostility from the blue flake. If it was Fermaus, he would have triggered the Psychokinesis mine for an explosion, and Felli would have died.
Gentle ripples spread from the blue flake. An atmosphere of having tea together.
(Aa, sorry. I'm Delbone, Grendan's Psychokinesist.)
Grendan. Hearing that name was like having a bucket of cold water upended on her head. This person had managed to put a flake in here already. That was shocking.
(Ahhhhh, you don't have to be so confused. I won't do anything to you.) Delbone said.
"What're you here for?"
(There's a girl that Her Majesty likes. She's in Zuellni, so we're here to retrieve her. In truth, this causes all sorts of trouble for other people! Reverse-san made a face of having eaten some foul worms.)
Delbone laughed. It was an elegant laugh.
Felli didn't know who Reverse was, but she knew this situation wasn't that relaxing.
(I already know your situation.) Delbone said.
Felli held her breath.
(Speaking of which, can you leave the situation to us? We won't do anything bad.)
"What? This isn't something I can decide on!"
(Then I'll be happy if you can introduce me to the person who is in charge of things.)
This was now a negotiation between cities. Felli's flake sent the information to Karian.
(That's good. Do you have someone that you like?)
"............ Ha?" she reacted in confusion at the sudden change of topic.
(Someone that you like! No one else in Grendan has your talent. Besides, Psychokinesists aren't as confused and hesitant as Military Artists. Why? No. I think that's good, and it's something that can't be helped.)
"Excuse me. This isn't a question of why............ Why did you say that?"
(You're not giving up because of someone that you like! If you don't have that someone, then I can recommend you one. How about you come over to Grendan? I'm sure you can become an excellent Psychokinesist. If possible, you can even inherit my title, Quantis! I think it's about time for me to retire.)
"No, I'm not interested."
Not that she had heard of that name. She just thought that if there was a Psychokinesist holding the rank of Heaven's Blade, this person must be it.
(Aaaa, what a shame.) Delbone didn't stop the conversation. She just paused.
(So you do have someone that you like?)
She hadn't stopped asking.
For some reason, this steady and relaxing voice eased Felli. She was still supporting Layfon. His and Savaris's fight had become even more intense, and she and Fermaus kept on fighting. Right now, her brain was multi-tasking. The flake in the shape of a butterfly made her feel like she was relaxing under the sun.
(There must be many gentlemen that like you since you're so beautiful! But it's still better for you to choose the person yourself! You can't let the emotions sway you. Because your eyes are good, you must be more observant.)
For some reason, she didn't know how to reply.
A part of her brain agreed with the conversation between Karian and Delbone. A part of Delbone's Psychokinesis was flowing through Felli's flake. She had only given up part of the territory. If she wanted, she'd take it back anytime. But if she did that, this old woman might take over her entire flake through some means that she knew nothing about. That possibility tensed her up. Since Delbone had begun a conversation with Karian, that probably meant that the conversation on this end had ended. But.........
(The person that you like isn't just someone that you can rely on. Speaking of which, of course he should be someone that you genuinely like.)
The old woman was still talking with Karian.
(But that isn't enough. It's the truth for anyone whether you're more independent or not. This isn't enough to make a good family.)
This wasn't an unbelievable topic, but Felli found it hard to understand. She could process complicated information at the same time, but she had never attempted speaking to two people simultaneously. This was like cutting one's emotions in half.
(Love is very important. You can't be too focused on just one side. Romance, on a certain level, is pretty good. What do you think when two people meet for the first time?)
Meaning she wanted to arrange a date for Felli.
(Aaa, so you do have someone that you like? Then how about letting that person come live in Grendan? Isn't that a good environment for you?)
"No, uh....... That probably can't be done......"
(Aaa, what's wrong? Isn't this an Academy City? Two people might be separated? In that case, why not both move to Grendan?)
Why did she say his name here?
No, she said it! Her face heated.
She bent her body at Delbone's sigh.
Only thoughts kept running in the battlefield.
Delbone's other flake was in the reception room in Grendan's palace. As a reception room, the area wasn't that large. It was just a bit bigger than the room that Derek and Leerin were in before. Visitors did come from outside the city, but there weren't many of them. On the other hand, there were many businessmen who visited the palace, but they were usually taken to the other room since the talks were all private. Looking from the perspective of the royalty, this level of cheapness was something they could do nothing about. This was also the perspective of the builders of the palace.
All they needed was Military strength. That was what Grendan was.
In order to prevent the settling of dust, waterproof cloths covered the decorations in the room, including the place where the seat for the royalty was. The sofa in this room wasn't here before. The workers in the palace had carried it over quickly, but had put it at an angle. However, this way probably was the best judging from the looks of the people sitting on it.
"Next!" Alsheyra clapped, sitting on the luxurious single seat sofa.
Kanaris announced. "Quiet!"
"Time to go to war!"
Everyone reacted to the Queen's proclamation with complicated expressions. Only the Queen was excited about this. Delbone's flake was opposite Kanaris, emitting faint light. Tigris on the sofa, who sat the closest to the Queen, was fiddling with his beard. Kalvan grimaced next to him. Cauntia let Reverse sit on her laps, hugging him with joy – she hadn't taken in a single word at all. Reverse's face was stiff because of the topic of war. Ruimei had taken over the sofa that was the furthest from the three. Troyatte sat on his own sofa and kicked away Ruimei's foot. Lintence walked away from his own sofa and started smoking near the window. Uh, this lazy style was still the same.
After confirming the situation with one glance, Alsheyra realized someone was missing.
(About that..............) Delbone reported, troubled. (She's sulking and is still in the shower.)
"Tell her I'll give her a blow if she doesn't come out. I'll get her to walk naked on the street!"
(Ahhhh............) Her response was both relaxed and happy.
"About time to confirm the situation?" Kalvan suggested, still wearing a grimace.
"Yes, let's do it that way?"
Since Delbone's flake was with Barmelin, they didn't need to repeat the conversation.
The Queen glanced at Kanaris. She nodded and took a step forward.
"Right now, Grendan is heading for the Academy City, Zuellni."
Not just one person. Disbelief showed on the people in the room. Lintence took down the cigarette in between his fingers and turned his head around.
"What a prank. Why did Grendan begin bullying the weak?" Tigris said, letting go of the beard that he was proud of.
"This is Grendan's wish."
Kanaris's expression remained calm, but she might hold doubts about Grendan's decision? What did Grendan want to do? Not a single person here could understand. No, Tigris probably understood, as did Savaris. Maybe even the first generation Luckens might know, but he wasn't here. Kanaris was somehow related to the royalty, so she probably knew something. But all she knew was of the fate of the royalty and that it was meaningless if there weren't twelve Heaven's Blades. She didn't know anything beyond that. Delbone might have most of the information out of the Heaven's Blades here? But she had sealed off some of her knowledge. Knowledge was like electronic data for her. She probably could predict the future without surprise and shock at all.
All other Heaven's Blade successors showed incomprehension. No one knew what was happening. But it was about time to tell them about it!
"We're approaching the Academy City........ because there's war?" Kalvan asked. The job of asking was uninteresting, and it gained attention, but no one would do it but him. After all, Kalvan hated not being in control of the situation.
"I see............" Now that he knew the situation, he was willing to agree with Grendan even if they were to fight against an Academy City.
"Hey, hey, don't end it like that!" Ruimei said with a rough voice. He bent a little and the sofa moaned. He was a person who could conquer the three-seater sofa. His foot bent upward and got in the way of Troyatte. He spread his tree trunk-like elbows.
"Is her Majesty getting us to play with kids? Don't joke around! I can't hold back. I won't be able to sleep fighting immature brats."
"I don't remember any adults entering a fight!" Troyatte said as he pushed away Ruimei's foot.
"Because I had yet to enter the fight."
"Then please look after me in any future fights! Yeah, you crownless King."
"Stop it. Shut up! Stop getting so noisy!" Alsheyra said, preventing Ruimei from standing up. His face was all red.
"It's not a problem to fight kids, but do you think I called you all here because of that?"
Displeasure showed on Kalvan's countenance at yet another question. Alsheyra looked away, her gaze landing on Lintence. He was smoking again as he looked back at her with his sharp eyes. His Kei was calm. Even though his gaze was anything but gentle, the Kei wasn't that intense. No, this situation was like this because the Heaven's Blades couldn't be still. Because they hadn't found a place that was stronger than them.
"Hell's begun!" Alsheyra announced in elation, as if she was singing.
"Hell's begun! What is hell like? The fight with it would make you regret living in this world. Today's fight is its beginning...... Delbone."
(Good, good. I've finished negotiating with the other side.)
Flakes moved to the middle of the room and projected an image.
"Oh?" Tigris said with interest.
The image showed a city empty of people. Empty of people, but something else was there. A strangely gargantuan person and some strange creatures. Numerous monsters were fighting, and they drowned the entire city. No one was in the city. Had they all gone to the shelters?
"Are they filth monsters?"
Some didn't think so. Here were brave souls who had obliterated a countless number of filth monsters, but they had never seen something like this before.
"They look similar but are different. They are more ancient than those things, as if they're the ancestors of the filth monsters."
"Uh.........?" Kalvan had an incredulous look on his face, but Alsheyra ignored him. They couldn't escape from them whether they understood, not understood, agreed or not agreed with her. Whether you were born in Grendan or not, here they were the Heaven's Blade successors. No one could escape from the time when that event occurred. This was like the fate of those Military Artists who stood on the top of the pyramid. How were Military Artists born? How was this world formed? Would they agree with her if they knew the reasons? But she didn't want to explain those things. It'd take too long.
"Delbone, how long till contact?"
(About two more hours. Looks like those kids will arrive at 10pm.)
"Ah~ speaking of which, didn't Savaris receive a secret order and head out? Isn't that city his destination?" Ruimei tapped his palm with his huge fist. Everyone showed displeasure at the noise he made.
"Seems so, but he's got an additional mission to protect the princess........ That guy, dragging his feet and playing around! I'll peel off his skin if anything happened."
He then realized everyone's gazes had gathered, pointing their fingers and looking elsewhere. Only Lintence still had his attention on him.
Barmelin had arrived. She exuded dissatisfaction. Alsheyra ignored her as before. Time to change the mood.
"Then we'll contact the other city in two hours........." she looked at the Heaven's Blades here.
"Ruimei, Troyatte, you two go and make a commotion over there. You can destroy anything but the underground facilities. That's precious!"
"Delbone, search for the princess's location. Once you find her, Barmelin is to open the way. Lintence, you're to protect the princess. You can do whatever within that area."
"Because you're the most suitable to meet her! And everyone else stops the invader at the contact point. Well, though I don't think that would help."
Lintence's brow moved in disapproval, but his thought quickly turned to somewhere else.
He might meet it.
That was ten years ago. He himself was that tall back then. His growth in Kei had now stopped. He wished for his hour to end if possible. He himself had lived too long.
She felt the massive amount of Kei when the roaming bus neared. She thought an interesting guy had come – and she was dissatisfied with the Kei around her. It wouldn't bring her wonderful battles. Why was she born into this world? Why had she kept on living? These questions floated out one after another. Before, she had never thought of these questions. She knew from the moment of awareness that she was Alsheyra, the person who stood on the top of Grendan, the person who had to prepare for the impending battle. That was why the blood couldn't weaken. It could only become denser. The three royal families continued that tradition. As if to challenge the current phenomenon, they married within the families, making them the unusual group from the world. The three royal families inherited the strongest blood among the Heaven's Blades as they were careful to keep their blood line pure. And in the end, Alsheyra was born. She knew why she was born, and that was why she was interested in this man, this man who knew the reason behind her power.
She came to the outer suburb and saw him on the opposite wall. He walked out of the roaming bus with displeasure on his face. The long coat was torn and damaged through its long journey, but it suited that man. In him was a sense of loneliness that Alsheyra didn't have. So she wanted to hit him.
The man acted, instinctively releasing a small amount of Kei. He had chosen an area on the outskirt that few people ever went to. The match started immediately. Invisible small threads surrounded Alsheyra. Steel threads. Just the weapon itself had enormous killing power, and on top of that was the large amount of Kei. Even other Heaven's Blade successors couldn't match his level of Kei. Even though he had been on a long journey, he had lots of battle experience. His consciousness as he threw in his Kei was clearer and more intense than anyone else. It seemed it was a good thing that he had come to Grendan.
But this level of Kei could not harm Alsheyra. She caught the Steel threads and walked ahead like it was a matter of fact, then she hit that man's face. With an unbelievable expression, he flew from her. This man needed hell. The cruelest and hottest hell. For this man to come to Grendan must be a sign heralding the coming of that hell. She took hold of his hair, pulled him up and looked at his face. He had dense hair and his pupils were deep. His gaze called for battle. He must have caused unneeded chaos in other cities, but in Grendan, this gaze was needed.
"I'll show you, show you to feel regret for living in the battle of this world."
She had promised him and that promise would definitely come true.
It was now about to be fulfilled. They had only two more hours till hell.
The Heaven's Blade Successors left the room after receiving their orders. She got rid of Kanaris too. Though Delbone might still be around, Alsheyra decided to ignore her. She didn't want to send her away even though she could do it. Delbone was essential to Grendan.
Lintence was still smoking by the window. The ash tray that a maid had given him had ashes heaped in it like a small mountain.
"Go and look at your battlefield!"
".......... Uh," he stood up and shook off the ashes stuck to his coat. This coat was different from the one he wore when they first met. A Heaven's Blade Successor's life was rich, but this coat wasn't made of any expensive and good material. This guy had no luck with clothes. It was his style to sustain the mood of battle.
Alsheyra buried her head in the sofa in a room empty of other souls. High spirit covered her. At the same time, pain surrounded her.
Alsheyra had dragged her into this hell. The family that had inherited the blood of Airen Garfield.
A figure stood in the courtyard of the palace. He took off his loose clothes and revealed his body. Bright sunlight burnt his skin. The beautiful skin didn't match his age. Beneath the skin stood out hard and powerful muscles.
He was Tigris. The Queen and Kanaris came here a few days ago. He didn't know what the Queen was doing. He also didn't know that the Queen had been looking at Zuellni from here. At that time, he was facing Zuellni, practicing his bow. At present, even normal people could see the Academy City, and the citizens had headed for the shelters. Evacuation was about to be complete. The dry noises of Grendan's movement shook the air. Tigris pulled his bow string back. This string was made of metal. It wasn't a Steel Thread, but if one couldn't master it, one might have his finger cut off and thrown away.
He pulled the string back. No arrow. A Military Artist would use his own Kei as the arrow. Right now, he had yet to let his Kei run. External Kei and Internal Kei slept in him. He just used his own strength to pull the bow string. This wasn't something that a normal aged elder could do.
(Your skill's gone rusty.)
It was Delbone.
"If it's gone rusty, how can I be pulling this? But my naivety back then might have caused today's state!"
This wasn't the gentle grandpa way of speaking back in the reception room. He was more blunt and detailed now. The unease in his heart was one reason behind his change of demeanor. Of course, this was also because he had been matching Delbone for a long time.
(Do you think so?)
"Yes. Well~ It matters not if that guy Herder ran away. No matter how strong a person is, it's meaningless if his heart is weak and lazy. If it's better for him to think he doesn't have that blood in him, I'd have raised my hands in agreement for him to choose to flee. But..........."
He recalled that event from 16 years ago. That event named Meifar Stadt.
At that time, Tigris was also in the courtyard. This was the best place to gaze down at the entire city. The worms made a commotion in the outer area. A filth monster had shown up in the facility. Military Artists had already surrounded it. Tigris only needed to wait for the result. However, he wasn't waiting for the report on the filth monster. He was waiting for something else. Something else that had been going on for a while.
Delbone's flake spoke. This flake was made up of many flakes. Delbone was very busy right now. She was distracting the investigation of the filth monster by other Psychokinesists. She had to let them know what was happening while simultaneously covering up the information they were not supposed to know. Only she could do both things at once.
(Half is success, but half is failure.)
"No need to deliver the failure!"
Everything was as expected? That didn't exist in this world. Tigris understood that point well. But how had they failed? He felt uneasy as long as he didn't know why.
(Herder-sama has died, and what he held was all destroyed. His daughter lives, but she's just a baby. It's not possible for anyone to enter that place again.)
Herder had fled to the roaming bus facility, his plan beautifully designed. Everyone knew he had a woman outside, but no one knew she was pregnant. And then came the sudden death. Why? Tigris didn't understand Herder's actions at first. Did he fear his fiancé Alsheyra's jealousy? But he should already know that Alsheyra had no such feelings. She wasn't interested in him at all. So he was dissatisfied and went to hook up with a woman outside. No one would blame him for that. As long as he didn't fight for the crown, him having a baby with that woman didn't pose a problem either. The royal family didn't care for a guy whose blood was thin like a normal person. But then why did he have to escape? Being Herder, he should have already understood that.
Something icy pierced his body as he followed his train of thought. Could it be......... His body shook. Tigris immediately opened communication with Delbone and sent the direction to the Rivin family. The Rivin family was famous for their secret movements. It was a family that was responsible for the darker side of governance. No one needed to explain the reason. An assassin was sent and Herder died.
(What should we do? The mother has the child, and she's also hurt. If we don't do anything, she'd die.)
Tigris observed the outer area with the vision of a Military Artist. Nothing much had changed, and he couldn't see the movement of the filth monster. But Delbone said that the filth monster had appeared as if to protect Herder. It had come into being, morphed from a normal person.
What was going on? Was it their work? They got ahead of them? But this sign was too weak. Was it just a filth monster in its aged phase? So strange a situation. Delbone had said the filth monster was in the shape of a human. But its power paled in comparison to a filth monster in its aged phase.
Was it really that? In that, that thing wasn't a filth monster? Or had it even thought of using a filth monster?
Things changed while he was hesitating. Someone had dashed into the facility. Tigris had seen him before. It was the Head of a small school called Psyharden. Derek Psyharden. Had he found something unusual? No, someone who believed in his own instinct would not take note of a Psychokinesist's report. He must hold the position of a platoon captain. This meant he was strong. He might have noticed something that didn't match the Psychokinesist's report. So he had gone inside to confirm with his own eyes?
Tigris thought Derek's action was worthy of praise. But at the same time, his heart was heavy and pained. His bow was ready. The Kei had formed into an arrow.
(Are you going to kill him?)
"He's a Military Artist, but his blood is lacking. The existence of the weak is what makes up this world. If this thing was found out, great misfortune would befall us."
(There might not be a second chance.)
"Even so, the time is here. Even if I'm to die fighting, that point won't change."
Delbone hesitated. Without her aid, he could not guarantee the arrow would hit its target even if it pierced the wall of the facility. Was he to destroy the facility? There was a chance that that person might live through the explosion. If Tigris used his full strength, a part of the outer suburb would disappear. But what if he failed to eliminate it even with his full power?
"Delbone, how will he die? Eaten by a filth monster or killed by me? You choose!"
When he realized it, he had already said something very naive. He felt he was getting old, and he would appear very much to be in his age. But he had felt till now that he couldn't live like that. Something must still happen in his lifetime. Then he must not die yet. Even though he was old, he must keep up with his body and psychological condition.
"Delbone," he called again.
The flake fell silent, and then she said in a small voice....
(We'll gamble on that Military Artist, Tigris.)
"What did you say?"
That Military Artist had already entered the facility. Tigris heard the sound of fighting, which didn't last long. Silence descended again.
(Can that Military Artist protect the child? If he has the strength, he'll save her. I think something might happen.)
He lowered the bow as the Kei arrow dissipated. But he kept his vision and watched the facility with murderous intent.
"But this isn't bad! To die here or to witness the last arena? If I'm to choose, I'll make a choice!"
Just who was luckier...... The question turned meaningless. Tigris shook his head.
In the end, the baby lived.
"I still think that it's dead," Tigris had said when he pulled back the arrowless bow. His gaze was on Zuellni, the place that Alsheyra had called hell. That baby was still living. How did she grow up? As a normal person, she would have grown up normally, worked, experienced romance, and given birth to the next generation. That was the life she was supposed to live if only Military Artists did not exist in this world! But Tigris had once lowered his bow and did not raise it against the girl. Not because Delbone had won but because he was also human. Although he was a Military Artist in the royal family, he was also human. He couldn't kill a small child who wasn't even his enemy.
(Even so, I know that child is happy.)
"Then, aren't things going to turn less fortunate?"
For one who didn't know happiness, she wouldn't know what misfortune was like. Tigris had wanted to say that, but Delbone's laughter changed the mood and he decided to stay silent.
Tigris lowered his bow at the sound behind him. His granddaughter was standing at the entrance of the courtyard.
"What is it, Claribel?"
"The Military Artists are moving. What's going on........"
His granddaughter liked to keep to a young image. Well, she did have a beautiful body. The legs underneath her armor were slim and her skin sparkled with life. The colors of her hair were unusual. A thread of white, naturally born so, was mixed in with her long black hair.
"Why don't you ask your cousin?"
The Queen was such an existence to Tigris' granddaughter.
"I don't like to! She said I don't pass!" she pouted with her lips peeled back.
He laughed. This expression suited her. She really was a girl.
"Compared to that, I can see what's outside. It's an Academy City but it has filth monsters. Has that got something to do with Grendan's movement?"
"As long as we know of filth monster's existences, Grendan only has one thing in mind."
"But this is another city!"
"No matter where the filth monsters are, Grendan will go and hunt them down."
His granddaughter left with incomprehension.
(Your granddaughter has become strong.)
"Not at all. Compared to Layfon..........."
(That child is still living there.)
A pained expression showed on Tigris' face.
(Aren't we going to give her the Heaven's Blade?)
"Perhaps I'm an idiot, but better give her something bitter to chew on! She still hasn't tasted failure, being all so arrogant still!"
One Heaven's Blade remained empty without an owner – Wolfstein, the title that Layfon once held. It was too early to give it to Tigris' granddaughter. She had not the strength to stand out from other Military Artists. Alsheyra hadn't given the title to another yet, and she hadn't held any other Heaven's Blade matches. That was why Claribel was dissatisfied.
(We need twelve Heaven's Blades, but we won't make that for this battle.)
"Why must it be twelve? I don't get why!" he said honestly as he eyed Zuellni.
He probably would know soon enough.