Chrome Shelled Regios:Volume21 Chapter3
Chapter 3: Youngster 1
The heat he felt from his head definitely wasn't a mistake.
But, to Layfon, there was no time right now to think about this.
He didn't have time to talk about his feelings.
It felt like a miracle that he could even draw forth time to regulate his breathing.
If defense could be ignored in battles aboveground and one could completely focus on unleashing attacks, then the battle currently occurring here was a quiet, delicate crystallization of skill.
In Layfon's hands was grasped the original blade form of the Shim Adamantium Dite, and connected to the haft was the Sapphire Dite; the steel threads formed from it were quietly hidden around the light blue horizon.
They had separated, in order to play their necessary role on this battlefield.
Right now, the true nature of the blue darkness that filled Layfon's surroundings was a cocoon that Layfon and Lintence's steel threads had made. Because of the effects of various Kei light, it shone in a blue color.
The size of the cocoon was about as large as the seventeenth platoon's training room in the Military Arts facility.
If only training were considered, it was sufficient for seven people to use at once, but if one wanted to fight seriously, it was possible that it would feel rather small. It was that kind of space.
Near the center of the cocoon was Lævateinn.
She no longer stood still, but moved back and forth and left and right, leaping and turning.
There would occasionally be slight movements in the surrounding air, and though the fine sounds brought killing intent, they were all leisurely avoided by Lævateinn.
The true nature of the sounds was Lintence's steel threads. Though Layfon who regulated his breathing also released steel threads to battle, up through now he had been thought of as a burden and had been warned.
The blades of steel threads were freely moving, uncountable blades that could attack mercilessly from various angles, and Layfon avoided the attacks with movements impossible for a human.
Like the steel threads, Layfon's slashes were also completely and cleverly avoided by Lævateinn.
Her hands grasped a rapier, and though it looked as if she wanted to counterattack, she had stopped her attacks before it.
Lintence's steel threads had made her stop her action.
But, Lintence's intervention was only this much. Right now was a time when he should regulate his breathing, to keep from being too much of a burden to him.
Layfon moved after this, a strike aimed at her throat being blocked by the rapier, sparks lighting up a side of the cocoon in a moment.
The slash that had been deflected once again changed its path aiming at various parts of Lævateinn, but every one was blocked, and every strong counterattack that assaulted Layfon was meant to end his life.
Layfon avoided these counterattacks either by blocking them or by dodging, and then once again attacked. This would once again be blocked, and then countered.
In this kind of repeated high-speed trading of blows, the weariness to the mind would be stronger than the fatigue of the body.
And when the weariness of the mind made his breathing become irregular, that would directly affect his physical limits.
Layfon noticed that his focus was in disarray, quickly retreating from the swordfight that seemed to want to suck him in.
Lævateinn didn't pursue. Because she already felt the steel threads full of killing intent that had taken shape between the two of them in an instant.
Afterwards, Layfon once again watched Lævateinn's inhuman dodging movements while he regulated his breathing.
How many times had this process repeated already?
Layfon didn't even want to think about it.
He knew that the opponent had strong regenerative ability and destructive power.
But Layfon hadn't thought that she could use weapons to battle like he did. That had been unexpected.
And because she wasn't human, she could make movements that Layfon and Lintence couldn't, and though the joint-ignoring movements were mostly to avoid Lintence's steel threads, she would also move like this through Layfon's sword dance.
Even if he understood that she had the appearance of a human but made inhuman movements, his reactions would become slow. Though it was only a split second of delay, that delay was a threat to Layfon's life, and he understood this, feeling annoyed at himself who couldn't respond well.
Though he had toughed it out until now, it meant that a slight mistake would end his life.
"As expected, burning her down completely in a moment is a better method."
Saying this, Layfon once again rushed at Lævateinn.
Speaking of which, the original use for the construction of this 'cocoon' was to remove places that the enemy could escape to, and then use Kei to heat up the entire thing.
But, they hadn't done this.
Because they didn't believe that they could completely incinerate her.
Even with the two of them together, they couldn't burn this girl whose form was even smaller than his, Layfon's instincts said.
It wasn't Layfon's judgment alone.
Lintence had also felt this.
So, the use of the cocoon hadn't been to burn her, but to prevent the fine substance that composed her body from scattering out and closing in. They had carried out close combat in order to slightly weaken her a bit.
Also, the purpose of this cocoon wasn't only to limit the opponent's actions, but also to stop her from using external regeneration.
Mass wasn't limitless. Restoring something that had been lost to how it had been before definitely required spending something. There was definitely some substance supporting this strong regenerative ability from behind. And Lintence had noticed that this substance was spread around the surrounding buildings as the buildings crumbled in the battle recently.
If they stopped the supplements from the outside, then she would have to use things inside her body when she regenerated.
This way, even if it couldn't be seen from the outside, it was a fact that she was continuously depleting herself.
Being blocked, being countered, and then doing the same to her. Even if the process was different, the reality hadn't changed.
Lævateinn hadn't taken a single injury.
All that was being depleted was Layfon and Lintence's strength.
"......What do we do?"
No longer knowing how many times he had retreated, Layfon asked. The expression of Lintence behind him was several times more vicious than normal.
He has originally thought this, but after Layfon glanced at him he noticed that this wasn't the case.
His eyes were slightly slanted, and his mouth was slightly pointed upwards. Though Layfon's gaze didn't completely move from Lævateinn's body, still......
Looking at Lintence's expression for a moment, he was smiling?
"......Though this kind of method isn't too bad, we're wasting too much time."
The steel threads brought sound to Layfon's ears, who was once again carrying out close combat with Lævateinn.
"Remove your steel threads from the cocoon."
Layfon used the moment when he retreated to take out his steel threads from the cocoon, and in order not to obstruct Lintence, he returned his Sapphire Dite to its unrestored state.
"Grab any opportunity yourself."
The words that Lintence said showed that he was thinking that if one person could resolve this alone then that person should do so. Layfon changed his internal Kei to external Kei, and then surveyed the situation.
Lintence's movements were very fast.
The ground beneath his feet began to sway, and the cocoon changed.
The place where Layfon and Lintence were moved apart from the place where Lævateinn was.
"I won't let you go!"
Layfon released external Kei towards Lævateinn who was preparing to escape from the gap that had appeared.
But even if there was a gap, she couldn't escape like that. Lintence's Kei filled this place, forming a wall.
After Lævateinn was blocked by Lintence's Kei, she was sent flying by Layfon's external Kei. She returned to the cocoon that had begun shrinking.
Like a bag being closed shut, the cocoon surrounding Lævateinn became smaller and smaller.
External-type Kei variant, Sougenkyouku Houraku.
Lintence's Kei continuously exploded inside the cocoon. The cocoon that surrounded Lævateinn with the same shape as her body swelled up because of the high pressure produced from the continuous blasts.
Before the heat inside, anything would be incinerated no matter what it was...... that should have been how things went.
But, Layfon and Lintence hadn't quickly carried out this move. Even if the cocoon had already completed its form.
They had also said before, that they didn't believe it would succeed.
And that way of thinking was still the same now.
Releasing external Kei, after sending Lævateinn back into the cocoon, Layfon quickly restored the Sapphire Dite to the steel threads, creating a new cocoon with Lævateinn as the center.
In this period Lintence used a Kei technique. The steel threads that he wove didn't let a bit of heat leak outwards. But, the strong vibrations of Kei battered Layfon.
Lintence's technique had been completed, and had been unleashed. Nothing could exist that could withstand this move.
But, his heart was still filled with anxiety.
At the same time that Layfon's cocoon completed, Lintence opened his cocoon, releasing the remaining heat, forming flame that spread in all directions.
The flame and heat that swelled out with surprising momentum pressed against the cocoon Layfon had created, trying to escape outside from the gaps between the steel threads.
Layfon watched the gaps that the flames flew out from.
Even if he felt that there wasn't anything that could live through this situation, he still wanted to rely on his own eyes to confirm.
But, she was there.
Inside the inferno was shown a dark shadow that was trying to stand up.
Layfon tensely shot out a reply to Lintence's shout, quickly understanding his meaning.
In this situation, in this position, in this construction, there was only one thing he could do, because he had originally planned this.
The cocoon formed by the steel threads pushed the heat back to the center. Layfon's Kei endlessly rushed through his Kei vein, almost as if trying to ignite it, forming the Kei of Composite Blast.
The cocoon was shrunk in a moment, covering the heat, and Kei explosions occurred.
External-type Kei, Composite Blast variant, Sougenkyouku Houraku.
At the same time as the explosions were produced, the steel threads received extremely great pressure. What held this back was also Layfon's Kei. Coordinated with the explosions inside, the steel threads simultaneously released external Kei inwards. The forceful skill that further increased the limits of the explosion's might required mental preparation.
Layfon made painful gasps, releasing the steel threads. Compared to Lintence, the time that Layfon had held out could be said to be nothing.
Even so, if the cocoon was released the heat would expand outwards, sending Layfon flying.
Before he was scorched by his own Kei technique, Lintence's steel threads formed a defensive formation blocking the heat.
The flames licking the space before him were pushed back, and Lintence's steel threads once again formed a cocoon, wrapping up the heat.
The third Houraku. If this time succeeded, then perhaps the confidence that Layfon and Lintence didn't feel would grow out.
They looked forward to this.
But...... that also meant they were convinced that even up to now they hadn't been able to defeat her.
They could feel that even now, Lævateinn still existed in the center of the technique's flames.
Inauspicious thoughts mixed into the gaps of his thinking, becoming black ink and spreading outwards.
While he threw that way of thinking out of his head, Lintence completed his steel thread cocoon.
The cocoon once again sealed off the heat......
Layfon was unable to make a sound.
The cocoon had essentially finished, and its center was glowing red by the overflowing heat.
The final touch.
Yes, before he gave the cocoon the final touch, that thing emerged.
It looked like it had broken through the heat and appeared.
But, though it seemed like that, it really wasn't, and Layfon also understood this.
It was a thing that had suddenly appeared before the cocoon.
It had suddenly appeared, and then grabbed Lintence's steel threads.
Lintence clicked his tongue and released the cocoon.
The heat overflowed, flames scattering outwards. The pressurized heat made Layfon only able to retreat backwards.
At the same time, that thing's figure appeared.
No, it should be said that it created a figure.
While it burned, it restored itself to its original state.
Its hair burned as it regenerated its bones, flesh, and then was covered by skin. Its eyes ignored the heat of the flames, making Layfon shiver thinking of what would come next.
"As expected, the methods we've always used won't work."
He wove words from his originally tightly shut lips.
"But, I have no reason to fight with you."
Layfon and the others were currently standing in a reinforced area underground. The area underground the palace was empty except for some machinery and passageways leading to other facilities, so it was a suitable place for the cocoon just now.
And now, that cocoon was no longer there.
Lævateinn who had returned to her original state began falling with the flames.
After a moment of pause, Layfon chased after Lævateinn who descended with a trail of fire, also descending.
Lintence also followed behind.
He used the reinforcements and passageways to chase Lævateinn while using his steel threads to search the surroundings.
Layfon felt that Lævateinn who descended with a trail of fire would simply continue going down to the depths of the city.
But, he definitely couldn't let her succeed.
Even if she had made some detours, he feared that in the end she would arrive at her destination.
At that end point was a huge, dome-shaped building.
It wasn't the Mechanical Department. It was a place connected under the Mechanical Department.
In the building before him, Layfon didn't feel the heat and noise that he had experienced countless times in the Mechanical Department of Zuellni.
Then it could be that inside there was Saya, who Harpe had spoken about.
Since they couldn't see the Queen here, that meant that she was inside.
"In this case......"
She should definitely be inside.
Layfon yelled and released external Kei.
His external Kei formed a flying line of flame, touching Lævateinn.
But, something blocked his external Kei when it struck, and it wasn't able to make her path change.
She continued to fall.
Lævateinn's head hit the dome-shaped roof. A tragedy resulting from falling at high speed...... that kind of thing couldn't happen to her.
It was uncertain whether her head actually touched the roof or not...... The moment she reached that kind of subtle distance, a hole opened in the roof, drawing Lævateinn inside.
Layfon and Lintence also followed behind, diving into the building.
The vibrations came closer and closer.
Leerin looked at the roof above her head.
In this almost completely dark space, the ceiling seemed buried in the darkness. So she could only give up, lowering her gaze again.
The giant bed that had been here before had disappeared. 
After it disappeared, this place had become a wide space with only darkness.
What was this person doing in this kind of place?
Leerin thought, looking at Saya next to her.
"Don't think about anything, just stay here."
Suddenly being told this made Leerin jump.
"Because you seemed very concerned."
"Well, I'm indeed a little concerned......"
Because her thoughts seemed to have been seen through, Leerin had a bit of trouble calming down.
"There's no problem. Everyone will have the same doubts. As evidence, that Queen also has the same kind of expression."
"Ah, I've been seen through?"
Nearby on the other side of Saya, Alsheyra made an uncomfortable face.
"Yeah~ Because of the hard work of those Heaven's Blades', this place is more boring than I had thought."
Alsheyra tilted her head as if to hide her embarrassment.
"So I thought of that kind of thing. Sorry, sorry."
It was too imprudent, but this person's words were normally like that.
Leerin let out a sigh, looking forwards.
The sound of vibrations got louder and louder. Lævateinn was truly drawing closer to this place.
That was happening.
"Is everyone alright?"
There were no Psychokinesis flakes here. No, there had been flakes accompanying them through midway, but now they had already lost their power, and the sound no longer reached.
What had the situation been like when she had come here before? Had Delbone's flakes been here?
She couldn't remember.
Moreover it was a very ordinary notion for Delbone's flakes to be here, and even if she couldn't see them, she felt that they would have been there.
While she was thinking about other things, Alsheyra said this.
Her tone that sounded extremely cheerful made Leerin speechless.
"Since she can come here, that means that they have all been defeated, Leerin. Even if we cobbled together twelve people, that thing still escaped like that. I originally never planned to pick those kinds of idiots who made such a stupid mistake~"
That made sense.
"Battle is a kind of contract. You live and you die. Of course there's space in between, and you can't cleanly decide between the two outcomes at once, but regardless of the outcome, it will happen to one of the two. If there is battle, there will be people who get injured, and people who die. Heaven's Blade successors cannot be exceptions. Of course, we are the same."
"I also understand that kind of thing."
The cruel reality flowed out of Alsheyra's lips, and Leerin stubbornly stopped her.
"So I'm saying that I want to end it here."
She shouldn't just dried out waiting here.
In the beginning, she should have stood on the battlefield.
In that case, her mood wouldn't have become like it was now.
"If you wouldn't die...... many people definitely would have that kind of opinion, but the Heaven's Blades wouldn't feel happy."
"But unfortunately, I don't have time to explain."
Leerin also understood this.
A vibration even greater than before happened nearby.
A great vibration made this entire building rock, and now there was no longer time to chat leisurely. Leerin gulped, waiting for what would happen in the next moment.
Everything began with silence.
Rather, it should be said that it made no sounds while infiltrating the building.
Alsheyra yelled, shooting external Kei from her hands.
The external Kei bullets that had been compressed by the Queen's strong power painted an unpredictable path, drawing in on the falling object.
It should have died......
But, the light of the external Kei bullets didn't become explosions, but passed through the hole in the ceiling, still drawing an inexplicable trajectory as they flew outwards.
The thing that was falling dropped on the ground.
The thing that fell down head-first turned its body the second before coming in contact with the ground, landing in front of Leerin and the others.
Moreover, it was a pretty girl.
From the appearance, she was slightly older than Leerin, a beautiful person with a unfeeling attitude.
She had seen her through the black cat once before. At that time, she should have been the same age as Leerin, and Leerin did not know what had happened in between.
But, the fact that she was here wouldn't change.
She was Lævateinn.
The source that distorted the world of Leerin and the others.
That way of thinking burst inside Leerin's mind like sparks, and then Alsheyra by her side stood before her.
The Queen spoke while once again using Kei bullets.
As expected, they weren't able to hit.
Lævateinn drew slightly closer in the same posture as she had landed in, and the Kei bullets simply passed through her.
The moment the Kei bullets passed through her, Lævateinn's entire body was covered in flames. Though it was unknown what methods she used, it seemed that she hadn't been able to completely avoid the bullets.
Seeing Lævateinn who burned as she drew closer, Leerin's thinking stopped.
A sense of loathing that hadn't emerged from her heart since the moment she saw Lævateinn was released and fixed in place.
In that period, the situation unfolded at high speed.
Alsheyra threw out her fist towards the burning Lævateinn. The fist broke through the air, spreading out shockwaves. Waves of mindless destruction succeeded in pushing Lævateinn backwards.
But, this definitely wasn't a deadly blow.
Something new followed from the ceiling.
Countless things flickering with light covered Lævateinn, and Leerin looked at them, quickly understanding that these things were steel threads.
The glowing things were weapons. They became countless slashes assaulting Lævateinn.
But, they were of no use.
The slashes passed through Lævateinn's body, but as expected, though her entire body gave off light, that was it.
And...... Ahh, and......
That wasn't the only thing in pursuit.
She didn't know why, Leerin had that kind of feeling. The battle presence she felt from above her head made Leerin have that kind of feeling.
So she felt that 'that person' was here.
Whether it was that she didn't want to see him, or that she didn't want to be seen by him, Leerin couldn't figure out.
The things she had once set her determination upon might be inconsistent.
Heaven's Blade Art, Silent Flash.
Along with the steel threads, the next thing that fell was a heavy and slow Kei that seemed as if it wanted to crush the entire dazzling battle.
But, at the same time that Lævateinn avoided the double attack of the Queen and the steel threads, this slow Kei technique had already appeared in front of her. It should already be an unavoidable state.
As if the situation's development had been read, the specially configured Kei technique came in contact with Lævateinn, releasing huge amounts of external Kei.
Exploding, blasting, bursting.
The originally dim space was illuminated by endless, consecutive intense light.
But her eyes weren't unable to see the thing because of this.
But the flickering light made the entire process seem like a slow-motion scene, deeply imprinting itself in Leerin's eyes.
That person who descended during the process of the explosions moved in front of Leerin before the aftermath, guarding Leerin from the explosion.
Surprise released her feeling of loathing. Leerin questioned that back.
"Didn't I say it was already enough, that it was no use for you to come again."
She had said this.
They could no longer return to how they were before, and he should have become free.
He should have already been freed from Leerin's curse some time before, and wouldn't have suffered any effects.
Hadn't Leerin come to this place because she had decided so?
"Nn, I heard that."
The reply was too simple.
A surprising reply.
"But, those aren't my own thoughts."
He said this.
"But, that kind of reason can't stop me from wanting to protect my family."
That was what he said.
Layfon said this.
She couldn't say any more when she reached halfway.
Because she had no blood relatives, it was natural that there was no such thing for Leerin regardless of who the other party was.
There was Leerin, there was her adoptive father, there were sisters and brothers, but no one of this society had that kind of natural link with her.
But to Leerin, these people were her most important family.
It was because of that word that she had made her decision.
And now, he tried to destroy Leerin's determination.
Using the same reason to wreck it.
She couldn't control her hatred towards him.
As if making her originally cold and hardened heart dissolve, she couldn't stop her hostility towards him.
"It's only Layfon......"
She could only look at his back.
But, she felt that he was smiling.
She felt that she had once again seen his somewhat troubled smile that only showed on the corners of his mouth.
There was no longer anything to fear.
Leerin thought this.
Translator's Notes and References
- See Volume 13.