Chrome Shelled Regios:Volume17 Epilogue
"I like you."
The words heard in the resting room of the practice battlefield made Layfon almost forget to breathe.
Right after speaking, Meishen's face went crimson, but she didn't lower her face, continuing to look over. She made Layfon feel some kind of pressuring atmosphere, and he couldn't help but want to move his gaze.
However, that was impossible for Layfon. Truthfully, he felt that he couldn't do that, or perhaps Meishen's eyes stopped him.
Meishen's desperate eyes that seemed as if she had opened up everything made Layfon unable to move from that spot.
The feelings that her timid personality had developed made Layfon's heart feel a great blow.
Not only from the pain of being unable to respond to Meishen's feelings.
It also included the fact that he had once again been outgrown.
Meishen had opened her own store, sincerely and diligently doing what she wanted to do. She had also moved a step ahead of Layfon. The past her who was normally shy and had always stayed with her childhood friends was already gone.
Layfon couldn't speak however he wanted, but he couldn't say something like 'I'm still not sure of my own feelings'. He could only speak like this, hating his slow self that hadn't noticed her feelings.
He could only sincerely reply to her:
"A person like me isn't fit to be with Mei."
Layfon was at a complete loss, and at the end he had been excluded by the changes around him without having done anything at all. He had been pushed aside by Leerin, left behind by Nina. And today, he had seen with his own eyes the growth of Meishen's heart.
"I haven't changed at all, nor can I change anything."
Should he consider being able to stand back up again as progress? But, just that wasn't enough. By the time he realized that he had already lost something, even if he wanted not to lose anything more it was already too late.
Leerin had taught him this.
"A useless man like me isn't suitable for Mei."
The self-derogatory language even made Layfon feel weary.
Though Layfon's expression in front of her was very calm, it was very difficult for him to accept that he had lost to Nina and Claribel. Layfon had already made the realization before that he could lose, but that didn't mean he could casually accept that fact.
He was very remorseful.
His outstanding Military Arts were the only strength he could brag about to others, but he had treated it lightly. Was it because of this that he had been caught up to? He was truly too useless.
Layfon didn't want to be left behind again by anyone.
"......That's not true."
Meishen said with a trembling tone.
"That's not true."
She steadied her words.
Layfon went to the hospital in the morning.
Obviously, he was going to see Felli.
Layfon passed through the entrance of the hospital. He passed through the small group of people waiting in line, advancing towards the hospitalization building, but inadvertently leaked out a sigh.
After he noticed that, Layfon slapped his cheeks.
He quickly arrived at the hospital room. As a precaution, he knocked on the door, and a voice responded to the sound of the door.
Layfon was surprised, pushing open the door.
"Ah, right. Good morning."
Layfon excitedly rushed into the hospital room, and Felli's light tone calmed him down like dumping a bucket of cold water on him. Felli wore the hospital clothes sold in the hospital canteen, and seemed to have just finished eating breakfast.
The breakfast on the tray was already gone, and she was currently drinking from a full cup, probably bought from a vending machine.
"I woke up in the evening. After the doctor gives me a thorough examination, if there are no problems, I can leave the hospital immediately."
"Really...... that's great."
"It progressed unexpectedly smoothly. Though that old lady looks like that, she's definitely a very good person."
Felli said this lightly. Layfon sat on the folding chair placed next to the bed, relaxing his breath.
"That's great...... it's really great."
"What exactly were you worrying about? There's no way I would lose."
Felli drank tea without expression, and Layfon inadvertently thought of her appearance last night.
"Ah, but...... do you know why you're in the hospital?"
Felli's iron expression moved.
"You don't know? You were in a serious condition yesterday."
"It was Delbone's scheme."
"It was a plot."
"Uh...... Even if you say that, Delbone has already died."
"She definitely set a trap on her heritage. She completely didn't think that the innocent me could stand my ground as her equal with such a thing. Really, Grendan has no normal people."
"Um, ah...... I can't really deny that."
In the end, this couldn't be analyzed too hard.
"Um - then, how was the analysis?"
"I finished. That's an obvious thing, who do you think I am?"
"That's great, congratulations."
In the heritage was imprinted Delbone's battle experience. Layfon wasn't a Psychokinesist, so even now he still didn't understand what exactly giving memories or experience to someone else meant.
"Even to Psychokinesists, it's still not something simple, so I had to spend that much effort."
Felli was bending things a bit, she herself wasn't a normal Psychokinesist, right?
But, that was a fact.
"......You don't care?"
"I mean Delbone's heritage. Did you forget what I said before the analysis?"
Layfon obviously remembered.
"But, what's more important is that you're safe and unharmed, it's really great."
Felli once again let out a heavy noise, the words stuck in her throat.
"It's really unbearable...... unexpectedly saying those lines without flinching, what's up with that? Really, it makes people mad......"
"......Huh? What did you say?"
Felli's voice was too quiet, and Layfon didn't hear it.
"Nothing. Never mind that, regarding the heritage......"
"Just as I expected, her memories were really added into the battle experience in pieces."
Before the analysis the two had spoken about this.
Long before Alsheyra, Delbone had been in Grendan participating in Grendan's battles. If it were here, perhaps she knew information that Layfon and the others did not. Only because of this had Felli said there was a reason to analyze the heritage as quickly as possible.
This was also in order to understand the situation Nina was currently in.
"It's possible that she was unable to completely separate the memories from the battle experience. But, it's very probable that she deliberately broke up her memories, then mixed them in to her heritage."
"I don't know if she didn't think the day would come that we could use these memories. But, the guidelines for our future actions have already been established."
"......Is that so."
Felli's words made Layfon realize something.
"Though it has to depend on the movement of the city, there will have to be a day when we leave the city to go outside."
"Do you still remember? That ruined city near the selenium mine."
"Of course I remember."
Because the Electronic Fairy that they had seen there was the Haikizoku in Nina's body.
In other words, since they had seen that Haikizoku in that city, the situation had slowly become what it was today.
"What was in that city?"
"That city was Delbone's hometown."
Layfon remembered that he had once heard that Delbone hadn't been born in Grendan.
"Though it's only a fragment of memory, I can confirm that that city is bound to have something related to this situation."
Layfon nodded agreement with Felli's words.
At the time, Meishen had said this.
"Layton has always been very likeable. Always, starting from the school entrance ceremony to now."
She had a face as if she were about to cry, saying this with a voice sounding like she was about to cry.
She should be very pained, not wanting to stay, but she stayed here for Layfon, doing her best to express this.
"Layton always works hard for others, gets hurt for others. Layton has always been likeable, with everyone else only able to chase from behind. Layton has always been likeable."
"But, Layton has been hurt far too much, so everyone wants Layton not to continue getting hurt."
Didn't want him to get hurt?
"How could that......"
"I'm not too clear, and I don't know if this is what everyone thinks."
"Right, how could that be."
He was a Military Artist. Battle was an obvious obligation, and being injured was also an obvious thing.
She couldn't have alienated Layfon because of this kind of reason.
"But, Layfon who plans to advance alone truly looks painful, perhaps everyone doesn't want to see that kind of expression shown again."
When was that? Layfon remembered that kind of situation had happened several times, but he hadn't said anything. Every time he had run into such a situation, Layfon thought that he had put on a calm attitude, but Meishen had still noticed.
Thinking of this, Layfon could only feel that he was very sorrowful, and......
A thankful feeling surged up in his heart.
"Thank you for concentrating on me."
She always had been looking at him.
It was the same regardless of if it were an uncomfortable or painful time. Though she couldn't do anything during battle, other than that, she had always been looking at Layfon.
And the days in which she did that would be ending today.
"......Then, can you answer me one last thing?"
Meishen who was stiff and seemed like she would cry at any moment stubbornly turned the tears in her eyes into a smile.
"What is it?"
"Please keep being likeable."
"So that I can always think the first boy I liked was such a likeable person, please always stay likeable."
"............I don't know how to do that."
"It's enough if Layfon makes every effort to do what he wants to do."
"With that, Layfon will definitely be very likeable."
After saying this, Meishen showed a stiff smile.
Layfon couldn't betray that smile.
He once again realized.
"Let's go to that city."
If by doing that he could understand everything.
"I'll go anywhere."