Chrome Shelled Regios:Volume6 Chapter6

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Chapter 6: The Owner of the Blade

"Time for you to go," Karian calmly said, despite feeling a little terrified.

"I don't have the confidence to win."

The filth monster was leading them......In this unbelievable situation, Layfon was sitting on a bike with Karian and talking with him.

It was an ancient filth monster. So ancient that even Layfon couldn't tell which phase it was in. Its swift appearance had brought fear to the entire city. Karian had then called for the special team to stop its attack. Did he trust the words of that filth monster? Or was it because he was in despair?

The filth monster didn't make a move against the Military Artists and Zuellni. All it did was hover above the city. The Leader of the crowd......It was waiting for the Student President Karian to finish his preparations. Karian had then ordered Layfon to go with him.

"This is my first time seeing such an ancient filth monster. It is my first time knowing they can speak the human language. I don't think I can win."

"We don't know whether we need to fight yet."

Layfon couldn't see Karian's face, hidden by his helmet. Karian's words, transmitted by the flakes, did nothing to ease him.

"If we have to fight, doesn't that mean we'd be annihilated in one moment?"

"Perhaps......"

Felli was still recovering and had not received permission to leave the city. The Psychokinesist of the 1st platoon was acting as their support.

"I'm not interested in how powerful this filth monster is, but rather in what it proposes."

"I don't think we can deal with it......"

"That isn't an issue," Karian said, putting his hands together. "So long as it understands human language, then there's room for negotiation. We have to quickly understand what it values, then decide how to negotiate."

So Karian really was here for the negotiation. Layfon pressed on the accelerator to keep up with the flying filth monster. He didn't think the negotiation would work. Their bike sped along the uneven ground. It leapt over an edge of a raised piece of earth to land heavily.

"I've had this doubt for a long time," Karian said loudly. "Filth monsters. They eat pollutants. Do they really have to consume human meat to survive?"

"Uh?"

"I've investigated the living conditions of the filth monsters. The most beneficial information for a City is the way to fight filth monsters. And what is the best is to be able to avoid a fight. Fighting filth monsters guarantees a certain level of harm. No matter what city it is, one or two Military Artists would die in a fight. That's the same with Grendan. Even with Zuellni now. Sending out a Heaven's Blade successor again and again to fight them is still detrimental to our fighting strength."

Layfon himself was the best proof here.

"But filth monsters will attack us."

"Yes, but why?" Karian said.

"The way the larvae consume each other isn't anything special. It's the baptism needed for the fittest to survive, and it's also a hunt. Eating each other isn't evil in their eyes."

"But they never thought of it this way."

"Yes, that's the problem. A human baby isn't immediately aware of his consciousness. Humans live together to find food. But what about filth monsters? They prefer to obtain nutrients rather than consuming pollutants. In that case, what about the matured filth monsters that can think for themselves? How so? Isn't that in itself a complex way of communicating?"

Layfon's cold reply had an opposite effect and made Karian more excited.

"When we solve that problem, we can perhaps find new ways to deal with filth monsters."

"By talks? But would they not eat us rather than listen to us? They're hungry." Layfon's experience at the orphanage placed him firmly on Karian's opposite side.

"We might have to kill the larvae, but it's different with a matured form that possesses knowledge and the capability to negotiate."

"So what do we do?"

"We've to understand why they attack cities! Is it really just for human meat? Human meat and any other animal meat is the same in terms of being nutritious. We just need to make food that caters for them. Besides, we can replenish the loss of food in the city by selenium."

Layfon shook his head. Allow filth monsters to come into the city to buy food? Filth monsters to buy food with money......Ridiculous. Impossible.

"Reality isn't like that though!"

"But it's worth trying. And........."

The filth monster slowed as the ground evened out. Karian put his hands together again.

"That filth monster didn't attack the city without reasons. It requested the head of the pack to attend the negotiation, and that really bothers me!"

"........."

Then Layfon realized that it wasn't the speed of the bike that had changed. It was the filth monster. They were getting close to their destination.

"I wonder whether anyone has ever gone to a gathering of filth monsters?"

Shocked by Karian's curiosity, Layfon sensed the atmosphere around them. No killing intent from hungry filth monsters.

But next came the change of scenery. Layfon quickly gripped the handle and made an emergency stop to the bike's movement.

"What?"

He heard Karian's muffled voice. The sound came from outside the helmet. The Psychokinesist's support had been cut off. His vision had turned narrow.

"Please reply!"

No matter how many times Layfon called, the Psychokinesist did not reply.

"What's going on?"

"Psychokinesis is blocked off here. Please be careful."

Layfon took out his Dite but Karian stopped him. "Wait, we're here to negotiate. Don't do anything to provoke the other party."

"But......"

"Let's see how it reacts," Karian slid off the bike.

Endless plain surrounded them. The dry earth looked like it had been cut apart by a blade. However, the color of the air was much more transparent. The color of the sky where the filth monster was, remained the usual rusty red, but the scenery here was what one could see only in a city. The air that was clear as water. This place was obviously different from others.

"Is this space a 3D image? What's going on?"

"This kind of technology......"

Layfon looked around to confirm Karian's words. The gear he wore for outside city use prevented him from having contact with the air, so looking around did nothing to help him discern whether this reality was true or not.

"Uhah......? Layfon, what is it?" Karian pointed.

Layfon strengthened his vision with internal Kei. He took the bike further up and saw a rocky mountain that sat like teeth, blocking his way.

"Eh? ......Impossible!" his eyes widened in shock.

He returned to Karian's side.

"What is it?"

"Come and see!"

Karian took his seat and Layfon pressed on the accelerator with his foot, pressing all the way so he couldn't press on it anymore.

"What did you see?" Karian asked.

The time it took them to arrive at the place seemed so much longer than Layfon remembered.

"This is......" Karian understood. He slipped off the bike to stand as of someone sleepwalking.

The sound of rushing water shook their helmets.

"A lake.........or a waterfall?"

In the middle of the mountain range that resembled teeth sat a large lake. A waterfall fell on the opposite side of Layfon's location. The rumbling of water and a screen of hazy water shrouded the lake.

"This doesn't look like a 3D image!" Karian wiped the surface of the helmet.

A few droplets of water had also splashed onto Layfon's helmet.

Green grasses and small flowers adorned the side of the lake. Pollutants had conquered the arid world. All animals and plants besides filth monsters were dead......That had always been Layfon's belief. But this place that the filth monster had shown them.........

"This? This isn't affected by pollutants?" Karian said calmly.

"How, how is that possible........."

"We won't know till we bring this back for investigation. Besides, the filth monster here is already different from the ones we know!" Karian dug up a small plant and put it in the bag hanging around his waist.

"So you've shown us what needs to be seen. Isn't it time to show yourself?"

"Uh, you've noticed?" The filth monster was already above the lake. Had it hidden itself? Or had it used teleportation just like the time when it appeared in Zuellni? Karian couldn't tell.

The filth monster spoke as if it was already holding a conversation with him. "You do hold the air of a leader!"

"Thanks. But I still don't know your true purpose," Karian replied without shock.

Layfon held tight to his Dite, observing the filth monster solemnly as he suppressed his urge to snatch out his Dite and restore it.

The huge body of the filth monster was on top of the lake, but the surface of the water remained calm without a ripple.

(Illusion.........?)

But the pressure of the body felt real. That long neck, that gigantic body, those huge, curved wings. They all felt so real.

"Uh........."

"Speaking of which, what is your name?" Karian asked, unafraid of those massive eyes of the filth monster's.

"Though I hadn't used it for long, people have called me Cloud-cell Separation Interface IV Harpe."

"Can I call you Harpe?"

"As you like," Harpe nodded with its long neck.

"Then, Harpe. I'm guessing that this is the real meaning behind your negotiation. One, you want to prove that humans and filth monsters can communicate. Two, humans are a threat to the survival of filth monsters in what we call this world, but there is a bigger mission. Three, you don't wish to fight humans. That's all," Karian said it all in one breath. He lifted his head to look at Harpe, and waited as of a student waiting for a response.

"Hohoho, we'll leave the first two points. Do you think I don't want to fight humans?"

"Yes, if you wished to fight, Zuellni would have been destroyed. You didn't do that, so I think you don't wish to fight. All the same, you don't want Regios to enter this territory."

Harpe called through its nose. Its eyes studied Karian. "Got a good brain there. Well, to want to hear the words of another creature's heart isn't something that can just be done. How about we just say the truth and hear the truth?"

"It's my wish for a beneficial negotiation," Karian nodded in satisfaction.

"Then allow me to start the question. What made your city enter this territory? A normal city wouldn't have come here."

Karian answered that question honestly, telling Harpe about the contact with the ruined city, the invasion of the Haikizoku, the City's Electronic Fairy on a rampage.

"Haikizoku...... The insane Electronic Fairy? I see.........Does it hate us?" Harpe said with his long neck bent in apology. Its short foreleg scratched its lower jaw. "The invaded system caused the city to go on a rampage?"

"Yes. This isn't our will, nor is it Zuellni's will. I hope you understand this point."

"All right, I forgive you for entering the territory."

"Thank you."

Harpe and Karian actually held a conversation. That fact didn't keep Layfon from abandoning the belief of this as something unbelievable.

"But this only holds in the present. The city has not stopped moving, and if the Haikizoku forces it to invade the territory further, we'll do all we can to eliminate it."

"I understand," Karian said.

"Then onto the next topic. I heard what you said while you were riding that thing."

"Well......"

"I'm Cloud-cell Separation Interface IV. I know everything that happens in my area."

"That's amazing."

"Um, well, the business trade you talked about, I'm afraid, the implementation is impossible. It's not impossible to happen in the area that I control, but I can't do anything about filth monsters outside my area. Besides, no city can enter this territory."

"What a shame."

"You want to resolve this quickly, I see. For humans who are limited in their movements and are weak at survival, it must be extremely difficult for you to fight your enemies."

"I'm afraid so, so we're looking for solutions. Harpe, do you know the way to fight against the Haikizoku?"

"No. I'm Cloud-cell Separation Interface IV Harpe. My purpose is to guard the boundary between the edge of the world and the Aurora Field. I do not have any information that lies outside the management of the Human Preservation Plan."

Aurora Field. Human Preservation Plan. Terms that Karian had never heard of.

(And why is this the only filth monster......)

"......I see. I understand," Karian nodded.

Layfon felt uneasy.

"Then let's find a way to solve the problem of the city. Harpe, please allow the city to stay here for a while."

Harpe had lifted its long neck. "......There's no need," it said. Its gaze turned to the sky and it spread its wings.

"Your city is moving away from my area. You better hurry and catch up to it."

Layfon was surprised at those words as he supported Karian under the beating of the wind.

"The city is moving......?"

And it was moving away......So the city had started evading filth monsters? Meaning......?

"Hurry, the city moves as fast as the bike. It'd be troublesome if we end up having to chase after it," Karian said.

Harpe was gone. The presence of the filth monster that had a name had disappeared, as if it was just an illusion.

"I know."

They mounted the bike.

(Captain......Is she safe?)

That wasn't his naive dream. He must confirm the reality. The tires of the bike bit the dry ground and the bike began its mad dash. The scenery changed after a time of riding.

"Oh, Oh!" Karian's voice drowned out the engine's call. A group of matured filth monsters stood in a file as they watched Layfon and Karian leave.

"Such grandeur!"

Layfon felt like he was a doll under those gazes, but Karian's attitude remained unchanged. The same as when he held the negotiation with Harpe, except his voice was now different.

"......Let's hurry!"

Layfon accelerated to the maximum. There were more than ten filth monsters watching them, and all of them looked like Harpe. Filth monsters that were born from the same mother shouldn't all look the same in their matured forms.

(I feel.........Something feels really bad.)

The bike continued to run madly.

"Not working. Still can't contact Zuellni! Are we heading the right way!?"

"The direction is correct."

But they would miss Zuellni if they erred in the direction. Harpe had said the city was moving, so it must also know Zuellni's direction. Layfon and Karian had left the sight of the filth monsters.

Layfon saw something ahead of them and stopped the bike.

"What's wrong?"

"These are the city's footsteps!"

A human made pit in the shape of a square. Not dugout, but pressed with a huge weight that could cut through the dry earth. Layfon looked far ahead and saw similar footsteps.

"We won't get lost if we follow them."

The problem now was whether they could safely catch up with Zuellni.

"If we can contact them, the city can come back for us."

"Anyway, let's catch up!" Layfon started the engine and the bike ran for a whole day.


Night. Layfon could keep on going but considering Karian's strength, he had found someplace to rest instead.

"Anything wrong?" Karian said. He had climbed off the bike for a rest.

"Nothing........." Layfon felt as if something was lurking behind them.

(Filth monsters? Or is Harpe watching?)

They might be monitoring them to make sure that they left. And that feeling didn't sit well with him.

(Well, it is a machine.)

He meant Harpe. That filth monster moved like a robot.

(So humans in the past made filth monsters?)

He couldn't think of any other explanation. Pollutants filled this world, and only filth monsters could live in it. But reality was that the machines that humans made had taken on unusual changes – that must be it?

(I wonder what the Student President thinks?)

He wanted to ask but Karian probably wouldn't say anything here. They were still in Harpe's territory, and anything they said was apparent to it. That hateful presence was still here.

(Can't fight it.)

Karian was already asleep.

(The Aurora Field, the edge of the world.........)

Layfon returned to the bike and fell into a shallow sleep.

(Is that place really the edge of the world?)

They had lost the map of the world. Was there really an edge? An edge like the Regios edges? If there was such a place, why the monitoring.........? The light sleep stopped Layfon from thinking further, besides, returning to Zuellni was their main problem now. About the reason behind Zuellni's movement – he needed to find out whether it matched his speculations......

He and Karian moved from their camping spot before dawn. It was during the day when contact through Psychokinesis recovered.

"Finally found you."

"Felli?"

Layfon and Karian exchanged a glance at the sudden voice inside their helmets.

"Did you get the doctor's permission?"

"Saying this means you two are ok! I got permission this morning and went to search for you. A bit of a confusion at the start because I couldn't use Psychokinesis in the area."

"That's good. Please give us the directions."

"Right."

"......If possible, please find a route that the Student President can drive on," Layfon cut in.

"What do you mean?"

"Here they come!" he pulled out his Dite while the bike was still rolling across the plain. He inserted a card into one of the slots on the Dite.

"You can drive?"

"Ah, yes, but......"

"I sense a number of presences behind us, 0402 and 0840."

"What?" Karian looked back.

Layfon stopped the bike. "Filth monsters!"


"How come?"

Filth monsters were flying towards them.

"Are they not the same as Harpe?"

"They've been hiding in this area."

The presence of murderous intent born out of starvation. The presence that Layfon was familiar with.

"So Harpe's control isn't absolute," Karian sighed. Layfon stepped down to the passenger seat of the bike.

"Please don't mind me when you drive."

"All right," Karian pressed on the pedal and the bike started running again. Layfon connected the handles of the Adamantium Dite and the Sapphire Dite and restored them.

"Layfon, the flow of Psychokinesis is obstructed in my investigation of the filth monsters," Felli said.

"What's happening?"

"I don't know, but is there a reason why the filth monsters can't let you go?"

"We're still in the area......It's not strange the use of Psychokinesis is affected. We can't deny the possibility that Harpe might have changed its mind. These filth monsters might be as powerful as Harpe. Anyway, it has its own purpose," Karian speculated.

"How far can you use Psychokinesis?" Layfon asked.

"Not for long distance. It'd work better if I can come to your side but that isn't possible.........If you go inside the group of filth monsters, your transmitter and visual aid would fail. I might even end up losing your position."

"Pretty bad?" Karian said.

"If it is just fighting, I don't find the situation too bad."

A number of matured forms. They wouldn't be cut open with the steel threads as easily as did the larvae. Karian immediately understood the implication in Layfon's words.

"I'll be troubled if you don't come back. Is there a way to make some of them head another way?"

"I don't think so. Perhaps this is their first time coming across food other than pollutants. They've been enduring for a while. Now they can't wait anymore."

What should they do? It was useless to ask. Layfon was the only fighting force in this situation. None of the filth monsters were in their aged phase, but they were matured, males that were probably in phases 1-3. Lintence was the only Heaven's Blade who had the skill to slaughter a large number of filth monsters at the same time. But Layfon hadn't managed to learn all of Lintence's skills.

"If you're correct, then they're just heading over for a change of taste. Felli, please find a route that the Student President can drive on at full speed. If possible, find one that isn't too far from Zuellni."

"Got it."

The Dite changed into its steel thread form in place of the sword form held in the Sapphire Dite. The Adamantium Dite did well to support jumping on steel threads over a large area.

"Did a lot of thinking?"

"Just thinking on what I can do."

"I don't mean that. I mean you," Karian said. "Academy City is like a passage. All who associate with it will leave after they graduate. Is this place really worth protecting? It isn't because the Military Artists are yet to mature that explains their weak fighting strength. It's because they all hold the same doubts. What can they protect? Is what they're protecting important enough to them that they should die for it? Military Artists lose courage and flee because they fail to solve that problem."

The bike made a huge leap. Karian's body shook violently when the bike landed, and Layfon steadied him to prevent him from falling off. His helmet smashed against Karian's.

"Why are you fighting for Zuellni? Not for money. If you were that type of person, I'd be very willing to put you beside me, but you're not like that. Your purpose is to survive, and you rely on Nina Antalk to survive. Because both you and she won't change much in the next few years," Karian said as Layfon continued to pour Kei into the steel threads. The distance between the trap and the filth monsters was shortening.

"There are people who exist to help point out the path of life. Before the end of their lives, people are solving their own problems in different situations. But you're not one to fight at the cost of your life. Will you fight for Zuellni even if it costs you your life?"

"That kind of thing......"

The filth monsters had entered the steel thread area. Layfon leaped onto the threads and howled, "How should I know!"

A few filth monsters had been cut by the steel threads and fell onto the earth. Layfon concentrated on a filth monster before him instead of checking to see whether the others were dead.

Karian went to meet Harpe for the sake of Zuellni. He was just a normal person, yet he did it to protect Zuellni. Then was Layfon the same? The Layfon who had been pulled through by the intense will of Nina?

"How should I know!"

He pulled the steel threads, controlling them as he ran on them. Blood spurted from filth monsters' bodies. The distance between Layfon and the bike became wider. Zuellni might be the reason why the filth monsters had chosen this path. The destination that both Layfon and Karian were heading for. In that case, Layfon must take care of them here. The problem now wasn't with the number of steel threads he had but with the length of them.

"What is it?" Felli said.

"I don't think it's a problem handling them here, but it'll be difficult to fight filth monsters that are further away," Layfon said.

"Um...... we've a tiny problem here," Karian said.

"What?"

"Felli, how much longer till we reach Zuellni?"

"Two hours minimum. What's wrong?"

"The batteries. Two hours. Amazing!"

"Ah......"

Two hours. They had spent two hours resting at night and cutting off the engine.

"We already used the spare battery."

A bike wasn't the same as a roaming bus. Still, the bike was made for long distance travel, so the batteries shouldn't run out so easily, and they did change a new battery before they slept!

"No way! Perhaps it sustained some damage during the ride. A place that can damage the battery......"

"How come?"

"We won't make it unless Zuellni comes to meet us......... What should we do?"

It wasn't possible to kill all of the filth monsters in two hours.

"You're calm, Nii-san."

"Getting into a panic does nothing. So what does Layfon plan to do next? If you plan to stand there and fight with your life, I'll stay with you."

"Nii-san!"

"The filth monsters might not split up even if I run away as bait. So we can only rely on Layfon and buy some time for Zuellni to finish its preparations!"

"You don't have to do that," Layfon said. He didn't really like Karian, but not many people could show his calmness and resoluteness while conversing with a filth monster. "Zuellni cannot lose its Student President."

"Thanks, but......"

"Leave this nonsense and come back!" someone else said angrily.

"Ah! Vance, you heard us!"

"Of course! We've relayed the current situation to all Military Artists. We're making preparation. You just need to head straight back. We'll take care of them."

"That's reckless......" Layfon said.

"You shut up. I'm the Head of Military Arts! I won't allow you, a platoon member, to disobey an order. Just keep those filth monsters together while you head straight back for Zuellni. This is an order!"

The anger in the voice allowed no protest and kept Layfon silent.

"Do you really have a plan?"

"I'll show you the defense we have. Just come back!"

"That makes me glad," Karian said.

"That's right. I'll lead the way," Felli said.

"I'm counting on you, Layfon. You can return while keeping them like this, can't you?"

"Got it."

He wasn't satisfied but it was true that he couldn't fight them all alone. Layfon returned to the bike.

"Counting on you!"

Karian put his attention back to driving as Layfon did his best to herd the filth monsters together. The filth monsters chasing them were tangled in the steel threads and those who tried to split up were herded back by Layfon's external Kei.

"Isn't this unbelievable? He......."

"What do you mean?" Layfon said, keeping his eyes on the filth monsters.

"He made a decision to fight so many filth monsters!"

"Well......"

"You said you couldn't win against Harpe. To you, the meaning of a fight depends on the gap of strength between you and victory. I don't mean you aren't prepared to die in a fight, but that's about what your fight is like – chosen from the few to enter the arena. What did you fight for? It must have been money in Grendan."

"........."

"You fought under disadvantageous circumstances. You haven't fought differently so you don't understand their feelings."

"Student President, understand what?"

"To understand that they have what you don't have!"

The reason to protect Zuellni. The reason to fight even at the cost of one's life.

"What?"

"Glory!"

"Eh?"

"You might think what kind of reason is that. But most Military Artists fight for the pride and glory inside them. Only they can protect the city. They protect their cities with their hands......And that's the meaning of survival!"

Layfon recalled Karian's speech at Zuellni.

"So you did it for that?"

"Yes, in order to summon their pride. They chose the pride of a Military Artist, and that is a reason worthy of throwing one's life away for."

"So stupid, how......"

"But what else is left? A Military Artist has the duty to fight filth monsters once he's born to this world. That's why the society made changes for them. In order to obtain glory. Duty doesn't mean simple sacrifice. Military Artists fight with their pride to protect the city. That's what society trains them to do."

"........."

What're you saying? That's a lie! You're wrong! But Layfon didn't give voice to those thoughts. He understood deep down that Karian was right.

Karian glanced at him a bit sadly. "You weren't trained like that. Perhaps you had that question before you received your training...... Either way, your pride is as a Military Artist who doesn't die. And for that, you can keep on walking no matter how hard life becomes. As a Military Artist, you don't escape from reality. And because of that, you have to find your reason to fight. I wanted to say this to you too, Felli."

Was this Karian's love for his sister?

Felli didn't reply. The bike continued on its path. The murderous intent of the filth monsters shrouded Layfon and Karian, as if that tension was about to explode. The steel threads cut through the murderous intent. The liquid spurting from filth monsters' bodies turned into a mist. Those monsters who fell onto the ground writhed in agony, and were immediately consumed by their brethren.

The two hour long flight was about to come to an end. Karian's bad driving skill allowed the bike to slide on the ground, and that wore out the tires quicker than usual. The brake wasn't as sensitive now. The engine was overheating and parts of it were melting. The bike wasn't the only thing edging close to its limit. Karian had almost exhausted his physical strength and concentration as he experienced the terror of filth monsters outside the city. He did all he could to keep himself calm and dispel the fear in him like all other Military Artists.

"The signal's out. Seems we're about to run out," Karian mumbled.

A red light was flashing in the middle of the control panel, and the status of the battery showed "low".

And Zuellni finally appeared before them.

"Great......" Karian's words were cut off. The bike swayed as his head lulled.

"He's lost consciousness!" Felli said in a shrill voice. The sight of Zuellni had broken Karian's concentration, causing him to sink into a slumber. The bike crashed into a huge rock and Karian was thrown out of his seat.

Layfon caught the Student President in the air. The engine sparked and the entire bike exploded. Pieces of the bike scattered and cracked wheels shot upward. Layfon ran ahead of the explosion. The weight of Karian prevented him from dashing at full speed.

"Five more minutes. Keep at it! Run!" Vance shouted.

Layfon bit his lower lip, the steel threads waving madly behind him.

Jump, run, leap.........He ran through a sea littered with debris to where Zuellni stood. Something sounded on the surface of his helmet. The pieces of earth shattered by Zuellni's passage danced everywhere, and those pieces of small debris hammered Layfon. Praying the debris wouldn't damage the protective suit, he kept running. Unable to evade the shattered pieces, Layfon headed underneath the city.

A presence behind them suddenly surged. His steel threads closed in on the filth monster and cut apart its wing. It lost its balance to slide on the ground.

"Wu-!"

But the filth monster didn't give up. It slid with the momentum of its fall with its jaws wide open, planning to sweep Layfon and Karian into its mouth. Layfon could've jumped up to avoid the attack, but he couldn't do it with Karian on his shoulder.

"Keep running!" Sharnid's voice sounded from Layfon's helmet. Gun shot. And the filth monster wailed. The bullet had shot through its eye.

"Compared to attacking the enemy head on, sniping really is much more enjoyable!"

Layfon kept running. The door of the city was close, and he could see Sharnid standing there. Two new figures slipped through the door and leapt past Layfon, one holding a lance and one holding a baton.

"Aaaaaaaaaaah!!" Naruki roared. She adjusted her landing trajectory in the air and swung her baton with all her might at the weakest scale of the filth monster – in between its eyebrows. The attack bounced Naruki off the filth monster's body, but her attack managed to shatter the scale and expose the meat beneath. She tossed out a rope and it hooked itself onto the filth monster's lower jaw.

"Aaaah!!"

She slid down the rope, the rope stopping the filth monster's movement, pulling its head down to the ground.

"Heee........." Naruki pulled at the rope to keep the filth monster in place. Her shoes sank deep into the ground and the rope made a moaning voice at the pressure. The tug of war didn't last long. Naruki let go of the rope and left her spot.

Dalshena leapt up. Her lance stabbed deep into the wound that Naruki had made. The bone of the filth monster's head broke as Dalshena's external Kei destroyed the brain cells. Blood spurted from the filth monster. Its head crashed heavily onto the ground. It died.

Shocked at what had happened beside him, Layfon hadn't stopped running.

He then felt a change above him.

(What is it?)

A massive amount of Kei was being gathered on the outskirt of the city.

Layfon arrived below the door. No time to use the lift. Should he jump.........? A new figure appeared at the door. Wearing a protective suit, the figure slid down the rope, its length coiling around her waist.

CSR vol06 263.jpg

"Give me your hand!" her voice sounded in Layfon's helmet.

-- The voice he had wanted to hear for so long. -- The voice filled with colors. -- The voice that shone before him.

Layfon leapt and took hold of her hand. He handed Karian over. They confirmed each other at the closest distance possible.

"You're back!"

"Yes!"

They spoke without using the force of Psychokinesis.

A great flash of light enveloped them the next second. A huge ball of Kei had shot out from the city, obliterating a large number of filth monsters and triggering chain explosions.

"Let's go!"

"Yes!" Layfon retrieved the steel threads and turned the Adamantium Dite into a sword.


The feeling of the tightening of relaxed nerves. The feeling of his flesh and his concentration coming together. The feeling of Kei exploding from head to toe. He was confirming what he had – some kind of meaning that could release his strength. Something that was like a parasite.........This was the current Layfon Alseif, howling alone as he leaped into the battlefield.


Pulled back into the city, Nina put Karian down. The medical team, its members all wearing protective suits, rushed over to tend to the Student President. Nina looked at the battle. The second shot of massive Kei closed in on the filth monsters like a ball of light.

"This is........."

A weapon she had never seen before. The intensity of the Kei made the air vibrate.

"The Kei cannon!" Karian said, standing up with the support of the medical team. "It's not on that huge a scale. We need about 100 Military Artists to recharge it. Not a very good weapon."

"To make this weapon, that means......"

"We don't have to cower under the threat anymore, besides......"

Nina watched Karian's eyes.

"He has become his original self."

"No! If he does that, then it's meaningless for him to come here. You're the Student President. You shouldn't be tolerating his condition. Don't you realize that you're using him like a tool?" Nina reproved.

Academy City. A city that no one could view it as home – that was the city's fate. A cold yet gentle place that nurtured newborn birds that had yet to fly.

Karian was shocked by Nina's words. "I'm using Layfon as a tool......?" Outrage surged in him. It wasn't like that! – He wanted to shout it out, but ended up swallowing it. He calmed himself down. "I'd receive punishment if I did that."

But Leerin had said.

"He has to shoulder the agony that is the result of his punishment. When that time comes......"

Reproving himself and reproving everything around him.

Nina watched the battle. Layfon was dancing with the filth monsters, sword held high.

"When that time comes, and till the end........."

She wanted to stand with him.

"He shouldn't feel regret at what he himself has done."

Nina continued to gaze at the battlefield. She felt a sigh coming from Karian.

Birds called somewhere out in this world.


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