Chrome Shelled Regios:Volume23 To Be Continued at the Battlefield
To Be Continued at the Battlefield
She came here in a flash.
She was surprised with a bang.
It came to her hands with a crash.
Then she became a Heaven's Blade successor.
"Uh, that exactly is going on?"
Clara griped in the already-empty room.
As the situation worsened, her thoughts could no longer keep up with developments.
After sensing an abnormal presence and rushing out of the room, she had met up with Nina and then they had been thrown into a mysterious, enigmatic space, and she had been separated from Nina as well.
Before she realized it, she had already arrived at Grendan's Royal Palace, and she had received a Heaven's Blade from the Queen's hands, officially becoming a member of the Heaven's Blade successors.
Moreover, she had unexpectedly inherited the name Noiran from her grandfather. It was like the royal family to keep to themselves, and it didn't feel at all like a joke.
"............Though I feel like nothing good's coming from this."
In the end, an irritating atmosphere was already gathering outside and she didn't have the leisure to worry about those little things anymore.
The true identity of the abnormal presence Clara felt was probably 'her'.
A figure of a certain person emerged in Clara's mind as she thought this.
"Does that mean she's finally moved?"
Clara didn't really understand what power had brought her here.
"No, that's probably what they call 'En'."
She was referring to the information sharing space of the Electronic Fairies.
Though the Wolf Faces had disappeared recently, Clara had learned of the existence of En when she fought against them.
She hadn't actually experienced the space, so she could only speculate...... But perhaps it was En.
Clara hadn't thought that she would experience that space at this time.
"There's no time to enjoy it."
Clara murmured with a bitter face.
She slowly regained calm from her chaotic mood.
She had returned to Grendan.
She was holding a Heaven's Blade in her hand.
Clara...... Claribel Ronsmier, had officially become a Heaven's Blade successor under the identity Claribel Noiran Ronsmier.
Perhaps it was a coincidence that she had the same Heaven's Blade as her grandfather. The Queen couldn't hold any kind of expectations of Clara, and Clara didn't believe that the Queen wouldn't give up the opportunity to give the Heaven's Blade Ronsmier to someone just for this kind of romantic gesture.
No matter what the process had been, she had obtained the Heaven's Blade here right now through her own strength.
"......If possible, I'd like some more reliable evidence."
She felt like she would be able to accept this outcome more easily if there were some sort of rigorous test like that.
Right now wasn't a situation where she could do such things.
Perhaps that was how things were.
"Then it's about time to get a grip."
Clara slapped her cheeks, completely stopping her whirling feelings.
"After all, I probably won't be able to think about useless things in the coming situation."
She tightly grasped the unrestored Heaven's Blade, hardening her mood and expression.
Grendan's long night was about to begin.
After the Psychokinesis flake indicated the location to gather, Clara moved there.
The voice that came flake wasn't Delbone's mature voice, which made her feel a pang of loneliness.
However, right now wasn't the time to worry about such things. The Psychokinesist who succeeded her was definitely very outstanding - Clara thought this as she advanced there.
She bumped into that person on the way.
It was Troyatte.
"What's up with that attitude?"
"No, it feels like it's been a long time~ But I'm not feeling any respect at all."
"You could even say it feels very annoying."
"I'm more surprised that there was still the possibility of being respect at this point in time."
"You're pretty courteous."
"I never thought I'd be praised like that!"
It had been a long time since they met, but she didn't sense that atmosphere from him at all.
Troyatte's attitude was really bad.
"Sensei, are you not surprised?"
"Uh, I left the city, but suddenly appeared here."
She could probably explain the situation better if he had been surprised at this and said something like 'why are you here?'.
No, she couldn't properly explain the way she had moved anyways.
But Troyatte had this kind of attitude.
It felt a bit - bothersome.
"......Sensei, why do you think I'm here?"
"Hmm, I remember you left the city, right?"
"Maybe you didn't actually do that."
Clara almost inadvertently nodded agreement.
"......Sensei, why do you think that?"
"There are two possibilities."
"You've been carrying out some mission under the Queen's secret orders the whole time."
"Ah, it feels like you said something very normal, Sensei!"
"The second possibility is that you've been hiding in your closet doing Sakkei training the whole time."
"Ah, you're still normal, just as I thought."
"So, which one was it?"
"Neither of them."
"Whaat, how boring. Then whatever."
"Uwah, what kind of reaction is that?"
"It's enough that you're here right now."
"It's great to see you look so spirited."
Clara was a bit moved.
"I received a Heaven's Blade!"
Clara was moved upon learning that her teacher believed in her as a disciple.
Has this disciple grown? Yes, probably. Clara had received a Heaven's Blade, so she felt that it would be fine to assert this.
She excitedly took out the Heaven's Blade to show Troyatte.
But Troyatte's reaction was very boring.
"Uh, that's fine either way~"
"It doesn't matter whether my disciple’s grown or not, with the situation how it is."
"Why is that? Didn't you just say it was great to see me so spirited?"
"Hmm, you are very spirited, right?"
"If you're very spirited, then something like strength doesn't matter, right?"
"Because I protect all women!"
In other words, women didn't need to fight.
Troyatte seemed to want to express that idea.
"But never mind that for now, my disciple. When you were in the Academy City, did you find any good matches for your Sensei?"
"How would I do that kind of thing!?"
As the two of them quibbled, Heaven's Blade successors arrived one after the other.
The sight of the always-frowning Ruimei and Barmelin walking here together was a bit funny, but Clara held it in.
She wanted to keep her life.
Because of her comedic talk with Troyatte, Clara didn't even have to explain that she had become a Heaven's Blade successor to Kanaris, who arrived last. In that sense, maybe Clara had gotten lucky.
But she was also thus unable to greet the person who had newly become a Heaven's Blade successor.
"Sensei, who’s that?'
"Hmm? Ah, a newcomer."
"Uh, I know that...... Ah, no, whatever."
"Sensei has no reason to be interested in men."
The definite answer, with no hesitation, even made her feel dizzy.
That person's name seemed to be Haia Wolfstein Laia.
He had inherited the name Wolfstein.
That should have been Layfon's.
Though Clara had that thought, Layfon wasn't here after all.
It seemed that he, who was of a similar age to Clara, had once been in charge of a mercenary gang. From that, it could be seen that this person was skilled at cooperation, which was important for the Heaven's Blade successors.
As Clara thought, that proposal was rejected.
One could realize just by seeing Troyatte that these people were either uninterested in others or had extreme biases in their perceptions of others. They were almost incompatible with the word 'cooperation'.
If nothing happened, it was impossible for them to cooperate.
But Clara realized that such a huge event was happening now.
Maybe she should mention that.
Maybe...... But right now there was no time to do that.
Because she had come.
As expected, the figure advancing through the hallway was Vati Len herself.
She wasn't hallucinating.
Nor was it someone who looked familiar. It was the Vati Len that Clara knew.
Just like how Clara had been somehow transported to Grendan, had Vati had also used some special method of movement?
When that kind of trivial question flashed through her mind, the battle began.
Was this just as expected? Vati was quite powerful.
She easily avoided Haia as he preemptively charge, and even dodged Ruimei's attack when it was halfway out.
Explosive Kei was released from Ruimei's entire body.
"You're rambling me to death."
Even his tone gave off sparks.
"It should be enough to destroy her completely, right?"
"Although you're right, it's probably better not to care too much about order right now."
Troyatte, who said that, shot out flame as he attacked.
"Are you qualified to say that?"
"I'm taking precautions because I'm afraid that you'll be too ashamed when you're defeated. It's only insurance."
Troyatte still continued chatting after that, which made Clara start to worry.
Sensei wasn't still underestimating Vati's power, right?
But she had already struck down Cauntia, Reverse, and Kalvan before she came here.
That shouldn't be possible - she wanted to believe that, but......
"Um...... I think it would be best not to be too careless."
"Of course, we're not being careless, former disciple."
That name was unexpected.
"Since you're become a Heaven's Blade, then our relationship isn't master and disciple."
"So, of course we're not careless."
"Is that so?"
"I'm really doubting."
"Haha. Well, there's no helping that."
She couldn't see Vati's figure. She couldn't have been crushed by Ruimei's iron ball, nor was it possible that she had been burned to a crisp by Troyatte's fire attack.
Even Clara realized that.
A sense of danger made her face tingle.
As long as that atmosphere didn't vanish, she couldn't drop her guard just because her enemy was unseen or didn't move.
However, why could Troyatte be so laid-back?
"We're not careless. The reason we look careless......"
After Troyatte said that, someone behind him moved.
It was Savaris.
He raised his arms, putting his hands in a position to snap his fingers.
Then, he snapped his fingers.
"It's because we know who’s going to continue the attack."
The sound of the snap overlapped with Troyatte's voice.
The sound of successive explosions also overlapped.
The ceiling exploded.
Then, Vati appeared, as if blasted out by the explosion.
"I'm slowly starting to understand."
Savaris spoke to the fallen Vati.
Clara was speechless, seeing that scene.
She was even a bit dazed.
She hadn't noticed Savaris doing anything.
Though she had become a Heaven's Blade, that didn't mean the gaps in strength that had existed before becoming a Heaven's Blade had all vanished.
Could it be that because of her half-baked progress, gaps that she hadn't known about before were becoming clear?
"Uuu...... I can't lose!"
She couldn't fail here.
As Savaris and Vati spoke, Clara silently resolved herself again on the side.
Because she would always hold the desire to become strong.
Soon after that, the battle turned into a cooperative assault commanded by Haia.
Though the Heaven's Blade successors were a group that advocated individuality, they could respond flexibly to battle situations.
After Clara honestly sincerely that, she was played with by the unexpected performance of the Heaven's Blade that surpassed her own performance as she desperately tried to keep up with the battle.
In this battle could be techniques and destructive power that definitely couldn't be realized by any ordinary Military Artist. Clara skillfully fought this battle, but right now a situation she had never imagined was happening.
No, it was unexpected that Vati would still be completely alright after being exposed to the Heaven's Blade successors' extraordinary destructive powers, but right now there was an even stranger situation happening.
Maybe she had anticipated this.
Anticipated that things would become like this.
It was Layfon.
Layfon had come here.
Clara couldn't even properly explain how she had come here, so how had Layfon come here?
Though she was interested, the atmosphere right now wasn't one where she could ask questions.
"Why is that guy here?"
Ruimei's displeased voice didn't change Layfon's expression.
"Since I'm here, I'm here. Please don't ask about something so obvious."
Layfon replied. She had never seen him replying to a question this pointedly in Zuellni.
But she had seen him do so often in Grendan.
To be honest, Clara was more used to this Layfon.
"A Military Artist who can't even draw out his power will only be a hindrance."
"If you think I'm a hindrance, then why don't you just not help me out? ......When did you become so caring?"
"Ha......Hahahahahahahahaha! That's right, indeed."
Savaris let out a drawn-out laugh, and Layfon gazed at him suspiciously.
He had gotten along very naturally with the Heaven's Blade successors.
After all, he was a former Heaven's Blade successor.
Other than the newcomers Clara, Haia, and Elsmau who was not present, Layfon and the other Heaven's Blades were rivals, and some had fought shoulder-to-shoulder before.
The sense of wrongness that Clara felt about being here...... He probably didn't have anything to do with such a feeling.
Even with a Heaven's Blade in her hand, Clara still felt restless about whether she ought to be here. He probably didn't feel anything like that.
Maybe it was just wishful thinking.
Maybe he also felt restless.
Maybe he also felt scared.
Maybe he also felt helpless and that he had come to the wrong place.
But if he did, his expression desperately hid those emotions, and he maintained his expression from when he had been a Heaven's Blade successor.
That made her envious.
It also made her jealous.
Why can't I even put on a calm expression?
That made her extremely unhappy.
Moreover, he wasn't even surprised at the fact that Clara was present, and just leaped into the battle with Vati.
It was hard to bear.
How many times do I have to experience this feeling?
Before she knew it, the tense feeling on the battlefield had already vanished from Clara's body, and replacing it was a feeling of impatience that tried to take over her heart.
She herself didn't know whether this was good or not.
Layfon was still fearlessly challenging Layfon, even without a Heaven's Blade in his hands. Clara was fighting as if chasing after his figure.
She only had Layfon in her eyes, and couldn't see anything else.
As expected, it was Troyatte who stopped her.
"You're too emotional, idiot."
"Let me go!"
After being grabbed by the neck and pulled back, Clara flung off Troyatte's hand and shouted angrily.
The battle situation had changed again. Perhaps she was affected by Layfon and Lintence's entrance. Vati had started moving underground, underground, searching for her original target - the girl called Saya.
Clara and the Heaven's Blade successors tried to stop her, but Vati had left a wriggling mass of thorns as a gift for them.
Layfon had leaped into those thorns, so Clara had also wanted to charge out.
He planned on passing through that wall of thorns to pursue Vati.
In that case, Clara had to go. When she was ready to chase after him without hesitation, Troyatte had stopped her.
"Why did you stop me!?"
"Do you think you can break through that thing?"
Clara was quite agitated, but Troyatte's look was very calm.
"Even I can do that!"
"How can you do that when you can't even find the right opportunity?"
Clara couldn't say anything in the face of her teacher's helpless tone.
Clara looked over.
Layfon's figure had already vanished on the other side of the wriggling mass of thorns. He and Lintence, who had also charged inside, were probably safe and sound.
Now that Psychokinesis was being disturbed, no one knew any details.
But the possibility that Layfon died didn't exist in Clara's heart.
He had definitely reached underground together with Lintence and was fighting with Vati right now.
Clara couldn't wait over here.
She really wanted to go.
Was her mind unable to keep up with the rapidly-changing situation because she was thinking too much?
A headache and dizziness made Clara press on her temple.
Want to catch up.
Want to stand by his side.
Yeah, she thought of it.
Thought of the events that night.
The final happy night in Zuellni.
That night she had been lost and confused.
Clara covered her face with her hands, staring at the ceiling.
"No no no no."
The empty feeling after the celebration, mixed with the factor of the drug, had led Clara astray.
She had a confused feeling.
"It's not this, I didn't want to do something like this. I didn't come to Zuellni to do something like this."
Layfon was still sleeping on the bed. Exactly how strong was this drug's effect? He didn't seem to show any signs of waking up.
This was the only way she could be redeemed right now.
But exactly how meaningful was that kind of redemption?
Maybe she could just wake Layfon up and shout at him. That might feel better.
"It wasn't for something like that!"
Layfon didn't wake up even if she shouted.
Clara put her head against his chest.
"......I really want to win against you."
She finally said those words.
"I really want to win against you."
It didn't matter if this was a celebration or what.
She wanted to fight an epic battle against Layfon and then win.
She desired to prove her existence to Layfon in the strongest way possible.
Was that love?
Or respect for someone strong?
She didn't know herself.
But whether it was love or respect, she didn't believe doing this could eliminate those feelings.
Just that wouldn't be enough.
This kind of thing couldn't satisfy her.
I'm different from Troyatte.
Troyatte had once said this.
That women were redemption for Troyatte, as long as they were women.
The problem of who they were or what kind of personality they had didn't matter. As long as women were women and acted their gender, Troyatte would be redeemed.
Honestly, Claribel didn't really understand what that meant.
Maybe it was just Troyatte covering up his womanizing games. She felt that was very likely.
But Clara couldn't forget Troyatte's sincere look when he had said that.
Even if the people around him didn't approve, maybe his reasons were still sincere.
Clara - Claribel was different from Troyatte.
Male-female relationships wouldn't redeem her.
Though she still hadn't experienced any of that, it probably wouldn't redeem her...... She thought.
She didn't have any clear self-confidence.
But right now, at this point in time, Clara wouldn't be redeemed by such things.
She really wanted to win.
Her current self could only confess the remorse in her heart on Layfon's chest.
"Though I don't know the reasons."
Clara was at a loss for words due to her excited emotions, but Troyatte's look was still very calm.
"......No, actually I'm eighty percent sure I know the reason, but I can guess the feelings of my former disciple, so I'll deliberately pretend not to know."
"So, even though I don't know the reasons."
"......Who was that supplemental explanation for? Was it even necessary?"
"Well, I guess not."
"Eighty was just a number I said out of politeness. It's actually one hundred."
"That doesn't matter!"
"No, it matters."
"This isn't a problem of how much the teacher understands the disciple."
"This is related to the ultimate problem of how much I understand women."
His attitude of ignoring her worries made her mad.
"That's how things are, my disciple. Because if you have no chance with him, there's no meaning in chasing bashfully after him."
"I...... I said that wasn't it......"
"In any case, it's a fact that you have no chance with him, right?"
"It's not like my disciple to rush out bashfully like an idiot."
"......You said I was your former disciple before."
"No matter whether former or not, a disciple is a disciple. If you do this, my tutelage will have been for nothing."
"Didn't I say? The essential technique for Karen Kei is a calm judgment ability. Didn't I say to take a step back and then take action?"
You don't even know what you want to do, so what can you accomplish?"
"Well, that's how things are. If you can't see any chance of victory, it's time to hide. Just quietly stay here and do some odd jobs."
It didn't matter at all whether she was a former disciple or a Heaven's Blade successor like him......
"I feel like I'm being treated like a low-ranking soldier."
"There's no helping it, you actually are a low-ranking soldier."
So stay here and fight like a low-ranking soldier, this place is also very busy."
Actually, they would have to spend quite a bit of effort to defeat these thorns.
Ruimei had fallen.
Kanaris had disappeared.
Savaris had also fallen.
And speaking broadly, the current battle situation was just the beginning.
After all, Clara and the others hadn't been able to meet up with the Queen and the others yet.
A new enemy would appear after they defeated the thorns, and hence Clara and the others were forced to stay here.
Also, their combat power had been reduced sharply because they had lost three Heaven's Blade successors.
Though they had faced an extreme crisis, a mysteriously powered-up Nina had suddenly appeared, so they had managed to overcome the difficulty.
As everyone was doing this, the underground battle ended.
However, even that outcome wasn't the final ending.
The sky changed color and a huge ball of flame descended.
It cast a wrathful air over the entire world as it transformed into the figure of a giant beast.
This beast was definitely the final event.
Its huge anger that could even change the color of the world almost engulfed Clara.
However, Troyatte next to her wasn't engulfed.
"So that cute little girl died?"
The gray matter in Troyatte's brain that had been a bit addled due to using too many huge techniques now finally calmed down.
His heavy tone lacked vitality.
"What a pity."
The cute little girl he referred to in this situation was Vati.
"......I don't think she was a human."
Clara had seen Vati pretending to be a student in Zuellni, but she didn't sympathize with her.
Since the moment she had encountered her, Clara had realized Vati was a crisis of the world. That recognition created a mental burden for her, and she had always been fighting with that burden.
Now, the relaxed feeling of finally being released from that pressure was rather strong.
"She wanted to become human."
Clara didn't understand what Troyatte wanted to express.
"The expression she made was an expression of really really wanting to become a woman."
"In that case, if would be fine if Sensei turned her into a woman."
'What are you saying?' - Clara shot back at him with that thought in mind.
"I wanted to, but it didn't work out."
Troyatte asserted with an extremely serious expression.
"It's complicated since not just anyone will do."
What had this person seen in Vati Len?
Clara had originally taken this remark as a joke, but she suddenly became interested in it.
"Sensei, don't just make that kind of shot-in-the-dark opinion, okay?"
"It's a judgment made from my experience, so calling it a shot in the dark is going too far. Well, but I can't completely deny it."
"......Why do you think that, Sensei?"
"Everyone wants to be somewhere they want to be."
"That girl looked like she had nowhere to stay."
"......She wasn't a human, so who knows."
Clara turned her back to Troyatte, unwilling to look at that pair of eyes gazing into the distance.
Somewhere she wanted to be.
Today had been hectic, but it was a day that had made her think deeply about many things.
Clara wanted a day to happen where she was so busy that she didn't have time to think before it was over.
It would end calmly and uneventfully, then she would sink into her bed with a 'ah, I'm so tired'.
But that was no good.
......Maybe it was no good.
Somewhere she wanted to be.
If they lost this battle, and the world truly disappeared because of it, then what would Clara have been protecting so desperately?
She was indifferent about just protecting her own life - Clara thought this, but she felt that would be a bit lonely.
Clara didn't think that she could use the Heaven's Blade tightly gripped in her hand however she wanted. She had always been just assisting Troyatte and the other Heaven's Blade successors.
Maybe that was enough.
She had carried out a battle suited to her own strength, and maybe that was enough.
Also, maybe everything could go smoothly if everyone just did what was within their ability.
That ought to work.
But would that be enough? A certain emotion asked this of her.
She heard it then.
She heard that speech.
"However, if you still think that you have to stand tall!"
The voice that suddenly sounded out made Clara's eyes widen.
(The surroundings have changed.)
(Cities...... have appeared around our city.)
Elsmau's voice seemed to carry confusion.
Also, that was certainly a hard-to-believe report.
"As expected of a final battle, anything can happen."
Troyatte smiled wryly, but the situation was nothing to look down at.
Outside the city, huge objects appeared one after another as far as the eye could see.
Cities appeared from empty space.
Exactly what kind of miracle had occurred for things to become like this?
"I don't understand."
Her mind couldn't keep up with the situation, and Claribel didn't know what to do.
"Ohh, he's doing something incredible~"
In complete contrast to Claribel, Haia looked very happy.
"Do you know something?"
"You mean about what's happening right now? How could I know~"
"But you just......"
"I know who's talking."
"You know who's talking?"
The speech still continued.
That person was talking about whether to fight or not.
About protecting their own lives, about protecting their own homes.
To fight or not to fight.
"It's the Student Council President of Zuellni of last year!"
Come to think of it, it seemed like his voice. She had only seen him once to talk about conditions after she left home, so was that why she had forgotten his voice?
No, the biggest reason was that she hadn't even thought that someone she knew would be doing such a thing on this occasion.
Even if she didn't remember his voice, the rest of the speech still crept into Clara's heart.
The voice of people excited to do battle seemed to reach her ears.
"Is Zuellni there too?"
Elsmau replied very quickly.
Zuellni's here too, huh.
Clara hadn't even been there for a year. However, her heart already held emotions similar to nostalgia.
"Fight, people of the moving cities!"
"Ah? Are you going?"
"Well, enjoy your youth."
Though it was lazy encouragement, it was very much like Troyatte's style.
Clara also charged out as if to chase after Layfon's back.
She wanted to chase after his back.
She had been that way until now, and she would be the same in the future.
Until the day came when she surpassed him.
"This is a lot better than waiting for the end of the world."
After cheerfully murmuring this, Clara leaped towards Zuellni.