Chrome Shelled Regios:Volume18 Prologue
Prologue: The Midst of a Journey and the Start of Another
As they waited for the opportunity to arrive, the city passed through the summer season.
"But, is this really what we should do?"
"Do we have to go over it again?"
The Psychokinesis flake installed in his helmet relayed a voice. Of course, this was Felli's voice and she was sitting in the vehicle.
Layfon was in a facility underground Zuellni, sitting on a motorcycle, and as Felli who sat in the vehicle beside him also wore equipment for outside the city, the two of them could advance to the city's exterior at any time.
"No, it's not like that......"
Layfon lightly blocked Felli's barbed words, turning back to look behind him. Harley was sitting in the operating room where he could open the gate. Layfon had requested Harley to help them keep it a secret from others. What had Harley thought when he had accepted their request? Layfon very much wanted to know the reasons for Harley's goodwill, but hadn't asked. If he asked too much, Layfon would have to explain the situation of his side, so in the end he had only accepted Harley's goodwill.
This made Layfon feel a bit pained.
"Is it okay if we sneak out?"
Leaving this place required the help of others, so the two of them had revealed this to Harley, though they said nothing to anyone else.
"Otherwise we'd have to bring this up to Captain, right? She might say she wanted to come, and more importantly......"
"The fact that she's the only one keeping secrets makes me feel dissatisfied."
Layfon noticed that some odd feelings were mixed in with these words.
"......What is it?"
Layfon thought that Felli would have had a huge reason that anyone could understand, so he wasn't able to respond right away.
"Do you feel speechless?"
"Nothing like that."
".....How could I have done this because of some majestic reason?"
His thoughts had been completely seen through.
"Then, isn't it about time for us to open the gate? The person on patrol should be back soon."
"Ah, okay, I'll open it."
"It's nothing, it's nothing. I should be able to just pass it off as a routine Dite experiment."
Opening the gate would leave records. The current action of the two was as if they were escaping the city and placing all of the blame on Harley, making Layfon feel guilty.
"Also...... isn't this definitely related to Nina?"
"She could only use this stupid way of hiding secrets, I'm very sorry."
"......It's not like you're her boyfriend, why are you saying that kind of thing to us?"
Felli's sharp criticism made Layfon panic. But, Harley's voice that was transmitted by the flake brought a smile.
"That's true. But that's the way her personality is, that's why she doesn't have a boyfriend. We're also childhood friends, so I obviously can't just ignore her."
"Childhood friends huh......"
Still feeling pained from just that phrase even up to now, Layfon could only feel very sad. Though in his heart he thought he had to become stronger, Layfon couldn't help but feel Leerin's figure appear in his mind as soon as he heard the phrase childhood friend.
"Layfon, I don't know if saying this will help you."
"Please say it."
"Don't forget what she did."
"If you feel pained, you have to squarely face the reality of your pain."
"Painful things will hurt, you have to think that way. Then, you have to find the reason for your pain."
"Isn't that a basic principle of learning?"
Felli's questioning tone was quite cold.
"But, aren't the guidelines for actions and curiosity about unknown things the same?"
Harley calmly replied to Felli's topic, and even made her shut her mouth.
The thoughts that Harley had just voiced were natural to his heart. That was how things were.
"Ah, let's talk about this later. I won't ask you what you're going outside to do, but I hope everything goes well."
"Nn, thank you, senpai!"
Harley pushed the button to open and close the door.
At the same time as a heavy noise sounded out, the door opened, and the wind from outside the city blew by Layfon and Felli across their equipment, the sounds of the motorcycle engine shaking their bodies. The motorcycle holding Layfon and Felli drove with a bit of slippage across the facility floor, charging into the wilderness outside the city.
The target of the two was the White Flame City Melnisc. Last year, Layfon, Gorneo of the fifth platoon, and others had inspected that abandoned city, and the Haikizoku in Nina's body had once been the Electronic Fairy of that city.
If they hadn't noticed that city near the selenium mine, the things that had happened till today wouldn't have occurred. This place produced such thoughts in Layfon.
"Unexpectedly, that place is Delbone's hometown."
Until today, Layfon had mumbled such a sentence countless times, because he felt it was far too hard to believe. After they truly departed, he still said that sentence naturally.
"The information said so."
"I'm not doubting you, I only feel that it's really incredible."
Felli was the one who had noticed this. She had received Delbone's heritage, the data of her fighting experience as a Psychokinesist. Succeeding in analyzing it, she had also found this information in fragments of Delbone's memory mixed within.
"These fragments of memory had originally existed in the form of battle experience, so in other words, they were memories that couldn't be completely separated. I didn't get any detailed information from her about that place. But, she obtained the basic abilities of a Psychokinesist there, and experienced battles with peculiar people."
"The only message regarding this part is a single fragment of memory, so I'm not too clear. But, everything will be made clear as long as we advance to Melnisc."
The White Flame City Melnisc was near the selenium mine that Zuellni held.
Since Felli had succeeded in analyzing the heritage, Layfon and her had been waiting for Zuellni to approach that mine. Since she had obtained Delbone's battle experience, Felli succeeded in expanding the range of her searching. According to Felli's explanation, the reason she could do this wasn't because her Psychokinetic strength had increased, but rather that she searched with Psychokinesis using a more efficient method, avoiding unnecessary waste.
Since her searching range had become large, it was even easier to know the condition outside the city. Felli would know it the first moment Zuellni approached that mine.
And now, Zuellni had finally come close to the mine.
"......It would be good if we could find out enemies this simply."
In that time, Layfon's mind was full of thoughts that Nina might go missing again. He could only feel impatient, and the powerless feeling of not being able to do anything also tormented him.
Layfon wasn't willing to repeat that.
He couldn't tolerate the scene of Leerin pushing him away that he had buried deep inside himself.
"Regardless of what's over there, everything has to be done."
Layfon pushed the throttle, advancing through the wilderness.
From the time that Layfon and Felli set out, rewind a season.
Karian noticed the atmosphere in the car had changed.
A sticky feel appeared in the air, an annoying feeling as if the stuffy heat in the room hung around one's body.
The moment it experienced this sort of feeling, the air that the air conditioner exuded changed. A slightly drier wind blew from the ceiling of the car, and the hot air was gradually pushed back.
This was something that happened on a roaming bus.
"Is this the season-changing line that you brought up before?"
Karian had just felt that change in temperature, confirmation that he had just crossed the boundary between spring and summer.
Haia in the seat in front of him gave a reply of confirmation.
"When it moves between cities, the temperature of the car sometimes changes suddenly like just now. That's called the season-changing line~"
"Can we only confirm the existence of this world by crossing that fence? Though it's too late to say now, we really do live in a naturally isolated environment."
"It's really too late to say~"
Haia's traveling experience was far more plentiful than Karian's, so his words made Karian nod his head indicating approval.
"......It's said, this world was only a space made to temporarily house the people who had lost their destination."
Other than the driver of this roaming bus, there was Karian and Haia, along with Myunfa and Stania. In order to make lunch, the two girls were moving to the kitchen.
"Was this heard from that person named Lævateinn? I really doubt whether it's true or not~"
"It does seem quite outrageous when heard. Even I currently can't completely be sure of my thoughts, and there are even times when I wish that everything is only a delusion of mine."
"Ha, though you say that, you don't doubt yourself that much, right?"
"I want myself to be able to maintain that mentality."
Karian let Haia's laugh go through one ear and out the other, while returning his thinking to the memories that this conversation produced.
That day that he had first met with Lævateinn, the history of Zuellni and this world had been entrusted to Karian, and that true nature had also shocked Karian. Now, he had gotten over his shock, and was traveling everywhere to find his road and his battle.
"But, the sunrise hasn't appeared in front of us. ......No, the sunrise wasn't anything that others prepared beforehand. If we can't find the sunrise, people can only walk the road to extinction."
Because of that, the people born before on this world had become cornered. In order to birth this temporary world, how much difficulty had those people gone through in the end?
"......You're thinking about that depressing stuff again."
Haia showed an impatient expression at Karian's murmur. 
"What positive thoughts do you have?"
"Who has that kind of thing~"
Haia spoke straightforwardly.
"But ah, this is all I can do. I'm very clear on that."
He patted his weapon belt, and a metallic rattle sounded in the car.
"Well, I'll do what I can. No one can do everything, so what a single person can do is very limited. People who have the ability to accomplish things should go do what they can, and the ones who can unify these people should go unify them. If all of the things could be gathered together smoothly, the problem might be easily solved~"
"Even the problem we face now?"
"Of course, even the current problem's the same. Ah, but the ones who enter the battlefield should realize that they're only mortal."
After saying that, Haia laughed.
The cheerful attitude that he put out made Karian narrow his eyes. This definitely wasn't a bluff, but rather he didn't have any intention of standing on the sidelines.
"Well, in the end, what's the extent of the things you can do?"
"Nn, I understand."
The two of them looked out the window.
The boring landscape of the wilderness that went on and on changed. Haia had probably already noticed long before. By now, they had reached a distance where even Karian could see it with his own eyes.
Not matching the rest of the scenery, a black dot was moving in the wilderness far ahead.
That was a shelter of the people that roamed this barren world, a moving city - Regios.
And the name of that city was......
"I heard there are more Heaven's Blades now. Well, I'll take one."
The Lance Shelled City Grendan.
Seeing Haia's eyes bearing mixed emotions, Karian also looked on at the city, filled with emotion.
This was Karian's third time he looked at this city from the outside.
His first time he learned of Layfon's existence, and the second time he learned about the profoundness of the world. Every time he came in contact with this city, Karian had a kind of feeling like his path was being altered.
"This city has guided a traveler like me. This time, will I be able to guide it? Or will it be leading me?"
He had to confirm the answer with his own eyes.
Translator's Notes and References
- Karian's murmur is the stuff about the sunrise. Haia says the line immediately before.