Leviathan:Volume 3 Epilogue
A few days had passed after the battle against the dragons occupying Tokyo New Town.
New Town was back to normal, in a way. After Exhos died, all affected New Town residents began to wake up naturally. The "freeze" magic had probably been sustained by the old dragon's magical power.
However, there were many problems.
Four days of frozen hibernation had caused temporary memory confusion and reduction in muscle strength—Rescued citizens were plagued by such symptoms to various extents in the immediate term.
That being said, it was quite fortunate that side effects only went as far as this.
"But the number of times for dragons to appear at New Town in the past few months... has been truly unusual. Even laymen can probably feel that something is amiss," said the shrugging Luna Francois, dressed in the Academy's uniform.
Classes had finally resumed at Kogetsu Academy today. After school, Hal's group was gathered at an open-air cafe's sidewalk seating. Hal, Orihime, Asya and Hazumi were all present.
"I heard that many people are taking this occupation incident as an opportunity to move out of New Town."
"I think almost ten people in our homeroom transferred schools too."
After listening to Luna's news, Hazumi concurred with a sad expression. Hearing that, Asya sighed.
"But even from the viewpoint of experts such as us, the current Tokyo is a dangerous land too."
"Bluntly stated, it's turned into an amphitheater where dragons gather to battle it out."
Hal looked in the southwest direction after whispering calmly.
From this off-campus outdoor seating, one could see the pure-black Monolith towering in the direction of what was formerly Ginza. As expected of a landmark a kilometer tall.
The Rune of the Sword in the air above the Monolith had vanished.
Hal recalled his conversation with Pavel Galad that had taken place after the battle.
Supporting each other, Hal and Orihime had returned to Galad's position.
Still in human form, sitting motionlessly on the ground, the silver dragon did not congratulate them on their victory. Not only that, but he also extended his hand with a bitter expression. As a result, the Rune of the Sword vanished from the center of Hal's palm.
In return, a longsword stained with fresh blood appeared in the dragon's right hand. Naturally, it was the dragonslaying sword.
Stabbing the sword into the ground, Galad ran his finger over the blade that had been dyed bright red from True Genbu-Ou's blood, then licked off the blood sticking to his fingertip.
Instantly, the extremely weakened Galad began to show vigor in his gaze. He suddenly stood up.
"Sure enough, a female serpent's blood is an elixir more potent than anything..."
"The dragon called Soth also did something similar. By the way, I never knew that dragonslaying runes could be lent out."
"However, it ultimately requires the owner's permission."
A dragon and a human. Two men of different races yet encountering similar situations.
Nevertheless, Galad turned his back to Hal and began to walk away, holding the dragonslaying sword in his hand.
"Where are you going?"
"I have no intention of telling you. However, We will probably meet again in the near future. As compatriots bearing the power of dragonbane, it is inevitable."
Without pausing in his steps or turning to face Hal, Galad said to him, "I shall say this in advance. When the time comes, I will not show mercy at all. The debt I owe to you—no, to you humans—has already been repaid by my lending out of the sword. That is how I think of it."
Only after Galad had disappeared from view did Hal finally notice. The Rune of the Sword had vanished from above the Monolith. The dragon warrior had abandoned the conquest of Tokyo for now.
Perhaps he had also given up on the Road to Kingship?
No. Hal rejected this line of speculation. Most likely, he would learn from this failure and focus on conquering the game in a different manner compared to before. That was a dragon's true nature.
"Is that Galad guy still in Tokyo?"
"It's not impossible, I guess. By the way, Haruomi and Orihime-san too..."
Amidst a peaceful atmosphere, Asya suddenly acted aggressively.
She was staring suspiciously straight at Hal and Orihime.
"Is something the matter, Asya-san? You are making a strange expression."
"There's something really bothering me. Listen carefully, Hazumi-san has been sticking to Haruomi for the past half a month. Like right now."
Round tables were used for the cafe's sidewalk seating. Hal's group was seated around the table.
Sitting on Hal's right was Hazumi. Suddenly confronted with Asya's intent stare, the girl, who was as benevolent as an angel, smiled tenderly.
"Now that you mention it, indeed, that has been the case. Yes. Just as you say, Asya-san, lately I've been sticking to Senpai almost the whole time."
"Th-That's exactly it. Seriously, Hazumi-san, I can't believe you're hanging around Haruomi as naturally as air!"
With shoulders shaking, Asya then looked at Orihime.
"And the new problem is that someone else has mastered the same special skill before I knew it. That's right, Orihime-san—You!"
"Uh, may I ask what do you mean by that?"
Asya pointed her name out as though she were a master detective solving a homicide case. Orihime was instantly stunned.
"Did I do anything unusual?"
"Yes! Why do you keep hanging around Haruomi for the past few days!?"
" "Huh?" "
Hal and Orihime, who was sitting on his left, exchanged looks.
Speaking of which, although Hal had been running all over the place to handle the aftermath, there were also many opportunities for him to be with Orihime. Since the two of them had been on the frontline to the very end in resolving the incident, it was less of a hassle to do it this way. Furthermore, whenever they were together in the same space—
Hal would subconsciously move closer to Orihime.
Meanwhile, Orihime would immediately lean close whenever she saw Hal's face.
Ever since the two of them overcame the final trial, the instant when they had returned in triumph locked in mutual embrace, Hal and Orihime had been acting like this.
However, Hal could not explain why things developed this way.
"Well, think about it. Being together makes it more convenient to handle many things."
"I-Indeed. It's better with two people going to the same place together."
"And after launching the final blow, Juujouji was totally exhausted. I was worrying whether there might be aftereffects or the like."
"Haruga-kun, you've been very tired lately... I am worried about you too."
"No way. There's no need to worry about me. Despite how I may look, I'm actually quite tough."
"If anything, I am the one who is stronger than I look. Hence, Haruga-kun, you are still the more worrying case. Are you still sleeping insufficiently? Have you been eating properly?"
"Those areas are fine. Juujouji, you're really acting like a mother who loves to worry."
"H-Hold on, at least use 'older sister' instead!"
"Fufu. Asya-san is right. Lately, Nee-sama and Senpai have definitely gotten along much better. I'd really like to join in too."
Sometimes worrying about each other, sometimes joking with each other, sometimes caring deeply for each other.
Seeing Hal and her cousin so close, Hazumi seemed quite gratified.
Her smile conveyed pure joy celebrating the fact that two people close to her were getting along in harmony. Hazumi was definitely quite adorable in this regard.
Hal and Orihime smiled and looked at Hazumi in spontaneous simultaneity.
"Oh right. Since you need proper nutrition, Haruga-kun, why don't you come to my house for hotpot tonight? I'll call home to tell them to make preparations, so Hazumi, you can come along too."
"Really!? Fufu, I feel like it will be joyful meal, Senpai."
"But that grandfather of yours is also at the Juujouji house."
"Not like it matters. If it's you, Haruga-kun, even when confronted with my grandfather, you will still succeed in handling him tactfully, won't you? Oh, if you are free, Asya-san and Luna-san, please join us too."
"I-I don't really mind, but can we get a little bit back to the original topic...?" Asya replied in a trembling voice after accepting the joyful invitation stiffly.
With shoulders shaking, she was glaring angrily at Hal as though she were looking at a sex offender.
"Th-This is what I'm talking about! You're just Haruomi, what's with this playboy behavior!? I can't believe you're living the good life with a lady on each arm! G-G-G-Go back and reflect properly!"
"W-Who cares? It's way better than being on poor terms, right?"
"It's a matter of degree!"
"Fufufufu. It feels quite awesome and exciting to see Asya brandishing her fangs and claws like a wild beast. This sort of entertainment suits my tastes perfectly."
"You over there! Stop treating other people's stress as entertainment material!"
Despite Asya's forceful retort, Luna Francois ignored her with a completely nonchalant expression
Speaking of which—Hal looked at Luna's uniformed attire and asked, "By the way, Luna, why are you wearing a uniform again today?"
"So that I can frequent the school openly, right? I still have to complete transfer procedures."
Not just Hal but all the others stared wide-eyed at the American witch.
"Didn't you say this earlier, Harry? Right now, Tokyo is the amphitheater where dragons gather. As the Trans-Pacific Shootdown Ace, after all, it goes without saying that I cannot sit back and do nothing."
"Well, you do have a point..."
"Besides, there is that other job, isn't there? Naturally, I have made all possible preparations to handle all personal requests in addition to this one. As Harry's representative," said Luna Francois with a wink.
Hearing her give an official answer to his request from several days earlier, Hal nodded gratefully.
"Then there's no time to lose. I'd like to find out how Pops got his hands on that weird rock."
"In that case, I shall first investigate the research materials your father left abroad."
"That'd be great. Also... After surviving the last incident, I've come to learn that it's not a bad idea to get my hands on another one. I hope you can help in searching for it."
"Searching for what?"
"Something that's the same as my bow and Galad's sword—namely, dragonslaying runes."
Just as everyone jumped in surprise by his statement, Hal's cellphone rang.
Hal looked at the screen to see that it was a call from Mutou-san, presumably to invite them to visit the UFO Research Club.
She and Funaki-san were quite anxious to hear Hal's group explain about "what happened last time." As expected, it looked like things were about to get very busy in the near term.
Hal sighed lightly and pressed the button on the screen to pick up the call.
Then night arrived.
After ending a rushed and eventful day, Hal came to the shore of the Sumida River. He had parted ways with the unexpected group of friends he had acquired since returning to Tokyo. Right now, he was alone.
Just by summoning with his voice, the gun-shaped magic wand and its guardian would appear.
However, there was nothing urgent requiring her presence. Hence, Hal strolled along the river embankment under the night sky, fully enjoying the relaxing solitude. However, once the situation settled a bit more, he still needed to find that former dragon king to hold a "strategy conference"—
"Still, assembling a team to go searching the world to gather items or find new weapons, etc... This is getting more and more like an RPG."
This type of poignant impression instantly surged in his heart as soon as he looked back at Haruga Haruomi's current state of affairs.
Hal extended his right hand towards the starry sky. This was the hand where the dragonslaying rune resided. Then he focused his consciousness—As a result, his right hand began to reflect sparkling starlight as though it were made of glass.
This transformation had started from his right wrist.
It was as though the surface was covered by a thin layer of glass.
However, all the joints in his fingers and wrist could still bend and move as he pleased. Hal had unintentionally discovered this change after his victory over Pavel Galad. At the time, it was only his fingertips, but now it had spread to his palm and the back of his hand.
"Sigh, my heart is no longer normal after all..."
Hal sighed and allowed his focused attention to scatter. The glow of his right hand disappeared as a result.
How long was the current situation going to persist for? No amount of contemplation would help the matter, hence Hal shrugged and stopped walking. Surely, a slightly weary expression must be showing on his face right now.
Hal shook his head and started walking again.
It was time to go home—Just as Hal spontaneously thought that...
On the Sumida River's embankment, it was possible to see the glowing emblem clearly above the Monolith in the Old Tokyo Concession. The design of a horizontal oval surrounding a narrow isosceles triangle... It was the Rune of the Arrow.
Princess Yukikaze had declared her occupation of Tokyo in Pavel Galad's stead!
Then Hal's right palm heated up. This feeling was—He immediately summoned the magic gun.
"Brat, she is coming."
The magic gun warned him discreetly in Hinokagutsuchi's voice.
Soon after, the girl in the white one-piece dress descended from the sky. In addition, she turned her body elegantly as though to deliver a spinning kick at Hal's face from midair—
Hal immediately deployed imperishable protection.
However, the snow fairy-like black-haired young beauty nonchalantly allowed her kick to connect. Although Hal was unharmed thanks to the protection, he was sent flying by the impact. Next, the girl landed on top of Hal.
Descending from the sky, the girl sat on Hal's waist, resulting in what was known as a "mounted position" in mixed martial arts.
"Fufufufu, I commend you for not being careless. I shall praise you, Haruomi."
Speaking from a higher position whether mentally or physically, this was Princess Yukikaze, of course.
Presumably, she was praising Hal for extending his right hand to point the magic gun at Princess Yukikaze's lovely visage despite being pinned down. Nevertheless, she also had her right hand position against Hal's throat in a karate chop stance. Both sides had drawn their weapons at each other.
"I'm truly embarrassed by your praise. But given this rare event of a girl falling from the sky, I'd rather wish for an unexpected romantic comedy to unfold instead..."
"What profound words, incomprehensible to me they may be."
"Yeah. I'm thinking every Japanese who loves rom-coms will agree with me."
Despite being straddled by a girl who had descended from the sky, Hal was having a friendly conversation with her.
Nevertheless, Hal kept the gun aimed at her whereas she was gazing down at Hal calmly. What an unbelievable situation.
After this posture persisted for a while, the princess suddenly laughed before standing up.
"Haruomi, do you know why I have come to find you tonight?"
"A declaration of war, I guess?"
"Not quite. It is to declare my victory, Yukikaze's."
Considering the literal words only, this was definitely quite an arrogant declaration of victory. However, it sounded unbelievably refreshing coming from Princess Yukikaze. Surely this must the result of personal character.
A paragon of regal style, the beautiful maiden smiled cheerfully.
Hal sighed and stared at her while slowly standing up.
"Starting from this moment, this city and all of Japan belongs to me. Oh my, even though I don't intend to abuse the citizens, I, Yukikaze, am quite whimsical after all. When the time comes, I might be causing trouble for the populace. You, tell them to be accommodating."
"But I'm not your spokesperson, Your Highness."
"Fufu. That might not be such a bad idea. I, Yukikaze, like you very much. There is no man like you among the dragons."
"Of course. I'm a human, after all."
Hal did not insert the word "still" in his direct response. The princess smiled even more.
"Haruomi, ours is a relationship where a decisive duel between us is inevitable. If I defeat you and you're fortunate enough to survive, I, Yukikaze will offer you a chance."
"Yes. You can become my minion."
After saying this fluently, the princess stared at Hal with a conceited and strict expression.
"If you turn out to be a warrior capable of surviving an encounter against me on the battlefield... A reward of this level would be richly deserved. Do your best, Haruomi!"
Certain death to those who fight her—The princess was subtly making such a declaration.
Parting with words very much in her style, Princess Yukikaze left Hal. Although she was walking with her unguarded back exposed to him, Hal had no intention of shooting her, of course. Because it could not possibly work.
Soon after, the magic surfboard flew over from somewhere.
Jumping vigorously onto the surfboard, Princess Yukikaze flew away lightly in the night sky.
Her destination was the Old Tokyo Concession—towards the bizarre presence of the pure-black triangular prism of a Monolith and the ostentatious Rune of the Arrow.
"In other words, the demon lord's castle has been built right next to our city? Described in RPG terms..."
Starting this night, the Old Tokyo wasteland had become territory under the beautiful dragon king.
Watching the princess flying away, Hal understood that a new adventure had already begun.
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