Chrome Shelled Regios:Volume21 Prologue
It had ended like that, but it wasn't something that he could decide on his own.
No, if he wanted to decide it himself, he could have. But, he feared that at that time, a doubt like 'is this really okay?' would have appeared.
If a state infinitely close to perfection wasn't expected, then it wasn't necessary for him to give one hundred percent of his strength, and moreover he wouldn't have to work completely till the end.
Raising his head to look at the building he had just come out of, Karian sighed and a bit of sound leaked out.
After saying farewell to Haia Laia, Karian's journey in order to convey the menace of the world hadn't ended.
In the midst of that journey, today he was in a brand new city.
He had stayed for five days, using various means to finally meet the head of the city, but the reaction from the other party didn't satisfy him.
"We've been treated like idiots!"
It wasn't a satisfactory outcome, and it seemed like he wasn't the only one who saw it this way. Karian could only show a wry smile.
Stania was by his side.
"They definitely didn't hear the meaning of our words at all, only thinking 'that's impossible' - They have no sense of crisis at all!"
"But I feel that their response to that kind of fairy tale counts as normal."
"I understand that, it's indeed something that is difficult to make people understand."
Every time he saw Stania who often was unable to hold her anger and exploded, Karian was able to become calm.
To him, just relying on the words 'We can't do anything about this' and changing his feelings was a difficult thing.
"Thank you, you unexpectedly got angry for my sake."
Because she had gotten mad, Karian had been able to think things through calmly.
"T-that's not it, my job is only to assist Young Master in completing his mission, and guard you from the side."
"Completing my mission...... huh."
"It's nothing, I was only thinking about what counts as my mission being complete."
"What does that mean?'
"Of course, though my final target is true world peace, in the end what I want to do is limited. Simply put, if the end requires certain force to resolve a problem, I will be of no use at all."
"I will not let Young Master fight."
"......Young Master, are you thinking of fighting?"
"If I can."
As he said this, Karian showed a wry smile.
"But truthfully, there is nothing I can do on a battlefield of true Military Artists."
"I'm not feeling inferior. Rather, other than this I am very clear on what I can do, and I am also very proud of myself regarding this."
"But I think that the one who pulls down the curtain in the end will not be me."
By telling one city after another of the crisis the world faced, even if it gave only a small sense of crisis to an undefended city, Karian's goal would have been achieved.
Afterwards, in order to face the crisis on the verge of arriving, if new power could be born...... Though this was the ideal situation, he feared that this was too wishful.
On his travels, he had always watched the exchanges between Haia and Stania, and even he already understood. Strong Military Artists existed, but their number was definitely not great.
If he spoke about the level of Heaven's Blade successors, then he feared that up to now he hadn't even met a single one.
Grendan had already spent immeasurable time to face the coming crisis, able to gather so many Military Artists, or perhaps able to become a hotbed of excellent Military Artists. Whenever he thought of this, Karian would feel that his target was far too distant.
But, to face the coming crisis, Karian had resolved not to only be a spectator.
After seeing with his own eyes the monster that had covered all of Grendan, Karian had felt this.
Only because of that, did he continue his journey.
"Well...... Young Master?"
"Nn? What is it?"
The scene from Grendan that day didn't stop appearing in Karian's mind, and Stania's voice pulled him back to reality.
Her expression showed that she had something uncomfortable to discuss.
"Young Master, well......"
"What is it? If you have something that you want to ask, it's alright, say it."
"Oh, then...... Young Master, do you want to complete everything by yourself?"
"I want to, if I can."
"Do you really think that way!?"
Stania opened her eyes wide, staring at Karian who had replied instantly.
"But that's impossible. Not only is it a problem of strength, but also one of mobility. In the end, the negotiations that I decided to do only obtained such an outcome, so I already understand the limits of what I can do myself."
What he could do had limits, and moreover even for the things that he could do, doing them was certainly difficult.
"......Could it be, you're feeling a bit down?"
"A bit. In the end, it has already been three times without getting a good response."
Every time Stania had gotten angry instead.
But, in front of the fact of successive defeats, it was expected for him to feel a bit down.
"There's still the next opportunity."
"Yes, it's a great help for you to say that."
His heart had already been weakened to the point where he would accept other people's comfort so easily. While Karian felt a bit comforted, at the same time he still held a definite sense of crisis.
"No, no no, no no...... Let me gather my thoughts for a moment!"
"In any case, I shouldn't be this low-spirited."
Seeing Karian seemingly talking to himself, Stania began panicking.
"Then, Young Master...... if you feel tired, let's first go rest a bit......"
"Ah, no, excuse me. I didn't mean to say anything to make you worry."
"Don't concern yourself about that! Let's first go rest! We should rest now."
It seemed that his actions had caused an unnecessary misunderstanding with Stania.
"If we rest, let's rest on the bus. Instead, because there's nothing else to do in this place......"
Let's go to the next city, Karian wanted to say.
Perhaps, he had a sort of premonition. The phrase 'The end' unexpectedly flashed through his mind.
Even if he felt tired there was nothing he could do about it, or perhaps this also held a different meaning.
A premonition, or perhaps it was just a simple feeling.
Was it caused by something like that?
Karian couldn't help but think.
There was definitely a reason that he would think that way.
Ignoring the proposition of Stania who wanted to go to the hotel to rest, the two of them walked to the bus, and just as they were about to enter an underground road, Karian saw a light.
It wasn't a light used to illuminate the ground underneath them, and of course it wasn't the emergency lights, either.
This white light was even closer, and its swaying pattern made him feel like it almost had its own consciousness.
The light swayed as if it were calling Karian.
Seeing Karian who had moved off the road, Stania made a surprised sound, but Karian still ignored her and continued after the light.
"Young Master? What's wrong?"
Stania chased after him, a poorly-veiled wavering in her voice as if saying 'Ah, as expected, Young Master is......', but hearing her words, Karian continued ignoring her and advancing.
It seemed that she couldn't see this light.
Then was this a hallucination that he was seeing?
Perhaps this was something that only Karian could see, a guiding light for him.
Karian was convinced that it was only the latter that was correct, so he advanced.
Following the light's guidance, Karian continued moving deep beneath the city.