Chrome Shelled Regios:Volume17 Chapter2

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Chapter 2: Nina's Battlefield[edit]

Her body was heavy like it had been filled with lead.

"Ugh, ah-"

Her joints uttered laments as if they had become stone.

"This battlefield really is exhausting."

"Yeah, my Kei vein was almost fatigued."

"Nn."

This was the resting room of the practice battlefield.

The intense and lengthy battle had already finished, so Nina and Claribel were there.

"Ah, But! Did you see? Did you see it, Nina?"

"Nnn."

"That is Layfon Alseif! Puwah!"

"......I felt it deeply."

Claribel stood up excitedly, and immediately cried out painfully because of muscle pain. Her like this made Nina show a wry smile.

"Felt it deeply, huh."

Since Layfon had joined the seventeenth platoon, a year and then some had already passed. Nina had trained with him, and had carried out practice battles, but this was the first time she had seriously battled with Layfon.

"It's totally different from the feeling of watching from afar."

"This is Layfon who is dedicated to fighting filth monsters. How do you feel fighting against him when he can use steel threads?"

"He's very strong......"

Nina could only reply like that.

Using his blade and steel threads simultaneously on the battlefield, and each setting traps, Layfon had lost two Dites. But afterwards he had still used the great blade of the Adamantium Dite to fight, and that fighting method could only be described as ingenious.

Moreover he still had an unmatched oppressive feeling.

"It felt as if fighting against a ridiculously strong filth monster."

"Right!"

Claribel was very happy.

"Though only swordfighting is Layfon's specialty, there are many styles to mix that with steel threads, perhaps that way of fighting should be called rather scary? Of course Layfon's steel thread technique isn't as good as Lintence-sama, but even still it's already very strong. The problem really isn't the depth of the techniques, but the momentary explosive strength of using the techniques. After all Layfon has the unique ability where he only needs to see other peoples' Kei techniques to be able to steal them, so his style of fighting has become completely specialized around using these peculiar methods. Of course it's like that, after all he's the only Heaven's Blade successor in history to not use a good weapon like the Heaven's Blade......"

Showing an intoxicated expression because of her happy feelings, Claribel chattered endlessly. She spoke while sitting back down, and then lying flat on the ground again. Even so, she still continually talked, and later her voice eventually quieted down.

"Clara, if you want to sleep just go back to the room to sleep. I don't have the strength today to carry you back home."

"I know~ but never mind that, Layfon's more important. Did you see? Before when he fought me he used Hazy Garret, but this time it was Silent Flash. They're the super powerful Heaven's Blade Arts. Do you understand? Why they're Heaven's Blade Arts? That they're Layfon's own moves, and Layfon himself believes that without using the Heaven's Blade he couldn't have invented those techniques, so they're called Heaven's Blade Arts? Though Layfon's Dite has been improved with the techniques of this city, that Layfon can unexpectedly use these kinds of techniques with normal weapons, how deserving of Layfon. He really won't be buried in the wilderness like that!"

"Oh."

Layfon was very strong.

Nina held the Haikizoku in her body, and had received Dites from Zuellni that could completely bear the great power that the Haikizoku exerted, and Claribel could use the many-faceted Karen Kei. Even facing the two of them, Layfon still almost hadn't fallen.

Nina knew Layfon was very strong. From their first inter-platoon match, she had understood this.

And today, she had won against him.

"Nn, he truly is very strong."

This fact made Nina so happy she could almost collapse, but also made a lonely feeling emerge in her. Though it wasn't her by herself who had defeated Layfon, to today Nina had endlessly honed herself with him as her target.

She had once thought Layfon stood at a distant place that she would never be able to arrive at.

Reaching that place made Nina have a sort of guilty feeling, feeling that it was only because of the Haikizoku's help that she had made it. Claribel had said there was no reason to care about that kind of thing, and the Haikizoku had said something similar. It didn't matter what sort of strength, not being able to flexibly use it meant it was meaningless.

The two of them had joined hands to defeat Layfon. So, Nina didn't have the joy of reaching her goal by herself. However, she didn't think that it was wrong to cooperate with others to complete a goal if she couldn't do it with her own strength. Else, she wouldn't have formed the seventeenth platoon in the first place. Otherwise she should have felt that it didn't matter who the platoon members were as long as she became strong herself.

"I guess......"

The seventeenth platoon.

Claribel had fallen asleep unwittingly.

"Clara, I'm tired too, there's no way I can carry you back."

"I know thaat-"

Even the sound of her reply had become slurred, becoming the breathing sound of slumber.

Nina herself was tired to the point where she was too lazy to stand up, but thinking that they needed sheets for two people, Nina dragged her heavy body up.

"The seventeenth platoon."

Nina hadn't showered, and walked through the corridor with mud all over her body. She planned to somehow shower before sleeping, but she wasn't even certain that she could do this kind of small thing.

"It's my platoon, but......"

She and Claribel had joined hands to challenge Layfon.

Challenging him wasn't wrong, and joining hands with Claribel wasn't wrong either.

However, the true meaning and significance of this activity couldn't be told to anyone.

"Am I betraying them?"

She muttered this.

Even if this was unavoidable it was still the same. This fact not only deeply engraved itself in Nina's body, but would also brand itself in the hearts of the people around her, like the words Layfon had said during the battle in the empty city. People would get some kind of message from being engraved into reality, and that would make them think.

Her pace as she walked in the hallway was quite heavy.

Was it because she was exhausted, or because she had noticed this truth?

"......Perhaps it's already too late."

Even her muttering was heavy.

Could she bear this kind of weight?

This doubt gradually destroyed the joy of victory.



Sharnid was thinking.

"......What has happened?"

"Hm? Ahah......"

Perhaps nothing had happened, as Dalshena who walked beside him sent a surprised look.

"Uh, do you have no thoughts about what happened just now?"

The two were leaving the practice battlefield, walking on the road back home. Sharnid had tried inviting Dalshena to dinner, but like normal he had been refused. Before they split, the two didn't have anything in particular to say, and had just walked, and this conversation had occurred in the middle of the road.

If things were normal, the scene that should have happened was Sharnid would use his normal manner to chat with Dalshena, and then she would respond coldly, but today's Sharnid was genuinely quiet, so Dalshena cared about his response.

"Just now......? Do you mean Nina's strong power? Or Nina teaming up with Claribel?"

"What, you obviously know, right?"

"Huh, are you jealous?"

"How should I say it?"

Sharnid had long since known that Nina possessed a strong power. When coming in contact with Grendan, and when a big group of filth monsters had attacked Grendan, Nina had shown abnormally strong power in those rough battles.

Moreover, she had candidly spoken of her association with the abnormal world.

Nina was afraid that she would drag others into the battlefield, but in the end this hadn't happened, and Sharnid's life was as calm as usual. Of course, that was other than the personal affair that had happened around the time of the school opening ceremony.

That event was also related to Dalshena. Although her expression was currently very calm, was she actually like that?

(Ya, let's ignore that for now.)

Sharnid pulled his stray thoughts back in place, and voice his sincere opinion:

"It seems like our Captain-sama really likes keeping secrets."

"You think she's concealing something?"

"Anyway, it's something bothersome."

"If she only had today's competition because of that, what would you do?"

"What should I do, huh......"

He had relayed Nina's words to Dalshena.

Though he had relayed it for her to hear, still......

"Up to today, I still haven't been completely confident."

"Yeah, true."

Dalshena's dubious attitude wasn't strange.

"We indeed saw a creature that was big enough to cover all of Grendan......"

"We can interpret it as a special filth monster beyond the ordinary."

"Then what was the reason for Zuellni and Grendan to come in contact? Grendan isn't a city near Zuellni, right? I've heard that the areas surrounding Grendan all have unusually high probabilities of filth monsters appearing, so Zuellni couldn't have taken the initiative to come close to it."

"Really? Back when the city went out of control, didn't Zuellni charge into a big group of filth monsters? Perhaps Zuellni's Electronic Fairy experienced abnormalities?"

"......I see."

Even Sharnid didn't know if this way of thinking was really Dalshena's true thoughts.

However, it wasn't impossible. It was a fact that Zuellni had experienced abnormalities and charged into a big group of filth monsters, and it could be extended to be interpreted as the reason for coming in contact with Grendan.

Perhaps that group of aliens and that giant creature were only things that already lived in this world, special abnormal beings different from the normal filth monsters. Maybe there was no hidden meaning in this.

Sharnid thought that the secrets that Nina was facing and pulled even deeper with her body stuck in the mud perhaps never existed in the first place.

Perhaps it was only Sharnid thinking too much.

"Nina teamed up with Claribel who came from Grendan, and then secretly did things while excluding us, fearing to say anything even to Layfon...... the situation wouldn't be like that, right?"

"If you want to know, couldn't you just open your mouth and ask?"

"You wouldn't care about that?"

"Well, I wouldn't bet my life for that person. I won't bother to care about things other people won't talk."

"Ah, so that's how you think."

After all, the reason she had joined the seventeenth platoon was also because that kind of thing had happened. The tenth platoon that Sharnid had once been a part of had already collapsed, and Dinn who had been the platoon captain had been taken back to his home.

"To me, the so-called platoon is only to keep my power from getting rusty, and a place where I can efficiently improve my strength. I don't have any need for something like a platoon captain."

"......So that's how it is."

As Dalshena said this, Sharnid tried not to look at her face.

Life in the Academy City was only six years.

"We already spent five years, huh."

Perhaps it was up to the newer people to begin putting in effort toward something now. Sharnid and the others already didn't have enough time to do such things. Life in the Academy City ended after six years, and the students didn't possess unlimited time, so the ending time was bound to approach.

Feeling that this sort of time was close by would make people lose their reckless momentum. Sharnid didn't think he could find a goal that could make him hot-bloodedly think 'I still have a year'.

"Correct."

Dalshena nodded her head indicating agreement. Sharnid couldn't hold great expectations of her who faced the same.

"But, that's my problem, and isn't a problem of yours."

"......Nn."

"Did you leave us in order to run into difficulty in this kind of place?" [1]

"............"

When Sharnid still hadn't thought of how he should reply, the road had already split into two. Dalshena didn't say goodbye, didn't continue questioning, and didn't request that Sharnid answer, simply quietly walking on the road. Sharnid who had stopped his steps could only stand there gazing at her gradually departing figure.

He scratched his head.

He looked at the sky.

"I really can't stand it."

Sharnid put forth a great effort in order to mutter that sentence.



His body was heavy after finishing a large number of chores.

"Really......"

Gorneo let that word out of his mouth. He was at the hospital. It was currently evening, and visiting hours were already almost over. His face wrinkled as he tried to solidify the feeling of his shoulder and neck as he moved forward to the place he wanted to go.

His target was the big floor for hospitalized patients.

"Shante, I'm coming in."

After knocking on the door he quickly walked into the room.

This was a single room, but there were already guests inside.

A person who shouldn't have appeared here.

"Ah, it's been hard on you~"

"......Why are you here?"

The person who had come to visit before him was Samiraya. The Student Council President who should have been working in the Student Council building had unexpectedly and for some unknown reason come here.

Many things had occurred during the Student Council elections, and Samiraya had met Shante. After that, whenever she found time, she would come to visit Shante like this.

That would obviously make one happy, but......

But today......

"Huh? Because I finished my work, right?"

"Did you finish looking at the repair costs for the practice battlefield?"

"Huh? That case can't be filed today, right?"

Samiraya came to that conclusion with her eyes open wide in a surprised expression, making Gorneo unable to keep from rubbing his temples. The competition that had been held today had been carried out with the consent of both the Student Council President and the Military Arts Head, and because it was a debt of gratitude for the special task from before, even though it was a request for personal use from a platoon, the repair costs had not been apportioned to the platoon.

Had it been normal, there would have been no reason to rush the handling of it, but......

The damage this time was truly too tragic.

The degree of destruction that Gorneo had originally expected was probably about the same as the time when Layfon and Claribel had fought, but the competition this time had also involved Nina, and Nina's power was far beyond what Gorneo had known, so the destruction of the practice battlefield was far greater than he had expected.

Only because of this had Samiraya thought that the damage assessment wouldn't be completed so quickly.

"Hasn't the assessment already been sent to me to sign?"

"........................Huh?"

After Gorneo replied, Samiraya's face turned blue in an instant.

"The people supervising the practice field very much enjoy watching Military Arts competitions, this is very well-known among the platoons. Those guys all will watch the battle while calculating the probable damage, drawing up a plan for repairs."

"Really?"

"Though the damage this time is very great and we have to spend some time carrying out confirmations, the assessment has reached my desk."

"Uh, ah...ah...ah...ah......"

Samiraya listened to Gorneo's explanation while making a strange noise. In Gorneo's mind emerged an image of the Student Council vice-president Leu in the Student Council room quietly becoming angry.

The same scene emerged in Samiraya's mind.

"I......I......I'll be going!"

Right after saying that, she hurriedly rushed out of the hospital room.

"Don't run in the hospital!"

After reminding her, Gorneo let out a sight, and then looked at the bed.

On the bed, there was a girl looking at him while smiling calmly.

CSR vol17 132.jpg

She was Shante.

Though the past her had been in the same year as Gorneo, her body had been small enough to sit on his shoulder. But, since the event that happened in Grendan, up through today her body had continuously grown at an alarming rate.

This phenomenon didn't seem to be the same as the burst of fast growth that Gorneo had seen several times before.

Shante hadn't returned to her original body size, and she seemed to have put all her past years of growth to be completed in a short moment.

When the doctor had said this, Gorneo had thought of when Layfon had seen Shante's transformation before and had given Alsheyra as an example, so he had told the doctor that it could have been Shante's strong Kei flow that stopped her from growing.

However, this reason couldn't explain the Shante transforming from an older person to a child.

In short, Shante's growth still didn't show any signs of stopping. With this kind of rapid growth, it was possible that ordinary daily nutrition wasn't enough to supply her body with nutrients, so she still continued to stay in the hospital.

"Are you doing alright?"

"Nn, it's too bad these things are attached to my body, so I can't run around."

Saying this, Shante raised the tube that stuck out from her arm. Her appearance had once again become a bit different from yesterday, making Gorneo feel uneasy.

"You don't have to come every day, you know."

"I can't do that."

"Why?"

Shante tilted her head giving a puzzled look. Facing her like this, Gorneo still felt uneasy as could be expected. Spread out in front of her were sweets that Samiraya had brought as gifts, and some were still left.

The Shante that Gorneo knew wouldn't speak like this.

The Shante that Gorneo knew would gobble the food in front of her in an instant.

"......In another week, I might not be able to recognize you."

"Don't worry, Goru will definitely be able to recognize me."

"Mm."

Shante showed a slight smile, and Gorneo unconsciously turned his head.

"Moreover, even if Goru doesn't recognize me, I'll definitely understand, so don't worry."

"Mm."

Ahh, how worried his heart was.

The current Shante was completely different from the wild-natured yet grown-up her that Gorneo had seen many times. Along with her body growing, Shante's heart grew as well. This situation made Gorneo feel worried.

He couldn't tell if he would unwittingly become a relatively younger person, and that kind of feeling made Gorneo uncomfortable.

"Ahh, this really is......"

When Shante was unconscious he had been distraught all day, but he wouldn't have thought that when she awoke he would still be distraught all day.

She who became more beautiful every day made Gorneo feel restless.



Two people woke up at the same strange time.

"Nn-"

"What is it?"

The resting room was dark. Had the manager of the practice battlefield not seen Nina and Claribel, or had she noticed, but been helpless towards their deep sleep, therefore leaving them here?

Whatever the answer, Nina and Claribel had been left in the resting room of the practice field.

"......In the end I want to take a shower."

"I hope we can use it."

Though her stomach was very hungry, the smell of sweat that came from her body and the feeling of the mud that stuck to her body were even more unbearable.

Claribel also agreed with Nina's judgment, so the two of them walked to the shower room. Though there were no lights on inside, warm water still flowed from the showerhead. Relying on the emergency lights from the corridor that they had walked through, the two of them showered, washing off the sweat and dirt on their body.

"Now, what should we do?"

After washing off their sweat and calming that dirty feeling, it became a strong hunger as if they were fasting.

"......Speaking of that, the door should already be locked, right?"

"Isn't there still a security guard?"

"Is...... there?"

"......It seems like I can't hear the sound of anyone."

Perhaps there were people here. But, the practice battlefield where Military Artists battled was quite vast, and this big building was surrounded by empty buildings, so it was unknown whether a security guard was nearby.

"Maybe we can use the vending machine that the spectators use?"

"If we use brute force to get out of here, the aftermath will be very troublesome."

The vending machine was unplugged. After obtaining food and beverages, the two of them once again returned to the resting room, and then gobbled up the pasta, sandwiches, fried foods, and other food that they had bought in great quantity.

Though they were female, if there were two ravenous Military Artist stomachs that wanted to eat a meal, such a description would be very appropriate for the situation.

The speechless yet noisy eating scene continued for quite a while.

"Hu, I'm full. At this kind of time, the amount of food really is more important than the quality."

Claribel who was sitting on the floor let out a satisfied sigh, a small mountain of garbage piled up by her waist.

"Not bad at all."

Nina also sighed. The satisfied feeling of the fatigue that had been firmly attached to her body finally disappearing spread through her body.

"......Then, what should we do next?"

"We can only wait here for the doors to be opened."

"Ah, the situation really has turned into that."

"We can also go to the security guard room, but......"

"Yeah, it would feel embarrassing."

Therefore, the best method would be to go back to sleep. After the two of them collected the garbage, they once again laid down.

"......Oh right, Nina."

"What?"

"Do you have anyone you like?"

"Eh?"

The question that Claribel suddenly put out made Nina prop her body up in a half-sitting position.

"W......What kind of things are you saying so suddenly?"

"Haah, isn't it like one of those chats about love topics? Speaking of which, I've never had such a thing with Nina."

"Obviously, that kind of topic......"

"You don't like it?"

"It...... It isn't something that can be said trivially."

A strange light flashed in Claribel's eyes, and Nina turned her head as if to dodge that gaze.

However, that movement wouldn't stop her from continuing that topic.

"Really? I feel that we should exchange information when we chat about that kind of topic."

"That kind of thing......"

"What do you think about Layfon?"

"......Don't you like him?"

"That's right, but I feel like Nina also feels that way!"

"That...... That's not how it is!"

"Is that true?"

"Right."

"Oho. Then is it okay if Layfon and I do this and that?"

"Underage people can't do that kind of thing."

"You don't have any jealousy mixed in that stubbornness, right?"

"Didn't I say......"

Just as the words left her mouth, Nina couldn't continue speaking. The expression that appeared on Claribel's face was that serious, and her gaze didn't seem like she was joking either.

"Nina."

"W......What?"

"There's the possibility that we might die tomorrow. If that kind of thing makes you hesitate, that moment could possibly mean the end of the world."

"Ah, nn......"

"I don't mean that you should abandon yourself to despair or live for pleasure, but I feel that you should honestly face yourself in a way that won't make yourself regret."

"I......I'm doing that."

"Then, what do you really think about Layfon......?"

"That...... that......"

"Ah, I don't know myself what the situation will become, but personally, I hope to peacefully resolve this problem."

"By problem, you mean......"

"Competing with a good friend over the same guy, isn't that kind of feeling good?"

"......It's a bit strange to be called that by Clara."

"Is it that strange?"

"......That, I don't really understand."

What was definitely true was that this feeling wasn't bad.

However, as to her feelings towards Layfon......

"I truly don't really understand."

As a Military Artist, Nina greatly respected him. As a companion in the same platoon, Nina thought that there wasn't anyone more trustworthy.

Then, as a woman......?

Nina thought of what had happened in the empty city, thinking of when Layfon had applied medicine on her back to treat her. The tense feeling she had felt at the time could be explained as a manifestation of her feelings.

Therefore, that would mean this kind of feeling had already taken form in her heart, but the situation wasn't like that.

She didn't like Layfon. That assertion made Nina feel a bit of resistance, but she felt that she could never think of Layfon as a lover.

"......You're still indecisive, huh."

"Wu!"

As Claribel said this, Nina suddenly became speechless.

"I should say that Nina's mental age towards such things like love is super low, maybe the same as Layfon, or maybe you're even slower than him."

"Ah, uh, ah......"

Nina wanted to deny this, but she also understood that she didn't have anything that she could refute that with, so she couldn't say anything meaningful.

"Therefore, let's do this. Though I feel sorry for you, if I have to wait for your mental age to grow into an adult's, the time that would be wasted would be a pity."

"No, but...... other people think Layfon......"

"That's true. But the other people all understand their own feelings, and I think they're eligible to be my rivals, so I shouldn't have any real reason to care about them, right?"

"Uh, um...... yeah, I guess."

"Love is a battle. Once you become careless, the things that you want with all your heart will disappear in an instant to a place you can't touch."

"Wu, nn......"

"Aah, therefore, starting from tomorrow...... hehe, hehehehe......"

"Um, hey......?"

"Although it was the two of us, we still won after all. Though I only thought so in my heart, things that have been decided are things that have been decided. Hehe, hahaha......hahahahahahahahahahahahahaha."

Speaking of this, Claribel had said once before that if she won against Layfon she would confess to him.

Nina felt somewhat uncomfortable looking at Claribel's gradually collapsing expression in the darkness, while once again thinking.

(Really, I still don't understand.)

But, her chest indeed felt tight.

But it was because she wanted to resist that kind of action that would change her environment, though on the other hand, she would change as well.

Other than Military Arts, Layfon's usual personality and disposition that couldn't really be relied on, could change at the hands of a woman.

(Change annoys me after all.)

Nina didn't want the environment surrounding her to change.

"That's a desire that can't be realized."

This was the Academy City. The reason everyone came here was because they wanted to change themselves. If they didn't change themselves, then they had no reason to brave dangers to come to the Academy City. To this Academy City, change was an obvious phenomenon.

"That desire can't be realized."

"......What?"

"......It's nothing."

It was useless to keep embracing an impossible desire.

"......This is what I think."

"What?"

"I think Nina has some narcissistic tendencies."

"Wha-!"

"Doesn't Nina think that she's a sorrowful being and stuck in the middle of things?"

"That......"

"It's okay, if it can let you exert your full power."

"No, as I said......"

"What, isn't that quite good? The darkness in your heart has times when it can come in handy. What I'm saying is that those reasons are evil."

"I......I'm not that kind of person!"

"......Forget about that, don't you feel that the air in here has become strange?"

The fantastic allegations made Nina's heart become chaotic, and compared to her, Claribel's expression was quite calm.

"Stop talking about that...... What?"

Claribel's face wasn't the same, since a smile hadn't emerged nor was she showing a relaxed expression.

This was her face on the battlefield.

"......What is it?"

However, her body naturally entered battle condition. Nina instantly stood up from her lying down position, searching for an unusual presence.

The air wasn't the same?

"......What's the meaning of this?"

Changes had indeed appeared in the air. However, Nina didn't know what exactly was different.

"I remember this kind of subtle change in the air. In Grendan, this would happen whenever those guys appeared."

"Wolf Faces......?"

"But those guys have already......"

She had heard that before the big commotion that had happened in Grendan, they had already been completely eliminated.

"Therefore......"

What was the reason for this kind of feeling?

What would happen?

Before Nina had time to ponder, a change suddenly appeared, happening at an intense pace.

"!"

The scene of the resting room that was covered with darkness gradually disappeared, being replaced with other things, and only Claribel and Nina remained where they were.

The scenery slowly became a hand without its five fingers, in a pitch-black space containing nothing else.

Afterwards, there was a being emitting radiance.

What appeared next was......

"You are......"

"Have you completed honing yourself?"

Standing before Nina was her great-grandfather.



Gildred Antalk stood there.

He gazed at Nina with his arms crossed.

Moreover, behind him emitting radiance in the darkness was the Electronic Fairy Schneibel.

"This place is...... En?"

The information network space between the Electronic Fairies.

Nina had come here before.

"Nn, it is."

For Claribel next to her, it should be her first time coming here. She murmured interestedly, moving her gaze left and right.

"......Then, this person is the legendary great-grandfather?"

"Grendan's princess, eh."

Claribel's words made Gildred open his mouth.

"It's my first time meeting you, mother of the Electronic Fairies - Electronic Fairy Schneibel of the Senou City, and your guardian. My name is Claribel, Claribel Ronsmier, descendant of the Ronsmier family of Grendan's Three Royal Families. As for the status, since I left my home, I don't know what it has turned into."

"My old self is Gildred Antalk."

Claribel's almost unmoving attitude made Gildred show a wry smile, as he replied like this.

"Nice to meet you. Then, can I ask what you are doing?"

The chaotic and cautious mindset brought by the sudden change in situation made Nina unable to speak. Claribel asked questions in her place.

"Pardon me, but this has nothing to do with Grendan's princess, it's a family matter."

"Is that so."

"Can I ask you to step aside?"

"I refuse."

Her reply while she wore a smile froze the wry smile on Gildred's face.

"What did you say?"

"Though it's a family matter, the topic being brought up here shouldn't be unrelated to me. More importantly, if you decide anything regarding Nina, then that problem is related to me and Zuellni."

Claribel spoke smoothly, not succumbing to the oppressive feeling that Gildred gave off.

"......After all the one who decided that Zuellni was the enemy of the world was Schneibel standing over there."

"Ah, is that how it is."

"Clara."

After Gildred showed a pondering demeanor, Nina observed that a space had appeared in the brief conversation. Nina grabbed Claribel's arm, pulling her to her side.

"......You got used to it quickly."

Nina couldn't have done it.

"It was only a bluff, does it even need to be said?"

The quiet reply made Nina widen her eyes in surprise.

"But, he's not as frightening as our Majesty."

Claribel winked an eye and smiled.

"I don't know what objectives they have, but maybe they want you."

"When we were in that empty city, great-grandfather also asked for me to return."

"Therefore, perhaps they really want you to return. Thinking deeper, it's fine even if they just want your strength to return, though I don't know if they have some deeper reason behind them."

"Mm."

Nina didn't know either.

She had known since before that her home city was a special place that could give birth to Electronic Fairies, but she knew nothing at all about any deeper truth. That state of affairs seemed to go well with the tense situation, as if a layer of secrets was going to be lifted before Nina.

The speed at which the situation changed was far too rapid, and Nina had no time to understand.

After all, she had just been in the resting room, and suddenly arrived in this kind of place.

"I noticed the Electronic Fairy behind him hasn't said a single word until now."

"Shouldn't your chat over there be about finished by now?"

Just as Nina was about to look along Claribel's gaze, Gildred interjected his words.

"For this time I'll let the princess join in as well."

"Thank you very much."

"......Then, can I ask what it is that great-grandfather needs?"

"I originally thought that just coming to visit wasn't a problem, but Schneibel voiced objections."

Facing the embattled Nina, Gildred said this, arms crossed.

"Huh?"

Nina looked at Schneibel, but the Electronic Fairy behind the old man stayed quiet.

The old man released the arms crossed in front of him.

He extended his hand to Nina.

CSR vol17 150.jpg

"Come back, Nina. You have a body that has fused with an Electronic Fairy, and have nurtured a strong will to command the Haikizoku. You should no longer be a normal Military Artist, and you have the opportunity to become the strongest Military Artist in the Senou City."

Gildred's voice was quite hard, reverberating heavily in all directions.

He was praising Nina.

The arm that he extended out was clearly reflected in Nina's eyes.

"The final preparations for facing fate are here."

For some reason, Gildred's words made Nina tremble. The lonely feeling she had experienced in Grendan of not being able to rely on anyone now seemed as if it had been treated. That kind of feeling made Nina unable to stop trembling.

However......

"What will happen to Zuellni?"

Schneibel considered Zuellni that had accepted Vati Len the world's enemy, and Gildred had once come to destroy it. Once Nina left Zuellni, the Electronic Fairies might attack this place as soon as they could.

"We will continue to monitor Zuellni. If that thing takes action, this place will become a battleground."

"That......"

"Where else do you want to fight? Do you think that thing will allow us to choose the battleground?"

"Wu......"

"Ignoring for now whether it's evil or not, the fact that thing is there will not change, and the fact that it is very dangerous will not change."

"......If we let those people obtain their freedom that they have desired for so long, this world will definitely be eliminated. Whatever happens, they can only be the enemy of us Electronic Fairies."

Schneibel spoke.

"Freedom......?"

"This world is a man-made thing. The reason for which it was made is maintained by us Electronic Fairies to this day."

"You said man-made......?"

Nina felt quite surprised at the words that came out of Schneibel's mouth, but the Electronic Fairy ignored her surprise, continuing to speak by herself:

"Fighting since the birth of this world and clashing with those things is an unavoidable ending. But we do not plan on giving this entire fate to the Military Artists gathered in their ancestor city. Though we were created, we still have our pride as those who maintain the world. We are taking action, preparing to bring our strongest guardians to counter this danger."

"Could it be that......?"

"The Haikizoku is also one of them."

"Along with the fusing with Electronic Fairies."

Gildred and Schneibel alternated saying these.

Then, her great-grandfather continued speaking:

"The so-called Electronic Fairies are beings that maintain this world and the people in it, high-energy lives with more knowledge and conscious. The descendants of the moon known as Military Artists can draw on this energy, using it to aid them. This is the method the Electronic Fairies have spent a long time on to make in order to fight against fate, and this old man has also accepted that kind of method."

"Is that why great-grandfather has such longevity?"

"Half of my old body already can only be maintained through the electronic bonds of the Electronic Fairies."

"Meaning that you have given up your identity as a human?"

If almost all of his body was the same as the Electronic Fairies, that meant her great-grandfather's body was the same as the the young body that composed Nina's acquaintance Zuellni.

The existence of his body had already become just an anchor to let his feet touch the ground. Her great-grandfather didn't need to breathe, eat, or sleep, and received energy directly from liquid selenium.

He was already no longer human.

Even if Nina asked this, Gildred's expression didn't move.

"What are humans to you? Are they beings that achieve things during their life, or are they beings that give birth to offspring, and help them grow up?"

"That......"

"I don't want to judge what is good and what is bad. Both sides are necessary. But which side do you plan on being? If it's the latter, then things are easily handled. But if it's the former, what do you plan on achieving?"

"............"

This question was too sudden and serious, and Nina couldn't quickly make an answer.

However, she continued to search for an answer.

The road ahead was a battlefield out of the ordinary, and her great-grandfather who stood in front of her had lived long before Nina, long before her father or grandfather, continuously laboring to prepare for this battlefield.

Compared to the serious consciousness hidden inside, Nina wasn't even worth mentioning.

If Nina wanted to walk the same path as her great-grandfather, the giant wave that she had formed herself would pull her into things without any explanation, in spite of herself.

"I......"

"You still have time, you don't need to answer immediately."

Gildred stopped Nina who had opened her mouth but completely had no idea what she should say.

"Great-grandfather......?"

"Before this, we never had any time to talk, but this old man feels that there is a reason to tell you about the way this side thinks, so we set up this place."

Gildred's tone seemed to be mixed with some slight distortion. Schneibel behind her great-grandfather's back was silent. However, Nina felt that her gaze from beginning to end stared at her great-grandfather's back.

The distance that existed between Nina and Gildred was somewhat unnatural.

But, was the distance that Nina felt between Gildred and Schneibel even more strongly unnatural?

(What's going on with this kind of atmosphere?)

"I will make a connection between you and Schneibel. As for how to use it, the Haikizoku in your body should know. Tidy up your thoughts and then return."

"Great-grandfather."

"Then, tonight we'll end here."

Nina didn't have an opportunity to unravel the mystery in her heart. With Gildred's unilateral declaration, this talk that had been carried out one-sidedly ended like this.

"......Ah?"

"Oh?"

Nina unconsciously let out a sound, and Claribel also showed an admiring expression.

The two of them stood outside the practice battlefield.

"The other side is rather thoughtful."

"......Weren't our bags in the resting room?"

The two of them held nothing in their hands.

"Ah......"

In the end, Nina had put the key to her room in her clothes pocket, so they shouldn't need to worry. But-

"Wuu......"

Claribel seemed to have put her key in her bag.

"Just come to my place to sleep for tonight."

"......Nn, sorry to bother."

"............Anyway, I think that today was really an incredible day."

Only after whispering this did Nina notice that the fatigue that she had originally washed away in the shower room had once again pervaded every corner of her body.



During the night that Nina and Claribel had their fantastic experience.

Layfon was in a place that even he felt he was incompatible with.

"Ahahahahah! How cute~"

"Please...... Please don't do this."

"Don't say that, let me see your face clearly."

The unfamiliar girl put her hand on his cheek, moving her face close. Layfon was afraid enough he thought of escaping, but on his other side there was another girl, and she also prepared to put her face close to Layfon.

In other words, Layfon was being attacked from left and right and had nowhere to run.

The clothes that the two girls wore were short and had large slits, giving off a looming flirtatious presence, which to Layfon was far too much stimulation.

He had absolutely no idea where he should put his gaze.

The lights here were turned very dim. Noisy music was disrupted by the chatting that came over from the next table, and his own volume involuntarily rose.

The place in front of Layfon was one of Zuellni's very few hostess clubs.

He didn't know why he was here.

This kind of shop was rare, as the number of girls who wanted to do this kind of work wasn't large, and also only half of the students were old enough to drink. Of course, Layfon even being at such a place was already teetering at the edge of the school rules.

"Oh, his skin is even better than I expected."

"I thought it would be a bit rougher."

"That......uh......"

Being intimately touched all over by the two girls, Layfon's mind was chaotic, tense to the point where he couldn't move.

"Sen......Senpai......"

Layfon looked at the person on the other side of the table, the culprit who had brought him to this place, for help.

"You should relax once in a while, isn't always being so tense tiring?"

"Is...... Is that the problem?"

That person was Sharnid.

Because something had happened, Layfon couldn't return to his room, and could only wander the streets of Zuellni alone. At that time, Sharnid had seen him, and moreover for some reason brought him to this kind of shop.

The two girls leaned over from left and right, even extending their hands to touch his face and hair, and before he realized it, they were preparing to unbutton his shirt. Layfon frantically held his clothing, and this action also made Sharnid laugh out loud.

"In this kind of time you can only go wild, right?"

"'This kind of time', meaning......"

Layfon hadn't said anything to Sharnid.

"I think that from tomorrow, the food in your bento might become a bit poor...... Aren't things like that?"

"Wuah!"

That sharp comment made Layfon think of his tense feelings at the time, and he pressed his hand against his chest.

"Ah, emotion is good, but there are a lot of difficult areas. So the best way is to go wild and forget everything."

"What? Could it be that Layfon was rejected?"

"Huh... No way! What a waste!"

"Ah, no, um......"

"Right right, that's how it is, so would you girls please comfort him."

"Ahh, how unfortunate, let onee-chan comfort you."

"Why don't you come over here then? Come!"

"Huh? No, uwa, uwaaaaah!"

Due to Sharnid's instigation, the girls by Layfon flattered him, leaning their bodies against him as if they wanted to push him over.

They almost casually unbuttoned Layfon's shirt, even preparing to extend their fangs toward his pants.

"Uwah, wait a second! Please stop, I said!"

If he got serious, pushing aside two normal girls would pose no difficulty, but Layfon couldn't do this kind of thing to normal people. Moreover the current Layfon's mind was chaotic, so he might not be able to control his strength, so he could do nothing but be manipulated.

Layfon's outer layer of clothing had been taken off, his shirt was unbuttoned, his pants had been halfway pulled down, and the boxers inside were revealed.

CSR vol17 160.jpg

Sharnid's loud laughter, the girls' inexplicable excitement, and the loud music and dim lighting in the shop.

"Stop thereee!"

Layfon let out a voice that he didn't understand, and also moved his body in a manner he didn't understand.

"Yaah!"

The two girls definitely felt that from Layfon's body suddenly blew a strong wind. Moreover, though the strength of this wind was strong, the force was very gentle, not sending the two of them flying, rather applying force all over their bodies as if trying to lift them up. To put it simply, the two girls gently floated upwards in that moment.

As if trying to extract himself from that space, Layfon escaped from the two of them surrounding him. His speed was obviously very fast. The almost unreserved speed of a Military Artist whipped up a small tornado in the store, and the sound of screams and breaking glass mixed together.

"......It seems like I made a new move just now."

After escaping from the shop at high speed and rushing into an alley, Layfon put on his pants while mumbling.

"Nn, the power just now was controlled very well, where could it come in handy?"

"Even at a time like this that's what you're thinking of?"

The surprised voice was obviously Sharnid's.

"......Senpai, there's something I don't really understand."

"Have you relaxed?"

"What do you mean relaxed......"

But, Layfon indeed felt that the pressure in his stomach had become lighter.

"Ah, although that kind of feeling wouldn't disappear that easily."

"Wu!"

"But being troubled by that kind of feeling is youth."

"Senpai, what was that just now?"

"Just call it relaxation, relaxation. If that kind of feeling could disappear in a breath, there would be no need for relaxation."

"Oh......"

Layfon felt that he had been cleverly deceived.

"Ah, let's chat a bit, you don't want to return yet, right?"

"......Okay."

If he returned right now he shouldn't run into her. But, just thinking of her being there, Layfon felt tense.

A sinful feeling had definitely pervaded every corner of his entire body.

"Then let's look for a quiet place, that place is way too noisy."

"......Uh, the person who brought me there was senpai......"

"So~ I'm~ saying~ did you relax?"

Sharnid said this kind of thing while leading Layfon into the alley in front of them.

"How dirty......"

This was an empty area that was occasionally created when building houses. Though no one was here right now, occasionally people would gather here. This place was covered in trash, and a sour smell firmly lingered.

"I'm definitely not going to use power in my nose, I'd die."

The so-called using of power obviously meant using internal Kei to strengthen his senses.

After Sharnid smiled, he threw a can of fruit juice at Layfon. On the road, Sharnid hadn't stopped at any vending machine, so maybe he had gotten this fruit juice from the shop just now.

"Oh right, who took the initiative?"

"Huh?"

"No, seeing your expression, I can probably guess what happened. But in order to avoid an unnecessary misunderstanding, I wanted to ask to clear things up...... who took the initiative to confess?"

"............"

"Ah- as expected, it wasn't you. In other words, Meishen took the initiative? Ah, anyone would be surprised."

"That, senpai, you couldn't have......"

"Nn?"

"You couldn't have noticed?"

Layfon was indicating Meishen's feelings.

"Aren't you and Nina the only ones who didn't notice? No, it's uncertain whether Nina knew."

"Wu!"

"Well, if you were a master of love, we probably wouldn't be friends. So this is alright."

"......It doesn't make me happy to be comforted like this."

Everybody had noticed, and only he had been unaware.

Because of that, he had hurt Meishen.

"You shouldn't have any reason to keep caring about this, right?"

"But......"

"Figuratively speaking, suppose you like someone, and the other person always knew your feelings, but never said so. Would that make you happy?"

"............"

"Moreover you got the courage to confess, but were rejected. Maybe you would think to complain to the other party that since you were rejected, why didn't they give some signal before your confession?"

"Wuu......"

Being told this, Layfon's stomach started hurting again. Having mistakenly accepted all of Meishen's feelings till now thinking they were the good intentions of a friend, Layfon could only feel quite ashamed, as well as very sorrowful.

Facing this kind of Layfon, Sharnid slapped him on the back as if he wanted to hurt him.

"Didn't I say? It doesn't matter even if you didn't notice. In this kind of situation, neither the person who rejects nor the person who gets rejected is wrong."

"......Nn."

Layfon felt that Sharnid hadn't said anything wrong, but the fact that he had hurt Meishen still made him feel heavy.

"If you opened your mouth to confess, and the other party was gloomy because he couldn't receive it, would you be happy?"

"......Probably not."

"Then you shouldn't stay gloomy."

"Oh......"

Layfon could understand the meaning that Sharnid was trying to express.

However, he couldn't easily switch his emotions.

Meishen had confessed to him. Being unable to respond to her expectations became a very serious issue to Layfon.

Sharnid also said nothing more. If he could hear a proposal from his mouth that could end this, then he would have no reason to continue staying in this place. After all, this place made Layfon feel very uneasy. Truthfully, Layfon hated the sinister atmosphere in the alley, and it could be said that he couldn't come to like the playful atmosphere of the night.

"Then, let's switch topics."

Though Layfon didn't want to return to his room, he didn't want to stay here for long either. As he was thinking of how he should express this, Sharnid said something like this:

"Today's combat training."

"Huh? Yes."

The topic suddenly turned, and moreover it was related to the practice battlefield, making Layfon tense up.

"Do you know what Nina is doing?"

"......No."

Layfon knew that something was happening, but he had not heard what it was from Nina.

If she couldn't tell anyone, then he would figure it out on his own, he would grab onto it on his own and not let go. Layfon had decided this, and had told Nina of his determination in the empty city. As expected, she hadn't said anything. She hadn't even said 'you're mistaken' or 'you're thinking too much', so she was indeed hiding something.

More importantly, the two of them had met Gildred in the empty city.

Strictly speaking...... maybe he didn't completely know nothing.

However, Layfon felt that his way of thinking perhaps wasn't too far from Sharnid's guess.

"Expressing that kind of attitude obviously would make someone perceive that she was hiding something. I should say, if it wasn't like this, you wouldn't have any reason to accompany her in carrying out training like today's, right?"

"............"

The aggressive pressing feeling made Layfon unable to say a word.

"I don't mean to blame you. I should say this problem is the same as before, all because that person likes to keep things closed in her heart."

"Nn."

"In any case, perhaps there's some reason for her not being able to speak the truth, maybe she's been intimidated like before."

"......What does senpai think?"

"Nn?"

"What should we do next......"

"That's just it, it really is."

In a bad mood, Sharnid threw the can that he had finished drinking high in the air. The empty can flew through the night in the alley, and just when Layfon thought it was going to fall back down, a loud noise sounded out, and the can once again flew up in the air.

Looking over, Sharnid was using his finger to shoot out small bursts of Kei. That had launched the can in the sky upwards.

"That person mustered her strength, and teamed up with Clara, acquiring enough strength to win against you. If there's an enemy they truly need that kind of strength to win against, then isn't that a place where I don't need to appear?"

Bang, bang, bang......

Sharnid continuously fired off Kei bursts to keep the can from falling as he spoke.

"That......"

The situation was like that. But, Layfon couldn't put it into words.

He only needed to look back to the battle in the empty city, and he clearly understood it. The giants Nina fought with seemed to also be Gildred's enemies.

Therefore, those giants were the beings that Nina and them fought against.

Seeing Nina fighting let him understand the strength of the giants. They had fighting power close to aged phases.

If the enemy was truly a being that could relaxedly use these sorts of creatures, then from now on, would there be any time that they could turn to Sharnid for help?

Probably not.

However, Layfon had no way to say this to Sharnid.

"Ah, I think it's like that."

Facing Layfon who couldn't say half a word, Sharnid quietly mumbled the conclusion he had reached himself.

The can in the air still hadn't fallen. Sharnid obviously wasn't looking at the can, but the Kei bursts shot from his finger hadn't missed.

Compared to a year before, Sharnid's power had also increased. Whether it was Sakkei, shooting techniques, or methods of releasing Kei, he had undoubtedly made notable progress.

Even so, he couldn't catch up to the strength required to join the battlefield.

Even thinking about the battle before with the giants, Layfon couldn't think of a way to use Sharnid's kind of battle strength.

Guns had a limit to their power. However, if their power were increased, the Kei strength required during shooting would increase alongside. If it were the current Sharnid, even if he slightly increased the power of his guns, he could still perform on the battlefield like before. But this degree of power wasn't any use on the battlefield.

When they had infiltrated Grendan, Sharnid had once let Layfon see a move regarding special Kei breathing that increased his Kei power. Though he knew this kind of technique, this move seemed to have a time limit.

It wasn't impossible. But this kind of fighting method perhaps could only be effective in conditions harsher than shooting.

This was the conclusion that Layfon derived.

"......I feel that it would be very dangerous."

After saying this, Layfon felt extremely pained.

Why was this? Layfon thought that as long as it had something to do with Military Arts, he could use an objective view to provide commentary, and in a breath he could even become calm enough to make others think that he had become someone else. Not long ago he had thought that himself being like this was very shameful, but in that case, why had he just said something like that?

"......Is that so?"

Bang, bang, bang......

Sharnid let the can continue floating in the sky as he murmured:

"No difference. By now, regardless of your judgment, and whatever Nina is planning on doing, it isn't important."

"............"

"In the end, the important thing is what I want to do."

Layfon was also like this. Layfon thought that Nina was concealing something, and moreover was planning something, so she took action. Though Layfon actually was endlessly training, compared to Felli who was preparing to analyze Delbone's heritage, it didn't count for much, but he still was always waiting for an opportunity to touch the secret in Nina's heart.

And the event that had happened in the empty city had let Layfon come in contact with it.

He determined that Nina's heart held a secret.

He decided that regardless of what happened, he would tightly grab onto this secret and not let go.

Though that was only Layfon, it also represented the resolve in Felli's heart who had also decided to follow Layfon.

It wasn't related to Sharnid.

But, if he simply concluded that he had nothing to do with it, he would be ignoring the things that had happened in the past year. Truthfully, it was too emotionless.

Therefore, why hadn't he said it to Sharnid......?

Nina's reasons and Layfon's reasons were different, and it was only right that they were different.

Then, what would Layfon do?

"Senpai......"

"Oh, not saying anything extra? Didn't I say, this is something I will decide. This fate is my own. If you feel that my death will create difficulties, then aren't you the same as someone ignoring my existence and making their own decisions? The situation is like that."

"............"

"I don't want to think about what you based your judgments on to decide not to tell me about this. Therefore, I can only make my own decisions and take my own actions. If you feel that I'm very irritating, then include me in things. If you can't do it, then don't mind me, alright?"

"......I myself don't know what to do."

"Ah, I thought as much, maybe even Nina doesn't even know what to do. There's something impending, and she definitely thinks that as long as she becomes strong she can overcome this obstacle, which is why she teamed up with Clara, right? Though the situation should be related to Grendan."

Sharnid spoke casually. But, the feeling hidden in his words made Layfon feel that it was hard to breathe.

This kind of feeling was probably anger. Sharnid was getting angry wearing his normal, casual face. Was he angry at Nina who had hidden secrets from him? Or was it Layfon who was chasing the secrets, but refused to include him in it? Perhaps it was both of them?

Bang, bang, bang......

The sound continued.

"What's annoying is, I myself also agree with the judgments of the people around me."

"Senpai, that......"

"I think someone like me probably won't have the chance to enter the field. I truly think so. Is that a calm judgment? Is it really like that? Am I actually just frustrated? In the battlefield before, I could get carried away because I had a hidden weapon, but I also understand that move can't be used often."

Sharnid's low murmur didn't require a response from Layfon.

"I truly am an unreliable senpai, huh."

Pow!

The sound of the can in the air breaking shook the cold air.

The air shook weakly.

The feeling that seeped from Sharnid's body made Layfon's heart grieve.

"......It's not like that."

He couldn't help but mumble.

"What unreliable senpai, things really aren't like that."

"But isn't that the truth?"

"Even if you aren't enough now, that doesn't mean things will end like this."

Why had his heart suffered a blow? It wasn't because of sympathy, definitely not.

"I don't have any way to force senpai, but if senpai wants to do this, there's definitely somewhere that senpai can help."

These words weren't for comfort.

Layfon himself was confident in this.

In Grendan, Leerin had pushed him away.

And Nina didn't say anything to him.

These two things were definitely connected somehow, and Gildred had also asserted that this had nothing to do with him.

Gildred said that Leerin and Nina gazed at something ahead, and Layfon definitely could not come close.

Even so, Layfon still hadn't lost hope. If the situation now was a result of his life up to now that was like drifting with the current, he couldn't continue being manipulated by others.

"Even if others make their decisions, as long as I have something I want to do, isn't it fine if I follow my mind and do it?"

By now, what other people wanted didn't matter.

He could only take action by himself.

"Because other people guide us."

"That's true, very correct."

After letting out a long sigh, Sharnid mumbled this.

"I feel like I've let you hear a lot of complaints."

"It's alright, it wasn't much."

"......Thanks."

Getting up, Sharnid gave thanks. This word truly surprised Layfon, and he widened his eyes.

"Ah, right."

"Huh?"

"Let's go back and sleep!"

"Uh...... I...... I know."

Because he thought of that situation which was very difficult to forget, Layfon creased his brow. Seeing his response, Sharnid laughed, and then left first, alone.

"......Hahh, I really don't want to go back."

Embracing an intriguing feeling that felt both very refreshing and very serious, Layfon began walking.

Because, regardless of what happened, he could only move forward.



According to the forecast, the probability of this situation occurring was five percent.

However, she also thought that the judgment that the probability was five percent was the same as not knowing anything. Particularly in these situations that could not be repeated, and only for these conclusions that weren't win-lose. Before the reality of the conclusion, other possibilities had no meaning. Even if she simulated it ten thousand times, she couldn't make the same amount of successes and failures. In this kind of time, perhaps simulations were useless.

However, even so, the reason she had selected this girl was because the chance of success was five percent.

"In other words, the meaning is that I never decided what conclusion I wanted to see in the first place?"

She asked this of herself. But, she actually feared that. She had arrived to the world mechanically, her body appearing as an ambiguous entity. In order to analyze it, she had deliberately chosen an ambiguous entity to be the control group that she would continue to observe.

She observed the many males and females in the Academy City, analyzing them, and finally selecting these two.

The maiden who only got along with her family and two childhood friends, enclosed in a narrow relationship. The teenager who had been defeated and lost his life's goal, whose gaze had become narrow.

The maiden was in an unrequited love for the teenager, but the teenager's narrow gaze kept him from noticing such feelings.

But, if the teenager had been able to notice what he had been chasing after, the maiden's love might have blossomed.

Regardless of how the past and future were investigated, she understood what it meant. This definitely wasn't a love that could not blossom.

But, it still hadn't become reality.

What was the reason?

The teenager's sensibility was very clear. Then, if she expressed her will at an earlier stage, and produced slow changes like saturating something with water, this love could perhaps have succeeded.

But, now it was too late. Though she didn't know the reason that had caused her to make this decision, she had still taken action, and reached this conclusion.

Was it over like this?

Meishen should have thought this way, evidenced by the shaking filling her room.

"......But, my investigation has not finished."

It could even be said that it had only just started.

"Come, let me see it."

Vati spoke quietly. She stayed in her room alone, observing Meishen's room that her eyes shouldn't have been able to see as she murmured.

She observed Meishen who was weeping on her bed.

"The future will come."

Vati didn't know how long it would be till she could see the answer. Regardless of whether the end Meishen reached was the answer that Vati expected, this temporary assignment would terminate because of it. Afterwards, Vati would take action according to her original schedule.

"If everything will end, perhaps doing this is almost meaningless......"

However, if she wanted to find significance, everything would become almost meaningless. Because this world would reach an end, along with the things Vati expected......

"......It's okay, since this is only the actions of machinery. Whether it has meaning depends on the values of the craftsman."

Therefore, her current self should conform with her craftsman's expectations, right?

The functions expected by Ignasis, who had not been sealed in the moon, and had created Vati - Nano-Celluloid Interface 1 Lævateinn.

Perhaps, this was a function Vati had acquired by herself?

The desire to understand human emotions.

Perhaps she had believed herself close to humans, and had arrived on the world with that attitude.

No, that's how things were.

"......But, I can't be a human. Even if I could, I still......"

Vati stopped the soliloquizing that had become a habit, swallowing the words in her mouth.

As expected, the second half of that murmur was almost meaningless.

However, what Vati chased after was that kind of meaningless thing.


Translator's Notes and References[edit]

  1. Dalshena is speaking here, referencing Sharnid leaving the 10th platoon.
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