Chrome Shelled Regios:Volume15 Chapter5
Chapter 5: Ones in Discord
She realized she was in a space unfamiliar to her.
She just hadn't gotten used to it. She had seen that sunroof many times already. This was the feeling she had. She opened her eyes, lying on the richly decorated, luxurious bed. Leerin knew she was awake.
She confirmed the time and showed a bitter smile.
At this usual hour she would be making breakfast, but now there was no need. There were people to prepare meals and to do chores here, people who were here to look after her.
Though they were poor, there were people employed here who weren't part of the royal family.
That wasn't because the family of Eutnohl was one of the three royal families. The current head of Eutnohl, Minse Eutnohl, wasn't a Heaven's Blade successor, but Leerin knew from the Head Maid that he was active in commanding the Military Artists in the battles against filth monsters.
Ordinary people wouldn't be able to see a fight against filth monsters. Ordinary people would talk and compare Military Artists with music, movies or the heroes in magazines. For example, who was the most active in the last battle? The battle between the aged phase filth monster and the Heaven's Blade successors.
Not that Leerin held no interest in those topics, but she wouldn't actively seek them out, and so she hadn't heard of Minse's name there.
"There are still many with great fighting strength."
Leerin was an ordinary person too. She was thinking of the strength of Military Artists, but sighed when remembering the troubled look of the head maid. She finished putting the clothes on. She had woken up early but didn't feel like sleeping again. Then the best thing to do was prepare for the next term of school. She drank from the cup next to the bed and went to the desk.
She walked as she thought about Minse.
Minse wasn't part of the topic was probably because he was of the royal family. Besides the Eutnohl, the other two royal families were also elegant. The Queen, Alsheyra Almonise, the Heaven's Blade successor and also the strongest Military Artist in Grendan, and the past head of Ronsmier, Tigris, who died in the last battle. Compared to these two, Minse could only be evaluated as average.
Leerin thought him pitiful. Of course, not that she would let him know.
But things had slowly changed in Grendan since the last battle. The big thing was the death of two Heaven's Blade successors.
Delbone and Tigris.
In terms of age, this could be a smooth handover to the next generation. But the death of two Heaven's Blade successors in one battle had never happened before. This was a big impact to the city.
And no one could had thought that how fortunate it was to win this battle by only losing two Heaven's Blade successors. This saying illustrated just how important the Heaven's Blade successors were to Grendan.
However, one of the casualties was a member of the royal family, Ronsmier's Tigris. Not only did a position of the Heaven's Blade became vacant, but also the head of the Ronsmier family. Claribel, the successor of the Ronsmiers, had left for Zuellni without permission, and so the Ronsmier family was in a warring state of who should be the next head.
Though this was just the problem of the Ronsmier family, which should have no impact on the next Heaven's Blade successor. However, as Claribel was a Military Artist and was expected to inherit a Heaven's Blade, yet she had left Grendan, this had become an issue.
Fermaus was the clear inheritor of Delbone's position. It was rumored that she had already built up a vast net of Psychokinesis. This piece of news was reassuring.
Two Heaven's Blade vacancies were still a problem.
In Alsheyra's generation, it was rare to have not only two, but even one Heaven's Blade position empty. It was difficult to dispel the unease. Anyway, this feeling was natural after that battle.
The Queen seemed to still have no intentions of holding the Heaven's Blade title competition. Leerin had no chance of seeing Alsheyra recently so she didn't know what she was thinking, but she had seen the ministers and the Queen talking about it before she entered the Eutnohl family. The Queen had rejected their request.
It was meaningless to have a Heaven's Blade successor who only looked like one but had no real strength.
That was her answer every time.
Holding a Heaven's Blade didn't mean one could become a Heaven's Blade successor. He must be chosen by the Heaven's Blade itself. However, that had not happened yet.
What should be done?
Just wait? To keep believing that the next Heaven's Blade successor would appear?
Leerin shivered unconsciously as she thought of this. She knew what she had to do and what she could do, so she wasn't confused.
The last beast, Grendan, who was to resist fate had been injured. Leerin too, Alsheyra and the Heaven's Blade successors as well. Would those wounds heal through time? Obviously not.
But the task of waiting showed just how strong Alsheyra was. But the uneasiness didn't disappear. If it was fate to wait for the Heaven's Blade successors to gather together, Leerin thought it wouldn't be too bad to entrust the Heaven's Blade to someone until that time came.
Who would be assured by that? Leerin and the people of Grendan.
Leerin thought of trying to talk to Alsheyra about this, but she was worried. Perhaps it really wasn't all that good for her to get involved in politics.
She put the textbooks together and left the desk. The light shone into the room. Someone had noticed the closed-curtains and pulled them open. Leerin walked onto the balcony.
She felt as if the birds flew away because of her.
But there were no birds. Outside, it was still dim. One would hesitate saying good morning.
But Leerin called out to him.
Answering her was a young man standing in the middle of the balcony, getting ready as if to leap. With short hair and appearing to give a few words, he watched her clumsily. If Leerin had known of a guard, unnecessary worries might ensure, and so he had tried not to be noticed, but had failed.
He watched her, embarrassed.
Leerin felt the chill in the air and shivered.
"It's cold. Come in and have a cup of tea."
"Ah, no. I, I..........."
"All right. All right. Come in."
Leerin poured water from the simple hot water dispenser in a corner and started making tea. The maids had said she could call them anytime she needed, but Leerin had finally managed to get them to leave this dispenser here.
The tense young man standing in the balcony was called Eldein Riven. He was older than Leerin. Feeling tense, he said weakly, "I.......... I'm thankful for worrying about me. But it's my job to protect your Highness."
This was how Leerin was called now.
That happened a few days ago.
After Alsheyra held the ceremony in the new palace, naming Leerin a successor. And then she became Leerin Eutnohl. She had officially become the successor of Grendan's throne.
"I'm just one of the candidates. You don't have to worry about it."
"How can I not!"
How many times had she seen his shocked expression? Inside, Leerin smiled bitterly as she handed him the cup of tea.
She drank too. She had added lots of sugar to the red tea. Ah, her brain would turn slow without sugar.
"Because it seems a Royal Personage is someone who must have lived longer than me."
"Uh, ahah, ah."
Eldein stammered, reflecting her deliberation as he drank the red tea, and as he pondered, heat entered his body that was leaning towards the table.
"Ah, no, but........"
He was troubled. He felt that if he rejected her thought, he would be insulting the Queen, but if he agreed with her then he would be making light of her. It was easy to see his dilemma.
(Is he strong?)
Because of this sudden doubt, Leerin waved her hand up and down aimlessly as he watched.
This must be his reflexes as a guard.
Leerin had learnt most of the knowledge about the royal families and the politics of Grendan at Almonise's home. If one had become a successor, then one's guards belonged to Riven's Military School with people that had gathered together to work for the royal families.......... This should have been the case, but Minse had brought Eldein to his house.
Perhaps he had another meaning behind his action.
He must have.
But Leerin hadn't really thought about it.
"Anyway. It's my job to protect your Highness.......... Ah!"
He cut himself off and realized it was poor manner to do so.
"Not bad. ‘my’."
"No, but........ this is the job of the royal family, I......."
"It's enough that my uncle trusts you enough to place you beside me."
Her uncle was Minse.
Leerin faced him with a disapproving expression and pointed at his nose.
"Is your current conversational partner your uncle? Senpai? Or me?"
"Of course it's her Highness, Leerin Euthnol."
Leerin nodded in satisfaction at Eldein, who had immediately turned rigid.
"In that case, then if I say this is good enough, then it's good enough."
"Yes............ I understand!"
Leerin smiled at Eldein, who finally managed to calm down. She handed him the cup.
"Then please do your best with your job."
Leerin laughed, finding his deferential attitude funny. He also found it funny and smiled bitterly.
"But your Highness, how did you know I would be here at this time?"
He hadn't been here all the time. He was stationed somewhere not too far from Leerin's residence and he went on patrol in case of intruders. Back then, he had just returned to the balcony and was caught off-guard by Leerin's voice.
"That's a girl's secret."
"Uh..... I'm sorry."
Leerin's smile left a puzzled Eldein on the balcony, then she closed the curtain.
He must have wanted to say that she was just a normal person.
But she wasn't your average citizen anymore. She was a candidate to the throne. And had Eldein thought about the blindfold she was wearing?
".......... Well, time to study."
She returned to the desk. Uh, in fact, she didn't really need any guards. She tossed away that thought as her gaze landed on the textbook.
Something felt strange.
This was the feeling Claribel had.
She was reading magazines at home. What she said at Layfon's party was serious. She really wanted to move. There was no other way if Layfon had stayed at the boys' dormitories, but now that he had moved out, it was meaningless for her to stay so far away.
She had her room now. Next was to decorate it, and then to choose some furniture. She had enough money for that.
She herself was a talented Military Artist. To keep the independent life of a busy Academy City, talented Military Artists were like gems. In fact, the money she had now came from negotiations with the Student President Karian. She had to keep this a secret from Nina and the others, that simply being a Military Artist was also a way to earn money.
But that had nothing to do with now.
"What is it?"
She tossed the magazine aside and sat up. Something felt wrong. She remembered that feeling.
"Ah, that means they aren't all destroyed."
For some reason, this was the feeling she had. They should have been all destroyed. She didn't know why she felt their presence, those people who summoned the monster to cover the entirety of Grendan.
The Wolf Faces.
The malicious people who existed on the other side of the world.
She hadn't seen them.
"Is that why I feel like I can sleep better since leaving Grendan?"
At that time, she couldn't fight because of her injury, but she did participate in the defense in front of the palace. What she could see was the monster covering the city and the countless number of live-bullets it spit out. If they had failed to destroy those live-bullets, more would have come to trample on the city.
Claribel had fought in numerous battles, but that was the first time she had fought with pressure. The fight and the blood of the royal three families told her to remove the stress in her and find some place to relax. She had saved Layfon so she could become stronger. Maybe she left not because of wanting to live in Zuellni or her stubbornness to grow stronger, but because she simply wanted to escape.
This was a feeling she was not permitted to have. Claribel denied her own conclusion.
She couldn't return to Grendan without having done anything. But her grandfather was dead. And she had left, brushing aside the problem of succeeding as the head of the family.
She couldn't boast of her strength even if she managed to grow enough to hold a Heaven's Blade.
She stood up.
She must go.
She picked up the weapon harness. The only item she brought from Grendan.
Kochouenshiken. A Dite.
All a Military Artist needed was this.
Claribel hid her presence and left through the window. She leaped for the night of Zuellni.
Where was the source of this feeling?
Her gaze kept scanning her surroundings as she leapt.
She felt it.
She changed her path and headed for that feeling. It came from the surrounding area of Layfon's new home.
Then she stopped in front of that building.
"Just what is going on?"
Layfon Alseif had nothing to do with this. That should have been the case. But it seemed Nina had told him about the Wolf Faces. But was that enough to get him involved? Then shouldn't all have seen the Wolf Faces in Grendan?
But that wasn't possible.
If there was some information that Claribel and Nina didn't know...
"Is it all right to make this conclusion?"
Anyway, she had to confirm this presence she felt. The presence inside the building felt like Layfon's, but it seemed there was someone else there beside. If she kept searching, he would find out her presence. Normally Claribel would sneak a peek while hiding her presence, but now she was ignoring it.
Compared to this, just what were the Wolf Faces doing?
Claribel had stopped here, but her target was nowhere in sight.
"Even deeper? Where?"
At that time, a girl was trapped.
There were many masks. They were people who had the face of beast but hadn't become beast themselves.
They had the same pose, as if they were people reflected in a mirror. They possessed tremendous power, but because of that they had fallen. But they couldn't ignore everything because they held great power.
The Wolf Faces.
They surrounded the girl. It was a strange event, but the ending was matter of fact.
The girl was silent.
She stood there, in this strange situation without a sense of fear.
The voice that sounded like fairies in a forest continued to enclose her.
"......... Why? Just what is going on?"
The girl wasn't afraid.
"Why. You've descended but have done nothing. Then............."
The echo was full of confusion. The girl stood in contrast, without any confusion.
She was tall, but not that tall. And her facial expression didn't change in front of the Wolf Faces. The Wolf Faces stopped.
What she wore was a uniform. A General Studies uniform of Zuellni.
And that was confusing the Wolf Faces.
"Durindana had finished its job."
"Yes. The third mother form has finished its job."
The girl nodded. Like the nod of a robot. Their doubt vanished in the face of her Psychokinesist-like manner of speaking.
"That's why I'm here. What's not appropriate?"
"Then why haven't you finished the goal?"
From the voice alone the girl seemed at peace. But if one was to look at it deeper perhaps it felt a tiny bit of worry. Even a powerful person would feel the pain of death. In order to reach one's goal, there were Military Artists who aimed for revenge and got killed, there were those who got annihilated by the red-haired avenger, there were those who got caught up in it. They all experienced the pain of death.
All for today.
The arrival of Durindana that covered the entire Grendan was the ending she was fated to see. When she flew, the moon fell. This world that was full of lies became ashes, and the door to the real world was opened. The Wolf Faces continued to fight so they could be freed from death.
But why was this person in this place, pretending to be a student in this Academy City?
The Wolf Faces continued to ask.
"In order to reach my goal."
But the girl's expression wasn't as intense. Her beauty that was like delicate glass and cold metal remained unruffled.
"But according to my speculation, your goal and mine aren't the same."
"My goal is to destroy this world, but that isn't all of it."
The Wolf Faces were silent.
They waited for the next utterance.
But she changed the topic. "Because of Durindana's passage, the hole has expanded. When we invade, that means your goal is reached. Now I've become the highest commander. The next order is to wait."
The simple wordings resisted her cold attitude. The atmosphere became tense.
"............... To wait. Wait where?"
Fear seeped through the question.
The girl's next words left no room for negotiation.
"Wait in the Zero Territory. That which is now called the "moon", Airen's territory. That isn't a sealed off dimension. This dimension isn't good for a fight that requires you to save your energy. I feel that there's another force in this world that can fight you. And so, wait in that dimension. That isn't inappropriate."
The Wolf Faces were in disarray. Their voices echoed like on a mountain.
They were wailing.
The Wolf Faces that could only maintain their power through numbers turned into one single organism, wailing.
"You, to make us stay in that place..........."
"If you can remain calm, you can also feel comfortable in the Zero Territory. Please control yourself."
The Wolf Faces were speechless. Their reaction really didn't fit their name.
If just one person had enough of a strong will, then the Wolf Faces wasn't a group of people who loved the safety offered by a group. The person whom Leerin and Nina met in the other Academy City had become a Wolf Face.
But the Wolf Faces didn't continue the conversation.
They couldn't communicate.
It was impossible for her to understand even if they were to tell her humans' weaknesses.
They were prepared.
"I'm sorry, I can't obey this order."
The voice was intense.
The Wolf Faces had decided. Their effort hadn't paid off, and still, they wouldn't obey her. Even if they were to become enemies.
"Then this is betrayal. Can I comprehend it this way?"
Warning. Her voice was devoid of emotion. Fear shrouded the Wolf Faces once more. But they successfully kept it down. The fear that was deeper than that of waiting in the Zero Territory united the Wolf Faces.
"There is no other choice."
They replied honestly.
And both sides took action simultaneously.
The weapons in the hands of the Wolf Faces were restored.
They attacked together in the confused situation. Wielding the weapons without fear. Attacking with everything they had, stabbing the girl.
The blades slid through the girl's body. Countless number of blades cut through her. She should have become pitiful pieces of meat, but that wasn't the case.
The girl stood there. She just stood.
There was no injury on her body. Not a drop of blood. Even her clothes were undamaged. She just stood there.
"I've confirmed the evidence of your betrayal. Now I'll annihilate you," she said without any expression.
One of the Wolf Faces howled. The point of the blade was inside the girl's body, but he couldn't feel anything with it.
He knew they had failed.
Failed. They couldn't win.
They must escape.
There was no time.
The girl hadn't moved.
But the Wolf Faces had been hit.
"I'll once more turn your bodies into Aurora atoms. Change the data into experience. Perhaps you will be sealed and then eliminated."
A cold declaration.
The Wolf Faces were terrified. They could do nothing. They had no way of resisting. Even if they could, it was meaningless as they had lost their substance. Not just the feeling of flesh but even the density of their shadows was thinning, revealing the view behind them........ then they vanished
And so without having done anything, their figures vanished.
All existence outside of the girl's vanished. For the first time, she moved a part of her body that wasn't her lips.
Lifted her head.
In the night sky was the moon.
She was looking at the moon.
"Airen Garfield. Your sacrifice is different from mine, isn't it?" she asked the moon. But it remained silent. The light of the pure and cold moon spread across the surface of the air filter. The screen of dust and sand reflected a crescent. Though this was a scene of illusion, the girl's expression didn't change.
He wanted to protect this world. Even though he had to become the moon, he still did it to protect the people of this world. He insisted on completing his mission even though the heart of the other side had changed. He was this kind of a person.
The two points had a huge difference between them, and the girl took on this form in this world so that she could better understand it. The sacrifice of Durindana and the betrayal of the Wolf Faces paled into insignificance compared to it.
That figure was like a bird flying in from the dark as it landed beside the girl.
A long, dark ponytail bounced up and dark. This person looked to be about the same age as the girl.
"What're you doing here?"
"I'm taking a stroll."
"Really........." the dark haired girl didn't look convinced. "Has anything strange happened in this area?"
"No," the girl shook her head.
"I see. Then everything is fine. Sorry for disturbing your walk."
"No, it's fine. I'm just about to head back."
The dark haired girl left. The girl wasn't worried and left this piece of land devoid of the Wolf Faces.
Scanning the night sky of Zuellni again, Claribel didn't feel at ease. Just what was going on........ She couldn't calm herself down no matter what.
"What's happening. What's happening........."
She recalled her, the girl without emotions. She met her before the feeling of fear. A conversation that was extremely short, and that was the limit of Claribel.
"Oh, what is your name?"
"I'm Vati Len."
"I see. I'm Claribel Ronsmier."
"Please look after me."
The girl lowered her head. All Claribel saw was a normal girl wearing the General Studies uniform and then she had forgotten all about the Wolf Faces as she ran back to her dormitory.
She knew it.
"What is happening?"
She was running away. She couldn't do anything before that girl but stood there.
It was fear.
Something ominous filled this name.
Nina felt the same as Claribel. Something felt wrong. She was with Harley at that time. She had come to help him move the things he collected from the rubbish dump. They bound up some of the boxes with a rope and moved them into the research lab Harley had borrowed from the Alchemy department.
"I can save some money this way," Harley said happily as Nina walked with a sour smile.
".........? What's it?" Harley turned around and asked as Nina had suddenly stopped in her track.
It was a strange feeling, but she didn't know what it was. She felt that it was related to the Wolf Faces, but she was inexperienced in this area. Was her inability to fully comprehend the meaning behind this feeling representing something?
She pressed a hand on her chest with her head turned sideway. Harley also made the same gesture.
"Do you feel uncomfortable?"
"No. It's not that."
"I see. Give them to me if you're tired."
"It's okay. Let's go," she urged.
Perhaps he felt better about the situation having seen Nina's reaction. He opened the box. This was about moving. He was very satisfied with Layfon's new home. Now that Harley signed the contract and created his own research lab, he was full of spirit.
How to renovate the room? That must be the topic. But she couldn't understand him if she didn't pay close attention because of the jargon he kept using. She had already given up listening to him.
Her concentration was elsewhere.
Worried. This sense of worry was making her heart beat faster. She felt that something needed to be done. This was the feeling she had.
"Sorry, Harley. I'll definitely move this."
She ignored the protest of her childhood friend and left the boxes.
She didn't know, but her body didn't hesitate. Her brain knew nothing but her body knew where to go. No, to put it more accurately, her instincts were urging her body to move. Nina ran without regard of the situation. She ran farther and farther away, closer and closer to her target, and her body felt weaker. Her heart beat faster. She must stop. She should stop what she was doing now and return to Harley, telling him it was nothing with a smile and continuing to help him move the boxes.
She had never ignored things around her.
What had happened?
She didn't know. She didn't understand but something incredible was taking place.
She knew the other her felt tired too. Because of forcibly making her body obey her will even though it wanted to escape, her two legs that were running in the night sky of Zuellni felt heavier than usual. Her jumping height and distance weren't on par with her usual self.
Why did she resist going there so much?
She was going to confirm something.
She was surprised that the landing place was close to Layfon's new home, but what was she more surprised about was that she didn't notice Claribel was somewhere not far from her.
What was here?
Her fingertip felt the Dite in her weapon harness. The air of a silent night surrounded her. The heat of summer should have passed. The season had turned colder, but Nina was sweating.
She was sweating so much at this distance. Unbelievable.
She didn't understand the situation. Her heart was like it was curled into a ball as she scolded herself.
At this time, her body reacted to her sensation.
She turned around. Someone was coming.
She didn't need to concentrate. That figure was getting closer under the dim light of the street lamp. Behind Nina was Layfon's building. There weren't many residents yet.
She looked like a normal girl, walking slowly in the dark in the uniform of the General Studies department. She looked pretty but was a normal girl.
But the tension in Nina didn't ease. Her hand didn't leave her weapon harness.
Irritation filled her.
And before long, the other also sensed it.
Somewhere deep inside her, Melnisc was howling in terror. But it wasn't like the feeling that Nina had, of being overwhelmed by an unidentifiable sense of tension and fear. Melnisc felt like it was about to go insane from fury.
The girl was heading straight for her.
And then she stopped before Nina.
"Could you move aside?"
She was unshakable before Nina as she coldly uttered her words that didn't match the current atmosphere.
Her feet wanted to move, but Nina willed them to stay.
Not that the girl couldn't enter the building if Nina didn't move. But the girl had stopped in front of her. She didn't say "get lost". She just said "move aside".
It really was............
"What are you planning?"
"It's a fighting strength that suits you. You are named Nina Antalk, born in the City of Schneibel. Before now you had become one with an Electronic Fairy. Other factors need to be studied to account for your current fighting strength."
She knew Nina well.
"But it's a very low possibility that you can eliminate me with your current power. And I don't want to become your enemy now. I don't like meaningless fights. Can you move aside?"
"You............" Nina repeated like a broken toy.
"I'm Vati Len. I'll be studying in Zuellni in the next term."
It shouldn't be like this. She wanted to say it but she couldn't. What should she do after denying her. To fight this girl named Vati Len?
She didn't know why calling this girl's name gave her sense a strong ominous feeling. But this wasn't the time.
What she should do now was take care of the current situation.
To fight? Or to move away?
She should move aside. She wouldn't win.
No. She had had a similar experience many times already. Didn't she overcome them one by one? But this time it was different.
To overcome it. To do it everything she had regardless of what would happen to her.
She didn't even think of that now.
Melnisc howled in her. A storm. But Nina didn't move with his anger. She could borrow the strength of the Haikizoku. And the Dite in her weapon harness had the Electronic Fairy, Zuellni's power. It wouldn't break under the Kei of the Haikizoku.
But Nina didn't think that was enough to defeat this girl.
(Ro......... Reu...........) Melnisc said.
"How do you know its name?"
Vati's expression remained unchanged, but Nina's feet moved because of that question.
She had stepped back to gain some distance.
To run away.
Now, she had run away.
"Never mind. I won't get to the depths of it. But forget about doing something to me."
Her body was shivering.
Vati was silent. She moved past Nina and entered the building.
"At that time I just wanted to destroy this city, but I'll reach that goal in the next city."
Nina regained her sense of self and wanted to chase after the girl.
But her feet wouldn't move. Her flesh had been resisting her from the start. Her heart was giving up. She didn't have the strength to make her body obey.
What goal was it...........?
Nina didn't even get to ask that question as she stood there.
Vati disappeared into Layfon's building. And next Nina's consciousness entered a false world as if she was dragged by the Haikizoku.
This was a dream.
But it was the truth that Karian was plagued by it after that day.
The day when the monster covered Grendan. Karian had chosen to stay in the Mechanical Department so that he could confirm the repairing progress of the city as the city shook intensely.
He felt that someone was calling him. This happened when he finished talking with the person with the burden, while he was coming back to himself.
The machines were here, their noise seemingly more intense than usual, but it was gently pushed away by the sound of bells. Perhaps Zuellni was calling. As if captured by that voice in the passing of time, Karian changed the direction of his feet.
And he arrived in the central area of the Mechanical Department.
"Did you call me?"
He saw the huge central area with an expectant feeling. The Electronic Fairy was inside the gem, looking at him gently.
"Is something wrong? If it's not important, then stay back a little. You also want me to concentrate on fixing the city........"
And he stopped.
He had to.
Gloom overcame Zuellni's face. He didn't know how to react to that change so he looked at her silently, waiting for her reaction. Then he sensed the change.
Not from the Electronic Fairy.
But from the Selenium rocks around her.
Fog. Or a cloud of dense dust rushed out. In a split second, the dust ignored the weak air current in this area and stopped between Karian and the Electronic Fairy as it took human form.
A mature woman.
But Karian didn't know those clothes. It looked like clothes that Military Artists wore so to be able to maximize their movement.
He should have felt the danger he was in, but he didn't sense it. It was already too late when he noticed it. The option of running away was gone, and so he chose another way.
"Who are you?"
"I'm Lævateinn. Nano-Celluloid Interface 1 Lævateinn. I'm the commander of Durindana, who is now fighting outside."
".......Why are you here?"
He was terrified. But he had nothing to gain by showing his weak side here. An iron will defeated his weakness as he continued to speak.
Lævateinn was here without doing anything. It must have another goal. Anyway, Zuellni's reaction didn't feel like she was reacting to an enemy. In that case he must find out Lævateinn's goal.
"If I were to declare it I'd say please allow me to destroy this world in the near future."
"Otherwise my master and I would not be freed. Because we are bound by this world."
Karian didn't quite understand the meaning of it. But he understood the cause and reason. This world was interfering with Lævateinn and its master's movement, and so it wanted to destroy this world. It was better than not knowing the reason.
"But there is something we must do before that."
Didn't that woman – Lævateinn say something at that time?
He woke from his dream. His body didn't move but his eyes were opened. He realized he was in his own room. He was so busy this year that he barely had time to visit his home. But recently he had made time to return.
He wanted to see his sister.
There was little time left.
The time he had to remain in this city, and the time he had to spend with his sister. Or the time they had to live in this world.
Actually, there was plenty of time. Perhaps people tended to drag out the things they were to do. There was always time to meet his sister. Even after leaving the Academy City, he would still have time to return to his homeland.
He thought so.
But perhaps that time would be gone. Perhaps whatever he did now would not help the situation just like the crisis Zuellni was facing.
Not feeling tired anymore, Karian left the room with the intention of brewing a cup of tea.
Felli was in the living room.
"Ah, you're already up?"
"Did you ask after having seen the time?"
He checked the time. It was time to wake up.
"I see. I've overslept."
"........... Are you tired?"
He thought she might be still mad like before, but her conversation was extremely normal. He felt that he was progressing somewhat.
He was happy yet sad. So hard to comprehend. He smiled sourly and dusted away the remnants of his dream. Before he had seen the problem that needed solving. Now was the time to solve it. And the future was to draw success.
"There's tea in the teapot. Do you want me to brew some?"
"Thanks. We haven't had breakfast together for a long time."
"......... Not that we have done anything together."
She watched the kitchen and took up Karian's cup.
Now was the time to pass the time of now.
The little time left for now that he wanted to see.
That dimension didn't exist.
It was called En.
A network between Regios that people couldn't see. An information network.
In the false dimension were two figures facing each other.
One was a girl of weak light.
The other was a beautiful figure of a half human, half bird.
Zuellni and Schneibel. Nina and Melnisc spoke at the same time in this dimension.
She immediately realized something had changed.
Vati Len. The woman exuding a sense of danger, one that Nina couldn't do anything about. The woman whom Melnisc called Lævateinn. For that, the two had met in this dimension.
When Nina realized the situation, Schneibel had stopped speaking.
"I understand the situation."
"You've been infiltrated. Right?"
Zuellni didn't reply.
"Concentrating on Durindana's attack, you hadn't realized Lævateinn's presence. Starting from me, every Electronic Fairy had missed her. I can't scold you for that."
Zuellni lowered her gaze in dejection.
"Besides, we can't do anything in this situation. Not only the Heaven's Blade successors, but even the Queen is subjected to Durindana's binding. Every power in this world is bound. That is probably the fault of us Regios," Schneibel said without changing her expression. She wasn't robotic. She had just had years and years to suppress her emotions.
"But it was possible to contact us about it. Zuellni, you should have known."
But Zuellni kept her silence.
Zuellni herself felt Schneibel's irritation. But she remained silent. The crisp, bell-like voice that Nina had heard before didn't defend itself.
"Why didn't you contact us? Or is it because it is an Academy City?"
"But this problem isn't the same as the red haired beast and darkness. This is related to the crisis of this world. You should understand that being an Academy City isn't enough to explain your action."
In Schneibel's expression was disapproval that Nina couldn't understand.
Schneibel couldn't guess the scope of meaning behind Zuellni's silence. Not that Zuellni couldn't speak of it. Schneibel had done a thorough research in Zuellni's situation before initiating communication through En. She didn't notice anything strange caused by Lævateinn's presence.
And if Zuellni had been so exhausted that she couldn't contact Schneibel, how did it explain her being able to communicate from the beginning through En?
So that meant Zuellni was using silence to protect her own thoughts.
Even the mother of all Electronic Fairies – Schneibel, didn't know. What was Zuellni thinking?
"Why don't you speak!"
Even Nina didn't understand.
Zuellni replied Nina's painful question with silence.
"You're admitting in silence. Is that true? Why? Because you lost? You gave me power. Because of that? Zuellni. Answer me!"
Zuellni continued to keep her silence. For the Academy City. For Nina's passion. But she still kept her silence.
"Why don't you say a word!"
"You're still treating me like an outsider!"
Nina's pain filled the dimension. The dimension echoed her heart.
This was proof that the substance of the Electronic Fairy in Nina's body was growing normally, or that the substance that would become the new hope was her. But the process of factoring in the safety of the Academy City in Schneibel's question was already gone.
She must make a decision.
Schneibel looked at the determined girl. At the Electronic Fairy that selflessly sacrificed herself for the people in her city.
In her, all emotions were eliminated.
"I won't ask again of your issue. But as one who bears the responsibility for the structure of this world, we must destroy Lævateinn."
"If you interfere with this, you'll become our enemy."
Zuellni lowered her head sadly.
"Is that fine?"
The girl nodded.
"Zuellni. Why?" Nina's wail couldn't be communicated.
And at this moment, the Academy City Zuellni had become the enemy of the world.