Chrome Shelled Regios:Volume24

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Novel Illustrations[edit]

These are the novel illustrations that were included in volume 24





Prologue[edit]

There was a figure that would not look back.

Regardless of what happened behind, that figure wouldn't look back, and would only continuously look forward.

There was a figure that saw the giant beast that appeared before her and couldn't move a muscle because of the flame spewing from the beast's body.

Tightened lips slowly opened.

"......No problems breathing."

She confirmed the taste of the air that she sucked into her mouth. Because of the heat of the flame, the dry air felt a bit bitter.

(That beast's flame has consumed almost all of the pollutants in the surroundings.) Schneibel's voice came over.

(In the current situation there isn't a problem even if you run outside. Even if there is some problem, I shall link with the other Electronic Fairies, and widen the air filter to deal with it.)

"Alright."

Towards this voice that reverberated in her mind, she nodded.

This meant she wouldn't have to hurriedly prepare protective equipment for outside the city, saving quite a bit of trouble. In the current situation she didn't want to think of finding someone to help her prepare the protective equipment, and it would be a huge waste of time.

Right now various phenomena were happening, and she didn't have enough emotions to feel surprised at everything.

Right now, her heart had been occupied by something.

She only looked forward, she only ran to that place.

She flowed all of the vigor and fighting spirit that she had into the two Dites grasped in her hands.

She didn't want to think of any insignificant things, nor did she want to manage those things.

Right now she only wanted to put all of herself into this battle.

So, she definitely wouldn't look back.

She wouldn't go see what was over there.

Right now all she needed to pay attention to was that thing in front of her.

That giant beast whose whole body was burning with flame that scorched the horizon.

This was all Nina gazed at.

"That beast is the end."

"I know."

Slightly nodding her head, Nina didn't have any fluctuations in her heart.

As long as she confirmed that beast was the final target, there wouldn't be anything afterwards that she had to care about now.

"Have you already made up your mind?"

"Mind?"

She had truly asked an interesting question, Nina thought.

"Do you doubt me?" [1]

"By now, I wouldn't doubt anything from you. Gildred chose you, and I whom he chose shall also choose you. You are my final hope."

"In that case, then there's no reason to ask those kinds of questions."

"That's true, I asked a foolish question."

Hearing Schneibel's words of apology, Nina continued looking before her.

Confirming the vigor that continuously rose inside her heart.

The time when she would leap out was becoming closer and closer.

Schneibel was behind her.

The Senou City was not among the countless moving cities that had appeared by diverting their path. She had come to this battlefield as an individual Electronic Fairy.

"Foolish children."

Schneibel murmured this with a voice that no one could hear.

Even Nina didn't hear it. She only looked forward wholeheartedly, and hadn't even noticed Schneibel accompanying her from behind.

Schneibel's words were towards the countless cities before her.

She could only think this way of the Electronic Fairies that had come to participate in this battle by themselves, doubting the plans of Schneibel, the mother of all Electronic Fairies.

As for why she would say this kind of thing, it was because all of the preparations carried out for this battlefield had already been completely readied.

Since Schneibel knew the true form of this beast, she also knew the relationship it had with Nina. She also more or less knew the further causality behind the true nature of this beast.

Moreover, Nina herself was here right now.

"The situation before us is an unnecessary worry."

There definitely wouldn't be an error in the victory of humankind and Electronic Fairies.

"Ah, as long as they don't impede us, it's fine."

Schneibel gently waved her wings, and wind fluttered around.

Her wings danced.

Those wings that carried a glow weren't blown by the wind on the battlefield, but she still violated gravity and floated above the ground, letting out a faint light.

She gave off light as if to conceal a different glow.

It was a scattered blue light, things like petals or perhaps like scales, but actually they were Psychokinesis flakes.

"I won't let anyone disturb this blade."

Schneibel's gaze was filled with keen light as she spoke alone.

That blade was now advancing rapidly towards its target.




Chapter 1: A Fuse Burns[edit]

The situation had developed into the next phase.

"Even so, will things just end like this?"

In the voice of Alsheyra who said this, one could hear a bit of exhaustion.

Alsheyra stood on a small mountain of heaped rubble.

She also didn't really want to believe that this rubble was the palace she had lived her life in.

But, after pulling out a piece of cloth that concerned her from underneath the rubble, she noticed that it was clothing from her younger years from the deepest garment room, making her unable to do anything but believe everything before her.

It was the clothing she had worn for her coronation ceremony.

"I was still small back then."

She muttered.

In order to maintain her longevity, she had manipulated her Kei to stop her growth.

"In the first place, I should have grown wider, huh."

The reason for stopping her growth was for the current battle.

Alsheyra Almonise.

The target of Grendan's Three Royal Families was to once again acquire the strength of the origin of all Military Artists, Airen, and she was the child born after continuous inter-family marriages.

The unfortunate part was that she wasn't complete, though her Kei power was far superior to any other Military Artist.

And the true complete body had finished some task completely beyond their expectations, and lost her power. Right now, she was being protected by the rescue team, moving amongst the group of people inside the shelters.

That was alright, Alsheyra thought. That child shouldn't have participated in battle.

"But......"

She muttered. It seemed that even her entire body's power wasn't enough. Maybe this was the feeling of burnout produced after completing one mission. Because Alsheyra whose strength was too great and who had always been limited, leaving her unable to fight with full strength, had finally fought once in a situation without limits.

This might be an experience that one might not have multiple times, so right now she was a bit hesitant. She felt excited, but her chest was filled with a feeling of solitude.

"Though I've made up my mind so much, it's still a bit of a struggle."

Releasing the clothes in her hand that had become rags, Alsheyra looked at it.

The final battle still hadn't ended.

The next opponent was there.

In the distant portion of her vision.

The part of the world that was surrounded by flame slowly spread, and the shaking flames made one feel like reality had become blurred.

She didn't know its name. No one knew. Even the Electronic Fairy prototype Saya, and Grendan who was this city's Electronic Fairy also kept quiet, so at the least, there was no one who knew the name of this thing in this city.

Even so, even if they didn't know this thing's name, it was something that they had no choice but to defeat, that was for sure.

"Then...... how's the current situation?"

(Okay.)

Alsheyra asked the Psychokinesis flake next to her.

The voice that came from the Psychokinesis flake obviously belonged to Elsmau.

(The morale of the Military Artists in the surrounding cities is all high, but there is a portion that had become mixed.)

"Ah, there's nothing we can do about that."

Everyone was betting their lives on this battle.

That speech was truly worthy, but most people would probably be roused from being told to bet one's life after a short explanation.

That was the behavior that Military Artists who possessed strength and a feeling of mission should have.

"And next?"

(The current situation is that the people have split into a portion that will participate in the battle and a portion in the shelters. The people in the shelters have been gathered into several cities, and afterwards will leave this place one by one. But for this to complete it will still be about three hours.)

"Ah, just assign this to the people who are good at doing this kind of work. Then, what about this side?"

Alsheyra extended a finger and pointed ahead.

In front of her fingertip was obviously the beast covered with flame.

(The cities that migrated to its surroundings...... they are right now being known as the City Collective, but they haven't combined into a group, rather each city is forming its independent group, preparing to make the next action.)

"Aha."

(They have also sent an invitation to us to partner with them, what do we do?)

"Really......"

Alsheyra touched her chin and thought.

In normal situations this kind of request would be ignored after a laugh.

But, the current Grendan wasn't the same as yesterday's.

"How is the damage to our side?"

(The damage to Military Artists is extremely light, as essentially no one participated in the recent battle, and no injuries occurred as a result of the shockwaves from the battle, and we won't have any problems if we group to take action.)

"Really? Then quickly make the connections to be able to hold a conversation with them."

(Understood, though......)

Elsmau spoke the words after this under her breath.

But Alsheyra couldn't have missed the meaning in her words.

What should the Heaven's Blades do?

Elsmau wanted to ask this. Moreover, she had included the Queen herself in that.

"Weren't they originally people with a lack of coordination? As long as they think of some way to fight without obstructing others, it'll be alright."

(Understood.)

After replying with that, she could feel that Elsmau's presence had fallen off from the Psychokinesis flake, and it seemed that she had gone to contact others.

"Hahh......"

Alsheyra sighed.

"Kanaris, Reverse, Cauntia, Kalvan, Savaris, and Ruimei...... Ah, I fear that we're doomed."

That many of the representatives of Grendan's extraordinarily strong Military Artists had been sacrificed in this battle.

All that remained was only Lintence, Troyatte, Barmelin, Haia, and Claribel. Also Elsmau.

"Ah? You told Claribel to act alone?"

(Yes, she said that she wanted to join with Zuellni. Layfon Alseif went together with her. Should I call them back?)

"......It's alright. Right now it's too late even if we call Layfon. Clara as well, she definitely has her own thoughts."

(Understood.)

"Even if we add one or two pieces right now, I don't think we can do much more of anything."

Alsheyra murmured alone, once again feeling Elsmau's presence move away.

Her body was filled with Kei, and even if she let this Kei flow continuously, the feeling of burnout inside her body wouldn't disappear. In a completely different place from the heat and pressure of Kei was a kind of bleak feeling.

But clearly nothing had ended at all, and this kind of situation was truly troublesome.

"Hahh."

"You seem very impatient."

She didn't know when she had leaked out a sigh, but at the same time another voice came from behind her.

"Lin, are your fingers fine?"

Alsheyra turned her head, gazing at the man's hands. The man who never cared about his outer appearance in the first place still wore a tattered coat, and it didn't seem like his unshaven face could be called anything good.

The man was Lintence.

"I wouldn't have expected that you worried about others, it seems like that end of the world is coming soon."

Though he said that kind of thing, his hands were already bandaged to the point of having no gaps between bandages. The bandages were dyed blue with a special medicine applied to promote healing, and they were also dyed with the blood leaking from the wounds, making unpleasant spots emerge on the bandages.

Those were wounds from the recent battle with Lævateinn.

Of course, the wounds weren't all directly from Lævateinn. If it were truly like that, then even Layfon would no longer be standing.

Though the steel threads could cover the entire city and attack enemies from any angle, they also had their weak points.

To put it simply, it was a similar principle to telephone wires. Sound would propagate through vibrations across a tightly-stretched wire. The vibrations produced by various changes in the battlefield would pass through the steel threads and be transmitted to Lintence. Grendan's crumbling, blows as great as hurricanes, the destructive shockwaves produced by the Queen, Lævateinn, and Heaven's Blade successors' techniques...... these shocks were all gathered by the steel threads, and became vibrations transmitted to Lintence.

If it were an ordinary battle then he could cancel out those vibrations.

But, this hadn't been an ordinary battle.

Lintence had no way to get rid of all of the extraordinary phenomena that continuously sent out sweeping shockwaves, so he had been injured.

"Is this a disaster brought about because of a difference in technique? Nothing at all happened to Layfon."

"There is a difference in the substance of your Dites. Having an almost unlimited use will also have corresponding danger."

Lintence spoke calmly, but sounded somewhat dissatisfied.

"Then, can you still fight?"

"Don't underestimate me. This kind of scrape won't have any effect at all."

"Really~"

Lintence was still cold as always, but he noticed the small bit of anxiety hidden in Alsheyra's eyes.

"What is it? You couldn't have thought that I would have suffered a setback from just this degree of adversity, hm?"

"How admirable of your mindpower to be able to talk about this situation like that."

"Hm."

Lintence used a grunt to answer Alsheyra's words.

They had finally managed to defeat the monster that had eaten away at the lives of so many Heaven's Blade successors, and right now there was another new extraordinary, giant monster.

That was the crisis of the end of the world.

One could only feel that it was boasting to use the words 'this degree of adversity' to describe that kind of large-scale crisis.

"It's no different from 'this degree of adversity'".

Even so, Lintence still said this.

"If you can feel your death, then that's it. Whoever dies after this, whatever city is destroyed, even if the world perishes, those are irrelevant to a dead person. From the moment death befalls someone, the world has ended for that person. Regardless of if the opponent is that kind of monster, all of the fear one feels before death is the same. The problem is whether you can stand up or not."

"Nn~"

"You who have always been spoiled and haven't gotten used to that kind of situation wouldn't understand that kind of feeling."

"......Did you really say that?"

"Isn't that the truth? If you had that kind of feeling you definitely wouldn't have been standing on top of a pile of rubble wearing the expression of a lovelorn maiden."

"That way of speaking really makes me mad, things aren't what you think!"

"Really?"

"That...... I was only thinking of viewing my enemy so I was standing on a rather high place!"

"Is that so."

"You don't believe? You don't believe me, huh!"

"Who would doubt what the Queen says?"

"There's a man in front of me right now holding those kinds of doubts!"

"I never would have thought you would waver because of those kinds of doubts."

"W, what......"

"Why don't you just try crying?"

"Don't joke around......"

Changes appeared in the body of Alsheyra who said this.

Her voice stopped abruptly, and she covered her mouth, hurriedly turning her body so that her back faced Lintence.

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

Though he was still looking at her back, Lintence didn't say anything. His gaze passed over her slightly trembling shoulders, looking at the burning beast in the distance.

The flame that seemed to scorch even one's consciousness had painted half of the sky red. From the eyes of the beast that looked as small as grains of sand from where he was, Lintence could feel a fury that made his entire body numb.

That was the final enemy.

Lintence didn't know on what basis he said it was the final enemy. But it was a strong enemy there; that was the most important fact.

"This situation is simple."

Lintence murmured, standing in front of the Queen.

It appeared as if he were protecting her from the gaze filled with anger.

"All I want is this moment. As long as I feel that I exist in this world. It doesn't matter who the enemy is, it doesn't matter how strong they are. It doesn't matter to me what will be produced from letting that thing live on. As long as I myself still live, then it's enough."

Lintence said this.

"Strength is enough. The stronger the better, and it would be the best if I could raise my power to its limits. Rather than being used as a decoration somewhere, it would be better to be burned inside by pollutants. Rather than cherishing my posterity and living on, it would be better to win an ending on some battlefield. I only wandered here because I had those kinds of feelings."

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

The shaking behind him stopped, and a gaze sharply bored through Lintence's back.

"If you don't have those kinds of thoughts, you can never live the life of a Heaven's Blade successor. The other guys all think this way. Compared to the city's end and the deaths of people they don't recognize, those people have a target they must chase harder after, and that's why they endlessly chase strength."

"Lin."

"Who cares about the enemies? Who cares about the situation? The only question is whether there is a place where we can use our strength."

"Lin."

"Heaven's Blade successors are those kinds of beings. Those kinds of unredeemable beings. Laughing at the incompetence of the fallen, even if it would have been better for them to escape from that situation......"

"It's enough, Lin."

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

"Thank you."

"......Hm."

There was no longer any shaking in the voice that came from behind him. From the dilapidated coat on this back came a slight sensation, making Lintence suspend his speech.

"Maybe you helpers think that burning out here isn't bad, but most people wouldn't think that."

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

"So, as the Queen who must protect the citizens of Grendan, what I have to do is already decided."

Kei filled the area behind him, as what was originally flowing inside her overflowed outside.

"First is the peace of this world."

As she said this, her hand left his coat.

She passed by his side.

Her back once again entered Lintence's vision.

But, it was already completely different from the figure he had seen just before.

It was different from what he had seen until now.

It had lost something and gained something.

This was the figure of the newly-born queen.

"The punishment for destroying my home won't be light."



He returned to Zuellni with Felli.

"You!"

Greeting him was a strong blow.

In order to greet Layfon who descended into the outskirts, Sharnid slapped him again and again on the back.

"Really, you did pretty well!"

Being told this by Sharnid in a relaxed and crisp voice made Layfon widen his eyes.

"Senpai, it hurts."

His neck was suddenly hooked, Layfon and Felli were pulled apart, with Gorneo and the others running towards Felli. They probably wanted to hear the gathered information from her directly. Felli had been constantly gathering information while they were moving, and continuously communicating with gathered Military Artists of the cities.

Zuellni's Military Arts head Gorneo was also carefully thinking about what action to take next.

"Not bad not bad, you really are truly incredible."

CSR v24 8.jpg

Sharnid's mood was extremely good. Why would he have this kind of mood? Layfon felt that it was a bit hard to understand.

He felt that something rather bad would happen when person's mood was particularly good.

"I never would have thought that you would take Felli-chyan on a great escape of love."

"What!"

Though he didn't know why he had been praised like this by Sharnid, it had been as Layfon had expected.

"It's not like that at all!"

"What? It isn't? You somehow inexplicably eloped to Grendan, and then your childhood friend got mad and called forth a monster to destroy the world, then Nina got mad and charged at the monster alone, isn't that the current situation?"

"It's not at all! Moreover, what kind of thinking did you have to pull out that kind of cause and effect!?"

"What, you're still unpromising as usual."

"What!?"

Why did he feel helpless from this?

"Ah, but it's indeed be a bit exaggerated to say that the flames of your love are scorching the earth, right?"

"Please don't express something that makes it seem like I said such a thing!"

"That should be about enough, right?"

Harley naturally stepped in.

"Layfon, this is for you."

As he said this he gave over two things - two Dites.

"The Adamantium Dite and the Sapphire Dite, those are what we were able to build."

"Ah, good."

"Originally I wanted to strengthen them a bit, but we ran out of time."

"Wow, how embarrassing." [2]

"......Though, if the Dites aren't enough, this guy will help send them over to you, and speaking of which that's the only use for him in this place."

"Hey hey, that's a bit mean."

"Then, please give that thing a headshot."

"There's a limit to everything."

"Useless person."

"You too, though."

"Rrrrrrrgh......"

"Rr~rr~rr~gh~......"

"Well......"

Seeing the two glaring at each other, Layfon didn't have any way to mediate.

"Hey, you scrap wood duo over there." [3]

At that time cold words were poured over the two of their heads.

Dalshena had spoken.

"How long are you going to speak nonsense for? The Military Arts head is going to give out the battle plan soon."

"Hahaha, that kind of thing doesn't concern me."

"What did you say?"

"Our mission is to help this unpromising fellow to get to where our Captain in over her head is."

"How pitiful that you can proudly say those kinds of lazy words."

"T, those aren't lazy at all. It's really annoying, Shena doesn't seem to understand the wonderful skills of an artisan at all. A true artisan lives in the shadows."

"You demon, hurry up and apologize to the other artisans."

Dalshena's contemptuous look drilled through them.

"You too, it would be better not to always rely on these useless senpais."

"No...... they're trustworthy senpais."

Though he endured a painful stare, Layfon still said this.

"......Um."

Probably because it was an unexpected reply, Dalshena made a strange expression.

"Layfon, you...... Aww, how embarrassing."

Even Sharnid's face went red.

"Your strange thoughts are really puzzling."

"Yes, truly."

Dalshena finished speaking with a stiff expression and nodded her head forcefully.

"You guys......"

"Ah? Me? I have strange thoughts too?"

"Shut up, you accessory."

"What!?"

"It's about time to end this two-man comedy, right?"

An extremely cold voice slipped in.

It was Felli.

"Ya~ Felli-chyan~ Thanks for your hard work."

"You guys are playing around when other people are busy to death?"

Layfon felt a bit restless soon after being glared at.

"We didn't come here to play around. It's Harley's fault for trying to stand out without planning things that the situation became this troublesome."

"You're pushing all of your responsibility onto me!"

Sharnid made another joke, Harley cried out, Dalshena's face tightened, and Layfon made an expression saying that he didn't know what to do as he watched them.

At that time, Felli said something that made the surroundings freeze.

"......The sniper unit and the preparations division want to stand out, huh."

The two of them froze.

"Doesn't that violate your role?"

"You, you're also rear support!"

Sharnid cried out, his voice sounding as if he were about to cry. The normal Sharnid would definitely have relaxedly ignored Felli's comments, but this time was different. Because the soreness in his heart had been pressed on so strongly.

In the end, compared to Harley who stood frozen in place, Sharnid was the victor in mental power as he was still active.

"I never thought of standing out." [4]

"Urgh-"

"But even if I still managed to stand out, then it can only mean that my sense of presence is too strong. I'm extremely sorry for standing out."

Felli lightly lowered her head.

"I want to cry, I really want to cry-"

"Sense of presence...... I'll definitely find a way to get that mysterious factor."

Sharnid and Harley moaned.

"Then continuing, I will report on the situation."

Ignoring the two of them, Felli turned the topic to the next matter.

"Right now, there are twenty-six total cities gathered with Grendan as the center."

Felli began explaining.

"Few disproportionate situations like in the Academy City are among these cities. In other words, there's obviously no way that all of the cities possessing excellent Military Arts forces gathered together."

"Why is that, huh."

Dalshena said this.

Of course, what she meant by 'that' was the current situation that had affected Zuellni.

The cities had suddenly shifted, and come near Grendan.

"Really...... I can't wrap my head around it."

Before the shift, Karian had made a speech, explaining the current situation, but as expected, the development of the situation was still difficult to understand completely.

"Ah, does everyone there think in a similar way?"

In order to cheer on Dalshena who was perplexed, Sharnid spoke.

"The people who know will respond, and the people who completely don't understand will do as much as they can in their situation...... that's how it is right now."

"Is that so...... Which kind are we?"

"Of course we're included in the people who don't understand anything, the confused innocents."

"What unfortunate people."

"Very true."

"Moreover the one who incited all of this was our original Student Council president, how troublesome."

"Yes, we must make preparations in order to stop the events that he has learned about."

"Can I continue explaining?"

"Ahah, of course, little sister-sama of the inciter."

"......Hmph."

Ignoring the smile of Sharnid who had found an opportunity for revenge, Felli continued.

"Though for now we are known as the City Collective, in reality it's impossible to suddenly have everyone directly coordinate with each other. So right now it's become cities acting alone, and at the same time sharing the information gained."

"That's the best way."

"Also, the current level of pollutants outside the city is falling rapidly. If it continues dropping like this, it will be possible to act outside the city even without using external gear."

"Is that really true?"

Everyone was surprised at this point, but Harley was the one who was the most concerned.

"This is information obtained after confirming it directly, I also confirmed it myself."

"Is that so...... I understand the filth monsters live by using pollutants as fuel, but even if a big group of filth monsters was nearby it wouldn't have an effect on the level of pollutants......"

"In other words, that monster eats that many pollutants?"

"What a great appetite. Do you know where that monster is?"

Because of Harley's words, Layfon and the others looked outside the outskirts of the city simultaneously.

The flaming beast that looked simply as if it were on the edge of the world was clearly so far away, but it still seemed extremely large, so how large would it be if it got closer? Layfon couldn't picture it with his imagination alone.

"Being able to affect the level of pollutants from that far away, couldn't that monster single-handedly get rid of all of the pollutants?"

"At the cost of burning out this world?"

Felli replied extremely coldly.

"Actually, the ground surrounding the monster has already become a sea of lava, and an ordinary Military Artist would be scorched to death just by getting close."

"If there are no pollutants, but the cost is that the ground becomes lava?"

"During that process humankind will be destroyed."

"Then never mind."

While listening to the conversation between Sharnid and Dalshena, Layfon's gaze drifted around.

"Then, what about Captain?"

Though he knew she wasn't here, he still wanted to look for her.

In the distance, the Military Arts head Gorneo was standing on a platform together with the Student Council president. They might be speaking of the actions Zuellni would take after this.

As one of Zuellni's students, Layfon also felt that he should listen to them speak, but right now he didn't have that kind of time.

Because they were missing Nina in this small group.

She who was the captain of the seventeenth platoon and stood before Layfon and the others, always becoming red-eared from anger and a sense of mission.

"She's still unaccounted for."

After slightly twisting her expression a bit, Felli replied.

"What's going on with that?"

"We made Psychokinesis flakes follow Captain when she appeared in Grendan."

Saying this, Felli explained the battle in Grendan simply.

"......Afterwards, after the battle in Grendan calmed down, that monster appeared, and during the commotion, the responses from the Psychokinesis flakes with Captain disappeared."

"Meaning, right now we don't know what Nina's doing?"

Harley sighed, and a troublesome premonition filled the surroundings.

Everyone knew her style, and right now this troublesome premonition had become a detailed image, emerging in the minds of the spectators.

"She'll definitely charge out from somewhere."

"Not only that, but she might be on her way right now."

"The level of pollutants lowered already too, so we're probably not wrong."

"We knew it a long time ago, but our Captain is really impatient."

Everyone present nodded agreement with Sharnid's comment.

"So, we don't have any leisure to help the battle plans of Zuellni and the City Collective."

Felli said this. Layfon nodded his head along with Sharnid and Harley. The two of them had said something similar when they had run into Layfon, and they definitely wouldn't dissent.

Of course, Layfon didn't have any disagreement.

"We can confirm that Captain has run out to that monster. But even so, we can't brainlessly charge out."

"Why do you say that?"

Layfon raised a question to Felli's opinion.

"Because of the flames targeted here that the monster shoots out from its body. It seems that it's not releasing ordinary flames. You could call them filth monsters with a form of heat. The enemy is that kind of inexplicable being."

"Doesn't make sense."

Sharnid was confused.

"What's a 'form of heat', what does that mean in the first place."

"The meaning is, the flames given off from that monster's body choose what they want to burn themselves."

"Hah?"

"That monster's surroundings have already formed a sea of lava. But, the the sea of lava isn't spreading out in a circle, but continuously spreads towards here."

"Ehh?"

"In other words, while the heat that the monster gives off turns the ground into lava, it closes in on this City Collective. Moreover, this kind of thing is happening without any sort of special means guiding it here."

"Nnn."

"In that case, we can surmise that this heat has the consciousness to be able to choose its target to burn."

"It's not that beast manipulating it?"

"If it were truly like that, the situation would be easy."

"?"

Though everyone had doubts towards Felli's words, the expression on her face told the audience that she wouldn't give the answer.

"......In any case, our primary mission right now is to find Captain. Afterwards, we can make the next decisions......"

Just as Felli said these things.

"Ah......"

Noticing something, Layfon made a sound.

Something had suddenly appeared floating in front of them.



Schneibel turned around, feeling that something had drawn close.

"So it was you."

Schneibel narrowed her eyes as she looked at the thing there. Such a relatively small existence used a solemn expression to look at its mother.

It was Zuellni.

"How incredible, to do this kind of thing while keeping it hidden from me."

"Surely you don't think that way, mother-sama."

Zuellni used a toneless voice to speak to the mother of all Electronic Fairies.

"Right now, my child, you only need to let me take care of everything. Those are my true thoughts."

"If I could, perhaps it would be fine to do as you say."

"Precisely. If ‘they’ have no way to seize Grendan, I've told you many times to just give up on them."

Schneibel's speech indicated Dix and Nelphilia.

"It's definitely not easy to do that in my position."

"The Academy City is to train personnel, a place to let people pursue their possibilities. In fact, it was the city that you chose, and I also expressed my complete approval for that. But, not everyone can obtain what they want. You should be able to understand this just by looking at your compatriots, right?"

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

"How few many of the Electronic Fairies that were born with you became cities...... there's no way you wouldn't know that, right?"

The half-bird, half-man Schneibel had a strange, lonely feeling of beauty, and at the same time was a being who had experienced history, her body having a motherly dignity.

These all impressed themselves on the Electronic Fairy Zuellni.

But, she didn't succumb to this majesty, but rather endured the gaze of his mother from where she stood.

"Of course I know."

"Then humans are also the same. In the end, possibilities are only possibilities, and education cannot ensure the coming future. Not all humans will be able to grasp success."

"So there's no reason to protect all of humanity?"

Zuellni said Schneibel's words a step ahead of her.

"Precisely."

"I never thought of that."

As if to stop Schneibel who was nodding in satisfaction, Zuellni spoke.

"Nothing will happen in the future for sure, and regardless of what kind of possibility it is, success can't be guaranteed. Similarly, being defeated once won't doom a person's future. Everything about a person won't be decided because of one fact."

"What are you saying?"

"I believe in all possibilities. I believe that youths filled with desires will bridge the gaps to the possibilities in their heart, and I believe that the girl entrusted with my weapons will find herself again."

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

"Moreover, I have a reason that I cannot forgive mother-sama."

"What is it?"

"You used the possibilities that I believe in."

In Zuellni's eyes as she said this was a sharp gaze completely different from her size. She glared at Schneibel.

"You used that young heart and tried to create this situation."

"You speak the truth."

Schneibel accepted without any appearance of disagreement.

"Beginning since the time that one appeared, my battle plans were decided. The plans that I decided on from the beginning were to use that person's heart, and then use the hearts of the people opposing her. I do not mean to say that I only made that kind of decision after he came to your city. It was only coincidence that it would happen in your city."

Schneibel didn't seem to be lying at all, and she only casually recounted the facts.

Even as an Electronic Fairy and a moving city, Zuellni felt that Schneibel didn't recognize her values at all.

Schneibel didn't mind a number of sacrifices to reach her goal. Regardless of whether human lives were sacrificed or the lives of her children.

And even if these sacrifices included Zuellni before her, her attitude wouldn't change at all.

She didn't have any doubts that her actions were right.

"Just let the Antalk girl die."

Schneibel said.

"Even if she is defeated, the group of Haikizokus inside her will choose to self-destruct, right?"

Zuellni asked this, and her voice shook.

"You are correct."

"You never considered her life or death from the beginning, did you?"

"It's up to the Antalk girl herself whether she lives or dies. But, there's nothing in those soldier's eyes that would let her think of a plan to live on. The moment it appeared, I had already prepared the greatest destructive power that I could, and had prepared the best method. This is all I can think of."

She was speaking of the flaming beast.

Grendan and Schneibel had always prepared to greet the battle, but there was truly far too little information on what kind of being the enemy was.

They only knew a small bit, which was that if they ever lost to that beast, this world's destruction would not be far.

In this kind of situation, what Grendan and Schneibel could do was gather as much fighting power as they could.

Grendan's way of thinking was to prepare strong, pure Military Artists.

However, Schneibel's target was to prepare a destructive weapon.

Those were the many Haikizokus inside Gildred Antalk, and Nina Antalk had been the one to succeed his mantle.

"Did you begin preparing everything from the beginning?"

"I knew long ago that Gildred's flesh was slowly approaching its limits. I was continually preparing the next successor for this. The Antalk family was something I prepared when that city was being created, a family that exists for this moment. Nina Antalk is only one of them."

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

"Because she succeeded in merging with the Electronic Fairies, a new possibility appeared for her body - that is a fact. I also took some slight actions for her to come to you where she could run into those two people, after she left the city."

"You really......"

"But the developments afterwards were all up to the possibilities you speak of. Come to think of it, should our current situation be called fate?"

"You're guiding people to the possibility of death......"

That was why Zuellni used such a sharp gaze to stare at her mother.

"You used the people of my city. Even if only for this fact, I wouldn't trust you. And I will not hesitate to work as hard as I can to save the people of my city."

CSR v24 9.jpg

"......There's a limit to doing stupid things."

"I'm only protecting the possibilities of the people of my city. I won't forgive anyone who obstruct their possibilities, even if it's mother-sama."

"......Then what can you do about it?"

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

"You who has dedicated all of your function as an Electronic Fairy to the city - what more can you do? The action of using En to move the city already surpasses the limits of your strength."

"I already did it."

"What did you say?"

"I said, I have already completed what I can do."

Though Schneibel showed a perplexed expression listening to Zuellni's repeated words, She also noticed a small change after it.

It was gone.

The Psychokinesis flake that had been blocked by her wing had disappeared.

"Zuellni, you-"

Of course Schneibel knew who owned that Psychokinesis flake. Zuellni definitely also knew.

When had that Psychokinesisis flake gotten free?

Starting from when had that flake been sending the conversation here to its master?

"A possible crisis will bring a new possibility."

Seeing Schneibel scowling, Zuellni spoke.

"But by now, can it still be in time?"

Nina had already rushed out. Though it was a long path to reach the flaming beast, the beast didn't seem to be moving from where it was. Then, Nina definitely would reach that place first. Even if there were someone who wanted to stop her, they wouldn't make it.

"What I can do is tell the existence of possibilities to others."

Zuellni, who said this, believed in the mentioned possibilities inside her heart without the slightest doubt.



"What should I say, it seems funny because it's too much like something she would do."

Though Sharnid said this, of course he didn't laugh much. Not only this, but his expression was extremely solemn, and due to his tightly clenched teeth even his jaw looked warped.

Next to Sharnid, Layfon was running.

"I'm pretty annoyed, actually. If not for this situation I wouldn't have to be carrying Harley."

"Uwah!"

On Sharnid's back was Harley, desperately suffering through the extraordinarily high movement speed of Military Artists.

"Felli, what's the situation?"

Layfon asked Felli who was being carried in his arms.

(I've captured traces of Captain from the position of the flake. Her location of departure has already been determined. Right now it is very easy to predict her goal.)

Felli was also uncomfortable because of the high speed, and she buried her face in Layfon's chest. Using the flake to speak was because she wasn't able to open her mouth to talk.

Layfon and Sharnid were advancing at that fast of a speed to the place that Felli had just mentioned.

A Psychokinesis flake had appeared by Layfon and the others.

When they learned that it was one of Felli's flakes, she had spoken up.

The information obtained from this flake was the conversation between the Electronic Fairies Zuellni and Schneibel just now.

And now, Layfon and the others were running.

"I heard not long ago that the situation had become strange. But still, the situation develops worse and worse."

"You're right."

Though he didn't know what to say, Layfon still nodded his head.

"What 'Warriors Guided by Fate'? I don't like an ending where the hero doesn't come back alive."

"Same for me!"

Though Layfon hadn't read this story, he still had the same feeling.

"As I thought, isn't it more correct to put life and death more clearly, and then bring the hero back alive like a good supporting role?"

"I get what you mean!"

Layfon replied loudly back, and they came to the place that had been brought up in discussion before.

Grendan's outskirts. Though the city's interior had already crumbled and was as hazardous as a place could get, all of Grendan was currently already in that kind of state.

But even in this kind of condition, it still stood in the forefront of humankind.

If one charged straight at the flaming beast from here, it would undoubtedly be the shortest distance.

"Let's go!"

Sharnid put down Harley, restoring his Dite while shouting out.

"Yes!"

Putting down Felli, Layfon also replied to him.

Then, they charged onto the battlefield.




Chapter 2: GO GO GO[edit]

Information came piece by piece to Felli.

The Psychokinesists in Grendan with Elsmau as their center were still giving their assistance. Though they were currently using all of their power to regroup the Psychokinesists of the City Collective, in this period they still worked hard to gather information.

The flame that the beast released was still spreading its area, as if continuously expanding like a wave.

The method by which the flame spread wasn't a slow, circular expansion, but rather it became more focused into a single location the farther it was from the beast.

But even so, the part of that range that was a problem now was that there were gaps in the space between those waves.

(Captain definitely entered through those gaps.)

Putting her entire mindpower into Psychokinesis would mean that moving her body would become extremely annoying. So, Felli used the flake even to talk to Sharnid next to her.

"Our Captain wouldn't just charge into someone else's flames without saying anything, right?"

(That's not for sure.)

"It is Nina, though."

Sharnid spoke up, having thought of things that had happened in the past.

"Speaking of which, can we speculate a definite path of advance?"

That kind of thinking was hard to imagine, and from the voice that came to Layfon from the other side of the Psychokinesis flake, he could feel a bit of coldness.

Right now they were running on the ground, chasing after Nina.

Thought they hadn't had the time to ready themselves completely, they didn't have time to be concerned with that either. Probably the only fortunate thing was that Harley had prepared so many Dites for him.

(I've noticed traces of high speed. If we put these traces and the movements of the flame together it may be possible to find a specific path.)

"In that case......"

(But, whether or not we can find a specific path is still an extremely difficult problem.)

"Eh?"

"Nina's a lot faster than we who have to speculate here, that's the problem."

"Is, is that so."

(That's not the only situation.)

Sharnid had spoken correctly, but there were still other issues.

(Because the flame could have obstructed the Captain's advance in the first place.)

"Yeah...... you said before that this wasn't an ordinary flame."

(After all, those were only my speculations.)

In the end, the current distance between the Psychokinesis flake and the flame was still insufficient to investigate the flame, and moreover, even if they drew closer to the flame, the flake wouldn't be able to get close because of the heat.

Finally, the flames were strong enough to melt the ground, so the Psychokinesis flake couldn't get close so easily.

"If there are no obstructions, about how long would it take to go there directly?"

(Are you talking about Captain?)

"Yes."

Felli thought for a bit about Layfon's question.

On a motorcycle meant for the wilderness, the distance between the beast and Felli would probably require two days of riding.

But, right now they didn't need to mind the presence of pollutants, and Military Artists could use their highest speeds.

In that case, the necessary time would change surprisingly depending on the Military Artist's power.

(With Layfon's current speed there will probably still be two hours.)

"About the same as what I thought, It should be about that much time based on my body's feelings.

Then, what about Nina?"

(To be honest, I don't know either.)

Felli told Layfon plainly.

(I have no way to ascertain that person's current strength. She seemed to have something hidden in her fighting power just now.)

"Speaking of which, why is that? Why would there be such a huge change in her power?"

(I fear that it's because of the Haikizoku.)

Felli replied to Sharnid's question.

"Right, it seems like I heard some similar things recently. It's possessed Nina's body? Maybe there will be more mercenaries coming around that want that thing." [5]


Sharnid shook his head, having thought of something bad from the past.

In the events concerning the Haikizoku, one of Sharnid's good friends had fallen into misfortune, which was why Sharnid would show that kind of expression.

(All we know is that there was only one Haikizoku possessing Captain's body, but right now that might have changed.)

"Right, that Electronic Fairy just now also said similar things, and I felt like that thing had the presence of someone important."

(Right.)

"Possess whatever possible, strengthen as much as possible, and then become a legendary hero...... something like that?"

(It's something similar.)

"Ha, that's really a method that Nina would like, that person likes duty the most."

(But, if that goes on then Captain won't be able to return.)

"Right, she'll self-destruct this way. Aah, Damn. Oh, right."

(What is it?)

"It's really ironic. The legendary hero defeats the demon lord, and the story just ends there, hooray hooray. But no one knows where the hero goes after that, and no one pays any attention to it either. The most important thing is only that peace is restored to the world, and no one cares what the hero becomes. Because wasn't he just one of the things creating the peace? That's what people arrogantly believe."

(......In other words, the situation becomes meaningless?)

"That's right. Ah, though this is just a meaningless word game."

(But, Captain also believes in those word games.)

"Spoken a bit rougher, the hero is actually just a weapon against the demon lord. The use of a weapon is to strike the target, and no one expects her to do anything else."

(Is Captain being tricked?)

Was the Electronic Fairy named Schneibel tricking Nina?

If she requested that Nina lend them her strength for world peace, how would Nina respond? Maybe she would hesitate a bit.

But, in the end she would still lend them her strength.

Nina wouldn't go back to think about things like what the true thoughts of the other side were, and unfortunately she would probably just think about whether or not she could truly do it while telling them that she would lend them her power.

Even without being told that outcome, Felli definitely believed that she would still do this. If it were that person, it was possible.

"I don't know. It's also possible that she just charged out like a bullet after seeing something troublesome happening before her."

There was also that possibility.

In any case, that was a possibility if it were her.

"......The things in Captain's body could be her great-grandfather's Haikizokus."

Layfon said this.



Layfon ran rapidly over the ground.

On the always-dry ground, the sensation coming through his feet made it feel like he was running on a giant piece of stone. The dust covering the surface was blown away by the wind produced around his body before floating into his eyes.

Before him was a vast land and a sky clear enough to make one surprised, along with a flame that wanted to paint all of this a single color.

It was only a matter of time before this entire scene was painted over by flame.

(What do you mean?)

Felli raised a question to Layfon's words.

"I want to focus a bit."

But, right now it seemed that he didn't have the energy to explain in words. Layfon strengthened the awareness he directed towards his Kei in order to increase his speed again.

There were many Haikizokus inside the body of the great-grandfather who was known as Gildred, and what if those had all become Nina's things?

Layfon thought of this.

If it were truly like that, then that also explained why they couldn't see that old man at this kind of time.

"Because that person only did those things for the kind of situation today."

Thinking carefully, maybe that old man had only come near Zuellni because Lævateinn...... because Vati had been there.

Gildred had come because he knew Vati's true identity.

But, if that kind of battle happened in Zuellni, then in the end there would be huge damage.

Had he not told Nina anything because he worried about this? Speaking of which, what had Vati been pursuing for her to come to Zuellni?

Though the situation had already developed this far, there were still many things that he didn't know.

But, even so, he couldn't stop running right now, and he didn't have time to go back and confirm these things.

The giant destructive power of the wave of flame before him drew nearer stop by step.

If they were simply engulfed by this wave, then Grendan and the other cities behind him would end right there.

Had Nina set out in order to resolve this crisis?

Or had Nina done this in order to defeat that beast of flame?

Perhaps, just like Felli and the others had said, Nina was only being fooled by Schneibel?

"......Captain."

Layfon rapidly advanced.

Continuously running with Nina as his target.

From what time had he not been able to speak properly with her?

After that time in Grendan, Layfon had closed off his heart, and from that time Nina had begun keeping her own secrets.

The opportunities for platoon activities had slowly decreased.

Their living areas had changed, and though the distance between them should have decreased, the distance between him and Nina had become longer and longer.

And in that period of time when they hadn't been able to talk, the distance between the two had somehow already been pulled that far apart.

"......Damn!"

That distance made Layfon feel that the space between him and Nina was like a wall that had been built up by time. It was hard to bear.

For the first time since everything had begun in that battlefield city manipulated by Nina's great-grandfather, Layfon saw the things that had come between the two of them.

"Damn! Damn!"

Regardless of how he made angry sounds, he couldn't increase his speed to the next level. His current speed hadn't reached the limits that he could achieve.

But, using all of his strength before the battle started was meaningless. And precisely because of that reason, he could only raise his speed to this level right now.

Layfon felt angry at his hesitant self after thinking of this. His mood was so impatient that he thought of tearing himself apart.

(Please don't be that anxious.)

At that time, Felli's voice entered Layfon's ears.

(Even if our goal is to save Captain, if you can't strike our final target, then we ultimately won't be able to stop it. Conserving your power is a very necessary action.)

"......You're right."

Felli's words made his thinking that had been about to be crushed to pieces return back to calmness. His breathing that had become slightly agitated also normalized.

(......Do you want to save Captain?)

"It doesn't even need to be said."

Layfon was surprised at Felli's sudden question.

(Hmm.)

"What is it?"

(......What do you think about Captain?)

"Eh?"

(I'm directly asking, do you like Captain?)

"Wuaahhhhhh!?"

Because Felli had suddenly said this, Layfon almost fell over while advancing.

"That, that kind of thing......"

(Could it be that you wanted to go save her without any of those kinds of emotions?)

"F-Felli is also doing that, and Sharnid-senpai and Harley-senpai......"

Everyone wanted to save Nina, and he definitely wasn't the only one thinking that. Even Dalshena who hadn't been able to come here had said 'I leave it to you' to Layfon and the others. However, she had held a strongly pained expression on her face for being unable to go.

(Captain and I are companions, so it doesn't matter.)

But Felli still went on.

(There's nothing good to say about the other two. Sharnid likes anyone who's a female, and Harley is a childhood friend. Ah, he'll probably do something like this even if Captain looked at him like he was an alien.)

"Why is your assessment of Harley-senpai so harsh?"

(Those things don't matter right now.)

Layfon's question was easily killed.

(The problem is with you. What do you think?)

"......Hasn't something similar happened before?"

(I would do the same thing no matter how many times.)

Hearing that kind of resolute reply, he couldn't find any other excuse.

(Hurry and say it, what do you think?)

The pressure transmitted by the Psychokinesis flake made him feel like Felli herself was there, and Layfon was speechless.

Right now wasn't the occasion to talk about those kinds of things, and clearly he could resolve everything by saying a few words, but right now the reason he couldn't say those things was because of himself.

Perhaps, talking about this topic might have been able to alleviate Layfon's tension.

Looking at it from that perspective, he might be seeing some of Felli's hidden tenderness.

"Well...... The burden on my shoulders has been lightened a lot. Right now I still want to focus a bit, so could we interrupt this topic for now?"

(Really, alright then. Then, why don't you try breathing deeply again?)

"Eh?"

(Hurry.)

"That......"

Guess he should just breathe deeply and see.

Breathing deeply as he rapidly advanced over the barren earth towards the monster that wished to burn the entire world...... he couldn't do that kind of thing.

Even so, he still tried challenging the deep breath to complete Felli's request. The wind blowing around him blasted away the impurities in the air, and the sounds produced reached his ears...... in the first place, it wasn't a situation where he could leisurely breathe deeply, but the pressure of the Psychokinesis flake still told Layfon that he had to do it.

"This......?"

(Have you calmed down a bit?)

"I guess I was a bit confused."

(Really? Then, please tell me the answer to my question.)

"It's still not over!?"

(Of course it wouldn't end so simply......)

The premonition that this topic wouldn't be resolved that he felt when Felli said this sentence disappeared after he felt an abnormal sensation.

Other than the sound of his running, the air that he had felt abnormally quiet...... became even more silent.

That kind of feeling was very like the tense feeling before a swordfight, and moreover that kind of feeling seemed as if it had solidified in the air.

"Something...... is coming!"

At the same time as Layfon said this, changes happened.



That report quickly came to the Military Arts heads of the City Collective.

Of course, that included Alsheyra.

(A change has occurred.)

"Is the situation bad?"

Elsmau's voice sounded extremely tense.

Alsheyra stood in the outskirts of the city.

So, she had already caught the changes that Elsmau spoke of with her extraordinary vision.

(The wave of flames closing in on this place has changed.)

"Nn?"

(They have split into the appearances of organisms.)

"Can we clearly see their formation?"

(Yes, we can.)

"I feel that it's better to let the Heaven's Blades that can act stand in the front, and the other Military Artists follow behind. Even if there's a limit for how long we can stay here, we can just let the Heaven's Blades charge out, and I will also follow."

(Is that alright?)

"What do you mean?"

(I mean the work of guarding the city.)

Elsmau's sentence had already revealed the thing she was worried about.

Alsheyra's command didn't have half a trace of worry about the half-demolished city. If something happened, then the city could be completely destroyed.

"Most of the residents have already gone to the shelters, do you think there's anything else we need to protect?"

(Could it be that you don't have any feelings for Grendan?)

"I can't do anything about things that have broken. Moreover, I think that right now we don't have the energy to think about what happens afterwards, right?"

(......Understood.)

"Then our resting time should be about over."

After saying this, Alsheyra's feet stopped on the outermost portion of the outskirts, and she leaped out.



There was a person who saw the flame's changes from a very close distance.

Of course, that person was Nina.

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

The only sounds surrounding Nina who was rapidly advancing were the sounds that she produced.

There was no Psychokinesis flake, nor was there Schneibel's voice. The Haikizokus blazing with Kei inside her also kept silent.

During the process of her silent advance, Nina saw the change.

In front of her advancing path, there was a wave of flame.

The flames that covered the ground as it drew closer had the pressure of a giant animal.

So Nina was sensitive to small changes.

Though Nina had chosen to avoid the advance path of the flame in front of her, after she noticed that change, she slightly adjusted her course.

Nina adjusted her course towards the flame, charging straight into that giant clump of heat.

Something was going to happen that she had no choice but to face.

Nina felt this way.

"..................Um."

Afterwards, she noticed that her feeling was correct.

The violently approaching cluster of flame shook for a moment, trembling while splitting into pieces.

Not long afterwards, it had become four-legged beasts wrapped in flame.

The group of beasts focused their fiery gazes on Nina's body, and attacked.

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

Wordlessly, Nina readied her iron whips.

Though she was running rapidly, Nina's breathing was regular. She continuously controlled her Kei, limiting it from exploding inside her.

A portion of it flowed into her two iron whips.

The iron whips that she had received from Zuellni completely absorbed her Kei.

And then, she struck.

The iron whips that had silently been swung out were propelled forward, and Nina's figure disappeared amidst light, tearing the surrounding air.

Combined Internal and External Kei variant - Raijin.

The Kei technique that she unleashed blew away the attacking beasts of flame in an instant.

After they flew out, they were run through by the iron whips.

But, not all of the flame beasts had been fended off.

The raging flame was still drawing closer, as if it had been released from a bow, or suddenly shot out from a gun.

That continuously stretching flame divided endlessly, becoming similar flame beasts that leaped out, running on the ground.

Nina's Raijin wanted to pierce that endlessly dividing cluster of flame.

The flames that would make others shudder upon seeing them were continuously blown away by Nina, who had become lightning. Perhaps her confrontational strength looked extremely minor.

But, the effects it brought about were indeed intense.

Nina's lightning split the flame, blowing away one by one the flame beasts that assaulted her.

The flame beasts were crushed, and their flame scattered and dissipated formlessly.

The lightning continuously advanced without stopping its momentum, and finally smashed the main body of flame.

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

Nina stopped her Kei technique, and her figure appeared from the dispersing lightning. She didn't slow down at all, but immediately continued running.

She didn't turn around.

At the same time, she didn't look left or right.

She only looked ahead.

Only at that giant beast that wanted to burn the entire world, even now still constantly releasing flame.

"If I defeat it, everything will be over."

In order to keep from disturbing her breathing, Nina spoke quietly.

Nina didn't know how she could use that sincere determination housed in her body, and only continued to run.



The released flame had all become flame beasts.

(Their speed has increased.)

Felli who was constantly observing quickly noticed that fact.

(The flame beasts have a certain heat when they split off. The heat for each one is lowered, and there should be many more Military Artists who can endure that heat.)

"Rather than that, an explosion occurred quite far ahead."

(Yes.)

Felli confirmed Layfon's words.

(Yes, it was Kei-produced light just now. It should have been Captain who did it.)

"Let's go there."

(Understood.)

After confirming that Layfon had gone silent, Felli gathered information while thinking.

If this went on they wouldn't catch up.

The situation didn't only depend on the speed between Layfon and Nina, but the obstruction of the flame had also pulled open the distance between the two.

As if seizing the opportunity to act, the flame had begun spreading to its surroundings.

Every move they took had the result of dying the space directly between Layfon and Nina red.

If the power of the two were similar to a degree, and if the speed at which they destroyed the divided beasts wasn't too different, then the distance between them wouldn't shorten.

And however he thought, Layfon couldn't have a similar power to Nina who had several Haikizoku inside her.

Nina was fighting, but Layfon was just running without fighting.

If that state could be continually maintained......

"But, things won't develop that smoothly......"

Felli whose mind had sunk deep into thought let those words slip out without noticing. They weren't through Psychokinesis, but rather were spoken directly from her mouth.

"What is it? Is something troublesome?"

Sharnid hadn't missed those words.

"I'm only thinking of how to assist Layfon well."

After being irritated for a while, Felli verbally described the current situation. She didn't use Psychokinesis because she feared that if Layfon heard their conversation, it would produce unnecessary worry.

"That's really troublesome."

Sharnid shook his head with a distressed expression.

"......I guess if they arrive at the same time it should be fine. The opponent won't force Nina to self-destruct before he sees her power, I think."

"Even if Layfon himself can't do it, can you send a Psychokinesis flake to Nina first?"

Harley spoke.

"If you tell the situation to her, I think even Nina will want to form up with us."

"Maybe that could work. But to actually do that kind of thing......"

Sharnid suddenly stopped halfway.

"What is it?"

Seeing Sharnid's change, Felli raised the question.

"Is it enough as long as we send it over?"

"What way do you have?"

"Well, there's only one thing I'm able to do."

Saying this, Sharnid gestured to his own restored Dite.

It wasn't...... a sniper rifle. It was the modified gun Harley had created that he had used to send the Dite to Layfon.

"Use this guy to shoot it out."

"Can it reach?"

"In any case, just relying no the movement speed of Psychokinesis can't catch up to Nina, right?"

"Though that's indeed true."

Right now the front-line situation was being gathered through the Psychokinesis flake with Layfon.

Even if it couldn't catch up to Nina, as long as they could increase the number of Psychokinesis flakes on the frontline, it was something to be thankful for.

(We on this side will also help with that battle plan.)

At that time, Elsmau's voice joined in.

In order to share information, Felli took her flake.

"You still have the energy to listen to us talking here?"

(Though I don't have much energy, I listened for a bit because I don't know where a chance to win might be concealed.)

Elsmau's tone of voice was still serious as always, seeming as if she never joked, and it couldn't be figured out whether she was truly listening to the battle plans of every Military Artist nearby.

Even Felli felt a headache just thinking about it.

(It's also our desire to have a large quantity of Psychokinesis flakes on the frontline.)

Elsmau said lightly.

"What are you preparing to do?"

(We're also preparing a launcher to use Kei bullets to send the Psychokinesis flakes out.)

"In that case, do as you wish."

If they were just taking the plans that this side had thought of, they could do that however they liked.

Felli's problem was that she wanted to establish contact with Nina, or get Layfon to catch up to her.

(We will do that. Also, if there's something that we here can unite for, please tell me, and maybe we can help you.)

"Eh?"

(If you want to send a Psychokinesis flake to your companion, we can utilize one of the Heaven's Blades.)

"That......"

(If it's Barmelin-sama, I believe that she has a higher possibility of sending the flake than your group.)

"......No, it's alright."

(Is that okay?)

"Thank your for your offer, but you should already be extremely busy on that side. So please don't worry about us."

(Understood.)

Elsmau retreated surprisingly quickly, completely surpassing Felli's expectations.

(But, if you need something, please do not be concerned, and say it.)

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

(This is a battlefield, and there is no battlefield to neglect one's allies.)

"Thank you very much."

There was a weight that could be felt in Elsmau's words.

But, even so......

"Hey, isn't that way better? Felli-chyan."

As Elsmau's Psychokinesis flake was keeping silent waiting for a reply, Sharnid opened his mouth.

"......Are you not confident that you can send it?"

"To be honest, I can't do that kind of thing."

"But, right now there's only you."

"But that's not the only way."

"If other people have that energy, I'll also try them."

"But didn't the other side propose that themselves?"

Felli wasn't able to hide her own anger towards Sharnid's negative attitude.

"Only we can save Captain. Isn't that why you're here?"

"I understand that too."

"Hey, hey......"

At that time, Harley inserted himself into the tense atmosphere.

"Right now we can still try and see if we can increase the flight distance."

"......Please don't spend too much time."

"I know."

After Felli shot a glance at Harley who took the Dite from Sharnid and took out tools, she once again began focusing on Psychokinesis information gathering.

How could they send it to Nina?

Or, how could they get Layfon to catch up to Nina?

There were only those two questions in Felli's mind.

"Hey, what's up with Felli-chyan?"

Sharnid spoke quietly next to Harley who was squatting down, working.

"Nn......"

Harley could only show a wry smile.

"I think that she's being impulsive."

"For what?"

"To save Nina, and to become Layfon's strength."

"Hah?"

"Because of those two things, her mind isn't turning very well."

"Tch."

Though he understood the meaning behind Harley's' words, Sharnid still shook his head and made an expression as if he were unable to accept that.

"Does she unnecessarily believe that only we can do this because she knows about too many things through Psychokinesis?"

"Maybe it's like that."

"We really lost to her. We don't have that kind of superhuman strength, right?"

They had seen Layfon's battles in Zuellni, and before that they had seen the battles of Heaven's Blade successors in Grendan.

Sharnid was already very clear on what kind of beings Military Artists who had honed their Military Arts to the extremes were.

Even if they all bet their lives on this battle, Sharnid didn't know how much he and the others really do.

To save Nina, he had to go do what he could.

"But, I don't think it's right that we don't need any help."

"I also understand that. In order to reach our goal, we shouldn't actually care so much about the means."

Though he said this, Harley's hands still hadn't stopped, and in order to raise the functions of the Dite in his hand as much as possible, he kept applying any methods he could think of.

"But......"

"What?"

"If we can, I also want to do it just relying on ourselves. I also understand that kind of feeling very well."

"You......"

"Senpai, you're a bit useless, huh?"

"Aah?"

"I always feel that you want to be cooler when you're with Layfon."

"Harley, don't think you can preach to me."

"Guah."

Harley, whose forehead was flicked, fell over.

"If you say that, then I'll show you - Sharnid-senpai's beautiful performance."

"It hurts...... then, we're counting on you."

"Alright, leave it to me!'

Seeing the fierce Sharnid, Harley showed a happy smile.



Harley's modifications ended in five minutes.

"This gun is a slightly special gun that I had always wanted to try, but......"

"If you want to explain, then please make it concise."

Because she felt it would become long and boring, Felli warned him first.

"Nn, nn."

In the slightly disappointed Harley's hands was an extremely long gun. The body of the gun had been split into two parts, and that was because the goal of this gun wasn't to shoot a Kei bullet, but to shoot a Dite.

This was a gun Harley had invented in order to send Dites to Layfon.

"To explain simply, if it were a gun meant for Military Artist use, it can't shoot a bullet without a certain amount of Kei strength, and it can't be loaded with more Kei than that. I changed that, to where it can be filled as much as possible."

"As much as possible?"

"Yes, that's right."

Saying this, Harley took out the clip of the gun.

The bullets embedded inside the clip could be seen.

"I've resolved the feeling of putting aside Kei for every single bullet. So, you can use your Kei to make big adjustments. For example, it can be used for the desired distance this time, and its destructive power when used as a normal gun can be increased."

"And then?"

"Now, how far the bullet can fly depends on Sharnid-senpai's Kei power and technique, and it should be easier to use than before."

"Really......"

Sharnid didn't seem very excited as he looked at the gun.

Even Felli understood clearly that he was in an extremely tense state right now.

"How's Nina's position?"

"We've already got her approximate position."

Felli used her Psychokinesis flake, showing Sharnid an image.

"So far, damn."

CSR v24 10.jpg

Though he said this, Sharnid still stood on the outskirts, readying the gun.

"Let me first try a test shot."

"Understood."

After Harley replied, he gave the Dite to him.

A Dite in its unrestored state was loaded into the double barrel, and Sharnid could feel that the air around him became cold.

This was proof that he was entering a state of extreme focus.

Felli held her breath, and even Harley watched without moving a muscle.

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

The positioned barrel moved slightly, and he repeated slight adjustments, and then pulled the trigger.

The light of Kei filled the gun barrel.

Compared to the strength of the light, the sound released was unexpectedly small because the compressed air was released.

No one could follow the speed with his eyes.

But, Felli's psychokinesis caught the trail of the Dite that was shot out.

After the Dite flew high into the sky, it formed a parabolic arc.

But the place the Dite fell was a place that still couldn't reach Nina.

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

That result was displayed on the image, and after Sharnid saw it he wordlessly loaded the next Dite.

After adjusting slightly, he fired.

It still wasn't enough.

"Good."

After he said something that seemed like that, he quickly loaded the next Dite.

His adjustment was extremely slight, and there wasn't much of an interval until he pulled the trigger.

Wouldn't they fail this way...... That kind of anxious feeling entwined around Felli. Never mind Nina, the two test shots up to now hadn't even reached Layfon's area.

Though they were test shots, if this went on they would fail when it was time for the real shots.

It seemed like Sharnid had noticed Felli's thoughts, or perhaps he hadn't.

What happened afterwards was as if he were teasing Felli.

He pulled the trigger.

"Uwah!"

That moment, the body of Harley next to him was sent flying, being thrown backwards.

Harley's cry was drowned out by the sound of the shot, and the calm sound like compressed air that had happened up to now suddenly changed into a strong gunshot intense enough to hurt the ears.

"Wah!"

The giant noise that suddenly occurred made Felli cover her ears.

Even in this kind of situation, her mind was still filled with information of Psychokinesis. Tracking the path of Sharnid's test shot.

This time it shot higher than the previous two, and then descended.

The result......

"......What is it so suddenly?"

Layfon's voice was transmitted through Psychokinesis.

"Ah, that's just a warmup. Use it whenever you like."

"Then, I'll use it just in case."

Sharnid showed a smile as if the tension from before was all gone, ending the conversation with the confused Layfon.

Layfon was focusing on pursuing Nina, so right now he didn't have extra energy to listen to their situation.

But, Felli had something that she wanted to make clear.

"Just now that was......?"

"Killing Hands, you've seen it before." [6]

"Ah......"

She thought of it.

When they went to Grendan to save Nina, Sharnid had wielded a power that they had never seen in him until then.

"That wasn't just coincidence, huh."

"Though I don't really want anyone to know about this, we can complete our goal this way."

"Then, we can send it, right?"

"Of course! It should be about time for the real thing."

Saying this, Sharnid took something from Harley.

It was a box very similar to an unrestored Dite, and the inside was filled with as many Psychokinesis flakes as possible.

"It's alright even if we can't send it to Captain herself, as long as it surpasses her current location, and as long as a single flake reaches her......"

"I know."

Sharnid interrupted Felli's words, entering a focused state.

Right now all Felli could do was hold her breath as she watched the outcome from the side.

In the period of time that seemed to stand still because of tension, Sharnid's finger pulled the trigger.

The overflowing light was strong enough to even make one wonder whether or not the special gun had exploded, and the box inside was shot out from that light. The box in which Felli's psychokinesis had been placed drew out a line with an even smoother angle than before as it flew through the sky, and after reaching a peak even higher than before, it began descending towards the vast earth.

Beautiful.

After that path appeared in Felli's mind, she secretly mumbled. The path that Sharnid had shot had perfectly surpassed Nina's position as predicted by them.

The box followed along the path that Felli had predicted, falling into the battlefield where flame and beast raged.

Bang.

The shock produced from the ground made the box bounce. The box opened, and the Psychokinesis flakes flew out.

What came afterwards was Felli's job.

The Psychokinesis flakes that flew out quickly became part of her Psychokinesis net and were strengthened.

At the same time, she searched for Nina.

Not long after, she saw her figure.

The surrounding flame swirled, filled with heat, and the beasts formed from the flame raged in all directions.

Among this, Nina fought while advancing.

The shockwaves produced by her rapid running blew away the heat and flame, and the assaulting flame beasts that were penetrated by the shockwaves were then sent flying by the iron whips. That kind of battlefield seemed simply otherworldly, and when she found the continuously battling Nina, Felli felt as if her own breathing would stop.

She wondered in her heart whether Nina had become someone completely different from the person she recognized.

Perhaps because she was possessed by several Haikizokus, Nina had been altered by their Kei and might have become a monster herself - Felli considered this.

But, she didn't have that kind of feeling.

The appearance of Nina in battle was indeed a bit frightening, but from the exterior there wasn't any great change.

Then, what about the interior?

(Captain!)

Felli firmly positioned a Psychokinesis flake on her predicted path of movement, calling out.

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

Whether it was because of the sound on the battlefield or not, the sound didn't reach, and Nina didn't make any response. Not only this, but she still ignored Felli's Psychokinesis flake and prepared to continue forward.

If things were like this then Sharnid's hard work would be for nothing.

(Captain!)

Felli called out again while carrying out the next preparations.

Nina didn't notice her.

Or perhaps, she didn't want to pay attention.

Was she intentionally ignoring Felli, thinking that she should resolve everything herself?

(Captain!)

How can I let you do that.

Felli continued calling out, while changing the positions of her Psychokinesis flakes.

The flakes that had been positioned in the error boundary of the predicted path were all hurriedly recalled, and gathered together.

They would get here.

All of the Psychokinesis flakes gathered in the place where Nina was most likely to be.

Moreover, they didn't just wait there, but rather they flew towards Nina.

Because there were twisting shockwaves by Nina, if normal things got close to her they would be shattered in moments.

This was the same even for Felli's flakes. It would happen if the advancing Military Artist didn't use their own techniques to neutralize the shockwaves, and since she couldn't expect Nina to do that right now, Felli could only rely on herself to think of something.

In other words, she had to think of a way to neutralize the shockwaves.

Felli let the Psychokinesis flakes form a conical formation, rushing at Nina.

Of course it wouldn't only just charge over there.

She also used her Psychokinesis to form a reflective film covering it surface.

It was a heavy reflective film, used to combat the shockwaves.

Nina had already gotten close.

She could see Nina breaking through the flame.

There was some degree of error before the information from the Psychokinesis flakes reached Felli. Though this was a very short time span, to a Military Artist in battle, it was enough of an error to become fatal.

Because of this error, the moment from when the charge began up to when the results appeared disappeared.

"Ugh!"

A meaningless noise reverberated in Felli's mind. Felli who stood on Zuellni's outskirts felt as if she were about to lose consciousness.

Felli maintained her fuzzy consciousness with all of her power, and she clenched her lips, the taste of blood spreading on her tongue.

How was the situation?

What had it become now?

She slowly groped for the truth in her information filled with noise.

The weak degree of Psychokinesis that came through told Felli that there were not many Psychokinesis flakes remaining. She feared that almost all of the flakes had been unable to break through the shockwaves and had been smashed.

Then, what about the remaining flakes?

Where were the flakes that had acted as the agents to transmit this weak Psychokinesis?

Her Psychokinesis was gradually becoming weaker, why was that?

Had they been sent flying?

Or......?

(Captain, please respond.)

Grasping at straws, Felli spoke.

"............Felli."

There was a response.

It was Nina.

The plan had succeeded.

Felli's Psychokinesis flake had reached Nina.

(Captain, what are you planning?)

"Felli, I'm focusing right now. I'm sorry, if there's anything then please talk about it later."

Hearing Nina let out these kinds of words with some difficulty, Felli confirmed the current situation of her Psychokinesis flakes.

There was only one remaining flake, and the damage to it was not light.

More importantly, Nina hadn't taken that flake, but rather it had luckily caught on her clothing.

Her two hands hadn't released the iron whips for a moment.

Perhaps the battlefield on that side was intense to that degree.

Perhaps it was truly only that?

Because of the speculation that swarmed her heart, Felli continued speaking.

(Captain, please listen, you're being used.)

"Did you say I'm being used?"

(Yes, the Electronic Fairy is......)

"It doesn't matter who's using me."

(Eh?)

"Everyone would use someone else for their own means. As for how you see it, that just depends on the differences between people's point of view."

"Hey hey, right now we're not talking about that kind of thing."

Nina's voice was broadcast out, and Sharnid who heard her voice let out a helpless sound.

"Right now we aren't talking about the problems in human relationships. Listen, Nina, you......"

"Right now I have no time to talk about these things!"

"Listen, Nina, your life is in danger."

"Since the moment I stood here, I made my resolution."

"Things aren't like that!"

Even at Harley's words, Nina still didn't stop.

Her stubborn attitude made the atmosphere surrounding Felli and the others become heavy.

"......Captain."

At that time, a third voice entered, not from Felli and the others, nor from Nina.

It was Layfon.

"......Layfon."

"Captain, right now I'm trying to find a way to group up with you, can you wait a bit for me there?"

"I can't do that. In order to resolve this situation as soon as possible, I must go."

"If you have me helping you, the situation will definitely go more smoothly."

"No, the battle this time isn't that simple."

"Captain!"

"I can't do anything relying on the seventeenth platoon!"

Not only did that sentence stab Felli, but it affected everyone else as well.

Never mind Sharnid and Harley, it was so even for Layfon.

"I can only do the things that had been entrusted to me. Things outside of that...... I can't do them!"

(Captain!)

Felli who felt some kind of unclear premonition called out.

But, all she received was noise. Though she didn't feel as if she were about to faint the second time, her head still felt extremely painful.

The Psychokinesis flake had left Nina's body, and then been smashed by her shockwaves.

Felli went slack for a time.

Part of the reason was the pain created by the recoil from the Psychokinesis flake, but of course, it wasn't only this.

The surrounding silence was definitely from the same feeling as Felli's.

"That girl......"

The first to speak was Sharnid.

"Though, I thought long ago that things might become like this."

Harley also raised his head to look at the sky.

"It's way too close to expectations, what a joke."

"To think it would differ by this little, how incredible."

"Incredible enough to be annoying."

It was unusual that even Layfon participated in the conversation.

(There's nothing incredible or not incredible.)

Felli who had overcome her pain with difficulty opened her mouth.

Felli also had things she wanted to say.

There was a lot that she wanted to say.

(Though, we knew long before that this idiot wouldn't hear other people's words at all as long as she had her own thoughts, and would charge forward single-mindedly.)

"Nn, Felli-chyan, completely merciless as expected."

(She's always putting on a sorrowful expression along while completely not understanding our toils, that kind of egotistic style is ridiculous.)

"............Why does it feel like I'm being included in the scolding."

Though Felli also secretly wanted to say 'that's how it is' to the cowardly Layfon, she held back for now.

(But, compared to this, in her words just now, there's something even harder to bear.)

"That's right."

"Those words were indeed too much."

"That's right."

Nothing could be done relying on the seventeenth platoon.

They definitely couldn't forgive anyone, even Nina, for those words.

Regardless of if Nina had formed the seventeenth platoon, they couldn't permit that even for Nina herself.

(Let that idiot look well at what kind of platoon the seventeenth platoon is.)

"Yes."

"Well said."

"Alright, this time let's make Nina lower her head and say to us 'Please let me be your Captain'!"

(Not a bad proposal.)

Spirits high, the seventeenth platoon once again began to act.




Chapter 3: Goodbye, Encore, Afterwards[edit]

She felt pain in her chest.

But, right now she couldn't slow her feet because of that kind of pain.

Nina had a battle that she had to be in.

She had a mission, to fulfill her great-grandfather's long-cherished wish as well as the Electronic Fairies' desire.

So, Nina didn't stop running.

There was still a bit of distance with that flame beast that was like a mountain.

At this time, a new change occurred before her.

That was obvious.

Because the place she wanted to go to was currently the center of the world.



How much time had passed since first coming to this road?

She had long since given up on anything like counting time.

In order to wait for the day that had arrived today, how many things had already been lost?

In order to obtain one thing, the resolution had been made to give up everything.

So, it was only this thing that she couldn't give up.

Where had Saya gone after leaving Grendan?

She arrived there even earlier than Nina. It wasn't such a difficult thing for her who was the prototype of the Electronic Fairies and who had created this world.

But, because she maintained this world, she continuously spent her own strength, so the current Saya didn't have much strength.

She didn't have much fighting ability.

Even so, the black-clothed girl still appeared there.

Saya's moving figure appeared in the sky.

It was above the beast of flame. The strong rising airflow created by the burning flame carried the midair Saya. Though Saya was able to block the heat with her abilities, she was still helpless in the current situation.

Even if she knew that things would become this way, Saya had still come here.

She had come here, and she strongly believed that she had to have come here.

Here, right now, he was visiting.

The sky that had spat out the beast of flame once again split apart.

On the other side of the sky that was filled with various things, a black figure could be seen hiding among inexplicable colors.

A face appeared from the Aurora Field.

From the confusing space that originally should have split the world into two...... the figures of two people flew out.

"Aien!" [7]

Countless, endless years were contained in that call.

The emotionless, mechanical doll's call reached one of the humans.

That human changed its path of descent, flying to Saya.

The human's figure overlapped with Saya's, and then they fell together.

The airflow battered against a coat sleeve.

"It's been a long time."

In this kind of noise-filled environment came a voice that was low but carried feelings of affection.

"Aien."

"Nn, Saya. Though I'm very happy we were able to meet again, we can't be this leisurely right now. That guy is also here."

"Yes."

The beast of flame was below the two of them.

It was a being different from the things that Aien...... that Airen and Saya had fought before.

"Aien, do you know what that thing is?"

"Something from Ignasis's wreckage, I guess."

"Wreckage?"

"Yes."

The two of them were clearly descending towards a searing battlefield, but one would feel that the conversation between them seemed leisurely.

"Something laughable is, when Ignasis was in his period of confinement, it could be said that on a mental level he was already dead."

"Was it really like that?"

"Yes. But, the trouble was that that person seems to have left behind something like a split body."

"That's the split body?"

"This thing doesn't know that it's a piece of Ignasis. It only has a part of part of Ignasis's character, and though it's a dangerous being, it isn't an evil being."

"Aien, who did you learn this from?"

"I also only heard this halfway through. Also, Saya, you also encountered that person."

"Eh?"

"......Ah, never mind. Nothing much would change even if you knew, so you don't need to concern yourself with this."

"Aien is the one who's concerned."

"Probably."

During that conversation, the two of them had already arrived to a distance that counted as dangerous.

"Alright......"

At that time, the two of them suddenly changed their falling path, and the two who originally had been descending straight down suddenly moved out to the side.

Saya looked, and noticed that from Airen's coat extended something like a vine, piercing the surface of the ground in the distance. That vine was pulling Saya and Airen.

The two of them who were being pulled by the vine calmly descended to the ground.

"Next, Saya, since we've already confirmed that we're both fine, it should be about time for you to go to a safe place, right?"

"I don't want to."

"Uh......"

"I don't want to leave you anymore."

"I've really lost to you."

Though he said this, Airen, who had a single eye covered with an eyepatch, didn't look worried at all.

"Ah, then we'll do this."

"Nn."

"Whether we live or die and disappear, we'll be together as two. Ah, in that case I truly hope that I can choose the final ending."

"Nn>"

Saya nodded her head, and afterward two guns appeared in her hands.

Saya had prepared weapons for him.

In the past she had always stayed by his side, like now.

Right now things had returned to normal.

With that feeling, even in this hell of heat, Saya still felt incomparably satisfied.



Nina noticed the change as she ran.

The sky split, and two figures flew into the sea of flame.

"......Damn."

The change became a tense feeling that assaulted Nina's entire body.

Conscious that she was a single person, the feeling of tension that she endured even made her feel that her muscles hurt.

Even so, Nina had expected things to change like this.

Who could she share this resolution with?

Of the figures that appeared in the sky, one of them fell straight down, and in the end was devoured into the dancing walls of flame.

Then, what about the other?

The other figure that fell in a different direction suddenly changed its direction midway, flying towards Nina.

"An enemy, huh."

Nina drove back the flame beasts while she advanced. Because of the new obstacle that had appeared, she felt angry and tense.

She would get rid of the opponent before she was driven back. That idea made the current Nina act very naturally. She was only able to do this because everything around her was an enemy.

That idea was also fitting for the figure that was drawing closer, so Nina released external Kei without saying a word.

But she wouldn't have thought that the figure would evade her external Kei.

The figure that avoided the Kei turned a loop, and then caught up to Nina who was thinking of ignoring her and continuing to run, flying side by side with her.

"How dangerous, I was almost killed."

Hearing that teasing voice, Nina looked to the side. Nina felt that this kind of voice that seemed as if it sank deep into one's heart was a bit familiar.

"Nelphilia...... is it?"

"Yes. I've met you before, right?"

"Yes."

Nina felt loathing and confusion at her arrogance-filled voice.

Past experience told Nina that she definitely couldn't look at her. Nina focused her mind on looking ahead. In this kind of time right now, the flame beast would still attack Nina, and it was fortunate that she didn't have the time to be misled by this flirtatious girl.

"Your relationship with that red-haired idiot isn't bad."

Nina didn't instantly think of the answer as to who 'red-haired idiot' meant.

But, there was only one red-haired person that she and Nina both recognized.

"Are you speaking of senpai?" [8]

Something had the strength to hook her. There was something devious in Nelphilia's voice. So it was impossible to Nina to ignore her.

The answer that came up also made Nina concerned.

When she had last seen him in Grendan was when he had entered a mysterious hole that appeared in the sky.

At that time, hadn't Nelphilia also been there?

"Wasn't he with you at that time?"

"Yes."

She had asked about something that she clearly knew.

That made Nina feel a bit angry, and to be honest she kind of wanted to get mad, but right now she could only endure and continue moving forward.

Though she didn't know why she had appeared here, right now Nina didn't have the energy to pay attention to those who weren't prepared to fight.

"Don't you want to know how he is right now?"

"Right now I don't have the leisure to care about those things!"

Nina quickly refused Nelphilia's question.

She didn't know what her goal was, but right now she didn't have time to play along.

"I have something that I have to do."

"So that's how it is."

After saying this, Nelphilia went silent.

But even with this, she still flew in the sky next to Nina. There was some kind of inexplicable dark, shadowy fog in Nelphilia's surroundings, and she was currently riding on that fog.

"......Ah, if you could get rid of that thing, then maybe it would be very good."

Nelphilia said this.

Nina still didn't understand her meaning, but right now she didn't have time to ask.

Nina continued advancing, sweeping away the flame beasts.

She swept them away as she advanced.

At some time, she lost track of Nelphilia. Where had she gone? Right now she didn't have time to go look with her eyes. What had happened to Dix? Though that question wouldn't disappear from her mind, right now she had no leisure to consider it.

Since even now, the flame beasts were still attacking her.

The heat of the air had already reached the point where it could instantly kill someone. If she didn't have Kei, Nina would have been incinerated in moments.

If she stopped her feet, then the flame beasts would wipe her out, and if she lost focus then the heat would turn her into lava.

It wasn't only a problem of her feelings, but Nina's current situation also didn't allow her to stop.

But, Nina didn't have any intention to stop since the beginning.

She continued running.

The flame beast towering in front of her also seemed extremely close already.

At that time, a new change occurred around the flame beast.

Though one change after another could indicate that the situation was intensifying, Nina's tension had already begun making her feel worried.

The originally chaotic flame and heat suddenly became as if they had a direction.

Not only this, but it could be confirmed from here that there were intense flashes of light all over the opponent. It seemed as if there was someone fighting.

"......Who is it?"

There shouldn't have been anyone who rushed out sooner than Nina.

Then, this wasn't a Military Artist from there?

Could it be, that this wasn't even a Military Artist?

Perhaps it was an extraordinary being like Nelphilia that was fighting with the flame beast.

She didn't know who it was.

But at that moment, something happened inside Nina.

Nina's heart, which hadn't been shaken by Felli and the others or Nelphilia, trembled at this moment.

"Ugh!"

Because Nina was the one who was shaken the most and who felt the strongest feeling of crisis.

"Urrrraaaaaaaaah!"

She roared.

Increasing her speed and momentum, cleaving the flame, blowing the flame beasts away, and advancing.

Her speed was clearly not the same as before. The intensity and thickness of the shockwaves guarding Nina grew along with the increase of speed, raising their destructive force.

The flame beasts that came in contact with the energy of Nina's shockwaves were run through, being smashed away from her surroundings one by one.

Even with this, Nina still continued raising her speed.

The strength of a Military Artist's body and Kei had limits, and Nina was as if she were challenging those limits, continuously increasing her speed......

......And then, Nina finally reached the monstrosity of flame.

She leaped up.

Her target was the top of that body that towered in front of her like a tall mountain, and using the flame beasts that appeared one after another as stepping stones, Nina finally reached there.

"Finally......"

The moment she thought this, Nina's chest became hot. But, right now she didn't have the energy to worry. The heat of the flame kept trying to pull Nina into the abyss of death, and the continuously appearing flame beasts also slowly surrounded Nina.

Most importantly, there was something that she had to do after coming here.

Moreover, she could hear sounds of battle that she didn't know the origins of.

"Where is it?"

Nina sent the continuously approaching flame beasts flying while she searched.

Just at that time.

The flames that covered the surroundings like a forest began to shake violently, and a hole appeared, with something piercing into it.

Something like a Kei bullet carved a slanting path, burying itself into the monster's giant body, and then exploding.

Destructive shockwaves enveloped Nina, blowing away the surrounding flame beasts.

A surprising destructive force.

The thing that had buried itself was even now still penetrating the vast body of the beast, breaking it, and continuously going deeper, not seeming at all like it was going to stop.

That kind of might was on the level of Grendan's Heaven's Blade successors.

It could even already have surpassed them.

The destructive power in front of her was that strong.

"Who is it?"

The Heaven's Blade successors should all be in Grendan, and moreover all of them should be quite fatigued because of the recent battle.

Who could it be on this battlefield?

Nina continued searching, and on the other side of the flame that she avoided, she saw a figure.

There was a man and a woman in that space.

The two of them were cleverly dodging back and forth as if taunting the claws of flame. The reason they could do this was because of the vine-like objects spread throughout their surroundings. Though the flame tried to burn the vines, every time a new vine would extend into a new place, and they didn't show any signs of decreasing in number.

The two of them moved the battlefield to the place where the new vines appeared while they fought.

The male wore a long coat, and held something like a pistol in his hand. The recent destructive strike had come from his pistol, which was proved after he pulled the trigger.

CSR v24 11.jpg

Nina looked at the woman...... no, the girl that was being carried on his left arm.

She looked exactly the same as Nelphilia.

But, they weren't the same.

Nina instantly saw that they were different.

Though they had the same outer appearance, the feelings from the two of them were completely different.

The girl carried in the man's arm also held a gun in her hand, fending off the attacking flame beasts. The cartridges that flew out disappeared in a space somewhat far away from the girl, seemingly turning into a black mist.

The girl wasn't simply being carried by the man. What was surprising was that as the man avoided the flame and ran around, the girl continuously changed her position and carried out shooting.

Moreover, black smoke appeared from her hands, becoming black mist and disappearing, and at the same time the form of the gun in her hands changed.

It had just been firing high-speed bullets, and in the next moment it became something like a big cannon, and had also turned into a missile filled with explosive that could be guided through the air.

Weapons that generally weren't used by moving cities because of their resource consumption continuously appeared in the girl's hands like magic.

Though the feeling from the two of them was very much like the feeling of Military Artists, they had a definite difference.

It was an incredible feeling.

But, right now she didn't have the leisure to feel confused at that incredible feeling.

Coming back to her senses, Nina also began battle.

Though it was so huge that it was easy to be mistaken about it, below her feet was the beast of flame that towered above the earth.

"Haah!"

Kei crashing, Nina swung her iron whips.

The strength that she obtained from the Haikizokus accelerated, and Kei rushed through her body, with the heat produced almost burning her body.

The iron whips that had been raised high were swung down.

Nina challenged the giant beast.

This was the strike symbolizing Nina's challenge.

The iron whips sank deeply into the tough-feeling flesh, and a shockwave penetrated into the interior.

The shockwave became destructive force that spread outwards.

The spreading shockwave destroyed the composition of the surrounding body, and the energy released became heat. Not long after, the released heat swelled outwards, diffusing out and dissipating its momentum.

In other words, it exploded.

That pillar of flame had already risen high into the sky.

That kind of explosion endlessly continued by Nina's side.

A raucous howl came from the battlefield.

It was the roar of the flame beast, and its triangular head in the distance was roaring into the sky. The burning waves that made up its fur began to move in a frenzy.

This wasn't a roar made because of pain.

This was a roar of rage.

The anger that filled it became sound and was released, and even so, this roar still wasn't enough to release all of its anger. Nina didn't plan on ending her attack here either.

The battle of the man in the coat and the black-clothed girl wasn't something that she should concern herself about here.

This being of flame wouldn't disappear no matter what, like a bottomless swamp of anger......

It could only turn its anger into destructive actions.

That flame beast was a being that could not be saved.

Nina thought this.

The feeling spread out from that roar made Nina believe this.

"What's going on!?"

So, Nina shouted out.

She used anger to confront anger.

Even if she knew that this kind of action didn't have any meaning, Nina still couldn't control herself.

"Don't involve us just for this kind of thing!"

Nina shouted her thoughts from long ago while she once again ran out with the monster's head as her target.

Nina had no idea whether this thing was actually an organism with something like a true life. But, since it had a head, and moreover since that rage she could feel was genuine, she could believe that the beast's consciousness was housed in that area.

"Then, I'll crush that place!"

Carrying out a thorough attack towards the weakness.

That was a very correct battle plan.

She no longer had any reason to think of other things, and the Haikizokus inside Nina's body also released their full power.

"Dischale, Tentorium, Falysodam......"

She called out their names.

"Armadune."

Nina called out the names of the Electronic Fairies that she had inherited from her great-grandfather.

They who had been born in the Senou City had not chosen to become the guides of cities but instead were Electronic Fairies that had dedicated everything for this day, her great-grandfather had said about the four Haikizokus in the past.

"Melnisc."

An Electronic Fairy that had chosen to become the guide of a moving city, but who had in the end lost control from loathing because his city was destroyed, was also in Nina's body.

A Haikizoku whose hatred for filth monsters and hatred for the culprit who had created filth monsters ended up becoming strength to lend to Nina.

And also......

The nameless Electronic Fairy inside Nina.

The one who had encountered disaster before it had even been able to choose to become a guide of a city, and who in the end chose to save Nina's life...... It was a symbol of Nina's immaturity, a gentle pain.

"Let's go."

Bringing them, Nina began running.

Nina avoided the flame that sought to block her advance, or used external Kei to blast away the flames. Nina who had become lightning charged straight at the head.

The beast's head was like a pillar supporting the sky, or perhaps an existence that wished to completely destroy the sky, extending tall and thick towards the sky.

Could this kind of thing truly be destroyed?

That kind of worry didn't disappear.

"......There's no way it can't be done."

The Electronic Fairies in Nina's body had kept living through now just for this day.

Regardless of what kind of thing appeared, she wouldn't be blocked by the word 'impossible'.

"I'll defeat it!"

That was all she needed to do.

Nina who had become lightning succeeded in nearing the towering head, and swung her iron whips down.

The shockwaves that were even faster than before penetrated deep inside, and an intense explosion spread in all directions.

Not long after, it became a hole like a giant crater, but it seemed like a simple bruise compared to the monster's giant body.

"It's not over!"

Nina didn't stop.

If one wound couldn't defeat it then make the second and third and fourth. If she continuously wounded it, then it definitely wouldn't be a waste.

Her iron determination made the Kei in Nina's body burn endlessly, definitely not inferior to the surrounding flames.

Something stirred in the midst of her battle.

In the distance of her peripheral vision, she could see the vine she had seen before.

Countless vines were twining around the monster's throat, and the flame was trying to burn them.

The vines that she had originally thought would be incinerated in a moment held out for unexpectedly long. Though in the end they were still burned away, because of that delay, the attacks of the vines in other places succeeded.

Right now she didn't have time to keep watching, but in the period of time when the vines were resisting, Nina noticed something flash.

Had such a thing been there the first time she looked.

Right now she didn't have time to go recall. The angry roar the beast gave out and the intense storm of the surrounding flame wanted to burn Nina to death.

Nina swung her iron whips, and craters created from her strikes were smashed into the beast's body one by one like footsteps, and at the same time she ran towards the top of its head.

At that time, the vines chased Nina.

Also, that man-woman pair was also running on the vines.

"Hey, girl, good luck to you too."

The man's leisurely attitude made Nina uncomfortable.

"Who are you?"

Nina advanced while asking.

"Explaining would be rather annoying. This thing and I......"

When he said this, gunfire sounded from the man's location that was much louder than those before.

"Are guys with a bit of history."

From behind her came a surprising explosion because of the gunshot.

In other words, the 'this thing' he had said meant this beast of flame.

"Really. But, don't obstruct me."

"I have no plans of doing that. Rather, in this kind of time, shouldn't I should be saying that kind of thing?"

"How would I know."

"Haha."

It was just a fruitless chat, and Nina ignored them and continued advancing.

"Wait up, I came to ask if you wanted to team up and fight together."

Though Nina had increased her speed thinking to throw them off, she was caught up to easily.

But, the man's tone was the same as before.

That meant that this man had ability rivaling Nina's.

"Did you say fight together?"

"Of course. Defeating a common enemy together, that's not bad is it?"

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

"Girl, you also seem to have some good destructive power, and if we fight together we'll get rid of it faster."

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

"What? Not satisfied?"

"No...... it's just that, I still can't trust you."

"I don't need anything like your trust."

"What did you say?"

"Won't it be enough for us to mutually use each other?"

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

"Don't think too complicated. Ah, I won't attack a girl like you from behind. Is that enough?"

"Whatever you want."

"Then we'll do that. Ah, right, I still haven't introduced myself. I'm Airen, and this girl is Saya."

"I'm Nina."

"Alright, Nina, I'm counting on you."

That man was similar to someone.

The pair moved away...... Nina felt Airen and Saya's presences while thinking.

Though Sharnid's face quickly emerged in her mind, they weren't the same.

It was some person that she had only met recently, but it wasn't someone she had met very often.

She felt like it was on the tip of her tongue.

"It's no use caring about those things."

In a moment, Nina's thinking had been occupied by this problem, but after that sentence Nina gave up on those thoughts, continuing to think about her targets.

She could feel the presences of Airen and Saya in the distance.

What did they want to do, and how were they planning to fight?

Nina felt that it was necessary for her to see those things clearly.



"Aieh."

After they left Nina, Saya spoke.

"That person just now."

"I know."

Airen already knew what Saya wanted to say.

"Really, what a disagreeable method. Has she been affected by Erumi?"

"I don't know, and speaking of which, that is......?"

"Who knows. Starting from when this commotion began I didn't have the leisure to care about her. She's probably observing from somewhere again, or got mad and closed herself in again......"

Regardless of what it was, she would no longer have any effect on this commotion. Airen had faith in this.

"Compared to that."

The topic of the chat changed.

"She definitely hasn't noticed."

"She's probably not paying attention."

"Truly pitiful. Being thrown away after being used, alas."

"If this goes on it will be like that. Are we doing the same?"

"If I would have done that then I wouldn't have brought it up right now."

"That's true."

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

"What is it?"

"How should I say it...... Have you changed? Saya."

"I'm unclear. Speaking of which, haven't you also changed?"

"Nn?"

"Your tenderness has become even simpler to understand."

"Hah!"

Airen wanted to laugh from his heart, and he laughed it all in a single breath.

Though he seemed to be leisurely, in the end it only looked like it, and actually there could be no such thing. Since this was a battlefield, the abnormal flame in the surroundings could burn even Airen.

And moreover when Airen died, Saya would also die with him.

Speaking of which, Saya had never planned to give up on the people of this world, as that was the reason for her existence.

Then, it was also natural for Airen to fight for the people of this world.

"This is for you."

"Thanks a lot."

Airen advanced while chatting.



She could already see the top of its head.

The flame that she had originally not known the extent of had suddenly parted, and on the other side of the flame was a blue sky.

"There!"

Scattering the flames blocking her front, she took aim at that place.

"I'll be first, though."

It was Airen's voice. She suddenly heard the voice of him who had disappeared completely without a trace in the middle of things, and then she felt a strong abnormal presence from behind her back.

That feeling of presence made Nina unconsciously move aside from her original path of advance.

It wasn't Airen's body that attacked out towards the sky.

It was countless vines.

The countless vines that acted as his footholds bundled together, and intertwined while chasing out from behind Nina.

The vines passed Nina, rushing towards the head. Perhaps they were trying to use the vines to completely surround the burning flame.

Light shot out from various places on the vines that beat back the flame. This time, Nina saw clearly and was sure that she was not mistaken.

The countless grains of light that shot out made sharp noises and fell down.

"Stones?"

After the particles were smashed by the shockwaves in Nina's surroundings, Nina felt very confused at these grains that flew in every direction.

Glowing solid objects would appear after putting out fire? That kind of phenomenon had never happened before.

The group of vines twisted towards the head like a giant snake, and then entrenched its position, raising its 'neck' into a sickle shape.

And then, it spread out.

The originally clustered group of vines quickly filled her entire vision, but suddenly separated again.

The countless vines spread out as if they wanted to surround the beast's entire head, knotting and tightening.

Sharp sounds rang out during the process, tormenting her ears. The particles from before appeared, and bright white flashes appeared in her red-dyed vision. [9]

"Do it."

She didn't know where Airen's voice came from.

"Because of my encroachment, it should be easier to get results from an attack right now. Go."

Even in this kind of condition, his voice was still extremely calm.

There was no time to continue feeling confused about this situation.

Another change happened.

A surprising feeling of pressure was closing in on this place with a surprising momentum.

It was Kei pressure.

Though she felt it could be Layfon, she wasn't very clear.

When she noticed this feeling of pressure, it had already arrived, advocating its existence with a fierce and intense shock.

It hit the beast's chest.

"A good opportunity has come from outside."

Airen's words pushed Nina from behind.

"O, Ohhhhhhhhh!"

She roared.

She kicked off with all of her strength.

She would decide victory here.

Nina ran as fast as she could, putting everything into running without looking down, and when she arrived at the place where she should be, she prepared to make the final decision.

She made her resolution.

"Armadune!"

Nina called a name.

"Dischale! Tentorium! Falysodam!"

She called the names of the Haikizokus that she had inherited from her great-grandfather.

"Melnisc!"

She called the names of the comrades she fought together with.

In her mind, she thought of that nameless savior.

Right now, in this moment, she had to use up all of her strength!

"Go!"

Airen's voice only ordered Nina forward, and Nina leaped up, reaching the head.

Flying through the air, Nina raised her iron whips, filling with Kei.

After being full, after overflowing out, she felt giddy because of the strong rushing Kei power while desperately enduring it, focusing her consciousness on controlling the Kei power.

This way, everything could be ended.

The world would achieve peace, and this kind of meaningless battle would disappear.

The mission that her great-grandfather had entrusted Nina with would also end.

She wanted to do something for others, and she didn't want to be helpless in a tense situation.

Nina had left Schneibel to hold to that kind of resolution.

Right now was the time to realize all of the thoughts and desires that had existed in her heart since that day.

The final day was here.

Though she felt satisfaction and a sense of emptiness inside her heart for a moment, it only took a moment for the surging Kei she maintained to burn away that kind of feeling.

The overflowing Kei seemed limitless, and continuing to flow it into her tow iron whips, Nina didn't need to worry at all about their capacity limits. It was because of her trust in the Dites that she had obtained from Zuellni, but an even bigger reason was because she didn't have the leisure to consider those things right now.

But, in the end, the Dites didn't break down even though their capacity limits had been surpassed.

It was as if Nina was carrying two suns now, and she raised her iron whips.

"Yaaaaaaahhhhhhh!!"

The Kei pressure was transmitted to her arms, and was extremely heavy.

After slowly swinging her iron whips, the two giant clusters of Kei above her head slowly descended, and then destroyed.

CSR v24 12.jpg

Her vision was completely filled with white.

Her hearing was blotted out in a moment as well, and her entire body's feeling seemed to disappear.

When Nina realized that she was going to lose consciousness, she had already completely fallen into darkness.


Before Nina released the strike she had resolved for......

Layfon ran rapidly.

The situation right now was not very good.

(Do we have no other way?)

Though he had made up his mind, in reality he had no way to catch up to Nina, and not only this, but she had already reached the location of the flame beast.

The distance between the two had even been widened.

In this kind of situation, Felli raised the question.

"I'll think of a way."

Layfon could only reply like this. Layfon who chased after Nina was the same as her, running rapidly while being assaulted by flame beasts.

The shockwaves produced by his running knocked away the flame beasts, or perhaps the Shim Adamantium Dite in his hands beat down the flame beasts. The waves of flame that appeared wanting to engulf him were also cut apart.

Layfon repeated this series of actions as he advanced.

He didn't have the leisure to think about other things.

"Though I made some preparations, this is all I can do."

(Preparations?)

"Necessary preparations that I made for chasing her."

(That is......)

"I was always confident that I could catch up to her."

Layfon already said what Felli was thinking of saying.

If he didn't catch up to her, everything would have been for nothing.

So, right now he should consider actions for catching up to her first and foremost.

She wanted to say this.

Because Layfon knew, he hadn't let Felli say it.

Because Layfon had catching up to her as a premise.

This was something that he had no choice but to accomplish.

If he couldn't endure this kind of preliminary thing, then saving Nina was a complete daydream.

"Looking at it right now, I'm already at my limits. But, I believe Felli and the other senpais can definitely do something."

(............)

The Psychokinesis flake didn't transmit any reply, and Felli was speechless.

Even so, Layfon still believed.

"I'm only a single person here."

(Layfon?)

"Though Felli has told me before, there's only me out here."

(..................Yes.)

"But, I believe. Felli and senpais can definitely help me. You can definitely make me catch up to Captain."

(If it's something we can do, then we'll try it no matter what it is.)

But they couldn't think of any way.

He could even feel that kind of distressed emotion through the Psychokinesis flake.

"Felli......"

Layfon continued speaking patiently to Felli.

(Yes.)

"You can talk to a lot of people other than me."

(But, Sharnid and Harley can't think of......)

"Not that......"

Towards Felli's words, Layfon thought 'Ah, as expected'. Because Felli's attitude when she had communicated with Elsmau had been like that too.

"Right now isn't a time to be willful."

Layfon spoke.

"If you're like that, then how are you different from Captain right now? If you refuse to listen to others, then you're the same as Captain, and you might make a mistake difficult to correct."

(..................Nn.)

"Though I'm only an individual here, Felli is different. If you want to, Felli's Psychokinesis can definitely connect to anyone."

(Okay.)

"So, don't be that stubborn. With everyone, we can think of some way to save Captain."

(Nn.)

"So right now isn't the time to narrow our means."

(I know, I'll think of something.)

"I'm counting on you...... Felli."

(What is it?)

"Please, save me." [10]

Because the current Layfon was alone, being surrounded by flame.

(Go think of something yourself.)

Though Layfon had haphazardly thought of saying that kind of thing, he hadn't thought that he would be decisively refused.

But, that way was like her normal self, and Layfon couldn't help but showing a wry smile.

(Thank you.)

In the end, he heard a softly whispered word of thanks. The wry smile from before now completely became a smile.

But, this kind of expression quickly disappeared.

"......I'll definitely catch up to you, Captain."

Intense Kei vibrations constantly came from the location of the flame beast that Layfon saw far ahead. The battle had already begun.

Before the situation became despair-

"Definitely."

For this, Layfon believed in Felli and the others far away from him, and ran desperately.




Chapter 4: Guardians who Defend their Homeland[edit]

'I don't want to be told that by you'. For now, that sentence was still being held back without being spoken.

"Really......"

Felli opened her mouth, saying that with her own mouth.

What did this have to do with 'our battle' that Leerin had spoken of?

Though Felli very much wanted to say that to him, she still didn't form it into words.

"Ah, that was truly a meaningful remark."

Probably because he noticed Felli sighing, Sharnid showed a devious smile.

"This isn't just a battle belonging to those who were selected, is that it?" [11]

"Basically."

Because she didn't have the energy to talk back, Felli could only quietly nod her head and let the conversation carry on.

"Then, what do we do, Felli-chyan?"

Sharnid asked.

"Harley and I can't think of anything. Felli, do you have any clue about what kind of person could think of some way of resolution in the current situation?"

"No."

Because her head hurt a bit, Felli rubbed her temple.

To speak of the people considering strategy in Zuellni, there was only the Military Arts head and the platoon captains. Felli didn't expect them to be able to think of some answer to break through this situation. Not to say that they didn't have ability, but to think of the time that they would need to understand the current situation, it wasn't sure whether or not they could succeed in the end, and really made one feel anxious.

Since Zuellni didn't have any suitable choice of person, then she could only search outside.

And currently, outside were gathered countless cities.

What veteran Military Artist should they request help from?

"Explaining the situation and requesting help from some person whose strength we're not even sure of, we'll waste even more time."

"Then, only 'that' is left, right?"

What Sharnid who said this meant was the city that could be seen behind him.

A devastated moving city was there.

The Lance Shelled City, Grendan.

"Other than the extraordinary Psychokinesist who understands the situation, there's still quite a few extraordinary Military Artists. If we want to talk then there's only that place."

"But......"

Felli was very clear on the meaning behind Sharnid's words.

But because of this, Felli was hesitant.

Was it truly good to request of them right now?

The battlefield wasn't only the place Layfon and the others were in. A big group of flame beasts was currently spreading their boundaries on this world, and even now, danger continuously drew closer to the City Collective headed by Zuellni.

Strong people were necessary to face that kind of threat.

If she made them ignore the true battle, and only think about the selfish request proposed on their side, was that truly good?

Felli's heart had that kind of doubt.

"Is it truly good to trouble those people?"

"Ah, you~"

Sharnid made a face of giving up.

And his words were suddenly interrupted by a cough, because the city loudspeaker behind him had activated.



"Ah, ah, umm...... Testing testing. Hm? Hmm? Weird, didn't I already press that button, Ah, if I don't press this down then you can't hear me? Nnn~ Okay! Uwah! So loud!

Uh...... Is this alright? Ah- um- can everybody hear me? Ah, even if I ask over here I won't know the answer. Ahaha.

Hello everybody, I'm the Student Council president Samiraya Miruke.

Right now I want to tell everyone the correct information, but unfortunately the Student Council isn't operating perfectly, so the information hasn't been completely collected.

Right now the Military Arts head Gorneo and all of the platoon captains are working hard, and everyone please follow their instructions.

If it's already a completely safe situation, then I apologize.

Otherwise, all of the normal students have all evacuated to the cities designated for use as shelters. Those cities will be departing soon, so please don't worry.

Also, next......

Since I said that the normal students have already evacuated, what am I doing? There will probably be people thinking this.

I have already decided to stay here.

What will I do by staying here? There will probably also be people thinking this. I'm probably also thinking that myself.

So, I want to explain a little, so anyone who can afford to listen, please do.

I only wanted to become Student Council president because I idolize the previous Student Council head Karian Loss.

President Karian truly loved Zuellni, as I think that anyone in their second year or above already knows. When Zuellni was extremely troubled, he volunteered to become Student Council president in order to help Zuellni fight.

Of course, I also know that the ones who truly fought were the students in the various Military Arts classes.

But, the previous Student Council president worked extremely hard behind everyone's back, and because I was doing Student Council work at that time, I could always see that, and at the time I felt that he was an extremely incredible person.

Afterwards, that person graduated, but I didn't want to let that person's hard work end there.

So I wanted to succeed him properly.

Doing this wasn't only for the next Military Arts competition, and though that is very important, even more important is to make Zuellni an Academy City that everyone treasures.

Because, the Academy City is a place that we cannot return to after our time passes. So, I hope that everyone can have thoughts like 'that time was truly happy' or 'what a fulfilling six years'.

I think this, and I also want myself to think this.

Because of this, I elected to run for the Student Council president and was selected with everyone's help, but the situations that I had resolved to prepare to work so hard for became like it is now.

Honestly, I really hate it. If it hadn't been President Karian who broadcasted that, I definitely wouldn't have approved of us being here. Right now though is the time to endure and not voice my complaints, but if not for President Karian, I definitely wouldn't be able to endure.

'Give back the life of my campus!' Something like that.

I think the Military Arts students who fight rather than saying these kinds of words are truly great.

In this kind of situation, I also know that everyone is very bravely facing the coming difficulty, but I still selfishly decided to do this.

I will not go to a shelter, but will stay in Zuellni.

I know that this is uncalled for, and that I have no use.

But, I will stay.

The reason for my doing this, as everyone knows, is because I am the Student Council president.

I will stay here, just like all of the Military Artists who are fighting here, because I am the Student Council president.

Even if this place only has students, like a city made up of amateurs, it's terrible for the city's leader to run away in a difficult time.

So, everyone...... Please protect me.

Protect me, protect the Academy City, and then, everyone please return safely.

Afterwards, let us all hold a victory celebration!

A celebration happier than any other time!

A great celebration that will make the people of other cities envious.

Because it will be a happy celebration, I don't want to see anyone weeping.

So...... everyone.

Please come back alive."



Morale rose everywhere in the city.

Military Artists cheered.

"It should be like this."

Sharnid snapped his fingers and said this

Felli looked at his proud face, feeling that there was some inexplicable angry feeling in her heart.

"That was what I wanted to say. How worthy of being our Student Council president, she really understands things."

"What things?"

Indeed, the Student Council president's speech was useful to inspire hearts.

But, as she had said herself in the end, that was only her self-assertion.

"This will only give everyone trouble."

"Things aren't like that, listen to those voices."

Sharnid meant the cheers that they could still hear even now.

"It's not like making a self-assertion is always a bad thing. There are times when it can be good. Listen to their voices, if they felt troubled, could they make those kinds of cheers?"

"......No."

Though they wouldn't be that loud either.

But, the vast majority of the voices were made because they had been moved by President Samiraya's words.

"In other words, there are times when it is right. Like when Captain says things to boost our morale, maybe we can say things to lead to a decent outcome?"

"A decent outcome, you say?"

"Well, think about it, definitely needing to defeat the giant beast in order to stop Nina, isn't that only our own wishful thinking?"

"Yes."

"Exactly. In the end, don't we want to resolve the crisis completely?"

"That's how it is."

"Even if it has no basis, we still want to do such a difficult thing. So I think that there should be no problem at all requesting a little bit of help, right?"

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

"Isn't saying something free?"

"Whether or not it's free doesn't matter, and I'm not hesitating because of that kind of thing either. I'm just......"

"You don't want to trouble anyone because of your decision."

"......"

"Right?"

"......It's like you said."

"Be careful, that's the legendary Nina Disease."

"Disease!"

Felli was speechless at being suddenly told this by Sharnid.

"Wanting to carry the burdens of everything alone is one of the symptoms of Nina Disease. The first step of the cure is to reassure yourself."

"Uh......"

"Incidentally, the more time we spend here, the greater the crisis for the original source of infection, and the longer Layfon will have to toil for."

"I know that!"

Felli could no longer refuse after being told to this degree.

With a bit of a shameful feeling, Felli linked to Elsmau's Psychokinesis flake.

(I understand the situation now.)

Listening to their situation, Elsmau was extremely calm.

(It's very self-serving of me who clearly refused in the beginning to come back now and say these things.)

(It's not like that.)

Compared to the somewhat apologetic Felli, Elsmau's tone hadn't changed at all.

(Rather, you asking for our help might be our salvation.)

(Eh?)

(Though we've already made preparations for a defensive battle here, we haven't made any preparations at all for what we should do when we go on the offensive. If we can use your situation as a base, we can definitely move forward.)

(I-is that so.)

(Though I can't quickly reply to you, I'll tell the situation to the person who specializes in planning strategy, so please wait a bit.)

(Who is that person?)

Though that question didn't have any deep meaning, Felli still asked because she was a bit concerned.

(It's Haia Wolfstein Laia.)

It was that mercenary. Speaking of which, he was indeed in Grendan.

"She said Wolfstein? Isn't that the name Layfon had when he was a Heaven's Blade successor?"

After Elsmau's voice broke off, Harley spoke.

"That mercenary became a Heaven's Blade successor."

Sharnid also made a complicated face.

Speaking of which, it was only because he had appeared that Sharnid's friend had been made to encounter such a situation. [12]

"Ah, right now isn't the time to be concerned about those things."

Just as she was troubled over what to say to Sharnid, Elsmau's voice sounded.

(I've made you wait.)

(It's nothing, it was very fast.)

It had truly been only a short period of time.

(It's because Haia also agreed to my proposal that it could go so smoothly.)

(What's the plan, then?)

(Our assistance here will create a path of advance for Layfon. If he can move without obstruction, he should be able to arrive soon.)

(But, what is that assistance going to do......?)

(The strategy is extremely simple, what is necessary is our information support, as well as the precision shooting of a sniper......)

Afterwards, Elsmaus told them Haia's plan.

It was an extremely incredible plan.

"How can we do that kind of thing?"

Even Sharnid could only feel doubtful.

"We can only try and see."

Felli had already secretly made her decision, and by now they could only know how it would work out by doing it.

Contacting Gorneo, they made the necessary preparations. Though he was a bit doubtful at first, when he heard the name of the person who would be coming over, he quickly agreed.

The stubborn and doubtful him had unexpectedly agreed so simply.

That kind of person was going to come over immediately.

"Aah, I feel like my stomach started to hurt a little."

Sharnid definitely had to show his sniping skills in this plan. His tense feeling right now was completely different from just before, and he truly started touching his stomach.

At the same time he did this, Harley and the thing she had asked someone to prepare returned at the same time.

"Sorry for the wait, we'll prepare it immediately!"

Harley jumped down from a transport truck, and about ten other Military Artists began moving the thing.

It was a giant cylindrical metal object.

A Kei cannon.

This was a defensive weapon that could take in the Kei of many Military Artists and shoot it out in a breath. It wouldn't be a problem even if there were a Military Artist with insufficient strength, and as long as many people flowed their Kei into the cannon, it could create a blow with enough destructive force.

This was a thing created for that kind of use.

This was a weapon necessary for this kind of situation, and actually, they had already been positioned everywhere around Zuellni, and the other cities had all carried out the same work.

So, right now there was only one more place to set up a Kei cannon.

Considering this, they could relax their minds a bit...... right?

"Is this really alright?"

"Nn, the Military Artists who operate it have other preparations, it's alright."

"In that case......"

The Military Artists who were with Harley seemed to be very used to these kinds of rear support missions, and the movements with which they positioned the Kei cannon were very fluid, without any unnecessary motions.

But they were still a bit confused towards this kind of work positioning an unmanned Kei cannon.

"Speaking of which, will she truly come?"

"Since the other side said she would, we can only believe them."

Sharnid who worried about this and that had also begun feeling hesitant......

"Oh my, I've really made you wait."

That person appeared, accompanied by that kind of leisurely voice.

"Uwah, she really came."

Sharnid whispered quietly.

Even Felli worried in her heart.

But, she couldn't express that kind of emotion.

Because it was them who had asked the other side to come.

"We're counting on you."

Felli lowered her head.

"Nnn. Since I, Alsheyra Almonise, have come here, everything will be resolved."

Although this boasting woman was very bold, for some reason she didn't feel any sense of security.

Considering what they had to do after this, maybe there was nothing she could do about that.

Firing the Kei cannon for support and eliminating the fire and flame beasts obstructing the space between Layfon and Nina.

A dangerous plan that could harm Layfon if they made so much as a single mistake.



The first question was, why was she, undoubtedly the world's strongest Military Artist, not on the battlefield, but being sent to this kind of place?

For this, it is needed to look at the strategy meeting not long before.

"So, the preparations for a defensive battle are already complete?"

(Yes. The shared area of every city is already decided. The place we are responsible for is here to here.)

Towards Haia's question, Elsmau who was not present used her Psychokinesis flake to draw out on the map the district that they were responsible for taking on.

"It's much smaller than I expected."

"Are people sympathizing with us?"

Troyatte responded to Haia's remark.

"We're being underestimated."

Lintence's face hardened.

"Let those shits experience our strength a little."

Barmelin said something that made the others uncomfortable.

"It's okay, it's okay. Don't say those kinds of things, first let's do what we have to do."

The killing intent released by the Heaven's Blade successors was wiped out by Alsheyra.

"Then, Elsmau, it's fine as long as we protect that area?"

"For the moment it is. According to the speed at which the flame is closing in, it should arrive before we finish the preparations for counterattack. It won't be good if we don't overcome that first."

"We're passive, huh."

"That's how it is~ So, first we should wear down the opponent's fighting spirit."

Haia who said this pointed his index finger at the map, the simple map that had been created for this meeting. On the area that Grendan was responsible for, an acute triangle had been drawn.

"Though it's like this, considering the size of the main body, these flames shouldn't be things that are so easily dealt with...... Then, skillfully defusing the enemy offensive while moving closer should be the best method, how about it?"

Saying this, Haia looked at the others.

"Can we use a spear formation to break open a path?"

Troyatte looked at the map.

"It feels like we'll be using the big guy's steel threads and my Karen Kei to make a shield, right?"

"Yes. Afterwards, the others will act independently if something unexpected happens."

"I see. That's not bad, right? Sirs? Madam?"

"Don't call me 'madam', I might slaughter you."

"......Ah, I knew it would be like this."

"Okay, then it's decided."

After Haia declared this, the atmosphere of a strategy meeting had already disappeared.

It wasn't a bad thing. Though it was the eve of battle, nothing could make the Queen happier than the fact that the remaining Heaven's Blade successors could group together and strategize at this kind of time.

But......

"Wait wait wait."

"What is it~?"

"What about me?"

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

Towards Alsheyra's question, Haia went silent.

His expression was extremely complex.

"Nn?"

"That......"

"Nn."

"Well, how do you fight, Queen?"

"Huh......?"

She hadn't thought that she would have been asked this kind of question.

"See, I also know that you have very strong Kei power~ But, in the end we haven't ever seen the Queen fighting~"

In other words, because they didn't know her manner of fighting, they didn't know how to weave her into the strategy.

That was what Haia meant.

"Moreover, your Kei power isn't simple, with a single mistake my strategy might be demolished~"

"That kind of thing won't happen."

Alsheyra laughed, denying Haia.

Though she did that......

"It will~"

"It definitely will."

"That sounds reasonable."

Troyatte, Barmelin, and Lintence. Three Heaven's Blade successors nodded their heads in agreement together, and the Queen's smile froze instantly.

"Wait, you guys......"

"She'll definitely wipe it out."

"That's for sure."

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

"Lin, you trust me, right?"

"No, you'll screw it up, right?"

"Then why did you stay silent!?"

"Because it feels silly to say the same thing as these guys. But it's certain that you would do that."

"Aah, really!"

Hadn't the atmosphere just been extremely good? After being betrayed by Lintence, Alsheyra shouted out.

"That guy doesn't have any coordination to speak of either! Is that alright?"

"If it's the steel thread boss, though he's a bit stuffy, he can do the work~"

"Ahahaha...... I didn't expect him to be called stuffy."

Towards Haia's unexpected opinion, Alsheyra couldn't help but laugh.

"So, before we break open a hole, just stand by properly."

While the Queen was laughing, the strategy was forcefully decided, and before she could say wait, they had all departed.

After that.

Haia had suddenly said to the Queen, 'It feels like if you're too bored you'll do something bad, so I found something for you to do~'



Felli and the others learned of her situation.

"What do you guys think? Don't you feel that it's over the top?"

"Huh......"

Being asked that question was very difficult. Though her mouth didn't say so, Felli still thought it.

Also, she still had some questions.

"Well, though I also know I have a lack of coordination. But, I don't want to be told that by them. They clearly don't have any coordination to speak of themselves."

"I see."

'Why must I be sat on the Queen's lap and be held like a doll?'

She really wanted to try asking that question.

But was it okay to ask her?

In any case, the other party was Grendan's Queen. The strongest Military Artist who made the Heaven's Blade successors obey.

Was it really alright to ask her that kind of question?

Though Felli had no problems dealing with the attitudes of Heaven's Blade successors, she really had some misgivings when dealing with the Queen.

The occasional glances of the workers who were positioning the Kei cannon made her cringe. They didn't know who Alsheyra was.

In their eyes, they could only see a beautiful woman who had suddenly appeared and who was very fond of Felli.

And that was a fact that couldn't be denied, intensely hurting Felli's self-esteem.

"Then, why do I have to do this kind of thing?"

Finally gathering her resolve, Felli asked.

"That's it!"

Alsheyra's sudden loud voice made Felli's body go stiff.

As if wanting Felli to relax, the Queen began patting her.

"Ah, actually, I'm a breast person. I never even dreamed that this kind of day would come."

"No, this......"

"You should feel proud, that it was you who changed me."

"Uh, um......"

"This could be called a revolution. A revolution of consciousness. I never would have thought that there would be a girl without boobs that I would be able to forgive."

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

In other words, she meant that she 'didn't have any'?

That really made her mad.

"Though I asked you to come, and it's not too good to ask this question, but can you truly do this? The Kei strength that filling the Kei cannon requires isn't small."

"Who knows?"

"What......"

"I never did it though, is it harder than making a Dite evaporate?"

"Eva......~?"

Evaporate?

"Yeah. It's tough, it's usually very puzzling."

Though she had heard of them exploding, it was the first time she had heard evaporating. Did that mean that with her power, it was too fast to explode, but directly evaporated?

Felli looked at Harley.

Harley who was positioning the Kei cannon seemed to have heard their conversation, and the light in his eyes was already extremely abnormal.

"Ah, nothing that can be done."

Seeing Alsheyra laughing by herself, Felli was truly speechless this time, and was only able to be at her mercy.

Not too much time had been spent until the positioning was completed.

But Felli felt that this period of time was extremely slow.

Compared to the exhausted Felli, Alsheyra was lively.

The Kei cannon had already been completely prepared before her.

"We'll leave the filling to Her Majesty, and we will supervise the aiming. Is that okay?"

"Alright, I'm not good at doing anything precise."

Alsheyra stood on the receiver used for filling the cannon. There was a console in a place slightly separated from it, and Sharnid was sitting there.

Communicating the information from Layfon to Sharnid and the others was Felli's job.

"If this line becomes green, that means it's already full, so stop filling at that time, understood?"

"Yes yes, I understand."

"Then, I leave it to you."

Harley left.

(Begin the plan.)

At the same time, Felli informed everyone present.

(We're about to begin the defensive strategy outside, so everyone please be careful of changes in the airflow.)

Elsmau gave a warning through Felli's Psychokinesis flake.

"Elsmau really likes being nosy."

Alsheyra laughed, extending her hand to the receiving device.

"This kind of work isn't anything very difficult."

The Queen's hand touched the crystal surface, and the light of Kei that spilled from her body was absorbed inside.

Beep----------------------------------~~

Bang!

Truly, no one knew what to say.

Before Felli and the others, smoke rose from the Kei cannon.

"Hey, why isn't it showing a green light?"

After Alsheyra released the melted receiving device, she turned around.

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

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

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

No one knew what to say.

"R......"

Harley broke that short silence.

"Replace it! Replace it now! It's faster to replace it completely than to fix it! Hurry!"

Hearing those shouts, the workers quickly began hurriedly moving.

In the commotion, Felli and Alsheyra's gazes met.

CSR v24 14.jpg

"Ehe."

"It shouldn't be an 'Ehe'."

Her voice was much calmer than she expected.

At that time, in the distance behind Alsheyra's back, several explosions occurred.

The crimson flame that had drawn close was blown apart by a large amount of Kei power, twisting into the sky.

The defensive battle of the City Collective had begun.



The flame twisting towards the sky even blotted out the sky.

Flame beasts flew out from the fire.

Their numbers were......

"It would be too stupid to go count them."

Claribel said this.

After a flash of the Kochouenshiken formed by the Heaven's Blade, a change happened with Kei.

External-type Kei, Karen variant - Raging Ice Vortex.

Wind holding an incredibly low temperature formed a typhoon in Claribel's surroundings.

The flame beasts assaulting her from various directions were shredded by blades of cold air, and the speed of the wave of flame also became slower.

In her surroundings, the members of the fourteenth platoon were fighting.

"Hey hey, you'll be engulfed if you keep standing in the same spot, hurry up and move!"

"Understood!"

It was only the captain who responded with liveliness. The other members followed behind the captain with looks of surprise.

The Kei cannons positioned on the outskirts of various cities carried out their intervention, attempting to push back the nearing wave of flame.

Claribel maintained the typhoon she had created, and the platoon members supervised getting rid of the flame beasts that slipped through the net.

It wasn't only Claribel's fourteenth platoon that had begun moving. All of Zuellni's Military Artists were fighting.

As an effect of the Student Council president's speech just now, morale was extremely high.

They felt that things should go very smoothly.

"But, this probably can't continue for long."

Claribel said.

The amount of the flame before her was extremely shocking.

Moreover, the flame closing in from behind them was even more endless.

In this kind of situation, even simply enduring couldn't be held on to forever.

"If we don't have any opportunity to turn the tables in a single blow..."

Who could do that?

The Heaven's Blade successors?

The Queen?

Or someone else, chosen by fate?

"Regardless of who it is, someone please make everything end."

Murmuring this, she strengthened the power of the ice vortex.

"This battle really makes one feel empty."



The hard work of Harley and the workers bore fruit, and it wasn't too long until the next Kei cannon was prepared.

"Please don't break it again."

"I, I know."

Reversing the positions for an instant, Felli's stare made Alsheyra seem to shrink a bit.

This should be doable.

Rather, if it still didn't work this time, there wouldn't be a next time.

(Sharnid.)

Felli only let her voice reach him on the console.

(We wasted quite a bit of time on the replacement.)

"As expected, right?"

Sharnid could already roughly speculate what came next by Felli's words.

(We only have one chance. The Psychokinesis has already become very thin, and pinpointing Layfon's location has already begun becoming difficult.)

"Didn't you say just now that you released many flakes?"

(Though I released many, the flakes can't combat fire for a long time. Many of my flakes were also destroyed by Captain.)

"Really, that Nina."

(Because of those reasons, I must bother you to get it in one try.)

"I know. Damn, I wanna cry, I really wanna cry......"

Felli's consciousness left Sharnid who was moping around by himself, looking at Alsheyra again.

Right now she had a rather intriguing expression as she looked at her hand and the receiving device.

(Then, begin the plan.)

Felli told her.

Under everyone's gazes, Alsheyra placed her hand on the receiving device, and the Kei that she released from her hand was much more careful than before, and it was slowly absorbed by the receiving device.

"Stop!"

Because of Harley's tension, the voice he let out made one feel as if his throat was going to spasm, and Alsheyra quickly took off her hand. The indicator line shown on the measuring device had already become a red color representing danger.

(Sharnid!)

"Got it!"

Sharnid's voice didn't sound tense like before, showing that he had already focused his mind.

It was a moment as if the air had solidified.

The sound of the trigger being pulled reverberated in the air.

What happened after that was the flash of the Kei cannon firing straight out.

And afterwards, the barrel of the Kei cannon that had completed its mission lit aflame while it crumbled.



Layfon, who felt a giant pressure from behind, stopped in his tracks.

From the time he felt this crushing presence, Layfon began searching for a place to avoid it.

If his judgment was mistaken, Layfon would also be eliminated. This kind of premonition flickered across Layfon's mind in a split-second, and afterwards he once again began running rapidly.

He didn't have any reason to avoid it.

Because Layfon sensed this.

Because this came from behind...... meaning that it came from his companions, that was obviously one reason.

But this wasn't the only reason Layfon didn't stop his feet.

Layfon believed that the Kei pressure that was closing in at this moment wasn't just something that had come from his 'companions'.

This was definitely the method that Felli and the others had thought of. Layfon was fully convinced.

So, Layfon didn't make any changes, but continued running.

There were only a few seconds from when he first felt the pressure to when the pressure drew close.

It was an even shorter time before Layfon's surroundings were covered by light.

This light and pressure, along with the shockwave that covered Layfon's surroundings as it crashed along the ground sending sparks everywhere, wiped away the flame beasts blocking Layfon's forward path and blew away the flame.

Layfon's surroundings became empty space in an instant.

There was nothing else obstructing his advance.

Every obstacle had been cleanly eliminated on Layfon's path to the flame beast.

So now......

"I can do it!"

Layfon didn't consciously raise his speed.

But, the strength he had used to deal with the fire and flame beasts naturally went to running, and Layfon's speed increased.

The blank space created by that giant shot just now couldn't continue forever. As if trying to fill that space, crimson flame surged in from all directions.

But, it was already too late.

Layfon hadn't stopped.

His speed hadn't changed at all.

He wouldn't stop.

He wouldn't slow down.

Felli and the others had already opened a path for him.

They had done everything Layfon had expected.

So, Layfon definitely couldn't stop here.

He definitely couldn't slow down.

Even if something happened.

Even if something wanted to stop him.

Even if some change happened before him.

"I'm going to Captain!"

Layfon's role was to arrive at his destination, and save that girl.

But yes, something had changed.

A change happened on the flame beast's head in the slightly shortened distance.

The shot that had intervened with Layfon had hit the beast's chest, and that thing had happened as if anticipating that opportunity long before, or perhaps it was simply taking advantage.

A giant ball of Kei.

Though this Kei power was far higher than the shot just now, the flow of that Kei was extremely familiar to Layfon.

"Captain!"

It was Nina's.

Layfon's back went cold because of a bad premonition.

"Felli!"

(The s......itua.............)

"Felli!?"

(Ps......nesis..................Lay........................)

The voice that came from the Psychokinesis flake was basically incomprehensible because of noise.

Felli's voice could no longer reach.

"Then...... I can only rely on myself."

No, not right.

The road on which he had come here had been created by relying on Felli, Sharnid, Harley, and others. Afterwards was Layfon's mission.

This was the shared mission that they had thought of at the start.

"Captain!"

That ball of Kei wasn't what Layfon was scared of.

Layfon believed this as he charged over.

The ball exploded on the beast's head.

The shockwaves produced once again wiped out the flames trying to pour over into Layfon's path of advance.

The lava that had originally been covering the ground was all blown away, becoming a rain of fire.

Layfon who had almost been blown back also lowered his head, rapidly advancing with a low posture.

After the shockwave subsided, he adjusted his posture, seeming to almost fall over.

Layfon witnessed the new development occurring before him with his own eyes.

A cluster of flame was before Layfon.


Success.

Accompanying the awakening of her consciousness, that feeling spread through her body.

Nina who had been thrown into the air by the shockwave produced from her Kei explosion was even now still in the air.

She had only lost consciousness for a moment.

Her eardrums were assaulted by the sound of a hurricane. Her vision was blotted out by strong light, and her skin was immersed in strong shockwaves. She felt numb because of these confused senses.

Her eardrums...... Did it seem like her hearing had held through?

No.

It was just that her hearing was the first to return.

"Ah......"

As if coughing out something from inside her throat, Nina made a sound. In the next moment, when her entire body could feel the circulation of the heat of Kei, her five senses recovered.

"Ugh!"

The strong light before her could create new confusion.

Nina endured this, confirming the situation.

"This is......?"

It was the sky.

Nina looked at the sun, and lowering her eyes was the ground.

She seemed to have been shot to a very high place.

What about her body?

No problems.

"And the situation?"

What happened to the flame beast?

That beast that wanted to end the world?

It was still there.

Right now, when she lowered her eyes there was only the body of the giant beast.

But, its head wasn't there.

The part that had suffered the explosion that Nina created was no longer there.

"Did it work?"

Its head had been destroyed, so did that mean they had won?

That beast was dead? She had defeated it?

If that weren't so......

"Please..."

As Nina coughed, a change slowly happened in the horizon.

The body of the flame beast shook.

It collapsed.

"......It worked."

Nina spoke to herself.

"Yeah, it worked."

A voice suddenly spoke up, and Nina's falling body was suddenly stopped.

Nina's body had been caught by countless vines.

It was Airen.

The vines catching Nina slowly placed her on the ground.

The mysterious man who had appeared with Saya used a kind of hard-to-accept smile to welcome Nina.

"With this, it's over."

The moment Airen said this to her, an inconceivable regret filled Nina's chest.

The man's single eye kept looking at the crumbling monster, and that deep gaze made Nina feel that that person held something unfathomable.

It wasn't an emotion.

It was even simpler, like a kind of regret that had been liberated. Had Nina been infected by it?

Then, was what Nina felt from his body also the same burden?

"Ignasis's spirit is also getting tired of anger. As long as we defeat that replacement guy, everything will be decided. That person was also finally able to become a human."

"That person......?"

"It's something from our side."

The man's mouth curved upward slightly, and he wanted to gloss over everything. Nina also didn't investigate further.

Because Nina felt that his regret was different from her own.

Nina also more or less knew the truth of what he regretted.

Time.

Airen and Saya had already experienced more time than Nina could imagine.

But Nina had not.

Nina had inherited her great-grandfather's mission and was currently in a time of struggle where she felt that she had to do something - that was it. But Nina couldn't see through the true atmosphere surrounding Airen and Saya.

The moment she sensed that, Nina felt a hard-to-endure feeling of inferiority.

Though she was in this position, she wouldn't permit herself to stay in this position.

She was fighting while being completely oblivious to the true meaning behind the battle.

Nina felt extremely concerned about this.

"Did I complete everything properly?"

"Nn?"

"Did I properly do what I had to do?"

"......I don't know what you're getting at."

Airen's lone eye looked at Nina, and as if her heart was being seen through completely, Nina turned her face in a different direction.

"If you let that thing be, this world would have been destroyed. Right now when a way to eliminate Aurora particles still hasn't emerged, if the world crumbles, a great majority of humans would die."

Nina almost didn't understand anything of what Airen was saying.

Regardless of whether she knew the truth behind the battle or not, it made no difference to Nina.

Even if she didn't know, she would still do what she had to.

That should be enough.

"You did well, isn't that enough?"

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

She didn't really understand it herself.

Before she could search for an answer, Nina descended to the ground.

To express everything in a single world, it would be a very simple term.

That would be 'negligence'.

The beast was still fallen while crumbling, and the remaining flame had lost its strength from before, and probably because it wasn't completely burning, thick black smoke endlessly rose to the sky.

The flame that had been spreading to its surroundings earlier had also stopped.

The flame beast had died, and the rest was just to deal with the giant wreckage.

That was all Nina thought there was.

A light appeared.

Just when the light appeared, it was still weak.

But afterwards, it became a strong light.

"What!"

When she noticed this, Nina's vision had already been dyed red.

She couldn't avoid it.

It was death.

Without sparing her a moment to think, it was right there.

"I never would have thought that wounded beast......"

She had known and accepted the oncoming fate that she faced. But right now she could still move, so what was it that determined the fate?

Accompanying Airen's voice, Nina felt that her collar was grabbed by something.

She was being pulled on.

"We've underestimated it!"

The next moment, Nina was pulled out. If she were a bit more negligent, then her collarbone would have been broken. Nina who was pulled back by such a strong force left the place where she had been in moments.

Nina, flying through the air, saw the scene of two figures being swallowed by flame.

The figures were...... Airen and Saya.

After the two figures were engulfed, the flame once again took aim at a different place.

"Guah!"

Because she had been watching that scene blankly, Nina forgot to make landing preparations.

Nina rolled continuously on the ground, and finally stopped.

The flame still raged.

Its appearance looked like a beast that had lost its mind because of intense pain.

"Ah, ahh......"

Moreover Airen and Saya had been engulfed.

Were they alright?

Could they be alright in that kind of situation?

He had done that to protect Nina.

The self-blame that had suddenly appeared tormented Nina.

"It's all because of me......"

Things clearly hadn't ended definitively, but she had relaxed her guard.

"I killed those two......"

"Ah, don't be that concerned."

Suddenly, a voice consoled Nina.

"Those people can be said to not have the concepts of life and death, and as long as their heart stays alright, there will be no worry. They are those kinds of things."

"......Eh?"

It was a voice she had heard before.

"So losing their mental vitality is the worst for them. That's why they expand the world of their mind so faithfully, and would never discard their own glory, nor would they ever give up on pursuing the things that they want. I'm not just saying this, it's reality."

It was a voice that Nina knew.

"Though I know it became like this from others' selfishness, I still haven't given up on my own anger."

"......Senpai."

Nina turned her head, and what she saw there was a red-haired man.

It was Dix.

Dixerio Maskane was standing there.

"Yep."

Dix, who had suddenly appeared in this kind of situation, only made Nina feel worried.

He had clearly disappeared with Nelphilia to some unknown place, so why had he suddenly appeared here.

"Senpai...... why are you here?"

"Nn...... ahah."

She could see weariness on the face of Dix as he thought of what to say.

"Weren't you with Nelphilia?"

Nelphilia was definitely also around right now.

She had run into her on the road here.

Nina had only asked this because she knew this.

Her heart was filled with doubt and worry.

Why would there be this kind of situation?

Why had Dix appeared the moment that Airen and the others disappeared because of the beast's sudden counterattack when they had thought it defeated?

Why did he seem like he knew Airen from his tone of voice?

Who was the person that Airen called the man 'getting tired of anger'?

Could it be......

"......Do you know already?"

"Ah!"

Hearing that sentence from Dix, sparks flew in Nina's mind.

The iron whip that swung out wasn't able to hit him.

Dix landed in a place slightly farther from Nina.

"Why!"

Nina shouted out.

Was it truly like this?

Was Dix really the true body of that flame beast?

Was he the culprit who wanted to destroy this world that much?

"Why are you, who fought with the Wolf Faces, like this?"

"I myself want to ask that."

Nina's vision had already distorted from anger, and in the center of it, only Dix's figure was very clear.

The flame that seemed about to disappear continued, and his red hair blew in the wind.

His hand clutched his chest.

"Being toyed with by that character, and ending up being a reflection, it really makes things impossible to laugh about."

"......What are you talking about?"

"My own business."

Different from his frivolous expression, the strength in the hand clutching his chest seemed intense enough to peel off his skin. Dix looked at Nina.

"My insignificant business. Work that hasn't been of any use even till now. It's so embarrassing that I can't even cry about it."

"Senpai......"

"But, these things won't change no matter how much I say right now. Nor will they come again. How should I explain it? What a joke. What would happen if we lost the essence of our minds? Can you still say those kinds of idiotic things when you know the outcome, Airen!? You're truly incurably naive!"

"Senpai......?"

The expression of Dix who was talking to himself continuously began distorting, and his laughing expression disappeared, with only rage.

Along with that change, heat began to be produced in his surroundings.

The temperature of the air continuously rose.

It was trying to become flame.

"Aah, damn! Something like transporting everything to Velzenhaim was just a dream to begin with. I'm only me! Regardless of whose legacies, whose desires, whatever happens, these things no longer have anything to do with me now. I'm only me, nothing other than this. Because of my anger and frenzy, the flames of my rage will never burn out. That is me, and if even that is no more, then I will no longer be myself."

Nina had no idea what Dix was saying.

But, that didn't mean she didn't understand anything.

There was a part that she could understand.

Dix hadn't become the enemy of this world because he wanted to.

It wasn't him who had wanted to become the beast of flame and incinerate the entire world.

She completely didn't know the reasons for it.

Nina was completely unable to imagine what kind of things had happened for things to become like this.

But, Dix had never thought the situation would become like this, Nina was very clear on that point.

"......Senpai, can you not stop this?"

"It's no use. I tried to destroy myself by giving my rage to that thing and then let it be defeated in the physical world, that was my plan, but it seems like it failed."

"Self-destruction......"

When she heard that phrase, Nina felt that something in her mind had been stimulated.

"That thing......"

Saying this, Nina pointed at the frenzied flame.

"Velzenheim. The Haikizoku possessing my body. But, it was the rage that refuses to disappear from my heart that made it become like that. The useless me who learned the truth there and gave up, and that thing ran amok after taking my anger...... Ah, in other words it only became that way."

The expression of Dix who said these words became even more vicious.

Every time he spoke a word, the temperature of the surroundings would rise a bit.

The density of the Kei he released also rose endlessly.

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

"But, regardless of how long it burns it doesn't disappear, and as long as there is some kindling left behind, it will turn into a blaze. I am the kindling."

"Uh."

He gripped the Dite in his hand. He clearly hadn't brought a Dite, so where exactly had the Dite appeared from?

The Kei he released also became flame the moment it came in contact with the air.

"Come, this is the final battle. Though I don't know why you're here, the reasons for which you are here can be fulfilled now."

Dix shouldered the iron whip.

That stance was......

"Senpai...... I......"

"Continuing to ask won't produce any results. Come, let's go."

In a moment, Dix's Kei exploded. The Kei that swelled as it became flame entered the next stage, compressing itself into his body, and the gigantic Kei began circulating rapidly in his body after becoming denser.

The flame twined around his shouldered iron whip, and lightning crackled.

"Senpai!"

The endlessly growing Kei density had already created a phenomenon like a small hurricane, and Nina could already feel it very accurately.

"Uwah!"

"I already said that talking was meaningless!"

He didn't wait any longer.

He planted his foot heavily on the ground, and in the next moment, a giant flash of electricity appeared.

The strike that wanted to crush Nina shot out.

CSR v24 15.jpg

"Huaaaah!"

The belated Kei covered Nina. Her hands that took up the iron whips were extremely heavy, and her feet that were planted on the ground also burdened her.

No, it wasn't like that.

That wasn't her way of fighting.

Have no confusion, and just advance - that was what Nina had been taught.

Then, who had taught her?

It was the fighting methods of her Military Artist father that had been taught to Nina. Her Military Artist heart and foundations were also learned from her father.

But, just that wasn't enough, and who was it who allowed Nina's feet to stand firmly on the ground?

Her companions in Zuellni.

The fourteenth platoon who had promoted Nina to a platoon member.

The seventeenth platoon that Nina had formed herself.

She completely relied on them.

But, it wasn't just that.

Who had given Nina the two feet to continue advancing?

'If you believe in yourself, then don't be confused, and take that step forward, and then deliver the blow.'

Who had taught her that saying?

"Senpai!"

That shout was drowned out by the rumbling of Raijin, and Nina also flew into the air.

She wasn't still living because Dix had been merciful, but because the Haikizokus had strengthened the defensive power of Nina's hastily-used Kongoukei.

"Too weak. You're only at this level, huh."

Descending, Nina heard calm words.

"For what are you here? For what did you come here? Did you come here to meet your end together?"

"Ugh......"

"As long as I still live, this flame will not be extinguished. Even if it disappears right now, after some time it will resurrect again. Regardless of how many times, it will recover, and regardless of how many times, it will burn again. Because a hopeless person like me is still living."

"Senpai."

"Come, you came here to end everything. That's why you came here. Then come, don't be confused, advance. What are the things in your hands?"

"I can't do it!"

Why?

"How can I do that!"

Why had she come here?

For what had she kept walking to this day?

For who, for what. It was to become a person who could help others that she had walked on to this day. Her ultimate ideals should be here.

She could decide the victor between the thing that had always fought with this world and the fate she had inherited from her great-grandfather.

That should be the most fitting situation for Nina's ideals.

For who, for what.

The place where she could do it was the place where she was now.

Even now, nothing had changed.

It was obviously like that......

"I can't do it!"

Why?

She had only believed there was a monster here.

There was evil here, and as long as she defeated it, the world could be peaceful.

Nina had thought this.

That beast of flame had completed Nina's ideals in that sense.

But......

"Why is it senpai!"

The person who had given Nina the two feet to advance with was Dix.

If it wasn't Dix, then maybe...... was that kind of thought too naive?

"What more is there to say? I'm here, and you're here. Right now there's already only this. Continuing to talk about cause and effect doesn't have any meaning. It's only do or do not."

Dix who had just charged out readied his iron whip on his shoulder again.

He cast a contemptuous gaze on Nina who was even now still on the ground on one knee.

"What is it? Didn't you come here to save the world?"

Yes.

That was true.

But, but.

She couldn't stand.

Right now, she no longer had something that had supported Nina up till now.

She had lost it, and Nina no longer knew what to do.

"I......"

She couldn't.

"Aahn?"

Dix made a doubtful sound.

She had decided to give up on fighting.

Then the plan would transfer to the next stage.

A feeling resonated in her mind with many implications.

"What is it?"

Nina's entire body was abnormally frozen.

Her fingers were constantly trembling, and her entire body felt paralyzed.

Had her strength left her?

No.

Her hands that grasped the iron whips were gripping more forcefully than before.

Her shaking feet stopped shaking and prepared to stand.

But, Nina's heart still hadn't regained her vigor.

Nina's emotions and heart hadn't been set in her iron whips.

But, Nina still stood up, still grasped the iron whips.

"This is?"

Though Nina wanted to say it, her mouth wouldn't move.

Her vision caught Dix, but things weren't as Nina had thought.

"Fool, you've been toyed with by the Electronic Fairies."

Through Dix's words, Nina slightly understood a little bit about the situation.

"Armadune? Dischale? Tentorium? Falysodam?"

Nina spoke the names of the Haikizokus she had inherited from her great-grandfather.

But, none of them responded to Nina.

'What's going on!?'

Nina let out a soundless howl...... and then she finally realized her foolishness.

What kind of beings they were.

Why had they come here?

Why they had become Haikizokus.

Yes, it was all for this day, for this moment.

They had become Haikizokus to defeat the being that would lead the world to ruin, and had always waited for this day.

That goal seemed about to arrive, but Nina's heart had wavered. No, her heart had already turned.

In that kind of situation, would they just be shocked?

Would they allow failure?

Nina was very clear that the answer was definitely no.

So, had they thought of this plan from the beginning?

Was it enough for us only to be able to come to this place?

Things wouldn't have become like this if you had an iron will.

Those voices were obviously blaming Nina.

It seemed like Nina's body no longer belonged to Nina. [13]

Her hands that grasped the iron whips didn't have any feeling, and her feet didn't have the sensation of standing on the ground. A feeling like floating in the air dominated Nina, and everything was torturing the helpless Nina from a distance.

She could hear the sound of an explosion from behind her, and she didn't know why Dix's expression was becoming more and more furious.

Nina only slightly felt the Kei pressure in her body suddenly rise.

This also confirmed that those Haikizokus had lived and existed to today for this moment.

This moment had meaning, and after this, there was no way out.

In other words, things were like that.

She couldn't even say something like 'stop'.

This was the worst outcome that her foolishness had led to.

At least, that was how things should have gone.

She didn't know who it was who, but someone stopped Nina's body, stopped the movements that didn't belong to Nina.

"Stop right there."

Calm words stimulated Nina.

"Don't think that I'll let you do whatever you want with this body."

Aah......

Other than the familiarity of this voice, it brought another emotion to Nina.

"What are you doing?"

Dix spoke to the person behind Nina.

"Have you come to stop me, and then make everything end?"

He asked this.

"I don't know that kind of thing."

He said that.

"I only came to bring Captain back."

Nina's body, that even now still wanted to advance, was held back by a single hand of his.

"If something obstructs me, then I'll blow them all away. That's how things are."

"Not bad."

Dix laughed.

"I rather like that way of thinking."

He moved his feet.

The angle of the iron whip on his shoulder also changed.

The direction of Raijin also changed because of this.

That moment, Dix's fangs were no longer aimed at Nina.

They were aimed behind her.

Aimed at the person there.

"Lay......fon."

Nina spoke with great difficulty, whispering his name.

"Then, let me see what kind of power you have!"

Layfon's hand let go of Nina's shoulder.

He stood in front of Nina.

Seeing his figure, Nina noticed it.

Layfon's hand didn't have a Dite.



Before Layfon stood in front of Nina......

Facing the flame that was closing in, Layfon made a decision in moments.

it was time to use the cards that he had kept hidden.

"Damn."

The opportunity that Layfon had thought of actually wasn't right now.

But, if he didn't use it now, then he wouldn't be able to reach Nina.

He could only try and see.

Layfon instantly made that bitter choice, and reached his hand to his sword belt.

That sword belt had been obtained from Harley.

After opening the buckle of the sword belt, Layfon brandished the sword belt.

The various Dites held in the sword belt were tossed into the air.

"Restoration!"

Layfon called out the restoration keyword.

That moment, the Shim Adamantium Dites flying through the air shone with light together, and restored.

The blade of the Shim Adamantium Dites as they flew through the air moved with an unimaginable trajectory.

A giant light was currently correcting the paths of the falling swords.

That light of Kei was released by Layfon.

External Kei variant - Rumbling Sword.

The giant Kei twining around the sword blade formed a new giant blade.

The Dites dancing through the air were assembled one after another into this blade.

Afterwards, as if becoming like this were totally natural, the assembled blades released new light one after another, producing a blade of Kei.

This was Layfon's hidden card.

Using Composite Blast, and pouring it into the Shim Adamantium Dites that he had gotten from Harley, he used them in an instant.

Though this method of use was similar to a technique of Karen Kei, it couldn't be used as accurately as Karen Kei. Because this method was also one that Layfon had thought of not long ago, he couldn't use a method of splitting the Kei into small parts.

A big move that he could only use once.

External-type Kei, Composite Blast variant - Seven-Branch Rumbling Sword.

"Don't block my way!!"

Using the various Dites and the blade produced by Kei to pierce the cluster of flame that was drawing close, he cut it in two, and the shockwave pushed the energy to the limits of what his mind could maintain, becoming an explosion.

The expanding shockwave blew away the flame.

Layfon didn't have time to confirm the results.

He couldn't stop.

Layfon charged into the midst of the parted flame.

On the other side, he saw Nina.



Like that, Layfon stood there.

"You have no weapon yet still stand there?"

Watching Layfon, the red-haired main spoke.

Was this man the center of the chaos?

Though he was a bit surprised in his heart, it wasn't the time to dwell on those.

"Though I don't hate that style, still, what are you prepared to do empty-handed?"

Though the man's voice didn't seem like he was looking down on Layfon, it didn't seem like he was ridiculing him either. It even made it seem as if he had a bit of goodwill, making Layfon's heart a bit perplexed.

Was this the opponent's plan?

"I didn't come here to win against you."

"Ha, and then? So that's how it is, I understand - you want me to flee?"

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

"What I want to know is what you're planning to do empty-handed. I won't let you run away, and if you want to come save Nina, don't even think of running. Moreover, if you truly do that, then those things that are staying passive right now might take action again."

This person knew about the Haikizokus inside Nina's body.

Was it because of Nina's movements just now that he learned of it?

"......I already said it."

Nina was behind him.

The red-haired man was in front of him.

Because of the explosion begun just now that had continued until now, everything had been blown far away, and this place had a tranquility that didn't fit a battlefield.

"If you want to impede me, then I'll get rid of you."

"So I'm asking, can you do it or not."

"I can do it."

Layfon who said this raised his arm high.

In this state, it would definitely come.

Layfon firmly believed.

"I'm not alone."

In the next moment, the sound of an explosion sounded in the sky.

A sound like a fireworks blast.

Afterwards was the sound of something tearing through the wind, indicating that something was descending, and something was drawn into Layfon's palm.

A Dite.

The same as what he had lost just now, a Shim Adamantium Dite.

There were also several other Dites that fell to the ground.

These weren't only the things that fell.

(The connection has already been strengthened - it will no longer cut off again.)

Felli's voice sounded in the surroundings.

(Ah~ Layfon, how was it, my assistance?)

"Flawless."

(That's right.)

(Don't forget my skills. I was the one who made that gun in such a short time.)

(Shut up, you lucky Dite addict.)

(So mean!)

Hearing the noisy voices and feeling that his heart had been soothed, a smile even appeared on Layfon's face.

He restored the Dite in his hand.

"I have a weapon. I have as many as I need. I won't hesitate to defeat you, so run if you wish."

"You're really speaking lightly."

As if to respond to him restoring the Dite, the red-haired man released Kei.

"Do you think you can win against me that easily?"

The flame-infused Kei was trying to push Layfon down.

The difference in power was that evident.

"Layfon...... you can't, run away."

Nina's pained voice came from behind him.

"You can't win, so......"

"It's alright to run, but at the least I have to bring Captain."

"Lay......fon?"

"If I don't do even that much then it's no good, so I have no choice but to get rid of the things obstructing us."

"Id......iot......For......someone like me......"

"Captain, you don't understand anything."

"......What?"

She truly seemed not to understand anything.

Seeing Nina like this, everyone's heartfelt feelings came from the other end of the Psychokinesis flake.

(Do you understand, Felli-chyan? This is Nina Disease.)

(How pathetic that I almost suffered from that kind of illness.)

(Really, it's terrible to leave this kind of disease uncured.)

(Yes, that's right.)

"You...... you guys......?"

"It's alright even if I can't defeat him."

Layfon spoke to the confused Nina.

Of course, his eyes still watched the red-haired man. The man seemed to not want to cut short Layfon's conversation.

The might of his Kei just increased alongside the passing of time.

"It's alright if Captain doesn't defeat him. Who do you think is behind us? Her Majesty is still here. Lintence-sama and the others are still here. People I don't know are also preparing in the cities behind us."

(Speaking of that Queen, can you hurry up and make her go to you?)

(Eh? But I'm still busy~)

(Someone please hurry up and deal with this weirdo.)

(Can't do it.)

(Impossible~)

(You useless things!)

"......It seems like right now what is most clear is."

If he got entangled with those people, it would have no end. Layfon continued speaking.

"Captain doesn't have a reason to give up her own life for this kind of fight, and to prove this point, it's alright even if I bet my life."

(No, wait, that's very strange.)

(It's a bit much to bet your life.)

(Please don't get accustomed to saying those kinds of contradictory words.)

(Ahahaha, Layfon is embarrassed~)

"Aah! Your Majesty, please don't talk!"

Really, he couldn't keep up appearances this way.

"Lay......fon......?"

"So I'm saying, it's alright. You don't need to push yourself in this kind of place."

Layfon scratched his head as he spoke.

"'There will be someone who thinks of a way to resolve it'. Though that kind of method isn't enough, still, even that doesn't mean that you need to burden yourself with everything. If you yourself are not enough, then leave it others who can do it."

Yes, in order to guard Grendan's orphanage, Layfon had worked hard alone, and in the end failed. But, the orphanage hadn't met with any unfortunate incidents because of this, and the Queen had revised policies.

There weren't many situations where a single failure meant the end of things. An opportunity to turn things around had to be somewhere. However, the person who retrieved everything or who corrected everything might not be himself.

"So, I don't want to lose senpai in this kind of place, nor do I want to lose those Electronic Fairies."

Layfon raised his restored Shim Adamantium Dite.

The red-haired man's Kei had already filled the surroundings, as if trying to burn away the defensive Kei that Layfon used. His eyes were like fire. The smile on his face was disappearing, and his expression told Layfon that in his body, something was crumbling, making him about to burst.

"Then, I'm a rare incurable specimen, huh."

His violent, toothy smile made Layfon's face tense up.

"But, you let me see a very good answer."

"............?"

"Here's a gift for that answer."

The red-haired man's Kei spilled out, becoming even more frenzied, and its density also increased.

"I'll get rid of you in one move."

"If you want to talk about gifts, I'd still rather if you could let us return."

He wouldn't listen to those jokes any longer.

From the killing intent given off from the iron whip on his shoulder, he was almost at his limits for endurance.

"I am Dixerio Maskane, who are you?"

"Layfon Alseif."

After the introductions.

They moved.

The red-haired man, Dix, took a step out, and Layfon moved his waist low, making a stance for an engagement.

Combined Internal and External Kei variant - Raijin.

Psyharden Technique - Flame Cut.

Two Keis collided.

Acting in concert with the nearing lightning, Layfon swung his blade, and the iron whip on Dix's shoulder swung down to collide with the blade.

If it were a collision of purely strength, the difference in Dites would be proven here. Layfon didn't have those odds. But, if it were a moment where the opponent hadn't been able to gather all of his strength into the iron whip......

It seemed like the opponent wasn't that simple.

As expected, a clash occurred with the opponent's weapon.

Layfon felt that the Dite in his hands had become a bit different.

It had fragmented.

The iron whip swung down as if it hadn't collided with Layfon's Flame Cut at all.

But, even if the path of the iron whip continued as if nothing at all had happened, the surrounding environment definitely changed.

The Kei housed inside the fragmented Dite exploded.

Though the majority portion of this Kei was offset by Raijin's Kei pressure and dissipated, it still led to a small-scale explosion.

Layfon was affected by the explosion, and the position of his body moved. No, Layfon had purposefully taken advantage of it.

Layfon let his body endure the pressure produced by the explosion, forcing his body to move, and avoided Raijin by swinging in an arc.

He moved behind Dix.

But, what would he do after this?

He no longer had a weapon in his hand.

No, when he was turning, Layfon's feet had kicked something.

It was a Dite that had fallen onto the ground.

One of the Dites that had scattered on the ground from Sharnid's precision sniping.

The Dite that had been kicked floated in front of Layfon's face.

He grabbed it.

Restoration.

He let his Kei pour into it at full power.

He released it at the back of Dix, who had passed by him.

Heaven's Blade Art - Hazy Garret.

The slash formed an encircling net that tried to tear Dix open.

But, Raijin's pressure wouldn't permit that to happen. His Kei power didn't let that situation occur.

A normal Dite couldn't be used, so he used a Heaven's Blade art. When he didn't use Composite Blast, it wasn't a complete Heaven's Blade Art.

Even so, this Dite became powder and was scrapped.

The encircling net of slashes still hadn't been able to tough Dix.

Layfon no longer had a Dite.

Raijin had ended, and Dix was preparing to turn back towards him.

The Kei for the next round had already been prepared, and he was ready to release another blow of Raijin.

The iron whip on his shoulder was burning with a deadly flame.

Raijin, released.

But, Dix wasn't the one who released it.

From his side, Kei howled, and Lightning roared.

Combined Internal and External Kei variant - Raijin.

"I won't let you do what you want to my subordinate!!!!!"

It was Nina.

Dix, who had focused on Layfon, received Nina's Raijin attack undefended.

A severe sound came from before Layfon.

Lightning engulfed the flame, and sparks flew.

"Captain!"

But, Dix had blocked that sudden assault. That large iron whip that was very similar to Nina's two iron whips endured the strike.

The might of Raijin became sparks, searing the ground.

"Oraaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!"

Nina howled, and Dix who showed a smile but looked filled with rage didn't move at all.

The tug of war didn't lean toward either side. Kei pressure melted the surrounding ground.

"Lay......"

Nina's expression twisted.

"Layfon!"

She yelled.

"yes."

Layfon, who had been watching this, finally came to his senses.

But, what could he do.

(Move your left foot forward three paces.)

Felli's short words sounded from in front of him, and just from that, Layfon understood her meaning.

A Dite that was obscured by the dust over the ground was right there.

After picking it up, Layfon ran.

His speed rose to the level of Raijin in a moment, and even the light of restoration was left behind.

He didn't have any tricks to play, and just pointed his blade at the target, running rapidly.

CSR v24 16.jpg

"Haaaaaaaaaaahhh!!"

His entire body's Kei was focused into the point of the blade.

Dix who was locked against Nina's iron whips looked at Layfon. He who was unable to completely offset her Raijin was unable to move freely.

Perhaps it was because he understood his own end.

He smiled.

Looking at Layfon, he smiled.

Layfon was unable to stop, nor did he have any time to think. Layfon continued increasing the speed of his sprint, and the Kei of the two of them clashed as he rushed straight through the space between the two of them.

And after that......?

"Guah!"

When he realized that the situation had changed, Layfon was sent flying into the air along with the sound of the Dite in his hand shattering.

His back received an impact.

The pain made Layfon's vision blur, and to confirm the thing that he should be there, he raised his head.

Only Nina was there.

He couldn't see Dix. Over there was only Nina standing there alone, and three Dites were spread on the ground.

That was the best proof that Dix had just been there.

"Captain......"

Only when he thought about running to her side did Layfon notice that his entire body was severely painful. Part of the reason was because of that collision just now, and another was the effect to his body of his forceful evasion of Raijin before.

Even so, Layfon still forced himself to stand, walking towards Nina.

"Are you alright?"

"Nn...... For the time being, I'm alright, the Haikizokus gave me strength."

After judging that the somewhat dazed Nina was safe, Layfon began looking around.

"That person......?"

Where had he gone?

Had he disappeared?

Nina's originally evenly-matched Raijin had been liberated, and he had been engulfed by it.

Had that power eliminated him?

"......He said before that his body had no meaning. As long as his mind hasn't died, that person isn't dead."

But then......

"Then...... you mean, it still hasn't ended?"

"No......"

Nina shook her head.

He looked at the ground.

He looked at the third iron whip that had lost its owner.

'Beautifully done.'

"The moment before he disappeared, that person said that. That person always wanted to disappear. But, he couldn't do it himself, so he was always looking for someone to help him depart. That person definitely thinks that it's over with this. So, it's already...... fine."

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

Nina talked about Dix like she knew everything.

No, did she actually know?

If it weren't so, then even if the opponent were a human, Nina wouldn't be this dazed.

"Can you believe it? That person was a senpai of ours from long ago, and he was the person who taught me Raijin."

"Eh?"

"He taught me when I was confused."

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

"He allowed me to always continue forward while sticking to my ideals."

Nina's back was trembling.

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

Layfon moved his gaze from her body, looking around.

The flames around the cities had lost their energy.

That battle was over.

This might be the end.

Layfon didn't know many details about the situation either.

But, this battle that had involved too many people that he was close to had finally ended.

Layfon firmly believed this, and sighed deeply.

The light of the Psychokinesis flake that was drawing close made Layfon feel yearning and closeness.




Epilogue: Life is Goodbye[edit]

The surrounding noise was very loud.

She would definitely have been scared after suddenly hearing the noise from the city outskirts if she hadn't prepared herself beforehand.

Leerin put a hand on her chest, looking at the figures of the people standing before her.

Right now, those figures were looking at the pieces of paper hung like advertisements on the outside of the city.

Truly leisurely.

But, thinking of him, she would only choose to give up.

"Hey!"

In order to not lose to the surrounding noise, Leerin raised her voice.

The figure looking at the flyers turned around.

Layfon was looking over at her.

On the other side of him was a roaming bus that was tied back. Along with the city's shaking, the roaming bus tied to the buffer bar also shook, making engine noises.

"What is it?"

"Are you really going?"

"I still haven't graduated yet."

"Even though you say that..."

"Moreover, I have no reason to continue staying here."

"Ah, um......"

Leerin went silent, moving her vision from his body. In front of him were the legs of the city that made heavy noises.

That leg that had only recently been able to move.

The repair work on Grendan that had been more than half-paralyzed had been extremely difficult, but now it had settled down a bit.

Right now it had recovered to the point where they could let the legs move like this, and the roaming buses had also returned.

"I have to go back now."

"......Yes."

Though Leerin's heart had accepted it long before, she was still a bit hesitant when he truly was about to go. She was still a bit strange, perhaps.

That kind of feeling was the same as that day.

Thinking carefully, starting from that day, Leerin's 'huge misunderstanding' had kept increasing.

"I was never able to tutor you because I was always very busy, but, can you graduate properly?"

".....I'll try my best."

"Alright, then do your best."

"Nn, because there's no longer any way for Leerin to come tutor me."

"Ah, I can't go to Zuellni for studies or anything again."

The two of them joked around.

In order to chase after him, she had departed from a roaming bus here. Leerin had never thought she would do something like that one day.

Savaris who had ridden the bus with her that day wasn't here either.

She had experienced many things.

She had also made many memories.

"There was even a time when I became a royal successor."

"Speaking of which, isn't that matter already resolved?"

"Nn, because I no longer have any strength. Though Uncle said that I could continue staying there, I felt that it was a bit bad, and I felt restless, so I moved back out." Leerin's environment had also changed.

No, more like it had returned back to before.

Because she had lost her strength, she had been dismissed from being a successor. Alsheyra had said before that it was fine if things went on, and Minse who was her uncle had also allowed her to continue living in that room, but Leerin didn't have such plans.

Though she had also thought of returning to the student dorm, because that place had already been destroyed, she could only return to live at the orphanage first.

But after some time, because the student dorms could be reconstructed, Leerin would probably return there soon.

"When I went to get the luggage, I felt that I was being stared at with very hateful eyes."

"I think that they don't hate you from their hearts. But hating Layfon might be impossible to resolve."

"How troublesome."

Seeing Layfon's troubled face, Leerin smiled.

"But, isn't it good?"

"Nn?"

"Leerin has a home to return to."

"......Layfon."

Leerin was a bit uncomfortable at that kind of thought.

Leerin also knew that Layfon felt happy from the bottom of his heart.

But, it was because this that Leerin was uncomfortable.

"Our home......"

"I know that."

Layfon used his words to stop Leerin's anger.

"Our home is there. I'm very clear on how beautiful it is that I can say that, you don't have to tell me again."

"In that case......"

"But, I'm a bit worried that because of it, Leerin had to say a few unnecessary words."

"Eh......"

"Since you could find your blood relatives, if Leerin doesn't hate it, then it wouldn't be bad if you could find a comfortable place there."

"That's true......"

"I think that the face you make once in a while going to that home isn't too bad."

"I know that."

"Nn."

Truthfully, Leerin had also always wanted there to be someone who could say those words to her, and she still had many things that she wanted to ask Minse. Regarding her father, regarding her mother. Even if they were already passed away, Leerin wouldn't give up any clues that would let her learn things about them.

What kind of a person was her father?

How did he meet her mother?

There were so many things that she wanted to know.

"Thank you."

"It's nothing, it's nothing."

Seeing Layfon laughing, Leerin wanted to say to him, 'then, what about you?'

"Layfon?"

"Nn?"

"Truly, you're still going?"

She already knew the answer.

"Of course I'm going. Because I still haven't graduated."

He definitely would no longer return.

There were no longer reasons why he couldn't return. If he was stuck on those kinds of things, he definitely wouldn't help Grendan recover.

Layfon had been in Grendan up through today.

Even if he continued staying in Grendan, there obviously wouldn't be anyone to say anything about it.

"Is it truly only because of that?"

"Eh?"

"You don't have anyone you particularly want to see?"

"Nn."

"Nn?"

"Nn......"

"I think you're staying that kind of thing a bit unwillingly, so actually there is?"

Just by looking at Layfon's expression, Leerin could understand that.

"Uh......"

"Hmm?"

"What?"

"Nothing. Well, whatever."

It was different from that time.

This time it wasn't a trip that he had to go on even if he hated it.

Layfon only left because he had his own reasons, and people that he wanted to see.

"This way, I'm truly helpless."

"Nn."

While she was saying this, the time for departure arrived. The entrance to the roaming bus was opened, and the people waiting began moving.

"Then I'm going."

"Nn."

"Take care."

"Layfon too."

Leerin simply watched him take his suitcase and walk over.

His figure entered the roaming bus.

As the bus was slowly lifted up, Leerin saw Layfon through the glass.

Their gazes met, and they waved at each other.

As the bus descended to the lower part of the outskirts, Leerin caught the moment Layfon's vision turned forward.

As expected, his face wasn't regretful at all.

"Goodbye, Layfon."

Maybe this was the final goodbye.

It was only because she understood this that Leerin sent him off with a smile.

When he noticed the small gifts that she had deliberately hid, what kind of expression would he make?

Leerin felt very happy just thinking of it.



The thing facing them after the battle was dealing with the aftermath.

Though the city had received almost no harm, there were still several people who had been hurt.

The most difficult part was probably the city relying on its own legs to move to its original area.

They had clearly used some kind of mysterious method when they had come here, but when they returned it was indeed a very ordinary method of the city walking on its own feet. Though they hadn't had any problems like friction with other cities, the difficulty created by the terrain and the attacks of filth monsters still affected the student life of Zuellni.

When the Student Council president in her departure speech said that the city had returned to its normal path, everyone had truly relaxed.

No big problems had happened after that, and Zuellni's days passed one by one.

Class days, testing days, days of platoon training and matches, and lively celebration all passed by.

That celebration brought enough excitement to disperse the shroud of depression that had been hanging over the city to that day, Felli felt.

"How boring."

So, Felli said this.

To someone who couldn't release the feelings inside their heart, that was indeed how every day felt.

"What are you talking about?"

"Nothing."

After Felli replied to Nina who had turned her head, she continued looking forward.

This was a narrow passageway, and around the exit before her, the sunlight that shone in met two people. Before them was a battlefield...... it was a competition.

"She's always like this. Nina, let it go."

"Nn."

"As long as the root of the problem doesn't return, this illness won't heal."

"Speaking of which, it's been a long time."

"A year passed like that. Ah, after all, recovery work should be quite time-consuming since they were damaged that much."

"It was originally in the region with more numerous filth monsters. If the city can't move, then defending it will become difficult."

"Are there still filth monsters living after the big commotion there?"

"Actually I heard that they were on a decreasing trend, what is it really?"

"The levels of pollutants are continuously decreasing, and it probably has to do with the lowered efficiency of Kei vein activity."

"The speed of the city movement has also slowed, and I heard that in the future there might not be inter-city competitions."

The three of them talked, but Felli just listened wordlessly.

"Speaking of which, how many times have we already talked about this problem."

Sharnid said this to end their conversation.

Passing through the entrance, his entire body was bathed in sunlight.

'They're here, the first platoon is taking the stage. This platoon match is the final battle! The first platoon versus the fourteenth platoon! Will the final one to achieve victory be the lossless first platoon, or will it be the fourteenth platoon headed by the dark princess Claribel-sama!?'

The commentator's voice really made one impatient.

'The first to take the stage is the attention-getting sniper, Sharnid Elipton. Even if he is the number one frontline, what kind of battle will he show today?

After that is the charging valkyrie, Dalshena Che Matelna! What a dazzling crimson coat she wears along with Sharnid! The truth behind the story as written in the Look'n exclusive two days ago was truly saddening...... Ah, apologies, please don't look at me like that.

Alright, the next to take the stage is! Psychokinesist, our idol, Felli Loss. How does the fourteenth platoon plan on combating her Psychokinesis that can see through everything?

And then, the final one to take the stage. The captain of the first platoon, Military Arts head, Nina Antalk. After becoming Military Arts head, her method of fighting completely changed! She acquired a new title, Queen of the Iron Wall! Everyone expects either her or the Queen of Darkness to be singled out here.'

Ignoring the irritating hurrahs, Nina stopped in front of the flag.

This time, the first platoon was the defender.

"What's the plan?"

Dalshena asked.

"The same as before."

"Though I expected you to say that long before, Clara-chan isn't that easy to stop. She's also a Heaven's Blade successor-sama, you know."

"It's alright. In any case, that person's thoughts are to challenge me alone. Even if it's not like that, as long as I don't leave this place, the flag will be fine. Everyone else, it's up to you. Felli, take note of the enemy Psychokinesist, that person can have bad habits."

"I know."

"Ah, it's not easy to move the Queen of the Iron Wall. Will there be a Dark Triple Star of freshmen being born?" [14]

"There won't, this should no longer continue after the seniors graduate."

"The favorite Clara-chan is still here, it should still go on."

"Really..."

While he said those things, Sharnid and Dalshena came to the designated location.

Felli also left the area near the flag that would definitely become a battle zone.

'Well, the first platoon versus the fourteenth platoon! This semester's final platoon match! Begin!'

A sound rang through the sky of the battlefield.

The competition had started.

Nina restored her two iron whips.

......But, she quickly returned them to her weapon belt, drawing back her hands and beginning to meditate. Two differently-sized iron whips crossed on Nina's back, with no symmetry at all.

This was her method of battle after becoming Military Arts head. Regardless of whether they were attacker or defender, she would use this kind of stance to stick behind the flag.

Failure as an attacker was the defeat of the Captain, and failure as a defender was the destruction of the flag. Regardless of which side, as long as Nina was in this position, the opponent would have to enter the enemy territory in order to achieve victory.

No matter what, they would have to fight with Nina.

Dalshena carried out a complete offense, Sharnid sometimes sniped and sometimes attacked on the frontline depending on the opportunity, and Felli supervised information gathering and used Psychokinesis mines as a means of attack, making the entire platoon's offensive very diverse.

This was the current seventeenth platoon...... No, first platoon.

Nina's platoon.

(Sharnid, begin sniping five seconds after reaching A14, and then move to C8.)

"Understood."

(Dalshena, move your advance three degrees to the right. Two hundred meters ahead of G5 is a Psychokinesis ambush I'm currently dealing with. Please don't stop moving.)

"Got it."

(Claribel is currently attacking through the center. She's making very slow progress, please ignore her completely.)

"I can see her from here."

"Everyone can probably see her."

"Really......"

The three of them weren't using Felli's Psychokinesis, but rather could confirm directly with their own eyes.

Even from Felli's location back in the distance, she could directly confirm it with her eyes.

How should it be described?

A moving throne?

Unknown black mist-like substance had gathered to form a tower-like object, and the lower portion had split into two, moving like legs.

The very top was where Claribel was, and she wore her Dark Princess clothing, sitting on the throne with an incredible appearance. The appearance of her face, full of smiles, as she looked downwards looked completely like she was putting on a show.

That black mist substance was created by Karen Kei. There would probably be people who felt angry at that kind of wildly wasteful Military Arts technique, but most students and herself were all very happy about it.

Because from Gorneo's (who had already graduated) information, Claribel's teacher Troyatte had this kind of style, thinking about fixing her style was a waste of time. Reproaching her was completely meaningless.

(What do we do? Should we think of a way to stop her?)

Though she knew the answer, she still asked Nina.

"It's alright, just help the two of them properly."

(Understood.)

"In any case, there should be more than enough time before she's tired of playing around."

"No......"

Nina negated Sharnid's words.

"She's coming."

The moment she said that, the throne began crumbling from the bottom.

The smoky legs came up, rising with a speed that could be called disappearing.

No, they weren't disappearing, but rather returning to Claribel.

After the black mist that had composed the throne up to now gathered in Claribel's surroundings, it swept around like a cloak and then shot out towards Nina.

From only the Kei that had been ignited crimson by the Kochouenshiken in her hand, there was a red flow as she ran amidst the darkness.

Claribel charged straight at Nina from the throne's position.

What did Nina do?

She opened her eyes.

Her two hands grasped the iron whips.

The Kochouenshiken that was swung down was blocked by the iron whips.

The black shockwave smashed open the surrounding ground.

"Isn't it a rule violation to use the Heaven's Blade? Clara!"

"Then what's up with your Dites, Nina? Aren't you also a rulebreaker?"

"It's only because you took out that kind of thing."

"What's wrong with it, it's all because this is the last platoon match, just let us have a big fight."

"Really!"

In the center of the turbulent dust and smoke, the two of them talked while the fight began.

The shockwaves that their locked Dites produced pushed the two of them back.

"Come, the winner between us will definitely be decided today, Nina."

"Nn."

"This time, our defeat condition is only that I have been defeated. I definitely won't be defeated again by your tricks like before!" [15]

"Then I have no choice!"

"Nn! Of course, though I'm definitely going to be the winner!"

"Is that so!"

The Kei pressure of the two rose, and while they showed off a battle filled with sparks, the Kei of the two also rose for the final clash.

And right now was the moment that the two Keis burst......

"Come......!"

"Nn!"

Beep---------------------------------!!

At that time, a sharp noise that made everything wasted forced the competition to halt.

'Aah! What's going on!? The judges have unexpectedly stopped the competition.'

The battle had stopped, and Nina and Claribel dropped to the ground.

The referees ran to them. They ignored Claribel's excited expression and her protests, beginning to inspect the pair's Dites that hadn't yet been put away.

They had probably gotten their results, so one of them ran towards the seats of the judges and waved his hand.

Afterwards, there was an announcement.

'Everyone, these are the judges. We stopped the competition just now, because we believed there were unfair actions taking place.

Nina Antalk. Claribel Ronsmier. After conducting and inspection of these two competitors' Dites, we have noticed that Claribel Ronsmier's Dite is not a registered Dite. Moreover, Claribel's Dite has not undergone safety modifications, so this time the unfair actions of the fourteenth platoon lead to their defeat, and therefore the first platoon wins.'

After the judges' announcement ended, loud boos came from the spectators. Claribel had a lifeless expression, and Nina let out a long sigh. The fourteenth platoon's members were a bit restless.

"W, why-----!?"

Claribel who finally came back to her senses let out a cry, but was drowned out by the sounds of the spectators.

"So stupid."

Felli truly couldn't even laugh at this battle.



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

She hated to get up on vacations because she couldn't find anything to do.

It was extremely tranquil outside her window, and though she could hear the metallic noises of things being moved in and out of the warehouse district, that kind of noise was almost negligible.

Today seemed to be the day the city stopped advancing, and from her opened window she could see the city's stopped leg on the other side.

After that battle, after Zuellni had returned to its original location, it would occasionally do this. In the beginning everyone had been surprised and scared, with several anxious days, but right now they were already used to it. In the beginning, they had truly yearned for a day when the Military Artists could constantly be prepared for an attack.

That kind of tension could make people forget bad times.

But, it was no longer that way.

Since the city had returned to its original position, Zuellni hadn't suffered a filth monster attack. Because traces of their movement had been noticed, there were still filth monsters around.

Harpe who had sent Layfon and Felli to Grendan that day hadn't appeared again afterwards. Perhaps he was fighting against unknown enemies in some place Felli didn't know about.

It was also possible that he had been affected by the continued drop in pollutants after that day, and was unable to continue living.

Though she didn't know the truth, she felt that the extremely reduced number of filth monsters had something to do with that being.

Of course, maybe Felli was just thinking too much, but even if that were true, it didn't matter.

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

Felli silently changed her clothes.

Alone, she made tea using boiled water.

Silence tormented her heart.

Recently, because this was a city vacation, the normal racket had begun to become noticeable. In other words, everyone had learned true peace, and enjoyed that kind of feeling.

But, Felli didn't really like the silence of city vacations.

It was too peaceful.

As if all extra information was interdicted with the same peace, making her think about other things.

"......Hah."

Sighing, Felli ignored the just-boiled tea, standing up.

After opening the window, she could feel that it had become slightly colder today.

After opening the curtain, Felli left the room.

"Ah, Felli-san."

Walking down the stairs, someone called out to Felli as she prepared to exit.

It was Meishen who had rushed out of the shop on the first floor.

"What is it?"

"Well, please have this......"

As she said this, she handed over a small basket.

Inside the basket were sandwiches that had been made using croissant bread, along with sweets and canteens.

"Today is a bit cold, so I heated it up."

"......Thank you."

From the basket's appearance, it wasn't something she had made hurriedly at the last moment.

She had long since seen that Felli was going to go out today, so she prepared it.

Felli felt a bit bad about being seen through by others. However, seeing Meishen's expression, Felli didn't have any way to pretend to be angry or act dumb.

"See you."

"......Nn."

Meishen sent off Felli with a smile.

Felli walked alone, holding the basket.

Though she didn't purposefully listen to anything, information still flowed to her.

Her Dite hadn't been restored, but Felli had still hidden some Psychokinesis flakes in various places of the city. Because she didn't know when there would be important information flowing in, Felli constantly remained vigilant.

It was proof of Felli's ability that the information the Psychokinesis flakes sent could be gathered without having to come through the medium of a Dite.

Felli did something that would be extremely difficult for a normal Psychokinesist as she walked.

Information was continuously being sent to Felli, but it was just passed over.

Most of it was stuff without any true significance.

Peoples' conversations. Sounds of breathing. Discussion of battle tactics. There were arguments, and also conversations that would make the others blush. Because this information was all meaningless, Felli passed over it.

As for the topic that she had heard the most recently, as expected it was still regarding the changes brought to the world by the lowering level of pollutants.

Right now there was no longer any reason to be protected by the air filter. Not just during that battle back then, but right now as well.

Even if someone directly ran outside the city, their skin wouldn't be burned by pollutants.

Moreover this didn't only apply to Military Artists, but normal people as well.

Anyone could go outside the city without wearing protective gear.

On top of that, they hadn't encountered filth monsters for a long time.

With that, people began taking a strong interest in the wilderness outside of the city that they hadn't been able to go to because of the dangers.

Particularly the limitless possibilities that lay dormant there.

Because of those reasons, the current topics were all mixed with a few common words.

Those were the 'Loss Pioneering Group'.

"Really......"

Felli couldn't help but sigh.

As the inciter of that battle, Karian hadn't let up after it. No, after completely igniting the righteousness of young people, he truly wanted to once again take up the family business.

Putting his sights on outside-city development before anyone else, he began running around everywhere gathering manpower and financial resources.

The recruitment information of the Loss Pioneering Group had spread to all of the cities, becoming a hot topic, and of course, Zuellni wasn't excluded. 'I'm joining the Loss Pioneering Group after graduation', 'Who's waiting till graduation, if you want to go then go now', those kinds of conversations could be heard everywhere.

It was probably because of that reason that there was an abnormally large number of outsiders staying in the residential district where residences for outside roaming buses were located.

Today as well, there were many people around the residences.

Most of them were only using this place as a pit stop, but among them there would still be several who entered Zuellni, or perhaps who were leaving Zuellni.

Ignoring the actions of those people, Felli stopped walking in a place near the roaming bus residences.

Even if she came very close, there were no presences of people, which was unusual considering the residences here that were squeezed full of outsiders.

The original outskirts area was used as a buffer zone in battle, so it was a place where there weren't many people who would enter frequently, and it was very normal for there not to be anyone.

There was a bench in this place, and recently this was the place where Felli spent her days.

It was a bit much for there to be nothing at all, so for now she still put something there first.

The body of this bench gave off a feeling of thickness, so this bench looked extremely old. One had a hard time imagining that it had unexpectedly survived through a time of frequent fighting. It had definitely been moved from some park somewhere.

Felli inspected the bench for a second, sat on it, and then blankly looked at the scene outside the city that was visible from there.

CSR v24 17.jpg

Her Psychokinesis still gathered information as usual, but it was meaningless information.

The outside of the city that was visible had a yellow dust everywhere. The level of pollutants had become low, and though the visibility of the city had increased greatly, the wilderness of the earth was still as deep as before.

The forecasts for the outside-city development were extremely grim, and of course she could also hear this.

But even so, roaming buses were still packed full, and the outsiders had been buzzing around through this day.

It was probably because there were a lot of people who wanted to go out?

Perhaps they believed that in the wilderness, they could accomplish many things they were unable to do in their birth city?

Because they felt that there were various possibilities there?

"My possibilities, huh......"

She feared that being a Psychokinesist was all there was.

Because of walking around, her stomach felt a bit hungry, so Felli took out the food in the basket.

"It's good."

Today, Meishen's food was as delicious as usual.

Her cake and food had already become extremely famous in Zuellni, and the cakes that she made in the store today would soon be sent out to the contracted stores. There were quite a few customers who would come to the remote store, and Meishen's fear of people seemed to be becoming weaker day by day.

After eating the sandwich, Felli poured the stuff in the canteen into a cup. It was warm hot cocoa.

After briefly immersing herself in satiation, Felli turned her gaze outside the city again.

Today's dust was particularly strong, and the yellow sky seemed like it wanted to hide the malice in itself.

Her happy feeling disappeared after a moment, and her information gathering time flowed meaninglessly like watching grass grow.

"Senpai!"

This voice made Felli's consciousness return to her body.

Running over was Naruki.

Because she had long since predicted that she would come, Felli didn't hurriedly stand up.

"What is it?"

Naruki, wearing the uniform of the City Police, seemed a bit panicked.

"Sorry to bother you, but could I bother you a bit to help me with something?"

"Understood."

Felli knew the reason why she was this rushed. But she didn't act as if she knew. It was a breach of school rules for Military Arts students to use their abilities however they wanted during their private time.

Though, Naruki might have already known what Felli was doing here. But if Felli said it herself, it would be a wasted action.

So Felli silently accompanied Naruki.

The place they finally arrived at was the roaming bus residence.

Several roaming buses were hung up by a cable, their sides connected to the buffer bar beside them.

If it were any time slightly farther in the past, it would be impossible to see this many roaming buses at once.

"It's that."

Felli ignored the scene beside her, looking at the place Naruki indicated.

A cable hung down, but the cable didn't seem to be winding up, just pulled taut.

"Right now it's pulling a bus, but it seems like that bus has some problems."

"Really?"

"Though I tried listening to the sounds inside the bus, and it seems like there's controversy over whether to get pulled up or not. We haven't heard any screams, and actually, we noticed using heat detection that there aren't many passengers in this bus, so we fear that it's someone's special model."

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

Felli listened to Naruki's explanation while looking at the taut cable.

"So right now we're having difficulty deciding what to do. Because the Psychokinesists of the City Police aren't clear, I thought that Felli-senpai would be able to do it."

"I understand."

After saying this, Felli took out her Dite, restoring it.

Felli had long since noticed the commotion near the residences, and moreover also knew that the source of the commotion was the contents of a bus.

But right now she didn't have any information that she particularly wanted, so it would be enough for her to just get the general information.

Because it was the job of the City Police to think of a way to resolve things.

Felli glanced at Naruki who was directing subordinates by her side as she manipulated a Psychokinesis flake to fly into the roaming bus.

The impact-resistant shutters on the other side of the bus windows had already been lowered, so she couldn't directly see the interior. All she could see on the other side was the area of the driver's seat. There was no driver present; he had probably been dragged into the commotion inside.

Felli let her Psychokinesis pass through the outside, probing the interior.

A kind of strange sensation filled the entire bus. What was going on? Felli analyzed while searching for passengers.

There were four figures with heat signals.

From the positioning it looked like it was three against one, in an extremely tense state. The two sides were arguing over whether to get pulled up or not. It was the lone individual who wanted to get pulled up, and the other three said not to. Judging from their voices, there was one woman and three men.

If the cable had already connected to the bus, then the crane should be operable even from the driver's seat. It seemed that this argument was around that driver. The driver who was one of the three seemed to have a very confused appearance because he didn't know what to do.

On the other side from the person who said that they should get pulled up, there was a person who had maintained silence.

The two who glared at each other, weapons drawn, were probably Military Artists.

The fluctuations of Kei gave Felli an unusual feeling.

"Nn?"

"What is it?"

There was something that Felli was a bit hung up on.

"Nothing...... Can the crane move?"

"Ah, it can."

"Then, pull them up."

"Is that okay?"

"Nn. I'll think of something, so please be prepared to act when the time comes."

"Understood."

After Felli said this, Naruki began issuing orders.

Seeing them moving together, Felli once again spread Psychokinesis flakes around the roaming bus.

The crane began moving, and the cable made noises from being pulled, beginning to wind upwards. The roaming bus gave off a long noise after banging several times against the buffer bar, and the roof of the bus could already be seen.

Now.

Felli didn't say it.

But, it happened anyways.

The Psychokinesis flakes positioned everywhere around the roaming bus suddenly gave off an intense light.

This light formed spears and sharp blades, piercing and cutting open the bus. This was a type of usage of Psychokinesis mines, morphing Psychokinesis power into light and firing it out.

"Wait!"

Naruki didn't know what to say at Felli's sudden destructive actions.

"What are you doing!?"

"Please be quiet and watch from the side. I'll reveal everything that you don't understand."

"How could......"

Felli just ignored Naruki who wanted to say something, and looked at the bus.

The bus in which a hole had been opened twisted because of its own weight, and the roof seemed as if it had opened up, essentially torn off. The cable competed with gravity, and the roof seemed like the rope in a tug of war, with the hole continuously spreading wider.

After this, something spilled out of from inside.

It was a black, foglike substance.

This was very similar to the thing that Claribel had used recently on the battlefield.

Passing through this black mist, something jumped out.

It was a person.

One of the three.

A younger person jumped out, carrying the other two. At the same time as the younger person landed, he quickly released the two people, taking up his weapon.

"Uwah, what, what, what the hell!"

One of the two people released, probably the driver, yelled out.

"Shut up!"

Afterwards, the other person got angry.

The problem wasn't the two of them.

Rather, it was with the young person.

"No way......"

Naruki forgot to continue giving orders.

The black mist that flowed from the roaming bus moved as if it had a life of its own, and then formed a cluster, descending in front of the young person.

In the black mist was a figure.

It was the remaining person. [16]

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

The young person didn't say a word, just flowing Kei into the weapon in his hand. Though it seemed like a knife that was a bit overdecorated, after his dense Kei was flowed into it, it became a strong and gorgeous Dite.

"Go, beat them!"

The girl shouted.

The City Police led by Naruki basically stood blankly watching the two people. The reason wasn't because of the extremely abnormal air given off by the man with the black mist.

But rather because of the young person holding the blade.

"Lay!"

The girl shouted at the young person.

The moment she heard that shout, a string inside Felli's heart snapped.

It broke with a crisp sound.

After that, though Naruki looked at her with a strange gaze, Felli pretended not to know what it meant.



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

Nina who hurried to a room of the City Police was taken aback after hearing Naruki's report.

"......And then?"

After organizing her thinking for a long time, Nina finally said this.

"What happened in the end?"

"Eh......"

Everyone stared while listening to the ambiguous response.

'Everyone' included Felli and Naruki, along with Nina, and also Sharnid, Dalshena, Harley, Claribel, Meishen, and Mifi.

Everyone was occupying an interrogation room of the city police, surrounding a young person.

"Well, after being separated from everyone for about half a year, I left Grendan."

The young person spoke a bit weakly, as if he were making excuses.

The young person who was talking...... was Layfon.

"We basically didn't run into filth monsters, and the orphanage was almost done being reconstructed, and manpower was very sufficient, so I came here since I didn't have anywhere to go."

"And then what, why were you so slow?"

Nina asked as the representative of those present.

"I heard that the number of filth monsters in the world had decreased, so the speed of the roaming buses increased quite a bit. If you went from Grendan to Zuellni, it wouldn't even need a month. It's already been two months since Zuellni came here last."

"I know!"

Layfon sighed deeply.

Why was it like this? It seemed like he was thinking about that question.

But, his attitude didn't show the slightest bit of answering.

Bang!

Hearing the sound of the cheap table being kicked, Layfon raised his head.

His vision focused on something

It was Felli.

"......Tell us all of it."

"Okay."

Layfon straightened his posture in a moment, beginning to speak.

"Well...... In the first city I arrived at after leaving Grendan, when I was preparing to pack my luggage and leave I noticed a case that didn't belong to me, and when I was caught by surprise the sound of commotion came from outside, and then I opened the door......"

What had charged in seemed to be a girl.

The girl's name was Letisha.

"She normally goes by Arute."

"That kind of thing is irrelevant."

"Yes, sorry!"

Being told off by Felli, Layfon felt smaller, and everyone persuaded Felli to calm down.

But, in that case Felli was unlikely to listen.

"That child...... she seemed to have somewhere she wanted to go, but, there was someone stopping her."

"The one just now?"

"Though, it wasn't only him...... It seems that there was something like a group that didn't want that girl to reach her destination, and they kept getting involved."

"So you helped her?"

"......Things naturally developed like that, and I couldn't just let it go."

Seeing Layfon raise his head and look over, the audience sighed deeply.

"I say, Layfon."

The first to open his mouth was Sharnid.

"Though I pretty much knew already, you really also suffer from Nina Disease."

"......I thought about it before, but what's up with that name?"

"You don't need to worry, everyone other than you agrees."

"Uuu......."

Because that was the case, she didn't know how to retort.

"A, anyways!"

In order to turn things around, Nina raised her voice.

"Anyways, right now we should celebrate because of his return."

"Ooh, not bad."

"Agreed, agreed."

"Then we'll have to go buy things soon."

"Great! A feast!"

"Hey Layfon, you've been outside for about a year, and you should have had quite a few interesting experiences, hurry and tell me."

Those kinds of voices surrounded Layfon.

Everyone seemed very happy.

They felt happy from the bottoms of their hearts to meet Layfon again.

Felli should feel that as well.

It should be....................................the same.

After leaving the interrogation room, she encountered the girl just now.

"Do you want to come too?"

Because she had received Nina's invitation, the girl and the driver also came to participate in the festivities.

It was particularly lively today in a dilapidated heart far from the center of the city.

Because an old friend had returned, and a companion that everyone had been waiting for had returned.

Right now, those kinds of happy feelings were constantly overflowing from this apartment, almost bursting it.

But for some reason, Felli didn't have that kind of joyful appearance.

Though she had escaped from the first floor of Meishen's shop, she could still hear their voices.

"Really......"

Her sighs hadn't stopped, even now.

Though Felli normally didn't like that kind of thing, the happy sounds today were twice as hard to bear.

"Um."

After sitting by a table and looking out the window for a while, a voice sounded.

It was Layfon.

"Isn't it bad for tonight's guest of honor to be goofing off in this kind of place?"

"Hahaha...... I was kicked out by Sharnid-senpai."

Saying that, Layfon sat down opposite Felli.

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

"Well......"

Because she couldn't face Layfon who was looking for words to say, Felli moved her gaze.

"Anyways, sorry."

"......For what?'

"I came late."

"Didn't you have your own reasons?"

It was for that girl.

"Well, uh......"

"Speaking of which, what's with that Dite?"

"Ah, it's a Heaven's Blade."

"Didn't you refuse it?"

During that battle, Layfon had refused the Heaven's Blade that Leerin brought. Felli also witnessed it, and had supported Layfon.

But, right now Layfon held it.

"Well, I already also talked with the city police. The thing inside that case was a Heaven's Blade."

There had also been two letters inside the case.

One was from Leerin, and another from Alsheyra.

"Leerin's letter said 'Her Majesty said to give it to you, and you don't have to be a Heaven's Blade successor, is that alright?'. Her Majesty's letter said 'It's not necessary anymore, so I'll give it to you, I'll just act as if it disappeared during battle.' ......"

"That's really doing whatever they want, both sides."

"That's right. And since I use it, I'm the same."

"You're no longer tightly adhering to certain things?"

"Though I was troubled at the start, I already carried out my will in that battle, so continuing to be that stubborn is a bit childish."

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

"Moreover, it's much more convenient if I have a Heaven's Blade, that's the truth."

"True."

Layfon didn't have the Heaven's Blade in that battle because he had been excluded from the battle, so he had felt wronged.

The battle had already ended now, so it would be too shameful for him to continue to feel wronged.

"Truthfully, it has played a big role."

"Well...... sorry."

"Why are you apologizing?"

"No, well, you seem mad."

"You don't even know whether I'm mad, and you apologize first?"

"Uhhh......"

"Hmph."

Seeing the cowardly Layfon, Felli scoffed.

"......Actually, I’m the same."

"Eh?"

"Actually, I felt happy from the bottom of my heart, happy enough to cry."

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

"But, I couldn't do it. Because, I knew, that your return here wouldn't continue on to anything afterwards."

"That......"

"You'll leave, right?"

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

"You'll leave. In order to let that girl complete her travels, you'll embark on a journey again."

Layfon didn't have any way of negating Felli's words.

Maybe if he didn't look at Felli, he could think of some excuse.

But Layfon hadn't moved his gaze from Felli.

"I know that this isn't Nina Disease. It's because you're that kind of person, I understood long ago."

"Felli......"

"You can't give up on troubled people, and if your strength is enough to help others, you'll go try. There's no one who can stop your actions."

"Felli......"

"You don't need to continue staying in Zuellni anymore. You already found what you want to do. It's enough if you do that. There will be many people around who need you in the future."

"Felli......"

"The world will constantly change after this. Pollutants will disappear, developments outside the city will continuously take place, and the world will change...... During those changes, calls for your help will be heard everywhere. Though there will be things that you feel annoying, you'll definitely do something that you feel is correct."

Because that was Layfon.

"Felli......"

"Live your life like that, and do what you believe in."

"Felli!"

Layfon's hand reached to the trembling Felli.

Felli grabbed the hand that wanted to support Felli's shoulder.

The hands of the two tightly grabbed each other.

"......I knew you were going to turn out like this, but wasn't able to stop you. Because I feel happy that you became like this."

Felli put her face by his hand.

A rough hand suitable for a Military Artist.

Felli had already been held a countless number of times by this hand, flown through the battlefield.

But, those days would no longer happen.

"Because I can't stop you from doing what you want to do."

Because she didn't want him to see her flowing tears, Felli brushed off his hand and ran back to her room.



He had long since known that she would be mad.

"Ah, I wouldn't have thought she would cry."

But, he hadn't thought she would have that kind of response.

Layfon sluggishly returned to his senses, seeing Arute and Hotep standing there. Hotep was the driver of the roaming bus.

A man who loved sunglasses and nicotine wherever and whenever, he had a cigarette in his mouth even now. The moment he took out a lighter, Arute deftly stole it.

"You can't smoke here."

"Tch."

Ignoring Hotep, Arute walked to Layfon.

Her movements seemed extremely uneasy.

"Um...... I'm sorry. For me..."

"It's alright, this is a decision I made myself."

He would protect Arute, and send her to the place she wanted to go to.

He had already promised her.

"But, Layfon, you actually want to return here, right? And, the person just now was always waiting for you......"

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

"Then you really should stay here! Don't worry about my business! Didn't I always persist before even when I didn't have you!"

"How can that kind of thing be alright."

Arute's hard work in persuading Layfon was turned into a wasted effort by a sentence from Hotep.

"Those Ludfandem guys have already noticed you. You can't escape just relying on us. You know, right? I'm only a normal driver, you know? You know I can't do anything like fighting."

"But!"

"It's necessary to have a Military Artist companion with power like Lay. In the first place, the abilities of Military Artists are becoming lower and lower because of the decrease of Aurora particles. Don't think that a Military Artist like Lay is easy to come by."

"Uuu......"

"Listen, Arute. I'm a normal person who can't do anything other than drive a roaming bus. But I definitely will send you to the Gate of Aluhard. In order to reach that goal, I'll use whatever means I can. I won't regret even if I have to change the life of a youngster."

"H, Hotep."

The driver's determination could be seen through his sunglasses, making Arute feel nervous.

"It's alright, Arute."

"Lay......"

His chest hurt, and even now he hadn't been able to organize his thoughts.

But, this was definitely alright.

He had already seen Felli's face.

"Ah...... there's something else."

Probably seeing that Layfon had thought of something, or perhaps having thought of something to say since the beginning but lacking an opportunity to say it, Hotep interrupted with some difficulty.

"It seems like we're about to be misunderstood again."

"Eh?"



Layfon only told everyone about the day of his departure two days later.

He was going to leave soon. The roaming bus that had been ruined by Felli had been quickly repaired by the driver using the warehouse of old bus parts underneath Zuellni.

His skills made the technology students in Zuellni call it 'the coming of a god'.

That kind of thing was meaningless.

Meishen was the one who told everyone the day of his departure. After she had ended practice that day and returned, Meishen told her in the shop.

She only made a response like 'I see', and then walked to her room. Meishen watched her, making a worried expression.

In any case, he would go, so it would have been better if he left without letting anyone know.

She climbed the stairs while thinking about that kind of thing.

She thought of various possibilities.

She posed various options.

But, in the end, she couldn't decide how to choose between two paths.

"Hahh......"

Like that, things had developed while she had done nothing, and she hadn't chosen anything.

Just thinking about that, she felt that her chest hurt.

But, everything Felli did was to no avail......

Thinking of that, Felli opened the door to her room.

This was indeed carelessness.

At that time, Felli completely wasn't paying attention to her surroundings.

When she opened the door, she heard a voice that hadn't come from her at all.

The sound of something being overturned came from the room.

Felli who noticed that sound stood still blankly, because that room was her own bedroom.

A thief?

Moreover, in her own bedroom.

Her wardrobe was there.

That meant, the thief's goal was......

"Hurry."

"Ah, I got it. How's this? It's pink."

"C, color doesn't mean anything, anything is fine, hurry."

"Uwah, there's even black. Truly impressive, truly impressive~ Okay, let's put this in too."

"I said that anything was fine, hurry up."

"Ah, but Hotep said, 'Pure white is the only choice a man needs to make'. I guess we really should choose white?"

"Anything is fine for that kind of thing!"

It seemed that they didn't have any intention of acting sneaky.

Restoring her Dite, she let her Psychokinesis flakes gather in front of the door. Of course there were some positioned outside, and if it were necessary, she could demolish the entire apartment.

"I will- kill these perverts- instantly."

With that kind of resolution, Felli opened the door to her bedroom.

She already knew who was inside by the voices.

At Felli opening the door and standing there, the movements of the thieving pair froze.

"Well...... do you have anything to say before you die."

The people there were Layfon and that girl named Arute.

"What's the meaning of this?"

"This......"

"What?"

"This is to prepare for our escape tonight."

"Huh?"

"For that, I need underwear!"

Arute raised her hand vibrantly.

"Lay, he said that it was a bit weird to mess with your underwear, but letting Hotep do it would be even more of a crime, so I had him come!"

"I see. Though I don't really understand what's going on, that was worthy of evaluation."

"Ehe!"

"And then, what is this about escaping in the night?"

Felli had already heard that Layfon and the others would leave.

So that shouldn't be the night escape they were talking about.

That was a normal departure.

Then, why would they need to flee at night?

"Felli."

Layfon called out to Felli.

He looked at Felli with an extremely serious expression.

"Felli, why don't you come too."

"Eh?"

"I considered, and actually it would be the best outcome if Felli went with me, but Felli never talked about that."

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

"I had originally thought that Felli would probably be happier to stay in Zuellni, but......"

That was wrong.

Felli held it back and didn't say that.

That wasn't correct, and staying in Zuellni definitely wasn't happiness for Felli.

Felli's happiness was......

"Of course I want Felli to be able to feel happy. But...... but......"

Hurry, hurry up and say it......

Her heart was almost jumping into her throat, so she couldn't say anything.

The sentence that she had always wanted to hear.

That her heart had always longed for.

No matter what she saw or what she did, it was all boring.

She had spread her Psychokinesis flakes every day in order to wait for Layfon to return, collecting various rumors.

In order to chase after Layfon, she had kept spreading her Psychokinesis outside the city.

She had spent every day silently in a sea of meaningless information.

Those days couldn't make her feel happy.

My happiness is in front of me.

My happiness is right here.

So, please.

"I think that... my life should have Felli by my side."

Hurry, please say those words to me.

"Yes."

Her body moved unconsciously.

She had already organized her feelings.

"F, Felli......"

Rushing into his chest, Felli cried.

She had long since wanted to do this.

"......Layfon."

"Nn?"

"This kind of situation is usually called eloping."

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

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

Layfon and Arute looked at each other.

"Right, right. No wonder I always felt it was a bit strange. Really, you need to learn more, Lay."

"S, sorry."

"Ah, whatever, since it's already decided, then let's hurry up. Right, hurry up and get ready to elope. Sis, is this much underwear enough?"

"Wait a bit for me."

After stopping Arute who wanted to rummage through her wardrobe again, Felli brought the two of them into the living room.

"Look at this."

She indicated something that had been placed in front of the sofa.

"Ah."

"Ah."

The two of them once again made surprised noises.

There was a traveling case placed in front of the sofa.

"What, you're already ready, Sis."

"I always expected this kind of development."

She said this, and then looked at Layfon. His face was already red.

"Then, the underwear that you personally selected is inside?"

"Why do you pay attention to that?"



The two of them seemed to have sneaked in from Felli's window.

But when they left, they left normally from the entrance.

Seeing Felli with a traveling case accompanying Layfon and Arute, Meishen's eyes widened. But she quickly showed a tender smile, waving her hand at Felli.

CSR v24 18.jpg

She walked next to Layfon. Arute advanced with skips and jumps slightly ahead of them.

They walked very naturally, hand in hand.

"Thank you, Felli."

"It's nothing."

Layfon took the traveling case, and their gazes met.

Layfon looked at Felli with a slightly surprised expression.

He also felt his face become a bit hot.

Ah, just now, I smiled.

As she thought this she felt that her heart also became a bit lighter.

THE END[17]





Translator's Notes and References[edit]

  1. Nina is speaking.
  2. Sharnid is speaking.
  3. Literally.
  4. Felli is speaking.
  5. Reference from way back, when the Mercenary Gang tried to capture the Haikizoku.
  6. A technique Sharnid learned from his father that appears in a couple earlier chapters. Increases his Kei output greatly for a short period of time.
  7. Not a typo. Saya calls him by something of a nickname.
  8. Dixerio.
  9. Her vision is dyed red as an effect of her Kei.
  10. Layfon says this kind of as a joke.
  11. Sharnid is guessing at what Felli is thinking.
  12. Dinn Dee. Events from a volume way back.
  13. The Electronic Fairies are controlling Nina's body against her will.
  14. Sharnid is making fun of these new titles that are popping up.
  15. Probably means that in the past, Nina's platoon defeated Claribel's platoon by destroying the flag.
  16. I have no idea who this is.
  17. Actually, there is a Volume 25 which comes afterwards and may tie up loose ends.
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