Chrome Shelled Regios:Volume23 Mental Conferences Should Be Held In Secret

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Mental Conferences Should be Held in Secret[edit]

Clara A said:

"What's important is sorting out the problem first."

"Really? Is that problem difficult enough to need sorting out?"

Clara B refuted Clara A's opinion.

"It's true that the problem's very difficult. But I also think there's no need to deal with it."

Clara C calmly critiqued.

"It's very important to sort out the problem. But I doubt whether doing that can resolve anything."

Clara D pointed out.

"Speaking of sorting out, this room's very clean. So different from her room."

"You're basically someone who leaves everything for other people to do."

Clara E and F debated over such things.

"Here's what's important! I haven't even eaten Meishen's delicious cooking! Or Layfon's supersized portions of food! I want to satisfy both desires!"

"The desire to recuperate physical strength is quite important for a Military Artist, but what about for a woman?"

Clara H consoled Clara G as she emphasized this.

Chatter, chatter.

Chatter, chatter.

A large number of Claras surrounded the circular table and talked like this.

This was the inside of Clara's mind.

It was a meeting room with a circular table.

Right now, Claribel Ronsmier was facing an important topic and was struggling with it.

This was a visual portrayal of her mind.



Before her mental conference was held.

Clara felt refreshed that night.

She had fought against Layfon in the platoon match, and challenged him to fight alone.

It had been a true one-on-one battle.

She, who hadn't hesitated to chase him to Zuellni, had achieved her goal.

Though problems had piled up like a mountain, her mood was very cheerful tonight.

No, it 'had' been very cheerful.

Past tense.

Clara...... Claribel Ronsmier.

She was a member of one of the three royal families that supported Grendan, and if she hadn't left home for Zuellni, her grandfather would have pestered her to become the Ronsmier family head. After twenty or thirty years, she might have become Grendan's queen.

That was the person Claribel Ronsmier.

However, her mood wasn't downcast because she was only now regretting losing her privilege to inherit the throne.

You could even say that she had never once held interest in the throne up through now. Maybe it was her personality as a member of the three royal families, as the more excellent of a Military Artist she was, the more indifferent she was about the royal families.

"Hah......"

Halfway through the celebration-and-consolation party that had been held in the apartment, Claribel snuck into the bathroom and then sighed with a gloomy heart.

Just sighing couldn't lighten her mood.

Meishen and her friends had made countless foods, and they were all extremely delicious. It had been a happy, short time.

Since this celebration party was simultaneously a consolation party, the fourteenth platoon that Claribel belonged to were here as well as Layfon, Nina, and the seventeenth platoon. Meishen's friends and residents of this apartment were here too, so the place was quite lively.

"What am I doing?"

Claribel listened to the laughs of the Shin and the fourteenth platoon from the other side of the wall as she murmured.

She had hidden in the bathroom because she hated pretending to smile.

But she couldn't stay here too long. If everyone worried, doing this would have been meaningless.

"......Guess I'll go back."

Claiming that she felt very tired after the competition was probably the most convincing. Claribel and Layfon had fought an incredibly intense battle, so everyone definitely could accept that.

Actually, the feeling of battle still lingered in Claribel's body, so she didn't want to sleep at all. But no one knew that.

"Guess that's what I'll do."

After telling herself to stand by her thinking, Claribel tried rising......

She tried doing that, but she couldn't.

She wanted to leave this place.

"Ng--"

The thought 'but is there anything else to do with him?' floated in her heart.

Though it was completely unfounded, that feeling tightly lodged itself in a corner of Clara's heart, interfering with her decision to return home.

Normally, she would view that kind of feeling as simple unwillingness to part with normalcy, but......

"What's wrong with me?"

Something was different.

The reason for the difference was in her pocket.

"Urgh--"

How annoying.

The object she took out was a small bottle as large as her pinky.

She had met a suspicious person.

Claribel had heard Nina say it several times, saying that person was a troublemaker who used her abilities to have fun.

Claribel felt that this person was probably a researcher or something. As she had thought, this woman was apparently a drug researcher.

However, that wasn't what interested her about this woman.

After hearing of that incident from Nina, she had just ended the topic with an 'Oh!'.

'Such a person exists' - then she ended the topic.

However, that person was the dorm head of the dorm Nina had lived at before, and Claribel had been taken care of by that person for a short period of time once before moving to this apartment.

That person was Selina.

She's very suspicious, so you have to be careful - Nina warned Claribel like that countless times.

So Claribel had never thought of using the thing she had given her.

"It's just this......"

Claribel looked at the bottle she pinched with her fingers.

She had received the medicine bottle before moving here.

The problem was......

"Why did I bring this here?"

That matter.

A drug given by a suspicious person.

A drug used in suspicious situations.

Why had she brought it here tonight?

'This drug was made according to research into filth monster biology.'

Claribel remembered that Selina had described this medicine bottle that way.

She thought of the situation from that time.

"This drug works on the nervous system, but for a large part of filth monsters' nerves it's hard to say whether they're biological or not, so it's really difficult."

"Really?"

Maybe she had been affected by Selina's somewhat slow way of speaking, as Claribel also looked at the medicine bottle in her palm with leisurely movements. It looked more like a toy perfume bottle she had gotten as a child than a medicine bottle.

"In other words, this is poison?"

"Hmm~ it would be nice if we were able to make something so effective. It would be convenient if we could invent a repellent."

The word 'repellent' made a picture of bug spray appear in Clara's mind. You can easily drive away filth monsters with a spray! ......If that kind of future existed, what use would Military Artists be?

"The drug we made this time is used on the nervous system, to make the filth monster's movements slow down...... Well, it's something of that level."

"Oh......"

"Incidentally, if you dilute it a hundred times, it'll become sleeping medicine."

"......Hah?"

"If you dilute it seventy times, it'll be effective on Military Artists."

"Hah?"

"Very interesting, right?"

Selina narrowed her eyes very thin, smiling at Clara's stunned expression.

After recalling that incident, Clara stared at the bottle.

"Truly a suspicious person."

That pair of eyes had been seeing through Clara.

Clara currently had that kind of feeling.

What would happen if she gave this medicine bottle to Clara? Selina had given n that drug to Clara because she had seen that outcome.

This person was suspicious, and also very interesting.

Clara hadn't told Selina the reason she came to this city. Though Clara believed this, Selina had still given this medicine bottle to her, so that meant Selina was incredibly outstanding at reading people.

"As I thought, this means...... now is the time to use it?"

She pinched the medicine bottle between her fingers, feeling like the solid sensation slipping between her fingertips was telling her the answer......

"No no no...... I can't do that."

She couldn't help but mutter.

Just then, a doorknock sounded.

"Ah, what is it?"

"Clara? Are you okay?"

"Ah~ ......Hahaha, I'm fine."

"Really? Sorry, then."

"No, it's alright."

"Nn."

Nina was the owner of the voice.

"Whew......"

Clara sighed lightly after she sensed her leaving.

"............Eh, what exactly am I doing?"

Shouldn't she hurry up and get out?

If she left this place, she could either talk with others or say that she was tired and was going to return to rest in her room. In any case, she should move.

She could just throw the drug away here.

Dump it and flush it down, then it would be over.

That was all she had to do, so why couldn't she do it?

"Uaaaaah!"

Clara held her head.

She didn't know what she wanted to do either.



Hence, this mental conference.

"Everyone, quiet down!"

Clara A forcefully pounded the round table at the constantly-chattering Claras.

"Doesn't everyone want to resolve this problem?"

Clara A asked impatiently.

They were just being noisy. It didn't feel like they wanted to solve the problem at all to her.

"Huh~"

"That's fine, I guess?"

"Actually, that's the question, right?"

"It's a problem that she can't get out of the bathroom."

"She'll just be shut inside someone else's bathroom like this."

"Wouldn't it be good to just leave the bathroom first?"

"We're going to graduate from the bathroom (heh[1])."

"We're having this meeting because she can't graduate!"

Clara A continued forcefully pounding the table.

"Everyone, what do you think we should do to leave the bathroom?"

"Just squeeze it out, right?"

"Squeeze what?"

"It feels impolite to talk about something like that here."

"Well, the meaning is to have her finish her business in the bathroom."

"Ahh, that's not a bad way to describe it."

"Then we'll say that."

"All she needs to do is put some effort into her lower abdomen."

"You should all know that this way is better for the body!"

Clara A was the only one shouting.

In her opinion, the topic she had brought about was moving in a grave direction.

"Is it like this now?"

Clara A glared and surveyed the Claras in the mind.

"Are you unwilling to resolve the current problem?"

"Huh~?"

"Isn't there no helping it?"

"Yeah, because there's no saving her."

"You guys......"

Clara A held her head.

Why was it that all the Claras in the mind outside of her had no motivation?

"Hm~?"

In other words, Claribel herself had pretty much given up already?"

No, she was just unable to leave the bathroom after giving up hope, so that way of thinking wasn't correct.

"In that case, what do you plan on doing?"

Clara A asked them.

"Huh~?"

"Who knows~?"

"Staying in the bathroom like this isn't bad."

"Hmm."

"Someone will break in sooner or later."

"That would be unsightly."

"......If you know that, then think a little more seriously."

Their responses made Clara A feel very helpless.

It looked like of these mental Claras, only Clara A represented the will to resolve the problem. The others acted sluggishly because their determination was hazy.

In other words, Claribel herself was confused and unable to act.

CSR 23 167.jpg

"This can't go on!"

Clara A shouted this, making a proposal to her unmotivated compatriots.

Claribel herself couldn't move, so they had to organize her messy thoughts and then find what she truly wanted to do.

Only Clara A could do this.

"I'll just have to do my best."

After resolving herself again, Clara A stared at the Claras inside the mind.

Including herself, they were all illusions of imitation humans manifested from various thoughts in Clara's heart. Given that almost all of them showed no determination, Claribel herself couldn't take action either.

In that case, what could Clara A do now?

"I need to increase my support as much as possible."

But how could she attain her goal?

"How annoying."

Clara A had the determination to resolve the problem.

But Clara A's thinking ability was insufficient to think up how the problem could be resolved.

If her support increased, it would mean the thoughts of Claribel herself tended towards Clara A's side, so that way she would definitely be able to find a way to resolve things.

"I guess I symbolize the 'firm determination not to yield no matter what happens'."

After she realized that matter on her own, Clara A looked at her compatriots again.

Then, what should she do to turn them into allies?

In the end, she would have to solve that problem herself.

After thinking for a long while, Clara A said:

"Everyone, we definitely can't let her get trapped in someone else's bathroom."

"I guess."

"Yeah."

"But."

"There are still possibilities."

"Why's that?"

"In this world, this kind of happiness comes and goes."

"I see the world in a new light."

"I see."

"No no no no......"

Their thoughts tried to turn towards a different direction again, or rather, they tried to go in a direction completely opposite of what she wanted.

Clara A hastily stopped the progression of the topic.

"Are you all alright with letting Layfon see this scene?"

"Well......"

"That's a bit......"

"That's too much."

It seemed that she had succeeded in turning the tables. Clara A sighed in relief.

Just then, Clara A felt guidance from above flash through her mind.

"Right, Layfon!"

Clara A loudly proclaimed what she had realized.

"What?"

"Layfon?"

"Speaking of Layfon, today's battle wasn't bad."

"Though she lost."

"It was pretty refreshing."

"She always wanted to fight like that."

"A happy time."

Spurred on by Clara A, the mental Claras put on captivated demeanors.

As expected. Clara A confirmed that matter.

The mental Claras were unable to maintain chaotic attitudes when faced with Layfon. Because Clara A was the same.

"In that case, should we leave this place? This is also to avoid Layfon getting a 'bathroom girl' impression about Claribel."

"That's true."

"You're right."

"When you say it like that......"

"But are you sure he doesn't like 'bathroom girls'?"

"Haven't you been a bit too dismissive recently?"

"That's not true."

"I motion to vote here!'

Clara shouted.

"No matter what, we should leave the bathroom immediately! This is also to keep Layfon from making a 'bathroom girl' impression. Everyone in favor, raise your hands!"

An unstable undercurrent was concealed here. As if pushed to action by that sense of emergency, Clara A immediately made a proposal to the other mental Claras.

"As I thought......"

"'Bathroom girl' is a bit......"

The mental Claras raised their hands one by one to approve of Clara A's proposal.

Clara A let out a relieved breath just as the votes of approval broke half.

"Then let's leave the bathroom."

"Okay~"

The united opinion reached Claribel herself directly.

"Okay."

Her voice was also broadcasted inside her mind, and the 'Claribel's subjective point of view' screen that had been constantly showing the bathroom wall moved.

In the screen, Claribel stood up and prepared to reach for the door handle.

Just then--

"Please wait."

The one who said this was the one who had been continuously sparking discussion before.

"Why? Clara H?"

Clara A secretly raised her alertness as she asked.

"It's fine to leave the bathroom, but what do we do afterwards?"

"That......"

"Are we going home? Or are we using that medicine bottle? If we're going to use it, what do we do after using it?"

"Urghhh......"

The deluge of problems left Clara A silent.

"Won't ignoring the fundamental reasons she's hiding in the bathroom end up badly?"

"W......Well, that's true......"

A commotion rose in the conference area.

"That's true."

"There's no hope if we don't decide what to do."

"Hm~"

"What do we do?"

The mental Claras around Clara A started becoming panicked.

"In that case......"

The impatient Clara A looked at the screen. As expected, Claribel's movements had also stopped.

"It's true that the nickname 'bathroom girl' is disgraceful, but we can't keep ignoring that problem. Our original self - Claribel Ronsmier - would never procrastinate, right?"

"Ugh......"

Clara A was completely unable to refute Clara H's matter-of-fact argument.

Very accurate.

Truly very accurate.

Just as she said, Claribel Ronsmier was that kind of person.

Once she wanted to do something and noticed a path to realize her goals, Claribel would charge forward without looking back. She was that kind of person.

That was why she had left her home in Grendan and come to Zuellni.

"In that case...... What do you plan on doing? What's right?"

Clara A spoke those words, having nowhere to turn.

Letting Clara H talk was very dangerous.

She had that kind of premonition, but Clara A still said what she did.

"The crux of the problem is the drug."

Clara H smoothly asserted.

"The crux of the problem is that she's indecisive due to the existence of the drug."

"That's true."

"Yeah."

"Then, why are we being indecisive?"

"Who knows?"

"Why is it?"

"Come to think of it, why's that?"

"Urghh."

The mental Claras spoke one by one. Clara A groaned, but inadvertently started thinking.

She didn't know the answer either.

But she felt like it was very difficult to give up on this medicine bottle.

It seemed some kind of future was inside this medicine bottle.

"D......Do you mean you know the answer?"

"Of course!"

Clara H asserted this. Her figure made Clara A stare unconsciously in fascination.

Why was Clara H so full of self-confidence?

Clara A was the only one with the mission 'absolutely resolve the problem no matter what'.

"It's to use this drug and challenge Layfon a final time!"

Clara H cried out, clenching a fist.

But for some reason, her thumb was sticking out between her index and middle fingers.[2]

Moreover, all of the mental Claras could obviously understand what that meant. Though they symbolized various thoughts here, they were all Claribel in the end.

Because they possessed similar knowledge.

"That's going too far!"

Clara K expressed her refusal, her face red.

"H-H-H-H-H......How could we do that kind of thing!"

"Why? A sleeping drug, Layfon, feeling depressed even though she realized the fight of her dreams...... Considering all those factors, this is the only answer you can come up with."

"How......"

"After the battle between Military Artists ends, next is the battle between men and women!"

The reactions of the other mental Claras had varied differences compared to Clara H's passionate speech.

Some were red-faced like Clara K, and some showed excited expressions. Come to think of it, there were also some calmly looking at the two sides bicker.

Though there were also other subtle differences, most reactions could be separated into those three types.

"In other words, approval, opposition, and neutrality.

And...... as for Clara A--

"Ah, I see."

She was very impressed.

To her, the current problem was how to overcome this difficulty. At this critical junction, it didn't matter what kind of means she used to reach her goal.

After all, Clara only had the determination to 'absolutely resolve this problem no matter what'.

"Since we can't give it up, then let's just use it. If we're going to use it, let's make it effective."

Clara A loudly approved of Clara H's opinion.

"How about it, everyone?"

Then, she asked her compatriots this.

"I hereby announce that, right now, the 'final showdown between man and woman' officially begins!"

In that instant, details of the battle plan were conveyed to the hearts of her other compatriots.

After all, they were all the same person.



After the chattering and pondering......

"Urrghhh......"

Clara finally opened the door.

"Yo, Clara. Where are you going after covering yourself in the fragrant aroma of the bathroom?"

"Uuu!"

Clara almost cried upon being immediately teased by Shin's cheerful tone.

"It's a joke. Are you alright?"

"I...... I'm alright!"

"Well, I thought you'd either be crying, or your stomach was really hurting."

"Hah?"

"Since you're not crying, your stomach must be hurting. You at too much, huh."

"Wha...... I didn't!"

Shin smiled as he left, with Clara huffily shouting at him.

"And what do you mean, crying......"

Clara muttered as she looked around.

The noisiness from the beginning had already diminished significantly, and right now a moderated atmosphere perfused the area. The groups of people here included Nina's seventeenth platoon members and Shin's fourteenth platoon members, as well as Meishen and her friends, and one other person - a resident of this apartment.

None of them had left.

Everyone was happily talking with those they were close with.

Nina met Clara's gaze and sent her a worried look. After waving at Nina with a smile, Nina showed a relieved expression.

The hand she waved at Nina with was covered in sweat.

(Um......)

Clara murmured to herself.

(Where's Layfon......)

This place was much larger than the average Zuellni apartment, but it wasn't too large, so it still felt very cramped when so many people congregated here.

Clara immediately found Layfon.

He was talking with his platoon's Dite technician.

His name was......

(Huh?)

"Uh......"

What the heck, she couldn't think of it.

They lived in the same apartment, but for some reason she couldn't think of his name.[3]

"Ah, whatever."

Clara gave up thinking altogether about who the overall-clad guy was and started thinking about her battle plan.

What should she do to put Layfon to sleep?

That was where the problem lied.

There were two kinds of ways.

Take Layfon away from here alone, then make him drink the sleeping drug.

Or put everyone else to sleep, and then bring him back to her place.

If she did the former, she would have to take him away from here...... At the least, she would have to leave this room first.

If she did the latter, she would have to put everyone to sleep, which would make it hard to keep others from getting suspicious.

No one could help her. She tried thinking about who could help as she thought about how best to knock Layfon out (pharmaceutically).

"Um...... But...... What should I do?"

She still hadn't thought of a way.

Since she couldn't think of a way to take Layfon away from here alone, she should think about how to put everyone to sleep in an instant. That was more appropriate.

However, that wasn't easy to do.

Clara walked towards the place the fourteenth platoon was gathered as she thought about this matter. She couldn't think of any good way at all.

"Will this work?"

Just as Clara was wondering how to solve this difficult puzzle, she noticed it.

It seemed that the gods of fortune hadn't forsaken Clara.

It was a small machine placed in a corner of the room.

An air purifier.

Had it been taken out because there were many people coming? Or had it always been there? Clara walked over to check, and saw a run light blinking as it continuously discharged air.

It also had humidification functions.

When she saw the flashing light signaling a lack of water, Clara realized that the gods of fortune were seriously supporting her.

"Meishen-san."

"What is it?"

Clara called out to Meishen who was passing by. She looked over, holding new food.

Clara reflexively wove words while feeling somewhat guilty that she was still making food.

But her tone was very calm and not impatient.

"There's no water left, should I add some?"

Completely like she was trying to carry out an act of goodwill she had just thought up.

"Ah, that would be a great help."

"No problem."

After responding, Clara took out the water container and walked to the sink.

She added the water in a place no one could see.

Of course, she didn't forget to add a drop of the drug to the water.

"I forgot something in my room, so I'll go back and get it."

After saying that, Clara waited outside for an entire hour, then returned.

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

She covered her mouth, carefully easing the door open.

The room was extremely quiet, though it was unsure whether the drug had been effective.

Not knowing what the situation was, Clara crept into the room.

Everyone in the living room was lying on the ground as if they had collapsed.

"!"

Though this was for own benefit, Claribel felt as if her heartbeat had stopped. Meishen's journalist friend was the closest to her. After putting her hand near her mouth to check that she was breathing, Clara let out a relieved breath.

But she still couldn't be careless. Clara held her breath and approached the air filter, rapidly taking out its water container.

After checking that the kitchen exhaust fan was still running, Clara finally felt like it was time to move on.

"And now......"

She muttered, still covering her mouth with her hand.

The next step.

The feeling of her heart beating painfully hard made Clara dizzy. She found Layfon, ready to pick him up.

She prepared to pick him up.

She reached her arms out to pick him up.

Those arms stopped.

Clara noticed.

She noticed that a gaze was staring at her.

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

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

Her face felt paralyzed. This was the sensation of being stared at by someone. Clara slowly looked over.

Meishen was there, and her other friend was also there, along with one other person.

That person looked at Clara.

CSR 23 183.jpg

Vati Len looked at Clara.

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

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

She was lying down next to Meishen, her face pointed this way.

Her eyes were wide open.

In that instant, Clara's thoughts stopped.



The mental conference erupted in a noisy commotion again.

"Why doesn't the drug work on that person!"

Clara H cried angrily.

"Come to think of it, she's supposedly not human, right?"

"Ah......"

"Now that you mention it--"

"Indeed."

After Clara H calmly said that, everyone instantly realized.

"Come to think of it, she's really scary."

"She doesn't blink either."

"She doesn't breathe, is she really alive?"

"Honestly, does she even need to breathe?"

"Selina-senpai said this was effective on filth monsters, right?"

"Maybe it's not effective because it was diluted?"

"Then what is she doing?"

"Hmm!"

After Clara C murmured this, everyone made pondering noises.

The person named Vati Len was clearly not a normal girl. Nina was the only one in Zuellni other than Clara who knew that she was the enemy of the world, and the difference between the powers of the two sides was overwhelmingly large.

The moment she told her secret to someone else, Zuellni would be destroyed.

She had announced this, and Clara understood that such a thing was possible with her power.

So Clara had always been very careful not to bother Vati.

So Nina and Clara could only resign themselves to observing what Vati did.

Fortunately, she hadn't brought forth any visible destruction. But they couldn't assert that nothing had happened just because they couldn't see anything.

So the two of them could only agonize every single day.

That Vati was looking at Clara.

To think she had focused her mind to other matters and forgotten about the existence of Vati......

"What a grave misstep."

Their carelessness made Clara A sigh.

"No, there's still hope!"

It was Clara H who proclaimed this.

"Why do you think so?"

"Because she hasn't done anything until now."

Clara H stated.

"Though she hasn't done anything visible, who knows about what we haven't seen. But that just means that she at least doesn't want to do anything to cause any direct destruction. Isn't that how things are?"

"Well, probably."

Maybe.

Maybe not.

She was this fretful because things were unclear.

"Yeah, it's really nerve-wracking."

Clara H nodded strongly.

"But it's only because it's nerve-wracking that we were worried and unable to move for so long. Isn't this foolish?"

"Ohh!"

Why?

Why could Clara H make such a strong, powerful declaration?

After Clara H said this, Clara A and the other mental Claras wearing confused looks slowly regained their reason.

Clara H had that much strength.

How inexplicable.

What exactly was the character trait that Clara H possessed?

As she thought about such things, Clara A asked:

"Then what do we do now?"

"Need I say it!?"

As expected, Clara H was at no loss.

"Of course, we continue the plan!"

With her attitude, it wasn't hard to imagine Clara H saying something like that.

But it certainly brought courage to others when she proclaimed this with an unshakeable attitude.

"I believe that she won't move. She probably fell to the ground like everyone and pretended to sleep in order to show that she wouldn't move!"

"Ohh~......"

Clara H's valiant figure as she raised a fist high made the mental Claras ecstatic.

"Come, right now is when we achieve our goals!"

Clara H's declaration united the wills of the mental Claras.



Click!

Clara made her decision without making a sound, but after a shout from inside her heart instead.

Vati was awake. She was clearly pretending to sleep, gazing over from behind the eyelids that she had closed.

Even if she realized that, she couldn't stop at this point.

"I've come this far!"

Clara reaffirmed her determination with a hushed voice as she put Layfon on her back, then surreptitiously left the room.

She couldn't look down upon a Military Artist's self-defense instinct even if they were drugged. The body could feel that it was in a crisis and then detoxify itself...... Such a thing might happen with a Military Artist's body.

Vati seemed not to be pursuing.

Clara moved her attention from behind her to Layfon's body as she stealthily moved to her room.

Clara anxiously drew out the key to open the door to her room. The key had to get stuck in her pocket at this time. Clara pulled the key out forcefully, opening a tear in the cloth.

The unusual sound of the ripping cloth increased her sense of anxiety, making her brain almost boil.

"!!!"

She couldn't make a sound, even to curse. Clara expelled her irritated feelings from her mind.

In reality, she acted extremely calmly.

After opening the door, she headed directly to the bedroom, placing Layfon lightly on the bed.

The scene of Layfon sleeping on her bed made Clara's head spin, and she almost lost consciousness there, but she forced herself to get a grip.

In any case, she first closed the open door, then locked it and put up the chain...... Then, Clara finally returned to her bedroom with a sense of accomplishment.

"......He hasn't woken up, right?'

She sneakily peeked into the bedroom.

The sound of Layfon's calm breathing reached her ears.

He was still sleeping. Claribel let out a relieved breath, then muttered.

"Then......"



"Next is the rematch!"

Clara H was very excited.

The other mental Claras were also infected by her excitement.

But for some reason, Clara A was very calm at this moment.

Why was that?

The moment she saw the sleeping Layfon, she had a kind of 'huh?' feeling.

"It seems like something's wrong?"

That murmur didn't reach the ears of her compatriots. It just resounded in Clara A's ears, lingering in her chest like a suspicion exclusive to Clara A.

Could she ignore that doubt? Clara A felt anxious.

She had to do something.

What Clara A represented was that kind of straightforward mission.

Even if no one agreed, she had to think of some way to deal with that doubt.

"What am I concerned about?"

She had become like this after seeing Layfon, so the reason was definitely with him.

But in the current kind of situation, the opinions of the mental Claras were probably united.

No......

A united opinion - that phrase was inaccurate. The mental Claras were the manifestations of Claribel's countless personality traits. Though their origins were similar, they couldn't fully form a unanimous opinion.

In the end, they used majority vote like the real world did.

Majority vote - meaning there were also people who cast opposing votes.

Clara A was one of the first to be influenced by Clara H and become a supporter, so she had completely forgotten about that.

"It couldn't be......"

After thinking of that, Clara A looked around.

The mental Claras were almost all gathered by the screen, but as she looked around, there were also scattered ones who weren't doing that.

Clara A approached one of them.

"What's wrong?"

Surprised, Clara G looked at the approaching Clara A.

"Do you oppose this?"

Clara A asked frankly.

"Rather than opposing it, it's more like I dislike it."

Clara G also replied frankly.

"Dislike it?"

"You don't know?"

Clara A was speechless for a moment when she was asked this.

Had she missed something?

"Do you know what we came here to do?"

"......Huh?"

This......

Clara G's words made Clara A think of something.

She unconsciously looked back.

The mental Claras were crowded in front of the screen watching the original slowly shortening the distance between her and Layfon as they raised fists and prayed to the gods of fortune.

Incidentally, their thumbs were between their index and middle fingers.

For some reason, Clara A's eyes looked towards Clara H.

Why was she here?

Any mental Clara would be able to think of that answer with a bit of thinking.

But Clara H had proclaimed such a thing.

Of course, Claribel had that sort of desire. It was because she had that kind of desire that supporters among the mental Claras were gathered over there.

Even Clara A had once been a member of that group.

But something was wrong.

"Hmm?"

She was able to realize the key because she had once been a supporter and had then left the group.

Clara A narrowed her eyes and looked at Clara H's back.

"............Ah."

She saw something that ought not to exist.

"................................................A zipper?"

There was a zipper on Clara H's back.

She could understand if it were on her clothes, as the zipper could be explained as being part of the clothing.

But that zipper was on the back of her head.

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

Clara A silently and stealthily approached Clara H's back. Clara H and the others were focused on watching the screen and didn't notice Clara A approaching.

Clara A silently reached a hand to Clara H's zipper.

She pulled it down in a flash.

The Clara figure that was the same as everyone else's instantly parted in two and dropped softly to the ground.

Then, what showed up there was......

"Ah, Sensei!"

After Clara A called out, Clara H - no, her teacher Troyatte - turned his head around.

"Why!?"

Why was Troyatte here?

But after she cried out, Clara A immediately realized the reason.

"Ah, you're the part of the personality that was influenced too much by Sensei."

After becoming his disciple, Claribel had immediately looked forward to Troyatte's way of life, but her teacher's countless womanizing actions had made Claribel hold him at arm's length and immediately disdain him.

So Clara A recognized that the mental Claras who responsibly looked up to her teacher's personality had already become extinct.

"I didn't think you would still be hanging on to life here!"

To think she had managed to hold on to life and had wielded influence in such an important juncture.

"Ahahahahahahaha! Since I've been revealed, there's no helping it!"

Troyatte laughed as he leaped away.

"To think we would be manipulated by that thing!"

"Drive him away! Hurry up and drive him away!"

"Stop!"

"Ahahahahahahahaha!"

After noticing that they had been instigated, the mental Claras chased after him with killing intent. Troyatte fled, and the difference in strength between master and pupil preordained in the mental Claras made it so that they were unable to capture Troyatte.

"I won't disappear! I won't disappearrrrrrrrr!"

"Disappearrrrrrrrr!"

Troyatte roared in a dramatic tone, and the mental Claras banded together to respond. This was the strength of influence between master and pupil. Whether good or bad, it seemed that they had to resign themselves to his actions.

Maybe because she had seen through his true identity, Clara A was free of her teacher's influence and stayed in front of the screen alone.

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

She alone looked at the screen.

The image on the screen was comprised of her hands, along with the ceiling visible through the gaps between her fingers.[4]



Translator's Notes and References[edit]

  1. This is actually in the text.
  2. This is a gesture symbolizing sex.
  3. Poor Harley.
  4. I assume that Claribel is facepalming with her head back and ends up stopping what she was going to do.
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